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APRIL 2019 "ADVISOR" Newsletter


APRIL  2019



  • Plymouth Clean-up Day is April 27th: Members or volunteers report to the community building by 8:00 am

  • Thank you Mrs. Barnard for sponsoring students to State Convention three days!

  • In 1969 the Tri County FFA was organized.  The Chapter received their charter in the spring of 1970.  Happy 50th Anniversary, Tri County FFA Chapter!!

  • Tri County has had one of five FFA National Officers from Nebraska.  Mr. Kevin Yost served as National FFA Secretary in 1986-87.

  • Mr. Barnard will conduct another Livestock Quality Assurance Training (Youth for the Quality Care of Animals) on Sunday, May 5th at the Saline Co. Extension Office in Wilber.  The training will start at 4:00 pm and last 1 ¼ hours. Participants must register on-line prior to the session.  Your extension newsletters outline this procedure.


Senior FFA member Savannah Gerlach was announced as the 2019-2020 Nebraska State FFA Secretary on April 5th in ceremonies at  Pinnacle Bank Arena. Savannah and her seven member office team start their one year responsibilities immediately. Savannah currently serves the Tri County Chapter as President.  She is the daughter of Rick & Amy Gerlach of DeWitt.

Some of her 2019-20 responsibilities include coordinating the statewide Chapter Officer Leadership Training in May, chapter visits, assisting with the Nebraska State Fair, Agri-business outreach and organizing next year’s State FFA Convention.  Savannah will attend UN-L next fall and major in an agriculture field.



Arley Waldo - 1953-54  NE State President from the Dewitt FFA Chapter

Kevin Yost   - 1984-85 NE State President

John Bergmeyer   - 1985-86 NE State Southeast Vice President

Darin Zimmerman   - 1989-90 NE State Southeast Vice President

Jon Sellenrick   - 2001-02 NE State Vice President

Adam Wollenburg   - 2003-04 NE State Vice President

Pam Pohlmann   - 2004-05 NE State Vice President

Cheyenne Gerlach   - 2016-2017 NE State Vice President

Savannah Gerlach   - 2019-2020 NE State Secretary


Tri County FFA members Hannah Holtmeier, Savannah Gerlach and Taylor Cammack enjoyed a Legislative Breakfast with District 32 State Senator Tom Brandt on April 4th.  The event was hosted by the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation at the 91st State FFA Convention in Lincoln. Senator Brandt is in the Tri County home school district. The keynote speaker for the morning was Nebraska State Education Commissioner, Dr. Matthew Blomstedt.  The statewide activity was to connect Chapter members to the importance of agriculture policy and legislation.



Tri County Schools Secondary Principal Matt Uher was one of four school administrators to receive the Nebraska State FFA Association Cornerstone Award.  Mr. Uher received his award April 5th in ceremonies at Pinnacle Bank Arena during the 91st State FFA Convention.

The Cornerstone Award is sponsored by Cornerstone Bank.  The recognition is based on local contributions to agriculture education and FFA programs.  Mr. Uher was cited for his work in the Tri County’s Nebraska State Education “Revision” grant writing, promoting ag education facility improvements, contributions to the local FFA Chapter and assistance in curriculum revision.



The annual Chapter Banquet will be conducted on Thursday, May 2nd in the TC cafeteria beginning at 6:30 pm.  Members are asked to RSVP their guests by April 25th. Members are asked to be in official dress. The meal will be pot luck with the FFA providing the meat dish, drinks and potatoes.  The sign-up sheet has been in the ag classroom. Alumni are invited and encouraged to attend. Let Mr. Barnard know of questions.



Senior FFA member, Taylor Cammack received two outstanding awards at the 91st FFA Convention in Lincoln.  Taylor won the Wildlife Proficiency Management award on Thursday, April 4th. The Chapter Vice President’s application will now be forwarded to regional competition this summer.  The regional winners compete at Nationals in Indianapolis, IN this October. Taylor received a plaque on stage at Pinnacle Bank Arena. She had interviewed with two other finalists from across the state after being selected for finals in March.

On Friday, Taylor interviewed for the Nebraska State Star Productionist Award.  Taylor, her parents and advisor where escorted on stage. Cammack received a plaque for her accomplishments.  Both recognitions were based on her Supervised Ag Experience Program, leadership accomplishments and academic records.  Taylor raises quail for her SAE. The senior also earned a blue ribbon in the State Floriculture CDE contest while in Lincoln.



April 23- FFA Officer Interviews at 4:30 pm

April 25 - 7:15 am Chapter Meeting- Elections

May 2 - FFA Member-Guest Banquet 6:30 pm in school cafeteria

Livestock Judging Contest- Friday, July 19 at 1:30 p.m. as part of the Saline County Fair events

January 15, 2020     York Leadership Development Events

March 3, 2020           Beatrice Career Development Events


Tri County FFA Attends State Convention

The Tri County FFA Chapter was well represented at the 91st State FFA Convention April 3-5, 2019.  The Convention theme was, “Rise” and was held in Lincoln at the Pinnacle Bank Arena (PBA) and downtown convention centers.  The event was hosted by the Nebraska Dept. of Education- Career & Technical Division.

On Thursday Chapter Vice-President Taylor Cammack earned first place in the State Wildlife Proficiency Area.  Taylor and her parents attended a banquet and her plaque was presented at PBA. Other members earning state proficiency recognition were Sophie Linnemann- Silver in Outdoor Recreation, Tiffany Pearson- Bronze in Ag Communications; and Alexis Gerritse- Bronze in Vet Science Placement.  

