Numerous awards were presented at the 76th annual Decorah FFA parent/member banquet recently held at the Danan Lansing Building at the Winneshiek County Fairgrounds.
Approximately 340 guests, parents, community supporters, and members were in attendance. Chapter assistant, Eric Smorstad, gave the opening invocation. A dinner catered by U-2 BBQ & Catering, followed.
The Program of Activities team, Randi Jo Carolan, Ruth Ann Sutton and Marley Milligan, presented a year-end summary/keynote presentation of the chapter's accomplishments. The Conduct of Meetings team, President-Garret Hemesath, Vice-President-Daiton Tietz, Secretary-Madison McCabe, Reporter-Ashley Schwartzhoff, Treasurer-Spencer Bulman, Sentinel-Kenzie Hovden, and Advisor-Caleb Chyle officially opened the meeting.
Chapter President, Dustin Smith welcomed everyone and introduced Chapter Reporter, Micayla Christopher and Chapter Secretary, Randi Jo Carolan, to announce the banquets' guests. Decorah FFA creed speaker, Rachel Masek, presented the FFA creed. Chapter Vice-President, McKinleigh McCabe, announced the top record books for each class. They were: senior-Brittany Nelson, junior-Emily Smith, sophomore-Morgan Franzen, and freshman-Ashley Schwartzhoff. The best record book awards were sponsored by the Winneshiek County Farm Bureau and were presented by Farm Bureau President, Randy Brincks. Chapter Reporter, Micayla Christopher, and Chapter Treasurer, Adam Christopher, presented each retiring committee chairperson with a leadership certificate or pin. Chapter Treasurer Adam Christopher and Finance Committee Co-Chairperson Brittany Nelson presented the 10th -6th place fruit sales winners, followed by presenting plaques to the 1st-5th place members. They were: 1st-Peter Hansen, $3757 (chapter record!), 2nd-Caleb Chyle-$1767.25, 3rd-Kenzie Hovden-$1457.50, 4th-Cole Horgen- $1391.25, and 5th-Kevin Downing-$1377.25. The top fruit sales awards were sponsored and presented by Fareway, Stores Inc., Dave Noack-manager. Chapter Secretary, Randi Jo Carolan and Chapter Sentinel, Sawyer Wise introduced all members who had had perfect meeting attendance this past year, along with scholarship pins and certificates to all of the Decorah FFA members who made the honor roll this past year. Randi Jo Carolan and Sawyer Wise also presented this year's $200 Senior Scholarship award to Dustin Smith. Officers Sawyer Wise, Adam Christopher, Micayla Christopher and McKinleigh McCabe announced this year's proficiency award winners and their sponsors/presenters: Placement Awards:
Jacob Garza (Agricultural Mechanics Repair and Maintenance), M and K Construction-Gary Klotzbach Adam Christopher (Agricultural Sales), Mabe's Pizza-Dana Stendel, Austin Selness (Agricultural Service), Monroe Custom Chopping-Kale & Linda Monroe, Randi Jo Carolan (Dairy Production), Nierling Farms-Matt and Hailey Nierling, Eric Smorstad (Grain Production), Smorstad Farms-Carl Smorstad; Entrepreneurship Awards: Dustin Smith (Beef Production), Smith Family Farms- Eric Smith, Cody Zidlicky (Dairy Production), Spillville Mill/Agri-King-Mark Holthaus, Ruth Ann Sutton (Equine Science), Amethyst Arabians Plus-Susan Bigler & Lynnae Keune, Kristy Good (Grain Production), Winneshiek Cooperative-Dave Bergan, Isaac Luzum (Poultry Production), Sweeney Village Farm and Home in Waukon-Jan and Joe Sweeney, Brittany Nelson (Sheep Production), David Lensch, Lukas Phillips (Small Animal Production and Care), Critters and Such, Tyler Lundtvedt (Turf Grass Management) Breeser's Mowing & Hedge Trimming-Kevin Breeser, Nathan Frana (Vegetable Production), Oneota Food Co-op - David Lester, Chad Courtney (Wildlife Production and Management)and Wagon Road Archery- Ethan Smith.
