Audrain County R-VI and Van-Far FFA students had strong performances during last week’s 86th Annual FFA Convention for Missouri.
The Audrain County R-VI FFA placed 16th out of 334 chapters in the state, earning a Top Chapter Award at the 86th Missouri FFA Convention. Only 10 percent 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. The Audrain County R-VI FFA Chapter advisor is Stacy French.
Their student development activities included sending their senior officers to the Washington Leadership Conference, hosting an agribusiness career tour, and going to church as a chapter during FFA week.
Chapter development activities are designed to promote excellence within the chapter. Audrain County FFA members hosted an eighth grade recruitment event where they met with potential members and invited them to summer activities. The chapter also hosted an officer retreat and an FFA week community breakfast.
The chapter’s community development activities included a farm safety day in which they used hands-on activities to educate the community and youth about dangers on the farm. Other activities included Adopt-a-Highway, Farm Bureau Leadership Day and Food for America.
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 87th National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky.
Audrain County R-VI FFA meats evaluation team wins state contest
Audrain County R-VI FFA Chapter won first in the FFA Meats Evaluation Career Development Event (CDE) at the 86th Missouri FFA Convention. There were 48 teams in the competition.
The team members include Courtney Bertels, Lindsey Gastler, Julie Hale and Mason Sims. Julie Hale placed second, Gastler placed third, Bertels placed eighth and Sims placed 23rd out of 186 participants. The Audrain County R-VI FFA advisor is Stacy French.
Participants in the event are required to complete comprehensive exams in meat selection, storage, cooking, nutrition, and safety. They also are asked to perform activities involving mathematical formulas for making cost-efficient meat products. Competitors identify cuts of meat by species, retail trade name, and prime cut identification.
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.
Gastler is state winner in diversified crop production placement proficiency award area
Nick Gastler of Martinsburg, Mo., won the Missouri FFA Diversified Crop Production Placement Proficiency Award.
Gastler, a senior at Community R-VI High School, is the son of Sam and Sandy Gastler. He is a member of the Audrain County R-VI FFA Chapter. His advisor is Stacy French.
Gastler’s supervised agricultural experience program consists of working on his family’s farm. His family owns and operates 6,400 acres of crop ground where they grow corn, soybeans, wheat and hay. They also run a 60-head cow/calf operation of Angus and Red Angus crossbreds.
“Agriculture is my way of life,” Gastler said. “It is how I was raised and learned work ethic, character, and a love for the land.”
Working on the family farm is appropriate for Gastler’s SAE because it is how he plans someday to make a living and raise his own family.
As an FFA member, Gastler has attended state and national FFA conventions, and has participated in several state and area activities.
In addition to FFA, Gastler is involved in his church’s youth group and is a member of the National Rifle Association. He also has served on several community committees.
Gastler’s love for working on the farm has encouraged him to start his own agricultural enterprise. He now owns a small sheep herd and rents 90 acres of farm ground.
“My family’s future plans are for me to become a quarter owner of the total enterprise and continue the tradition of farming in the Gastler family,” Gastler said.
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.
Read the rest of the story in the April 30 issue of The Vandalia Leader or purchase an electronic edition at https://www.vandalialeader.com/?page_id=33