Submitted by Kaia Franzen, Decorah FFA Reporter

The Decorah FFA competed at the 93rd Iowa FFA Leadership Conference on April 19-20 at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Members participated in six contests. Twenty Decorah FFA members attended this year’s conference, including Joe Breiner, Annika Brynsaas, Karter Einck, Kaia Franzen, Grace Gerleman, Dalton Hemesath, Brendan Hunter, David Kreitzer, Anders Lovstuen, Garrett Lovstuen, Morgan Moen, Creed Monroe, Ashley Nierling, Travis Nordheim, Jeramiah Rediske, Steven Sexton, Kayleigh Smith, Shayla Smith, Sage Wedmann, and Alex Zweibohmer.

State Qualifying Events results

The Conduct of Meetings Team consisting of Creed Monroe, Anders Lovstuen, Annika Brynsaas, Joe Breiner, Kayleigh Smith, Jeramiah Rediske, and Travis Nordheim demonstrated the proper use of parliamentary procedure through conducting an FFA meeting. The team received a gold rating and placed third. Grace Gerleman, Dalton Hemesath, and Kaia Franzen competed in the Chapter Program of Activities leadership development event. The team gave a 12-minute presentation and answered questions on the Decorah FFA’s 2020 activities and shared the impact those activities had on developing leaders, building communities, and strengthening agriculture. The team took third place with gold ratings. Tyler Irwin, the 2020-2021 treasurer of the Decorah FFA, submitted the Decorah FFA treasurer's book for the state evaluation. The book received a gold rating.State Ag Skills Career Development Event Karter Einck, Grace Gerleman, Dalton Hemesath, and Brendan Hunter competed in the agricultural communications career development event. The agricultural communications team earned a gold rating and placed fifth overall. Hunter took first place in his practicum which was to write an op-ed featuring the topic shared in the contest press conference.

This contest is designed to have students effectively communicate and advocate a specific topic. The team wrote a media plan, gave a team presentation to a panel of judges, and participated in four individual practicums including web design, video producing, journalistic writing, and opinion writing after attending a press conference.

The Farm Business Management team received a silver rating. Members of this team include Sage Wedmann, Garret Lovstuen, David Kreitzer, and Steven Sexton. This Career Development Event is designed to provide the students an opportunity to display their agricultural knowledge and skills in the area of Farm Management. Anders Lovstuen and Creed Monroe took the FFA Greenhand Quiz. This is a quiz based on members showcasing their knowledge about the FFA organization. Both Lovstuen and Monroe were awarded a gold rating.

The Decorah FFA also had members who earned individual awards and degrees. The Iowa FFA Degree is the highest honor a member may receive from the state. FFA participants who qualify have completed the three-circle model's minimum participation requirements: SAE, FFA, and Classroom/Laboratory. This year, five members of the Decorah FFA received this honor. These members include Karter Einck, Kaia Franzen, Grace Gerleman, Dalton Hemesath, and Brendan Hunter. Proficiency Awards Decorah FFA had two finalists for their proficiency this year. Shayla Smith placed first in Beef Production Placement, and Kaia Franzen placed second in Veterinary Science. These awards are based on supervised agricultural experiences (SAEs) and the skills that have been developed through these experiences. Additional Contest Results and Activities The Decorah FFA Chapter received 15th place, earning a gold rating and qualifying for nationals in the National Chapter Award Program. The National Chapter Award program is a contest designed to encourage chapters to plan activities and carry them out with a successful program of activities. Chapters are recognized for outstanding achievement in the areas of student development, chapter development, and community development.

Members also took part in a variety of events that took place throughout the Iowa FFA Leadership Conference. Morgan Moen sang in the state FFA chorus, and Alex Zweibohmer played the clarinet in the State FFA Band. Sage Wedmann and Karter Einck served as the chapter’s delegates and attended the state FFA association’s business session.