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MAY  2018


-Thank you Vern Jantzen, Rick Crosier, Emilye Vales and Kailey Weichel for interviewing the 208-19 Chapter Officer candidates.

-  The Period 1 Horticulture Class and Mrs. Betsy Spilker toured “Wits End Greenhouse” in rural Western, NE on April 17th.  The company is owned by Dr. Kay Kottas and specializes in native forbs, grasses and shrubs,

-  Thank you to all who supported the AG Education greenhouse plant sales.

-   Mrs. Amanda Fairley of SCC-Beatrice was a guest speaker in the AG Education Dept. this month.

-  The Tri County FFA Alumni met on April 27th in the Ag Education Dept.  Major action included the setting of the scholarship amount, selecting the 2018 FFA and FFA Alumni recipients and deciding to sponsor FFA State Degree plaques for the students earning the award.  The group also decided the amount to sponsor for county fair premiums sales.

-  The FFA members completed the Road Sign Project this month.  Two new “Welcome” signs were installed. It was quite a project with the Dept. of Roads.

-  FFA Alumni Mr. Ed Runty completed the engraving for the blue 3” x 4” tree signs to be used in the arboretum on the school campus.  The signs will be installed next month. Thank you, Mr. Runty!!

-  Saline Co. Extension Educator Assistant Eric Stehlik was a guest speak on butterfly gardens in the Period 1 Horticulture class in May.

-   The 45th Annual Saline Co. Lamb & Meat Goat Show will be held in Crete on Saturday, June 9th.  4-H and FFA members are encouraged to attend. Entry fee is $1.00/head. Contact the Saline Co. Extension for more information.  402-821-2151

-  The 7th grade and Vet Science class dissected owl pellets from the NE Game & Parks this quarter.

-   There is a beef clipping chute and a showbox that needs a new home!!  The chute is 1” x 1” square tubing and needs a little repair. It is homemade. Someone went to a lot of work on the showbox many years ago.  The Advisor doesn’t want to discard it if it has special meaning to a former member. It has a Hereford cutoff on the front. Let the Advisor know if you are interested.

-  According to Tri County yearbooks the Tri County FFA was organized in the summer of 1969.  Mr. Garwood was the first Advisor and Alan S. (?) was the first President. The first Banquet was in 1970.  Mr. Schanou followed as Advisor in 1972. Please let Mr. Barnard know if this is incorrect.

-  County Fair Exhibitors - Do you have your identification, livestock quality assurance and fair entries in?  Questions…. Best to go straight to your County Extension office, NOW!!



Twenty students enrolled in Ag Education classes observed Earth Day on April 24th by planting bareroot trees on the school campus.  The students cooperated with Mr. Kevin Weichel, Grounds Supervisor on the project. The trees were purchased from the Lower Big Blue NRD in Beatrice.  Species planted include Jack Pine, Concolor Fir, Red Oak, Red Maple, White Pine and Redbud. Students later mulched the new plantings. The Tri County FFA will assist in watering the trees this summer.



The Tri County FFA Chapter invested their time in cleaning up Plymouth on April 28th.  The chapter members picked up debris and discarded household items at the curbside. The items were loaded on trailers and then pitched into large dumpsters.  Three dumpsters were filled up. Later the group helped the Plymouth Improvement Association mulch plantings in the park. Helping with the project were Tiffany Pearson, Patty Monnin, Ethan Paxton, Caden Kapke, Gavin Weichel, Jacob Kapke, Chad Niemeier and Advisor

Dave Barnard,  The activity was part of the membership’s National FFA “Living to Serve” program.


Congratulations to Taylor Cammack, Evan Larson and Savannah Gerlach for being selected to the 2018 Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute in Lincoln July 9 - 13th.



Tri County senior FFA members Peter Spilker and Sophie Linnemann received notification from the National FFA Organization this week that they are recipients of 2018 National FFA Scholarships.  The two members submitted applications in February. The awards are based on student’s academic success, career goals, work experience programs and FFA leadership accomplishments.


