HARTINGTON — The month of April seems to fly by with the amount of FFA activities scheduled. In the beginning of the month, students had a chance to attend the Nebraska State FFA convention. The Nebraska State FFA convention was once again held in person April 6-8 in Lincoln. It has been more than two years since it has been held in person. Students have been putting in long hours in order to prepare for the state competitions, with 40 students from both schools in the community presenting in nine competitions, along with the 6,000 other FFA members who participated from across the state.
In Ag Mechanics, the team placed 47th. Colin Potts received a white ribbon for his individual placing of 89th. Other members of the team included Grayden Hochstein, Jack Stevens and Andrew Heimes. Maddie Steffen placed 187th and Braeden Reifenrath placed 199th, both receiving individual red ribbons in Agriscience. The team placed 83rd, with Bailey Hochstein and Mckenzie Bruning making up the team. In Agronomy, Lane Heimes 126th and Logan Eickhoff 191st received ribbons, while their team placed 62nd, with Cole Heimes and Ben Kleinschmit completing their team. In Environment and Natural resources, the team placed 108th, with Karsan Albers, Zoey Gratzfeld, Karli Bruning and James Pick making up the team members.
Farm and Agribusiness Management had a new team component this year, where Bella Hulit, Emma Wuebben, Nash Albers and Weston Heine worked together to place fifth in the state. Nicholas Payne placed 55th on the Food Science and Technology, with Claire Rolfes, Lauren Potts and Jordyn Steffen. The team placed 34th in the state. In Livestock judging, the team placed 31st, with Ava Noecker taking top of the team placing 20th individual with Matthew Loecker, Tessa Haahr and Ryan Pick. Tavious Pinkelman, Carson Noecker, Logan Rohan and Daniel Steffen made up the Meats Evaluation team and placed 90th in the state.
Keaton Steffen and Carter Klug competed in their proficiency application by doing a one-on-one interview at state. The record books they compiled and questions they answered made them the top three in the state. Both went in confidently. Carter Klug in Dairy Placement took third in the State, while Keaton in Dairy Entrepreneurship took top in the state.
Not only did the students stay busy by competing, students had many hands-on experiences to do. Attending evening sessions was one activity where they listened to inspirational speakers to gain a boost of confidence to finish out the school year strong.
Last Friday night, the annual banquet took place, where members and parents celebrated the year’s accomplishments, community support and a farewell to seniors. All members were recognized for all the hard work they put in throughout the year. Leadership awards were handed out to members who had shown outstanding development and use of leadership skills over the past year. Ethan Becker, Anya Pick, Isabella Hulit, Karli Bruning, Cole Heimes and Lauren Potts were the recipients of the Leadership awards. Scholarship awards are given to members who demonstrated strong scholastic and academic ability, members included Benjamin Kleinschmit, Andrew Heimes, Lane Heimes and Jordyn Steffen.
Most active award goes to one student from each class who has put in the most time to the FFA Chapter in the last year. Senior class award-winner was Carter Klug, junior class was Keaton Steffen, sophomore class was Emma Wubben, and freshmen class was Ava Noecker. Colin Potts received the Dekalb award which is given to a senior who excels in all areas of the agricultural program.
One of the highlights of the night was announcing the new 2022 -2023 FFA Officer Team. Chaplin went to Carson Noecker, Historian went to Tessa Haahr, Parliamentarian is Andrew Heimes, Sentinel went to Grayden Hochstein, Reporter is Dalie Paulsen, Treasurer went to Keaton Steffen, Secretary is Emma Wubben, Vice President went to Isabella Hulit, and the new President went to Lane Heimes.
The final goodbye is always the hardest, with 12 students retiring their jackets from both Hartington-Newcastle and Cedar Catholic. They included Nash Albers, Ethan Becker, Devan Breen, Jessica Dowling, Molly Hochstein, Carter Klug, Jenna Lammers, Kendra Loecker, Anya Pick, Colin Potts, Zoe Ptak and Jordyn Steffen.