By Kaitlyn Rowan, Reporter
Kaitlyn Rowan and Dean Thompson walked across the Hearnes Center’s stage in front of 4,ooo people to receive proficiency awards on Thursday, April 18. Rowan received a plaque recognizing her as an area winner in Diversified Livestock Production and Thompson received his for being the state winner in the Diversified Agriculture Production category. Proficiency awards recognize FFA members who excel as agricultural entrepreneurs, employees or volunteers while gaining hands-on career experience.
Rowan’s supervised agriculture experience began when her family had her assist on the family farm. She started out with two lambs and now owns a flock of 25 sheep. She also raises cattle and horse. Rowan continues to work on the family ranch as a part of her SAE.
Thompson’s supervised agriculture experience consists of crop, hay and beef cattle production. He currently rents over 305 acres of land where he grows corn, soybeans and hay. He also has a small herd of beef cattle and worked for Wright Farms. Thompson has gained knowledge in several areas including no-till farming, crop rotation, crop sales, marketing, cattle nutrition and cattle care. Thompson’s proficiency application was selected as the state winner after it was judged against the applications of 15 other area winners. Dean’s application will be continuing on to the national competition later this year.
The Missouri FFA has 25,062 members representing 331 chapters and there are 49 different proficiency areas of awards.
State Degree Recipients
State Degree recipients are chosen based on their supervised agricultural experience program in agribusiness or production agriculture, and leadership ability they demonstrate through involvement in FFA, school and community activities. Leslyn Cole, Brett Goligoski, Jamie Happy, Cassie Kinnard, John Landwehr, Cathy Sander, and Dean Thompson had the honor of receiving their State Degree. The State Degree is the highest honor awarded to members at the state level.
Chapter Activity Award
The Richmond FFA was recognized as a superior chapter with a bronze emblem distinction through the National Chapter Activity Award Program. Chapter activity awards are given to chapters achieving excellence in student, chapter and community development.
Dean Thompson was selected as the Area 6 Star Farmer. Area 6 includes 21 chapters and is part of the Central FFA District. Area Star Farmers are chosen based upon outstanding production agriculture in the student’s supervised agricultural experience and active participation in FFA. Thompson’s SAE consists of row crops, hay and beef cattle. His project began after his father encouraged him to rent land to plant soybeans, sweet corn and hay. Thompson has since expanded his project to include several acres of field corn, sweet corn, soybeans, hay and wheat. He also raises beef cattle.
Twelve members of the Richmond FFA Chapter left Thursday morning to compete in state agriculture contests in Columbia, with high hopes for the day. As they arrived at the state competition Aaron Shank, Hunter Cavanah, John Call, and Sarah Davis were the first to compete in the Soil Evaluation contest. Followed by Caitlynn Payton, Colby Yoakum, Dakota Boss, and Kaitlyn Rowan in the Livestock Judging competition. Jamie Happy, Jimmy Hamm, and John Landwehr also competed in the Farm Management contest.
The Livestock Contest consists of evaluating beef, sheep and swine using performance records and physical appraisals. The team members present oral reasons on three of six classes they judged to defend and explain their placing of the class. The Livestock team received a bronze award. Kaitlyn Rowan received a silver award with Caitlynn Payton, Colby Yoakum, and Dakota Boss receiving a bronze.
The Soil Judging teams evaluate and analyze soil for characteristics critical to production capabilities. The Soils team received a silver award. Hunter Cavanah, John Call and Sarah Davis received silver ratings and Aaron Shank received bronze.
The Farm Management contest consists of Individuals analyzing real-life business problems and understanding of economic principles. Participants use what they learned in their agricultural business classes to compete. Skills the students apply in the event will help them face even greater challenges in their professional lives. The Farm Management team received a gold award by finishing 9th out of 49 teams. Jamie Happy and John Landwehr received gold ratings and Jimmy Hamm received silver.
State FFA Chorus Members
Richmond FFA members Aaron Shank and Breanna Miller were selected to participate in the Missouri State FFA Chorus during the 2013 Missouri FFA State Convention. Shank, a sophomore at RHS, sung 1st Tenor while Miller, a freshman sung 1st Alto. Members were selected though an application process that required a recommendation from their high school choir instructor and FFA advisors. Shank and Miller were the first members to be selected to the State FFA Chorus in the past five years.