David City Chapter exhibits agriculture skills at State FFA Convention

Courtesy Photo
David City FFA President Dustin Papa and Treasurer Caeden Pierce hold up the NIFA Grant banner for the Chapter. The grant was for $1000 and will go towards furthering students’ agricultural education inside and outside the classroom.

Becca Meusch

The David City FFA Chapter made an appearance in the sea of nearly 8,000 blue jackets at the Nebraska State FFA Convention April 6-8 in Lincoln at the Pinnacle Bank Arena and in the Haymarket area where the chapter took home over a dozen awards and recognitions. 

Two David City Career Development Event (CDE) teams earned plaques at the State Convention. The State Champion Biotechnology team consisted of junior Becca Meusch, and Aquinas students Valeria Whitmore, Victoria Whitmore, and Clare Fiala. The Veterinary Science team of sophomore Brooke Bell, and Aquinas students Anna Kobza, Felicia Pandorf, and Allie Frasher earned State Runner-Up.

Other CDE recognitions included senior Dustin Papa, and Aquinas students Valeria Whitmore, Victoria Whitmore, and Tyler Vavrina with a purple ribbon in Farm Business Management; senior Zach Seibert, sophomore Caeden Pierce, freshman Justin White, and Aquinas student Kael Jakub with a red ribbon in Agronomy; Meusch, sophomore Ciera Poulas, freshman Josie Cudaback, and Aquinas student Ivy Schmid with a white ribbon in Floriculture; and freshman Laurel Ockander, and Aquinas students Jakub, Mason Helgoth, and Hannah Moravec with a white ribbon in Junior Livestock Evaluation.

Success is determined by work ethic and drive. I believe that results of this year’s convention are a direct link. Those students that spent the most time in the ag room preparing received the hardware and recognition in the end,” FFA Advisor Jenny Kocian said. “Our overall level of competition and overall participation ranks pretty close to the top from my experiences.”

In Leadership Skills Events (LSE), three David City individuals earned medals including senior Devin Betzen with a bronze medal in Job Interview, Brooke Bell with a silver medal in Junior Public Speaking, and eighth grader Kirsten Bell with a gold medal in Discovery Speaking. Papa was also a State FFA Degree and Star Finalist, and Meusch was runner-up in Agriculture Sales Proficiency. To top off the 2016 State FFA Convention, the Chapter received a thousand dollar NIFA Governors Grant.

“This year was fast and full of activities. I had a lot more work than recent years because this year I was President. I would say the best part of State FFA Convention was meeting new members in FFA and catching up with old friends,” Papa said. “I started taking records of my SAE freshman year. My SAE is working on my family’s feedlot. After taking records, I had to go through an interview process for my State FFA Degree. I put in a lot of practice, so it felt good to place in the top 15 in the State.”

Other state qualifiers included the CDE event Livestock Management consisting of Ockander, junior Mikhayla Farmer, and Aquinas students Frasher, Kate Slama, and Grant Romshek. The Nursery and Landscape team of Brooke Bell, Pierce, Poulas, and senior Katie Romshek also qualified. Papa’s proficiency in Beef Production also made its way to State.

“It’s kind of fun getting to talk to other chapters and getting to see different things they do in their chapter. I liked that there was a lot to do. There was always something going on, and I didn’t have a lot of downtime,” Brooke Bell said. “As far as CDE’s, I learned what those competitions look like at State, especially in Nursery and Landscaping because I haven’t participated in that before.”

David City Middle School FFA students also participated at the State FFA Convention. They had the privilege of competing in speaking events, quiz bowl, and even poster contests, Kocian said. While at Convention, the junior high had the opportunity to tour greenhouses and other agricultural areas on the UNL campus.

“There are nearly 8,000 FFA members in Nebraska! It’s three days of jam-packed contests, leadership workshops, presentations, and opportunities for members to network with other kids with the same passion and maybe more importantly, future employers,” Kocian said. “Any success also comes back to the community of David City and the local businesses allowing the FFA members to learn advanced skills that would help prepare them.”