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  • Top growers in the fall ninth grade greenhouse corn project were 1st-Gracin Hahn, 2nd- Brevin Damrow and 3rd- Nicholas Loxterkamp.

  • Emerson Schultis won Reserve Champion in the Youth 13 & Under Division at the Regional competition in Minnesota recently for her horse riding.  She has qualified for the NRHA Finals in Oklahoma City in December. Congratulations Emerson!!

  • Thank you FFA Alumni Chris Peters and Vern Jantzen for serving as group leaders at the District Livestock Judging in York on November 7th!

  • Gage County Fair….. July 24-28        Mark Your Calendars!!

  • Thank you Mr. Scheiding for allowing Ag Education students to soil test your ground in November.

  • Junior Officer Kynlee Uher read to the second grade this month for a Connecting Chapters project.  Thank you elementary teachers!

  • The National FFA Scholarship is now open online to FFA seniors and members in college.  Be sure to read the rubrics and visit with Mr. Barnard before submitting.

  • FFA Alumni Pancake Supper will be held at TCHS on Sat., December 8th starting at 4:30 pm.  Thank you in advance to our sponsors: Spilker Seed Service, Farmers Cooperative, Weise Dairy, Vern Jantzen, Plymouth Improvement Association, Prairie Egg Ranch, Pohlman Farms and FFA Alumni.



A joint meeting of the Tri County FFA and FBLA Chapters was held in the evening on Tuesday, November 13 at the school cafeteria.  One hundred and thirty members and guests attended. The FFA officers opened the meeting with opening ceremonies and FBLA President Krista Reynolds provided the welcome.  A turkey and covered dish dinner was enjoyed by all. FFA President Savannah Gerlach introduced the guests present.


The guest speaker for the evening was Mrs. Samantha Thompson of Beatrice.  Mrs. Thompson is the funeral director at Griffiths-Hovendick Chapel in Wymore.  She encouraged students not to grown up but to keep learning. She reminded those in attendance that it is how you make others feel that is important.   Vice-President Taylor Cammack made closing remarks including news about the recent student food drive in the community. The meeting concluded with FFA Closing Ceremonies.



The Tri County FFA Chapter, FBLA Chapter and the TC Student Council teamed up  to conduct a community food drive on Monday, October 22nd. The members visited residents in Plymouth, DeWitt and Swanton.  The Tri County students collected 920 pounds of food to deliver to the food pantry at Blue Valley Community Action in Fairbury.  Approximately 35 youth participated. The project was conducted prior to the many needs of individuals before Thanksgiving.


FFA President Savannah Gerlach thanked all the students who helped but really appreciated all the generosity shown by the communities for the project.



Eight FFA members represented the Tri County Chapter at the 91st National FFA Convention October 23rd to the 27th.  The annual convention was held at the Indianapolis, IN Convention Center, Lucas Oil Stadium and Bankers Life Arena.


Chapter members attending were Nicole Vodraska. Hanna Taylor, Bonnie Jantzen, Evan Larson,  Taylor Cammack, Savannah Gerlach, Alexis Gerritse, and Jacob Kapke. Advisor Dave Barnard sponsored the group.  The ag education students attended convention sessions, leadership workshops, tours to the Louisville Bat Factory,  Churchill Downs, Huber Vineyards, visited the Indiana Veterans Memorial and Museum and enjoyed two Nebraska dances. The students heard an address from motivational speaker Kyle Scheele.  The group enjoyed a country music concert Wednesday night by Garth Brooks and the national career show Thursday.


The highlight of the convention for Tri County FFA was competing in the National Milk Quality and Dairy Products Contest.  Senior Taylor Cammack earned a gold level medal and President Savannah Gerlach was awarded a silver level medal. Team members Alexis Gerritse and Evan Larson received bronze medals.  The team brought home a bronze level plaque from nationals.



Nine Tri County Ag Education students assisted with the Harvest Bonanza 2018 on October 29th and 30th at two local locations.  Harvest Bonanza is an Agriculture Appreciation activity held during fall harvest to thank area farmers. Harvest Bonanza is held at 19 grain handling facilities across southeast Nebraska and northeast Kansas.  


Tri County FFA members worked at the Plymouth and Swanton elevators with Ol’ Red 99.5 personnel handing out grilled hot dogs, drinks, chips, cookies and promotional items.  Tri County helpers were Savannah Gerlach, Emerson Schultis, August Gerlach, Patty Monnin, Kanin Baker, Logan Brown, Gracin Hahn, Brevin Damrow, Gavin Weichel and Advisor Dave Barnard.


