The Decorah FFA recently hosted its 80th annual parent/member banquet at the Danan Lansing building on the Winneshiek County Fairgrounds.
Approximately 240 guests, including parents, family members, community supporters, business leaders, administrators and members, were in attendance.
Mason Falck gave the opening invocation, and a dinner, catered by U-2 BBQ & Catering, followed.
The Program of Activities team of Maggie Brandel, Hailey Nierling, and Courtney Nordheim presented a year-end summary keynote presentation of the chapter’s accomplishments. The Conduct of Meetings team, consisting of President Brendan Lovstuen, Vice President Brooke Courtney, Secretary Libby Rolfs, Reporter Julianna Wise, Treasurer Keagen Einck, Sentinel David Johanningmeier, and Advisor Parker Monroe officially opened the meeting. Chapter President Blake Courtney welcomed everyone and introduced Chapter Reporter Maggie Brandel to help announce the banquets’ guests. Decorah FFA creed speaker Katie Bjergum presented the FFA creed. Stakeholder engagement committee chairperson Tye Anderson and healthy lifestyles committee chairperson Anna Hanson announced the top record books. The top record book awards, sponsored by Viking State Bank and Trust, were presented to Hailey Nierling, Julianna Wise, and Parker Monroe by Rhonda Schnitzler.
Chapter support group committee chairperson Nick Kuehner presented each retiring committee chairperson with a leadership certificate or pin. The following received leadership pins: Tye Anderson, Dawson Bauer, Mason Falck, Anna Hanson, Brannan Hogan, Nick Kuehner, Andy Lillegraven, Brendan Lovstuen, Daniel Schwartzhoff and Julianna Wise.
Members receiving certificates for completing more than two years of service include Jaden Anderson, Maggie Brandel, Blake Courtney, Hailey Nierling and Courtney Nordheim.
Chapter Treasurer Tye Anderson presented the top ten fruit sales awards: 1st-Nick Folstad, 2nd-Jaden Anderson, 3rd-Keagen Einck, 4th-Daniel Schwartzhoff, 5th-Hailey Nierling, 6th-Mason Falck, 7th-Maillie McCabe, 8th-Braeley Ehrie, 9th-Blake Courtney, and 10th-Bailey Miculinich. The top five fruit sales awards were sponsored and presented by Fareway Stores, Inc.
Chapter Vice President Courtney Nordheim and Chapter Assistant Hailey Nierling introduced the members who had perfect meeting attendance this past year. These members include Jaden Anderson, Tye Anderson, Austin Bulman, Blake Courtney, Brooke Courtney, Braeley Ehrie, Keagen Einck, Mason Falck, Austin Hill, Lily Hovey, David Johanningmeier, Andy Lillegraven, Brendan Lovstuen, Maillie McCabe, Bailey Miculinich, Elijah Mitchell, Parker Monroe, Hailey Nierling, Courtney Nordheim, Daniel Schwartzhoff, Madison Sexton, Shane Sexton, Stacia Sexton, and Julianna Wise.
Chapter Scholarship Committee Chairperson Jaden Anderson presented scholarship pins and certificates to all of the Decorah FFA members who made the honor roll this past year. Members receiving this honor and a pin include Katie Bjergum, Brooke Courtney, Keagen Einck, Arielle Gossman, Lily Hovey, David Johanningmeier, Devin Ludeking, Bailey Miculinich, Elijah Mitchell, Parker Monroe, Libby Rolfs, and Mason
Members receiving a scholarship certificate for being on the honor roll multiple years include Jaden Anderson, Tye Anderson, Dawson Bauer, Maggie Brandel, Justin Bullerman, Austin Bulman, Blake Courtney, Katelyn Dehning, Braeley Ehrie, Jason Elsbernd, Mason Falck, Jared Frana, Peter Gerleman, Ayden Gossman, Anna Hanson, Austin Hill, Brannan Hogan, Shania Kelly, Kelsey Krull, Nick Kuehner, Andy Lillegraven, Brendan Lovstuen, Maillie McCabe, Hailey Nierling, Courtney Nordheim, Meretta Peterson, Kirstyn Samuelson, Daniel Schwartzhoff, Madison Sexton, Shane Sexton, Stacia Sexton, Elizabeth Smith and Julianna Wise.