Spilker will receive $1,000 from Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) and Linnemann will receive $2,000 from John Deere-Plains Equipment Group.  Peter plans to attend UN-L and major in agronomy. Sophie will attend South Dakota State University and major in dairy manufacturing.


For FFA members applying in the future several items to help you in applying for this award are: 1. Do not wait until the week before to start  2 & 3. Read the scoring rubrics 4. Let the Advisor read before submitting 5. Career Goal: See the Advisor



The Tri County FFA Chapter is hosting a Farmers Market on several upcoming dates in DeWitt, NE.  The location is in front of the First State Bank of Nebraska in downtown DeWitt.


The members are cooperating with the DeWitt D.A.R.T. program.  Dates are July 7 & 21st, August 11th & 25th and Sept. 8th. The Saturday morning markets will be from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.  The FFA welcomes produce, homemade goods and crafts. There is no booth fees and vendors are welcome. Set-up is on concrete, no tables are provided and questions can be forwarded to Dave Barnard, FFA Advisor at 402-879-5584.



Ten Tri County FFA members conducted a spring roadside pick-up on May 5th.  The pick-up was on Highway 4 for two miles. The activity was in cooperation with the Nebraska Dept. of Roads.


Helping with the environmental clean-up were (front row Lto R) Evan Larson, Kynlee Uher, Caden Kapke, (Back row L to R) Jacob Kapke, Logan Larson, Lucas Weise, Savannah Gerlach, Ella Crawford, Nicole Vodraska, Hanna Taylor and Advisor Dave Barnard.  Ten bags of trash and numerous items that appeared to blow out of pickup trucks were collected.



Retiring Tri County FFA President Tiffany Pearson presided over the 2018 Spring Banquet on May 3rd.  The annual event was held at the High School Cafeteria beginning at 6:30 pm with 122 members and guests present.  President Pearson opened the evening by welcoming the group. Vice-President Peter Spilker offered the invocation.  A pot-luck and pulled pork meal was then enjoyed.


The 2017-18 Officer Team conducted opening ceremonies and 8th grade member Brevin Damrow presented the American Flag.  Secretary Kailey Weichel introduced the invited guests. The officers then bestowed the Chapter Honorary Degree on Mr. Rick Crosier and Mr. Kirk Holtmeier.  The two individuals received plaques for their efforts. The award is the highest an FFA Chapter can honor a business or individual with.


Senior member Sophie Linnemann awarded Appreciation Plaques to Mrs. Tana Hofstetter and the Wilber Republican Newspaper for their contributions to the TC FFA this year.  Mr. Kyle Spilker presented the DeKalb Agricultural Accomplishment Award to senior Peter Spilker. The award recognizes the outstanding senior member based on academic, leadership and FFA participation.  Pete was awarded a plaque and certificate. Mr. Spilker then presented the 2018 Tri County State Degree recipients with a plaque from the Tri County FFA Alumni.


Advisor Dave Barnard presented ag education students in each grade for outstanding scholarship.  Receiving a pin were: Freshman Ella Crawford, Sophomore Alexx Malchow, Juniors Tiffany Pearson and Taylor Cammack and Seniors Sophie Linnemann and Peter Spilker.  Mr. Barnard then highlighted the Chapter’s 2017-18 accomplishments and handed out ribbons and medals.


The Chapter awards pins for outstanding record keeping each year. Recipients were: Freshman Hannah Holtmeier; Sophomore Alexx Malchow; Juniors Taylor Cammack and Alexis Gerritse and Seniors Peter Spilker and Sophie Linnemann.


