The 85th annual Decorah FFA Awards Program was held in the Decorah High School auditorium on Thursday, March 24th, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. Approximately 300 guests were in attendance, including parents, family members, community sponsors, business leaders, and members. The Conduct of Meetings Team consisting of President Elora Schnitzler, Vice-President Hunter Quandahl, Secretary Austin Helgerson, Treasurer Jordan Sims, Reporter Derek Tieskoetter, Sentinel Rashell Lippe, and Advisor Kiele Eberling officially opened the awards program.
Chapter Vice President Grace Gerleman welcomed everyone in attendance. The 2021-2022 officer team then presented Greenhand FFA Degrees and Chapter FFA degrees. This year’s Greenhand FFA Degree recipients include Caiden Bruns, Kiele Eberling, Logan Frye, Kaid Headington, Austin Helgerson, Blaine Leidahl, Rashell Lippe, Hunter Quandahl, Elora Schnitzler, Jordan Sims, and Derek Tieskoetter.
The 2021-2022 Chapter FFA Degree recipients include Brooke Anfinson, Cade Averhoff, Annika Brynsaas, Olivia Christopher, Brody Courtney, Camren Darling, Braunwyn Darrington, Bryss Ehrie, Dahlyn Headington, Christopher Larson, Anders Lovstuen, Creed Monroe, Travis Nordheim, Jeramiah Rediske, Claire Schutte, Kayleigh Smith, Grace Stortz, Ciara Wedmann, Kolton Werges, Olivia Wyatt, and Mara Wyatt.
Chapter Sentinel Brendan Hunter then awarded the leadership awards to members who successfully served as leaders within the chapter by serving as an officer and/or a committee chairperson. Members receiving leadership pins for completing their first year of service include Cade Averhoff, Braunwyn Darrington, Annica Hansen, Alex Irwin, David Kreitzer, Maggie Lovstuen, Justin Nierling, and Dalton Zidlicky.
Members recognized for more than two years of leadership service to the chapter include Kyleigh Batterson, Brittney Ehrie, Karter Einck, Kaia Franzen, Grace Gerleman, Dalton Hemesath, Brendan Hunter, Melia Kruse, Rachel Mikkelson, Morgan Moen, Brayden Reiser, Chezny Ryant, Hannah Schnitzler, Sage Wedmann, and Addison Wemark.
Chapter Assistant David Kreitzer introduced the members who had perfect meeting attendance this past year. These members include Caiden Bruns, Annika Brynsaas, Olivia Christopher, Brody Courtney, Brittney Ehrie, Karter Einck, Dylan Elsbernd, Kaia Franzen, Grace Gerleman, Dalton Hemesath, Brendan Hunter, Alex Irwin, Melia Kruse, Anders Lovstuen, Maggie Lovstuen, Landen Marlow, Morgan Moen, Creed Monroe, Travis Nordheim, Hunter Quandahl, Jeramiah Rediske, Chloe Reiser, Jordan Sims, Gavin Sims, Emmit Stemper, Grace Stortz, Derek Tieskoetter, Sage Wedmann, Addison Wemark, Kolton Werges, and Dalton Zidlicky.
Kyleigh Batterson and Addison Wemark 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 Bridget Bentley, Doug Bentley, Kiele Eberling, Austin Helgerson, Kallie Mincks, Justin Nierling, Elora Schnitzler, Jordan Sims, and Dalton Zidlicky.
Members receiving a scholarship certificate for being on the honor roll multiple years include Brody Anfinson, Brooke Anfinson, Cade Averhoff, Kyleigh Batterson, Lacie Bjergum, Annika Brynsaas, Olivia Christopher, Brody Courtney, Braunwyn Darrington, Brittney Ehrie, Karter Einck, Dylan Elsbernd, Kaia Franzen, Grace Gerleman, Dahlyn Headington, Dalton Hemesath, Brendan Hunter, Alex Irwin, Ryan Johanningmeier, David Kreitzer, Melia Kruse, Anders Lovstuen, Maggie Lovstuen, Rachel Mikkelson, Morgan Moen, Creed Monroe, Travis Nordheim, Jeramiah Rediske, Brayden Reiser, Chloe Reiser, Chezny Ryant, Carter Schmelzer, Hannah Schnitzler, Claire Schutte, Gavin Sims, Kayleigh Smith, Emmit Stemper, Grace Stortz, Ciara Wedmann, Sage Wedmann, Addison Wemark, and Mara Wyatt.
Creed Monroe 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 Karter Einck, Dylan Elsbernd, Kaia Franzen, Grace Gerleman, Dalton Hemesath, Brendan Hunter, Ryan Johanningmeier, Melia Kruse, Brayden Reiser, Gavin Sims, Emmit Stemper, and Sage Wedmann.
Morgan Moen and Hannah Schnitzler recognized this year’s members of the month. Members selected to be honored for their FFA accomplishments include Melia Kruse, Ryan Johanningmeier, Brittney Ehrie, Addison Wemark, and Olivia Wyatt.
