Little Switzerland FFA Chapter holds annual banquet

by Carmen Wille,
FFA Chapter Reporter

The Little Switzerland FFA Chapter at Waukon held its annual banquet Saturday, May 10, where FFA members were awarded for their hard work and dedication throughout the past year. The night started with an invocation from Chapter Sentinel Nicole McGeough and a meal prepared by Jets Meats and Processing.
The first awards handed out were Greenhand and Chapter  degrees. The Greenhand degree was awarded to 23 first-year FFA members who have a satisfactory Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE), enrolled in an Agriculture Education class and many additional requirements. A total of 15 members received the Chapter degree, which is awarded to Greenhand degree holders who have also met an extensive list of requirements.
Each October, members of the Waukon FFA Chapter sell fruit, meat and cheese community members. The proceeds from this fund raiser are used for many activities that chapter members take part in throughout the year. This year, 38 members sold over $500 worth of fruit. The top seller this year was Corey Hoffman, who sold $2,160 worth of product. The second-place seller, Kourtney Stone, sold $1,808 worth of product.
FFA members who excel in their SAE are acknowledged for their achievements through the Proficiency Award Program. The Waukon chapter recognizes students with outstanding projects in different areas ranging from ownership of livestock or crops to being employed at an agricultural business. The list of this year’s recipients includes Mary Melcher, Dairy Production-Placement; Michelle Winkie, Diversified Livestock-Entrepreneurship; Krystal Johnson, Agriculture Communications-Entrepreneurship; Mariah Kucera, Agriculture Education-Entrepreneurship; McKayla Stock, Agriculture Services-Placement; Shaylie Stortz, Swine Production-Entrepreneurship; Rachel Kucera, Sheep Production-Entrepreneurship; Carli Quandahl, Beef Production-Entrepreneurship; Megan Leiran, Equine Science Proficiency; and Sam Schwartz, Dairy Production- Entrepreneurship.
The Little Switzerland Chapter encourages its FFA members to strive for academic excellence, and awards the top FFA member from each class with an academic achievement award. These awards are based on the students' overall grade point average, not just their academic achievements in the agriculture education classes. This year’s recipients are: Freshman Christa Heffern, Sophomore Bethany Stock, Junior Riley Bodley, and Senior Sam Schwartz.
Star Greenhand awards are handed to the chapter’s most active first-year members who have a strong SAE and have shown leadership throughout the year. This year's recipients include Christa Heffern, Hannah Hennessy, Emma Johnson and Carmen Wille.
The Star Chapter Farmer award goes to a FFA member who has an excellent SAE in production agriculture and has demonstrated involvement in all phases of the chapter’s activities. This year's award recipient was Chase Pladsen, who owns and operates his own Red Angus herd.
The FFA member with the best SAE placement program and who has shown leadership skills was selected for this year’s Star in Agriculture Placement winner. Sam Schwartz has been a valued employee at Rolinda Acres for many years and was the recipient of this award.
Carli Quandahl received the Craig Levi Mathis award. This award is presented to the FFA member who shows dedication, service and outstanding leadership qualities within the Little Switzerland chapter.
The DEKALB Agricultural Accomplishment Award was presented to Sam Schwartz. This award is presented to a senior who exemplifies a student’s scholarship, commitment and work ethic in their academics, leadership and agriculture work experience.
The “Of the Year” Awards were given out at the banquet also. These awards are presented to students who provide chapter members with memories throughout their time in the organization. Members who received these awards include Bill Johns as the Biggest Flirt, Seth Snitker as the Biggest Procrastinator, Kevin Goetsch as the Most Informed Person and Nolan Hagen as the Biggest Redneck.
The State FFA believes in high academic standings. Senior FFA members who maintain a high academic standing are recognized each year at the District FFA convention. The four Waukon FFA seniors receiving the award this year have reached all the requirements for this award, including a certain GPA and a satisfactory SAE. Sam Schwartz, Seth Snitker, Michelle Winkie and McKayla Stock have reached these requirements and were recognized for their achievements over the last four years.
The Little Switzerland FFA chapter depends on the support of administrators, teachers, community members and local businesses to provide support to the chapter and members. These businesses and individuals make the Little Switzerland FFA Chapter successful. Honorary Chapter degrees are given each year to those who have made outstanding contributions to the Waukon FFA chapter and its members. Danny Schlitter, Nikki Schulte, and Adam and Julie Quandahl received these awards for their assistances this year.
At the end of the night it was time for officer installations. The 2013-2014 Little Switzerland FFA officers retired from their offices and the newly-elected officers took office for 2014-2015. These officers include Riley Bodley as President, Chase Pladsen as Vice President, Megan Leiran as Secretary, Mary Melcher as Treasurer, Carmen Wille as Reporter, Bethany Stock as Historian, and Christian Wenthold as Sentinel.