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"The ADVISOR" September 2017 Ag Education Newsletter





The Tri County FFA members had a busy weekend helping celebrate the Plymouth 125th Anniversary.  The Chapter cooperated with the Plymouth Vet Clinic in hosting a Petting Zoo, worked the Little Tuggers tractor pull and helped park cars for the cannon firing and re enactment on Saturday.  The members constructed a float for the Sunday parade downtown.


The FFA Float theme was, “Country Schools Rock”. Members dressed in 1940’s attire.  The float featured desks on rails, a chalkboard, an outhouse and of course students playing “hooky”.  Members helping at the cannon firing and Little Tuggers were Peter Spliker, Tiffany Pearson, Savannah Gerlach, Sophie Linnemann, Jacob Kapke, Alexis Gerritse, Caden Kapke, Evan Larson and Taylor Cammack.


Over 350 youth and their families visited the Petting Zoo.  Secretary Kailey Weichel chaired the activity.  Providing animals were Hannah Holtmeier, Carter Holtmeier, Doyle Wolken, the Brandt family, the Wehrman Family and Warren Jennings.       Other FFA members assisting were Ella Crawford, Madison Freese and Kynlee Uher.



The National FFA Organization announced the 2017 American Degree recipients this week.  Tri County FFA Chapter had three members earn the coveted national award.


2016 Tri County graduates that will have the highest FFA Degree bestowed on them are Josie Weise, daughter of Jed & Annette Weise; Jackson Spilker, son of Kyle & Betsy Spilker and Shane Jiskra, son of Doug & Diane Jiskra.


The American Degree will be awarded at the 90th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, IN on October 28th.  Requirements for earning the American Degree include having received the State Degree, recording 50 hours of community service, earn $10,000 and invest $7,500.00, and demonstrate outstanding leadership.  Jack and Shane attend the University of Nebr.-Lincoln.  Jack is an agronomy major and Shane is studying agriculture mechanized systems management.  Josie is a math education major at Northwest Missouri State University.



  • Thank you Madison and Kailey for helping set up the FFA/D.A.R.T. Farmers Market in DeWitt August 19th.  Next “Market” is Sept. 23rd, Saturday.

  • FFA Members Jacob Kapke, Alexis Gerritse, Tif Pearson, Taylor Cammack, Kailey Weichel and Mr. Barnard volunteered at the Homestead National Monument August 19th for the Solar Eclipse celebration.  The group worked with youth on craft projects.

  • Thank you Tri County FFA Alumni for your financial support regarding the new “Welcome to Tri County” FFA/FFA Alumni Sign.  It will be a great addition to our campus.

  • Fifty red poinsettias were started in the greenhouse on August 10th. The plants were pinched on 9/13.   See you at Christmas!

  • Thank you Farmers Cooperative for helping the FFA Chapter promote National Farm Safety & Health Week.  Farmers Cooperative sponsored radio safety spots that eight members read in the KWBE studio 9/13 to air Sept. 13-20.

  • The National FFA SAE Scholarship Grant Program is open until 11/15/17 for members to apply for $1,000.00 grants to improve or expand their SAE’s.

  • Just when everybody gets used to LSE’s(Leadership Skills Events) the National FFA has changed them to LDE’s (Leadership Development Events)!

  • The Tri County FFA freshman Dairy Evaluation team placed 7th at the State Contest in Grand Island on August 26th.  The team thanks the Esau Family for helping in preparing them.  Hannah Holtmeier placed 10th at state and received a blue ribbon.  Cole Siems earned a white ribbon.  Students had to be in the top ½ of the judgers to get a ribbon.  Other team members were Logan Larson and Lucas Weise.  The team received a red ribbon.

  • The TC FFA conducted a “Cow Pie Bingo” at the HomecomingFest on 9/15.  A special thanks to the Spilker Family for providing cattle panels, the Gerritse Family for the calf and the FFA Alumni who purchased $5.00 squares.  The cow “liked” square 5 owned by Pierce Damrow.  Mr. Damrow won the split the pot FFA fundraiser.


***** Dec. 1st is the deadline for State FFA Honor Choir and Talent for the State FFA Convention in April.  Applications on-line!****



The Tri County Ag Education Milk Quality and Dairy Products Team brought home the third place state plaque on August 26th.  The team consisted of Sophie Linnemann, Taylor Cammack, Tiffany Pearson and Alexis Gerritse.