Mrs. Ann Freese awarded the Tri County FFA Alumni Scholarship of $250.00 to Ethan Paxton.  Sentinel Taylor Cammack awarded the FFA Chapter Scholarship of $250.00 to Peter Spilker. Mr. Barnard announced the Chapter Star Awards.  Pete Spilker received the Star Farmer Plaque and Ethan Paxton received the Star Ag Placement Plaque. Freshman Hannah Holtmeier won the State Greenhand plaque.  Parliamentarian Alexis Gerritse presented the 2018 Chapter Proficiency Awards. (attached)


The 2018-19 Tri County FFA Officers were installed. They are President: Savannah Gerlach;  Vice-President: Taylor Cammack; Secretary: Tiffany Pearson; Treasurer:Madison Freese; Reporter: Creighton Niemeyer; Sentinel: Chad Niemeier;  Parliamentarian: Evan Larson; Historian:Alexx Malchow. Mr. Barnard presented a Senior Salute slide show highlighting five graduating members. They are Kailey Weichel, Pete Spilker, Sophie Linnemann, Sharon Chen and Ethan Paxton.  New President Savannah Gerlach presided over Closing Ceremonies.


Proficiency Awards are based on an FFA member Supervised Agricultural Experience Program (S.A.E.), leadership skills/involvement and classroom contributions.


  1. Ag Communications-Tiffany Pearson

  2. Ag Education-Tiffany Pearson

  3. Ag Mechanics Design & Fabrication-Pete Spilker

  4. Ag Mechanics Repair & Maintenance Entrepreneurship-Ethan Paxton

  5. Ag Processing-Ella Crawford

  6. Ag Sales Placement-Creighton Niemeyer

  7. Auto Technology-Ethan Paxton

  8. Beef Production Entrepreneurship- Peter Spliker

  9. Beef Production Placement-Kynlee Uher

  10. Dairy Prod. Entrepreneurship-Lucas Weise

  11. Dairy Production Placement-Bonnie Jantzen

  12. Diversified Ag Production-Chad Niemeier

  13. Diversified Horticulture-Madison Freese

  14. Diversified Livestock Prod. Entrepreneurship/Placement-Hannah Holtmeier

  15. Environment Science and Natural Resources Management-Alexx Malchow

  16. Equine Science Production  Placement-Alexx Malchow

  17. Equine Science Production Entrepreneurship- Hanna Taylor

  18. Food Science and Technology-Sophia Linnemann

  19. Goat Production Entre./Placement-Emmett Franzen

  20. Grain Production Placement-Evan Larson

  21. Health & Human-Kailey Weichel

  22. Home and Community Development-Cassidy Kowalski

  23. Home & Occupational Safety-Alexis Gerritse

  24. Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism-Tiffany Pearson

  25.  Outdoor Recreation-Sophia Linnemann

  26. Swine Production Entrepreneurship-Hannah Holtmeier

  27. Swine Production  Placement- Jacob Kapke

  28. Turfgrass Management-Landen Chapman

  29. Vegetable Production Entrepreneurship/Placement-Nicole Vodraska

  30. Veterinary Science-Alexis Gerritse

  31. Wildlife Production and Management Entrepreneurship /Placement-Taylor Cammack

  32. Extemporaneous Speaking - Tiffany Pearson

  33. Prepared Public Speaking - Alexis Gerritse



Three Tri County Ag Education students competed at the State Equine Judging Contest May 24th at Norfolk.  The students competed in the Junior Division. The competition was hosted by Northeast Community College.


The team of Hannah Taylor, Taylor Koch and Emily Thavenet judged four Halter Classes and three Performance Classes.  The students gave two sets of oral reasons and took a team horse evaluation exam. There were 21 schools participating in the event.  The Senior Division winner qualified for the national contest in Indianapolis, IN in October.


Highlights for Tri County was finishing 7th overall at State as a Junior Team and State Runner-up in the Halter Evaluation Division. The team earned the 2nd place plaque for halter.   Hanna, Taylor and Emily also scored the highest team exam in both the Junior and Senior Divisions. Emily Thavenet lead Tri County with a 16th place overall finish. Norris won the Junior Division and Waverly won the Senior Division.