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Audrain County R-VI and Van-Far FFA chapters shine at state event

Posted on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 2:08 pm

R6-FFA-NURSERY-LANDSCAPINGBoth the Audrain County R-VI and Van-Far R-I FFA Chapters earned several honors at the 87th Missouri FFA Convention held April 16-17 in Columbia, Mo.
Audrain County R-VI FFA with Advisor
Stacy French
The Audrain County R-VI FFA Chapter placed 31st out of 338 chapters in the state. Only 10% of state chapters receive a top chapter designation each year.
Chapter activity awards, sponsored by FCS Financial, are given to chapters achieving excellence in student, chapter and community development.
Student development activities included a program called “Fit and Fun Lifestyles,” a program in which Audrain County R-VI FFA keeps members stay active in chapter activities in order to promote their physical well-being.
Chapter development activities are designed to promote excellence within the chapter. The main fundraiser of the Audrain County R-VI FFA is Seeds of Stewardship, a 41-acre field that is planted, maintained and harvested by members and volunteers. By participating students learn farm- and crop-management skills while they help build the financial standing of their chapter by marketing the grain harvested.
The Audrain County R-VI FFA community development activities include their annual Farm Safety Day, where volunteers from local companies, near Martinsburg and Laddonia, were selected to collaborate with FFA members in the creation of educational booths. Students from Laddonia Elementary School and St. Joseph Catholic School attend the event to learn valuable farm safety tips.
The top chapters are submitted to the National FFA Organization where they compete for the National FFA Chapter Award. The competition will be this fall at the 88th National FFA Convention in Louisville, Kent.
The Missouri FFA has 25,829 members representing 338 chapters. The national organization has more than 610,000 members representing 7,665 local chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
Nursery/Landscaping Team-The Audrain County R-VI FFA Chapter took second in the nursery/landscaping career development event (CDE). There were 39 teams in the competition.
The team members include Karissa Graves, Courtney Bertels, Bryan Allen, and Travis Swaim. Graves placed first, Bertels placed sixth, Allen placed 23rd and Swaim placed 24th out of 144 participants. The Audrain County R-VI FFA advisors were Stephanie Eckler, Don Hanson, and Rex Moore.
STIHL Outdoor Power Equipment awards scholarships to the top four individuals in the Nursery/Landscaping CDE.
Individuals in this event are scored on their knowledge of production, marketing, utilization and culture of landscape plants. Students use the information they learn in their horticulture and landscape design classes.
Sponsored by University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, CDEs prepare student members for career success, engage student learning and make a real connection to lifetime goals.
State Degrees-Bryan Allen, Courtney Bertels, Kaleb Harris, Trever Hoyt, and Treyton Kobush of the Audrain County R-VI FFA Chapter received the State FFA Degree, the highest degree members can receive at state level.
The Audrain County R-VI FFA Chapter members are one of 775 degree recipients who received the honor during the State FFA Degree Ceremony at the 87th Missouri FFA Convention.
Awarding of the degree is based on a member’s supervised agricultural experience program in agribusiness or production agriculture, and leadership ability as demonstrated through involvement in FFA, school and community activities. The State FFA Degree award charms are sponsored by MFA Inc., Columbia.
“The State FFA Degree is the highest recognition a state can award, representing three percent of the total Missouri FFA membership per year,” said State FFA Advisor Leon Busdieker.
Show-Me Opportunity, Discover Success was the theme for this year’s Missouri FFA Convention. More than 8,000 youth and guests are expected to attend.
Treyton Kobush-Treyton Kobush of Martinsburg, Mo., won the Missouri FFA Diversified Crop Production Placement Proficiency Award.
Kobush, a senior at Community R-VI High School, is the son of Travis Kobush and Tammy Stuckenschneider.
Kobush’s supervised agricultural experience consists of working around his family’s farm. His family owns and operates 3,600 acres of crop ground where they grow corn, soybeans and wheat.
“I fell in love with the lifestyle” Kobush said. “I started to realize this was a career for me.”
For him, continuing the family farm is a way to honor his uncle’s legacy. Kobush hopes to expand the operation to include a scale house and a fertilizer business.
As an FFA member, Gastler has attended state and national FFA convention, as well as participating in several trap shoot competitions and area activities.
In addition to FFA, Gastler is involved with Future Business Leaders of America, National Rifle Association, and Missouri Motocross Association.
Proficiency awards recognize FFA members who excel as agricultural entrepreneurs, employees or volunteers while gaining hands-on career experience. Diversified Crop Production Placement is one of 50 proficiency award areas recognized at the state level. The Missouri Crop Improvement Association sponsored this award.
Kobush was also recognized at the convention as an Area 5 Star Placement.
Area stars in placements are based upon outstanding achievement in work experience in an agricultural business as a part of a student’s supervised agricultural experience program (SAE) and active participation in FFA. Area 5 includes 19 chapters in the Northeast District.
MFA Inc., Columbia, sponsors the 16 area Star in Placement awards and the State Star in Placement Award.
Kobush’s SAE program is composed of work at Stuckenschneider Farms and Kobush Welding & Zenith. Kobush’s duties at Stuckenschneider Farms include scheduling employees, operating equipment and maintenance on farm equipment. His duties at Kobush Welding & Zenith include the design and manufacturing of machine parts.
Kobush has served as chapter assistant treasurer and has competed in the livestock evaluation career development event. Kobush has also been involved with many chapter activities as well as attending state and national conventions.
In addition to the FFA, Kobush is a member of National Honor Society and the golf team. Kobush is also a part of the diesel mechanics program at Hart Career Center.
After graduation, Kobush plans work full time for Stuckenschneider Farms.
Trever Hoyt-Trever Hoyt of Laddonia, Mo., received the second-place Missouri FFA Forest Management Entrepreneurship and Placement Combined Proficiency Award.
Hoyt, a senior at Community R-VI High School, is the son of Kevin and Brenda Hoyt. He is a member of the Audrain County R-VI FFA chapter. His FFA advisor is Stacy French.
Hoyt’s supervised agricultural experience (SAE) consists of cutting wood from a river bottom and selling to local customers. He also takes down fences and sells the wood.
Hoyt credits his SAE with teaching him how to communicate with customers to give them the best experience possible. In the next year, Hoyt hopes to expand his business by advertising more and cutting more wood in advance.
As an FFA member, Lee attended the state and national FFA conventions, Washington Leadership Conference, and trap shoot competitions at the district and state level.
In addition to FFA, he is a involved with golf, Future Business Leaders of America, art club, band, National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Proficiency awards recognize FFA members who excel as agricultural entrepreneurs, employees or volunteers while gaining hands-on career experience. Forest management and products entrepreneurship and placement combined is one of 50 proficiency award areas recognized at the state level. The Missouri Tree Farm System sponsored this award.
Bryan Allen-The Missouri FFA Association recognized Brian Allen of the Audrain County R-VI FFA Chapter as Area 5 Star in Agribusiness at the 87th Missouri FFA Convention. His parents are John Allen and Gwen Deimeke of Martinsburg, Mo. His advisor is Stacy French.
Area Stars in Agribusiness are selected based upon outstanding achievement in work experience in an agricultural business as part of a student’s supervised agricultural experience program (SAE) and active participation in FFA. Area 5 includes 19 chapters in the Northeast District.
MFA Inc., Columbia, sponsors the 16 area Star in Agribusiness awards as well as the State Star in Agribusiness awards.
Allen began his SAE by mowing lawns around Martinsburg. He improved his business skills as he increased his consumer base. He also expanded his business to include trimming trees and hedges along with basic pesticide applications. Allen later included vegetable and specialty crop production in his SAE. He rents land and plants pumpkins and specialty gourds. After harvest, he sells his crops to farmers markets in Columbia.
Allen serves the Audrain County R-VI FFA Chapter as vice president. He has been a committee chairman and member of various chapter committees.
He competed in career development events including livestock evaluation and floriculture. Allen participates in many chapter activities and has attended national FFA convention, Washington Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., and Missouri FFA Convention, where he served as a delegate.
In addition to FFA, Allen serves as president of Future Business Leaders of America and vice president of National Honor Society. Allen is also a member of the art club and St. Joseph Catholic Church youth group.
Allen plans to study criminal justice at the University of Central Missouri.