Chapter Vice-President Grace Gerleman presented the top five fruit sales awards after announcing the chapter had sold a total fruit sales amount of $52,946.00. Members receiving fruit sales awards include 1st– Gavin Sims, 2nd– Brittney Ehrie, 3rd– Braunwyn Darrington, 4th– Cade Averhoff, 5th– Morgan Moen, 6th– Karter Einck, 7th– Melia Kruse, 8th– Brody Courtney, 9th– Travis Nordheim, and 10th– Kaia Franzen.
The Decorah FFA Letter was presented by Brody Courtney. In order to letter, members must be an active member in FFA and the community. This year twenty-eight members lettered in FFA: Brody Anfinson, Kyleigh Batterson, Lacie Bjergum, Brody Courtney, Brittney Ehrie, Karter Einck, Dylan Elsbernd, Kaia Franzen, Grace Gerleman, Annica Hansen, Dalton Hemesath, Brendan Hunter, Ryan Johanningmeier, David Kreitzer, Melia Kruse, Anders Lovstuen, Landen Marlow, Rachel Mikkelson, Morgan Moen, Creed Monroe, Brayden Reiser, Chezny Ryant, Hannah Schnitzler, Gavin Sims, Emmit Stemper, Sage Wedmann, Addison Wemark, and Carson Wemark.
Each FFA member has a requirement to keep records on either a job placement, agribusiness ownership, or a livestock or crop project. Members then submit their record books for evaluation. Kaia Franzen announced the top record books for each class. They include senior Dalton Hemesath, junior Morgan Moen, sophomore Jeramiah Rediske, and freshman Jordan Sims.
Brendan Hunter presented the Star Greenhand award to Rashell Lippe. He also presented the Star Chapter Farmer award to Melia Kruse, the Star Agribusiness award to Creed Monroe, and the Star Chapter Placement award to Grace Gerleman.
Anders Lovstuen and Creed Monroe congratulated this year’s proficiency award winners. This year’s chapter proficiency winners include the following: Grace Gerleman (Agriculture Education), Travis Nordheim (Agricultural Mechanics Repair and Maintenance), Justin Nierling (Agriculture Services), Jeramiah Rediske (Beef Production-Entrepreneurship), Dalton Hemesath (Dairy Production-Placement), Sage Wedmann (Equine Science), Karter Einck (Poultry Production), Brittney Ehrie (Small Animal Production and Care), Addison Wemark (Swine Production-Entrepreneurship), Morgan Moen (Swine Production-Placement), and Kaia Franzen (Veterinary Science).
Creed Monroe thanked the senior class for all their leadership over the years and congratulated them on all their accomplishments. This year’s 2022 Decorah FFA seniors who were recognized include Brody Anfinson, Lacie Bjergum, Brittney Ehrie, Karter Einck, Dylan Elsbernd, Kaia Franzen, Grace Gerleman, Annica Hansen, Dalton Hemesath, Brendan Hunter, Ryan Johanningmeier, David Kreitzer, Melia Kruse, Landen Marlow, Kallie Mincks, Brayden Reiser, Gavin Sims, Emmit Stemper, Sage Wedmann, and Carson Wemark.
Chapter Treasurer Sage Wedmann shared how Dalton Hemesath and Karter Einck were such influential people through not only FFA but also everything they did with their leadership skills and positive attitudes.
Grace Gerleman presented the Star FFA Alumni and Supporters awards to Paul and Janet Hunter, Keith and Brenda Kreitzer, Brandi Lange, Jeremy Franzen, Bill Wedmann, and Kelly Sorenson. Kaia Franzen then joined Grace Gerleman to recognize the 2022 Friends of Agriculture Award Recipients Betsy Ratashak-Vogel and Keith Bruening.
The 2021-2022 Chapter officers then presented the Honorary FFA Degree. The Honorary membership is awarded to 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 Matt Hemesath, Mary Hemesath, Ryan and Michelle Einck, and Myles and Connie Gerleman.
Chapter Advisor Joni Bruvold thanked all the volunteers and individuals who have supported the chapter throughout the last year. Following Ms. Bruvold’s speech, the newly formed Decorah FFA Alumni and Supporters officer team came to the stage to provide background information on this new organization.
After watching the year in review video, introduced by Sage Wedmann, the new officer installation took place before the banquet was adjourned. The 2021-22 officers installed the following 2022-23 officers: President – Dalton Hemesath to Creed Monroe, Vice President – Grace Gerleman to Brody Courtney, Secretary – Karter Einck to Addison Wemark, Treasurer – Sage Wedmann to Anders Lovstuen, Reporter – Kaia Franzen to Morgan Moen, Sentinel – Brendan Hunter to Hannah Schnitzler, and Assistant Officer – David Kreitzer to Kyleigh Batterson. The newly elected officer team thanked the retiring officer team and the 2022 Decorah FFA senior class for their leadership and dedication to the organization. The officer team performed the closing ceremonies and concluded the banquet with the Pledge of Allegiance.