Chapter Citizenship Committee Chairperson Julianna Wise presented the Academic Achievement Awards. The senior academic awards are awarded from the Iowa FFA Association and are presented to the seniors with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5. Recipients who received a certificate and a medal include Katie Dehning, Jason Elsbernd, Kelsey Krull, Kirstyn Samuelson, Blake Schmelzer, Shane Sexton and Elizabeth Smith.
Jaden Anderson also presented this year’s $200 Senior Scholarship award to Elizabeth Smith.
Courtney Nordheim, Maggie Brandel, Julianna Wise, and Brannan Hogan announced this year’s proficiency award winners and their sponsors/presenters. This year’s chapter proficiency winners include the following:
• Mason Falck (Agricultural Mechanics Design & Fabrication), Steve Falck
• Katelyn Dehning (Agricultural Sales – Placement), Twedt’s 20 Suffolks
• Brendan Lovstuen (Beef Production Entrepreneurship), Bear Creek Builders
• Hailey Nierling (Beef Production Placement), Nierling Family Farms
• Blake Courtney (Dairy Production Entrepreneurship), Mark Knudtson - Select Sires
• Anna Hanson (Dairy Production Placement), Curtis and Helen Lippe
• Nick Kuehner (Diversified Crop Placement), Duane Kuehner
• Jaden Anderson (Diversified Livestock Production), Bling It On
• Shania Kelly (Food Science), Pizza Ranch
• Braeley Ehrie (Goat Production), Brad Ehrie
• Ayden Gossman (Grain Production Entrepreneurship), WP Terrace Acres
• Daniel Schwartzhoff (Sheep Production), Mike & Michelle Schwartzhoff
• Justin Bullerman (Small Animal Production & Care), Andy Darrington
• Austin Bulman (Vegetable Production), Bulman Brothers Ag
• Philip Ihde (Wildlife Management), Upper Iowa Speedway
Decorah FFA Booster Co-Presidents Scott and Amy Courtney gave a summary and some highlights of the FFA Booster year. John Anderson presented the annual Kenneth Nesheim Memorial Scholarship to senior Maggie Brandel who will receive $200.
Daniel Schwartzhoff and Brendan Lovstuen presented the Star Greenhand award to Keagen Einck. They also presented the Star Chapter Farmer award to Blake Courtney, the Star Agribusiness award to Austin Bulman, and the Star Chapter Placement award to Hailey Nierling. The Star Awards were sponsored by Winneshiek County Farm Bureau and were presented by John Hegg and Gordon Hunter.
Andy Lillegraven, Career Success Committee Chairperson, presented the Star Booster awards to Kevin and Carrie Brandel, Chad and Kristina Wiltgen, Trever Falck, Troy and Leah Anderson, and Aaron and Christina Pattison.
Joni Bruvold, Chapter Advisor, gave special thanks to the three individuals who helped evaluate and select this past year’s record book and proficiency award winners. This year’s evaluators were Dustin Bigler, Shelby Cornelius and Jordan Tietz.
Mason Falck and Blake Courtney then presented this year’s Friends of Agriculture award to Brent Storhoff, Mrs. Dana Einck, John and Pam Anderson and Rick Twedt.
The 2016-2017 Chapter officers then presented the Honorary FFA Degree. The Honorary membership is for any farmers, school superintendents, principals, members of boards of education, chapter advisors, teachers, staff members in agricultural education, business people, and others who are helping to advance agricultural education and the FFA and who have rendered outstanding service. They may be elected to honorary membership by a majority vote of the members present at any regular meeting or convention. This year’s recipients were Scott and Amy Courtney and Matt and Jolene Nierling.
To conclude the banquet, all of the members recognized their parents with gifts. Maggie Brandel and Courtney Nordheim shared the senior reflections and brought all of the 2017 FFA seniors on stage for recognition. The 2016-2017 FFA Boosters then announced the silent auction results. This year’s silent auction amount totaled around $4,200. This will be used for senior scholarships.
The new officer installation took place before the banquet was adjourned. The 2016-2017 officers installed the following 2017-2018 officers: President - Blake Courtney, Vice President Courtney Nordheim to Mason Falck, Secretary - Jaden Anderson, Treasurer Tye Anderson to Brendan Lovstuen, Reporter Maggie Brandel to Julianna Wise, Sentinel Mason Falck to Daniel Schwartzhoff, and Assistant Officer - Hailey Nierling. The officer team performed the closing ceremonies and concluded the banquet with the Pledge of Allegiance.