The Farm Bureau Student Project Grant will be given to Jefferson County students. The purpose of the grant is to provide funds for students to begin or expand their 4-H or FFA projects. There is no limit to the scale of the project – students are awarded money on the basis of their budget and goals for the project. Their personal statement, financial need, advisor statement and project summary are also taken into consideration. There will be potential for a personal interview. If selected, the student must share how they have used the grant towards growing or starting their project at the county’s annual meeting in the fall. This grant has a maximum budget of $600. Deadline is Dec. 15th and grants are awarded in January. Applications will be evaluated by a panel of judges (Farm Bureau members and/or staff).



The Nebraska FFA Association announced November 7th that the Tri County FFA was one of 19 Nebraska Chapter’s be receive the  2018-19 “Governor's Agriculture Excellence Award”. The recognition is sponsored by the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority.  The local FFA will receive $1,000.00 for program improvements. The chapter plans to purchase a new rotary laser level for surveying.


The Tri County FFA will also be recognized on stage at the 2019 Nebraska State FFA Convention.  A banner will be presented by the Governor or Lt. Governor to the membership. This is the second year in a row Tri County earned the award.


Highlights from the November 8th Tri County FFA Alumni Meeting were as follows:

  • Mr. Barnard updated the Alumni on 2018 fall departmental activities.

  • Mr. Barnard asked for helpers to judge at the 1/16 LDE contests, help in coaching teams for spring CDE’s

  • The Alumni offered their help for a District Junior High Ag Quiz Bowl

  • Alumni voted to purchase $450.00 worth of vinyl signs to support county fair participants

  • An alumni constitution was presented for revision


The Tri County FFA will conduct a school-wide (K-12) Ag Literacy project from November 1 to December 15th.  All K-6 students are encouraged to participate. This is an FFA “Connecting Chapters” Project in cooperation with the Farm Bureau.

  • Submit a unique and appropriate photo to Mr. Barnard or to an FFA Officer on their school email of Flat Stanley visiting a farm, agri- business or grocery store.  Stanley could be seen in the combine, farrowing house, feed bunk, at the vets or at a mechanics!! Be creative! You can also hand in a photo print. Did I say "Be Creative!!".

  • Submit a 50 word report of Flat Stanley’s visits or adventures to the farm or Ag business to any Tri County Elementary teacher.  Be creative! How far does your imagination go?!

  • Flat Stanley prints will be available November 4th.  Stanley will need to be “clothed”. Bright colors, polka dots and stripes would look good.  Stanley can wear bibs, cowboy-up, jeans, flannels, boots, ect.

  • Faculty can enter also.  Junior and Senior High students can enter... get a "Stanley" from Mr. Barnard.

  • A powerpoint show will be put together and played during the lunches.

  • Prizes and awards will be provided in three categories; faculty, elementary story and elementary pictures.  President Gerlach, FFA Officers and art students will serve as judges.

  • You may enter multiple times.


The Tri County FFA Chapter hosted their fall Leadership Night on November 19th at the Tri  County cafeteria.  President Savannah Gerlach conducted the meeting for members, parents and guests.  The highlight of the night was the Degree Ceremonies. Earning their Discovery Degrees were junior high students Carter Holtmeier and August Gerlach..  The Discovery Degree is the first level of FFA membership. Students must be enrolled in an Agriculture Education class and participate in Chapter activities on the local level.


Eleven members were accepted into the FFA as Greenhands.  The Greenhand Degree was bestowed upon Logan Brown, Mya Maxwell, Gavin Weichel, Emerson Schultis, Brevin Damrow, Kanin Baker, Gracin Hahn, Patty Monnin, Emily Thavenet, Nick Loxterkamp, and Tyler Houser. The degree requirements include active participation in Chapter events, knowledge of parliamentary procedure, basic FFA knowledge and plans for a Supervised Agricultural Experience (S.A.E.) Program.  The group received a bronze pin and their “FFA Member Lives Here” sign.


Twelve Tri County members were awarded the Chapter Degree by the officers.  These recipients demonstrated parliamentary procedure abilities, had an established S.A.E., performed at least ten community service hours, and presented a group discussion presentation.  Receiving their silver pin were Landen Chapman, Ella Crawford, Drew Garrison, Hannah Holtmeier, Lucas Weise, Logan Larson, Caden Kapke, Hanna Taylor, Kynlee Uher, Andie Koch, Cole Siems, and Nicole Vodraska


The speaker for the evening program was Mrs. Nora Turner of Union Bank in Lincoln.  Mrs. Turner is also a 2017 Nebraska LEAD (Leadership, Education/Action Development) member.  She spoke on his travels to Argentina, Uruguay and Chile and the agriculture she observed. She encouraged the ag education students to appreciate different cultures and to look for leadership opportunities.