Decorah FFA Booster presidents, Eric and Dainna Smith, gave a summary and highlights of the FFA Booster year. They also announced Bushels for Scholars award recipients: Adam Christopher, Miranda Schnitzler, Micayla Christopher, Brian O'Regan, Brittany Nelson, Kelsey Hovden, Tyler Lundtvedt, Mitch Nordhiem, Lucas Hunter, Eric Smorstad, Dustin Smith and McKinleigh McCabe.
This year's Bushels for Scholars were Rick and Tara Bigler, Brad Darling, (Darling Farms), Nathan and Jacque Dawley, Terry and Jane Elsbernd, Jim and Katie Falck, Brian Downing, Lawrence and Joan Greco, Mitch and Adam Hemesath, Keith and Linda Hemesath, Dale & Tina Hovden, Alan and Leslie McCabe, Randy & Renee McIntosh, Russ & Tina McIntosh, (McIntosh Farms), Terry Ryan, Don and Carol Schnitzler, Randy and Rhonda Schnitzler, John and Roxanne Schnitzler, Eric and Wendy Selness, Eric and Dainna Smith, Gary and Deb Smorstad, (Smorstad Farms), Wayne and Pam Wicks, (Wicks Farms) and Winneshiek Coop.
FFA booster officers, Jarad and Wendy Carolan, Alan and Leslie McCabe, and Dick and Julie Wise presented the annual Kenneth Nesheim Memorial Scholarship to senior Adam Christopher who will receive $200.00.
Eric Smorstad and Tyler Lundtvedt presented the Star Greenhand award to Ashley Schwartzhoff. They also presented the Star Chapter Farmer award to Dustin Smith, the Star Agribusiness award to Tyler Lundtvedt, and the Star Chapter Placement award to Adam Knight. The Star Awards were sponsored by KVIK-FM and were presented by Janelle Halverson. McKinleigh McCabe presented the Star Booster award to Micheal and DeAnn Christopher, Timon and Laurie Christopher, Alan and Leslie McCabe, Eric and Dianna Smith, and Gary and Deb Smorstad. Rick Twedt, Chapter Advisor, thanked several individuals and groups. He then gave special thanks and certificates to Brett and Christina Masek and Brad and Lori Phillips, for one year service for the evaluation of record books and proficiency awards. Loren and Lori Luzum and Mark and Cathy Nelson were given special plaques to recognize them for fulfilling two years of service in this area. These plaques were sponsored by Viking State Bank and presented by Ron Stoskopf and Duane Tlusty. Chapter President, Dustin Smith presented this year's Friends of Agriculture award to Doug Van Sloten, Land O' Lakes, and Katie Hennessy. Dustin Smith also presented the Honorary Chapter Member award to Eric and Dainna Smith, parents of Decorah FFA President, for their leadership in organizing booster fund-raiser events, and to student teacher, Ms. Leah Henkes, and to Mr. Jason Rausch, the DHS choral director.
To conclude the banquet, all of the members recognized their parents with gifts. Laurie Christopher and DeAnn Christopher, representing the 2012-2013 booster officers, announced the silent auction results. This year's silent auction amount totaled around $1,694. Chapter President Dustin Smith brought all of the 2013 FFA seniors on stage, to present some reflections of their years as Decorah FFA members and presented Mr. Twedt with a few gifts. The officer team performed the closing ceremonies, and concluded the banquet with the Pledge of Allegiance. The new officer installation took place after the banquet was adjourned. The 2013-2014 officers are: President Dustin Smith to Sawyer Wise, Vice-President McKinleigh McCabe to Justin McIntosh, Secretary Randi Jo Carolan to herself for a second term, Treasurer Adam Christopher to Marley Milligan, Reporter Micayla Christopher to Ruth Sutton. Sentinel Sawyer Wise to Emily Smith, and Assistant Officer Eric Smorstad to Cody Carolan. The annual parent member banquet concluded at 8:50 p.m.