Van-Far R-I FFA Chapter with
Advisor Stephanie Fischer
On April 16 and 17, 11 students from the Van-Far FFA chapter attended the 87th Annual FFA State Convention.
The theme of this year’s convention was Show Me Opportunity, Discover Success!
Among the 11 attending were seniors Abilene Gatson, Chevi Windland, Billy Picton, and Austin Speagle.
Juniors that attended were Matty Nothcutt, Hailey Hopke, Renee Nelson, and Dalton Buie. One sophomore attended convention and that was Jayda Borgmeyer. Two freshman also attended, Cody James and Mackenzie Kurz.
The chapter scrapbook created by Matty Northcutt and Hailey Hopke went to state along with Kayleigh Kohl’s record book for complete placement.
On Thursday, Borgmeyer and Hopke were delegates to vote on amendments to the national constitution. After the voting was over, Renee, Dalton, Austin, Hailey, Matty, and Mackenzie were a part of courtesy Corp.
They fulfilled assignments given by the state staff.
The first session was addressed by Richard Fordyce, Director of Agriculture for the state of Missouri. He addressed current issues in agriculture and the impact that FFA can have on Missouri’s largest industry.
During the second session Thursday evening, Governor Jay Nixon spoke along with Dr. Margie Vandeven, Missouri Commissioner of Education.  Matty received a proficiency award in Environmental Science and Natural Resource Management for her SAE Program during the same session.  She was selected as the top individual from Area 5 in this program area.
On Friday April 17, Gatson received the Missouri State Fair Youth in Agriculture Scholarship. On Friday night, Mr. Kelly Barnes was the keynote speaker. His goal in life is helping people get from where they are to where they want to be and taking opportunities when they arise.
At the conclusion of the session, members received their State degrees, including Renee Nelson and Chevi Windland. This is the highest award that the state association can bestow on its members. Part of the requirements to earn this award include having earned and productively investing at least $1,000 or working at least 300 hours in a Supervised Agricultural Experience Program, demonstrating leadership ability through FFA, and completing at least 25 hours of community service.
Abilene Gatson-Van-Fair FFA member Abilene Gatson receives the Missouri Youth in Agriculture Scholarship from Youth in Agriculture Committee members during the 87th Missouri FFA Convention, April 16-17, in Columbia, Mo. Pictured from left, Mark Wolfe, Missouri State Fair director; Wayne Yokley, Youth in Agriculture Committee chairman; Abilene Gatson; Rodney Heimer, Youth in Agriculture Committee vice chairman; Wendy Faulconer, Missouri State Fair Foundation executive director.