Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

By Gary Collins
Pine Bluffs Post 

Local FFA students earn degrees


Gary Collins/Pine Bluffs Post

Pine Bluffs High School FFA chapter members: Back row, l to r, Cade Kissinger, Tristan Lind and Alex Graves. Front row, l to r, Kenzie Graves and Jordan Langlois. The boys are seniors and received their degrees. Kenzie is a junior and not eligible.but received a 2017 Golden Emblem Proficiency Award for Grain production. Not in picture is Sierra Shelit who also earned her degree.

Pine Bluffs and Burns High School seniors who are members of their FFA chapters received their State Degrees at the 2017 Wyoming FFA Convention in Cheyenne last Thursday night.

The convention ran from Wednesday, April 5 through Saturday April 9. In addition to the state degrees, awards were given to those who showed proficiency in parliamentary procedures and agriculture related fields competitions with a Burns Junior High team moving on to the national convention.

Five Pine Bluffs chapter members received their state degrees. Alex Graves, chapter president, Tristan Lind, sentinel, Sierra Shelit, Cade Kissinger and Jordan Langlois.

Further, Graves and Lind were each named Region 4 Co-stars. Graves receiving his for Agricultural Placement, which he earned for the number of hours he has spent working in the fields on the combine and other equipment. Lind received his award for Agri Business. Lind raises and sells show lambs which he helps kids shear and prepare for show.

Kenzie Graves, Alex's brother, received 2017 Golden Emblem Proficiency Award for Grain Production. She is a junior and so was not eligible for a regional award, which is only open to seniors. Last year she took a second in the same category.

The State FFA Degree recipients from Burns High School were Reata Beck, Rebecca Derner, and Kelsey Faircloth. As a team the chapter were named State Champion in the Conduct of Meetings contest and is qualified to compete in the National FFA Conduct of Meetings contest in Indianapolis, Indiana. They were also named State Champion in the Junior High Livestock Judging contest and Reserve State Champion in the High School Parliamentary Procedure contest.

Further, they placed third in the Greenhand Quiz Bowl contest (for which they did little studying) and fourth in the High School Livestock Judging contest.

Burns Chapter advisor Craig Spatz is pleased with how his students performed this year, especially as there are 53 chapters in the state. Spatz states that unlike sports teams, FFA chapters, big schools and small, all compete on the same stage.

Gary Collins/Pine Bluffs Post

Burns Junior High Parliamentary Procedure (Conduct of Meetings team) Back row L-R: Kaycee Thomas, Layne Burnett, Gracie Keiter. Front row L-R: Gabe Childers, Keenan Manlove, Braxton Olson, and Kaden Lakin. This team will represent the chapter at the National FFA Convention.

"I think the Burns FFA Chapter had an excellent state convention and appreciate all of the hard work and effort put forward during the early morning hours by all of the members to make it such a great convention," Spatz said.

To earn a state degree students must fulfill a prodigious amount of requirements. These include; 25 hours of community service; 360 hours of systematic school instruction in agricultural education at or above the ninth grade level, earned and productively invested at least $1,000; or worked at least 300 hours in excess of scheduled class time; or a combination thereof, in a supervised agricultural experience program, demonstrate leadership ability by performing 10 procedures of parliamentary law, giving a six-minute speech on a topic relating to agriculture or FFA, serving as an officer, committee chairperson or participating member of a chapter committee; have a satisfactory scholastic record as certified by the local agricultural education instructor and the principal or superintendent; have participated in the planning and completion of the chapter's Program of Activities and have participated in at least five different FFA activities above the chapter level.


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