The state Career Development Event (CDE) was held at the Nebraska State Fairgrounds.  Teams across the state competed in four areas; cheese identification, a written milk marketing and dairy processing exam, milk products identification and milk off-flavors identification.  Southern Valley claimed the state championship.  Individually Linnemann’s seventh place finish lead TC.  She earned a blue ribbon.  Pearson received a red ribbon and juniors Cammack and Gerritse were awarded white ribbons.  To receive a ribbon the contestants had to place in the top half of the judging.  



September marks the official start of the 8th annual I Believe in the Future of Ag fundraising campaign.  The campaign serves as an outlet for the local FFA chapters to raise money for innovative projects in their classrooms, leadership programming, community service projects and field trips to advance agriculture education in their schools.


Corporate partners like Farmers Cooperative provide financial support for the project.  Donors to the I Believe campaign choose which chapter they support.  100 % of each local donation will be sent back to the designated chapter at the end of the campaign and a portion of the $35,000 challenge matching pool will be distributed to participating chapters.  The Nebraska FFA Foundation website has more information.



The Tri County FFA was well represented at the 2017 NE State Fair Swine Show Sept. 2nd and 3rd.  Freshman Logan Larson earned a blue ribbon in swine showmanship and  a blue ribbon on his Poland China barrow.  Logan's market gilt received a purple ribbon.  In Saturday’s Open Class competition his market gilt placed 3rd in class and his Poland China finished 4th in class.


Junior Savannah Gerlach won a purple ribbon in swine showmanship and was chosen as one of three contestants for the final Junior showmanship drive.  Gerlach's market barrow received third purple in it's class.  Savannah's breeding gilts earned blue ribbons.


Evan Larson competed in the Open Class Swine show on Saturday.  His breeding gilt was second in it's class.  In the market show, Larson had swine finish 1st, 2nd and 5th in their respective classes.  On Sunday his market barrow earned a purple ribbon at the FFA Show.  His breeding gilts earned purples and stood 2nd and 3rd in their classes.  Evan was one of three purple ribbon winners in the Junior Swine Showmanship contest and competed in the finals.


Tri County FFA Chapter Receives Grant from DuPont Pioneer

    Tri County FFA chapter was pleased to announce that DuPont Pioneer donated $1,500 toward the Chapter’s “Teaching Ag Sciences - A Hands-On Approach” project as part of the DuPont Pioneer sponsorship program.

Tri County FFA President Tiffany Pearson commented, “The chapter really appreciates DuPont Pioneer’s Giving Program. Our membership plans to create a school arboretum and build growing boxes for the horticulture program.  We are planning to purchase a Tower Garden to supplement the school lunch program.”


Sunland Seed LLC is a local Pioneer Hi-Bred Int’l Sales Representative in the area. Based near Ellis, Nebraska they also specialize in remote soil moisture monitoring and remote pivot monitoring. Mike Holtmeier, Kirk Holtmeier, Tyler Shalla, and Rich Scheve are all sales representatives proud to support the Tri County FFA chapter.

Pioneer makes contributions to community-based organizations on behalf of the business and employees. Consideration for outreach grants is given to communities where Pioneer sales representatives, DuPont Pioneer employees and customers live and work and that support quality-of-life initiatives to create an improved, sustainable lifestyle for people worldwide.



Six Tri County High School Ag Education students competed at the Area 6 Range Management Contest in Pawnee County on September 19th.   The contest was held at the Bowwood Wildlife Management Area east of Lewiston.


The Pawnee County NRCS, the Nemaha NRD and Area County Extension Services hosted the contest.  Students competed in two divisions, a junior division or a senior division. Each team was made up of four students.  Students evaluated three sites for degree of use, condition and site name.  They took a written quiz and reviewed a range management map and made recommendations.  The contestants then identified 24 plants from a list of over 150 plants and gave characteristics such as life span, forage value and growth response for each.


Ag Education Departments competing were from Tri-County, Plattsmouth, Osceola, Diller-Odell, Milford, Nebraska City, Norris, Sterling, Conestoga, Friend, Auburn, Deshler, Johnson Co. Central and Lewiston.  To earn a senior division ribbon a student must place in the top 19 of the judgers.


Tri County senior Sophie Linnemann won the Grand Champion Purple Rosette.  Sophie bested 73 other contestants in the senior division plus all the junior division judgers.  The team of Linnemann, Alexx Malchow, Kailey Weichel and Alexis Gerritse finished in third place as a team and received red team ribbons.  Weichel and Malchow earned individual ribbons.  Other Tri County competitors were Bonnie Jantzen and Haleigh Fletcher.  Tri County FFA Advisor Dave Barnard won the adult division and recorded the best score of the day.


The next judging competition for the Tri County students will be in Gage Co. on October 4th at the Area Land Judging Contest.