The Chapter Conduct of Meetings Parliamentary Procedure team competed Wednesday afternoon.  The team was chaired by Freshman Brevin Damrow and consisted of Mya Maxwell, Emily Thavenet, Emerson Schultis, Gracin Hahn, Nick Loxterkamp and Gavin Weichel.  They earned a silver team plaque.

The Tri County Chapter was ranked in the top 15% of the Nebraska FFA Chapters and earned a silver rating in the National Chapter Awards.  The membership received a plaque. Freshman Gracin Hahn was a member of the statewide Nebraska FFA Honor Choir during the convention. Gracin is the son, of James & Robin Hahn.  He performed at every convention session. Madison Freese was on stage to accept the State Connecting Chapters Award. The award in sponsored by Farm Bureau and recognizes outreach in agriculture youth education.

On Thursday morning Tri County had three members attend a legislative breakfast with State Senator Tom Brandt of District 32.  Joining the senator were Savannah Gerlach, Hannah Holtmeier and Taylor Cammack.

Senior Alexis Gerritse competed in the Cooperative Speaking Leadership Development Event.  She earned a bronze medal. Chapter Secretary Tiffany Pearson competed in Extemporaneous Speaking and earned a silver medal.

At the morning session at PBA members Jacob Kapke and Tiffany Pearson accepted a Chapter banner from the Nebraska Investment Financial Agency (NIFA).   Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts presented the banner to the Chapter for career readiness..

On Friday Hannah Holtmeier was a member of the Nebraska Ag Issues Academy and was recognized on stage.  She was selected to the twenty-eight member statewide program. A convention highlight for the local chapter was the conferring of the State FFA Degree on seven members on stage at Pinnacle Bank Arena.  Earning the degree were Evan Larson, Creighton Niemeyer, Chad Niemeier, Taylor Cammack, Savannah Gerlach, Alexis Gerritse and Madison Freese. Taylor was also recognized as a Nebraska State Star Finalist.  Her parents and advisor escorted her on stage for the ceremonies. The convention capstone event was having Chapter President Savannah Gerlach named as the 2019-20 State FFA Secretary for Nebraska.



Twenty-three students enrolled in agriculture education classes at Tri County schools competed in the State Career Development Events (CDE) in Lincoln April 3-5th.  The competitions were held at the University of Nebraska East Campus & Invention Campus and Southeast Community College. Most of the contests had district qualifying events earlier in the school year.  There is no class separation in Ag Ed contests, all schools compete in the same contest. Tri County competed in eight contests. To earn a state ribbon teams and individuals must finish in the top 50% or better of the competition.

The Agri Science contest is for first year Ag Education students.  Tri County earned a blue team ribbon. Nick Loxterkamp brought home a purple ribbon.  Teammates Brevin Damrow earned a blue ribbon and Gavin Weichel & Kanin Baker received red ribbons.  The team placed 15th out of 112 schools.

The Natural Resources Team received a purple team ribbon and finished 6th out of 113 teams.  Alexx Malchow, Brevin Damrow and Nick Loxterkamp brought home a blue ribbons. Patty Monnin finished in the top ten individually and earned a purple ribbon.

The Agronomy Team finished 17th out of 104 schools and earned a blue team ribbon.    Evan Larson, Chad Niemeier, and Creighton Niemeier finished with blue individually ribbons and Lucas Weise received a red ribbon.

The Floriculture Team placed 15th in the state and earned a red team ribbon.  Taylor Cammack and Tiffany Pearson led the team with individual blue ribbons. Other team members were Hannah Holtmeier and Madison Freese.

Daegan VanEperan’s 5th place individual Arc Welding finish highlighted the Welding Team competition.  The team earned a blue ribbon for finishing 9th out of 60 teams. Sophomores Caden Kapke received a red ribbon in O/A Welding and Emmett Franzen earned a white ribbon in MIG welding.

The Ag Mechanics Team was paced by Jacob Woolsey and Daegan VanEperan’s blue ribbons.  The team brought home a blue ribbon and finished 13th out of 50 state qualifying teams.  Other team members included Jacob Kapke and Brandon Seibolt.

The Farm Business Management Team consisted of Madison Freese, Chad Niemeier, Creighton Niemeyer and Evan Larson.  The team earned a red ribbon for their top third finish at state. Creighton Niemeyer received a blue ribbon, Evan Larson and Madison Freese earned individual red ribbons and Chad Niemeier brought home a white ribbon.

The Livestock Management Team of Cassidy Kowalski, Cole Siems, Bonnie Jantzen, Alexis Gerritse and Logan Larson did not ribbon.


"Makin' Bacon" -- The Nebraska Youth Pork Conference

The Nebraska Pork Board and UN-L are conducting a youth conference in Lincoln at East Campus on May 29-31.  Sophomores to college students can attend. This is a great conference and Tri County has had several participants you can visit with about the experience.  Mr. Barnard has more information and applications.



The Tri County FFA Alumni met on Wednesday, April 17th. Highlights of the meeting included:

  • Next Alumni Meeting is August 5th at 7:30 pm

  • A back to school picnic is planned for August 11th for FFA members and PARENTS and prospective FFA members

  • Voted to increase Tri County FFA Alumni Scholarship to $500.00 from $250.00

  • Voted to adopt an alumni constitution

  • Reviewed FFA Greenhand applications and selected a winner

  • Reviewed Tri County FFA Alumni and FFA Chapter scholarship applications and selected winners


Nineteen students enrolled in ag education classes helped with landscaping the new Plymouth Playground Equipment site on April 18th.  Mr. Fred Meyer worked with the FFA members in subgrade preparation, laying down weed barrier fabric, installing landscaping timbers and hauling fill rock.  The playground is now open for business!!


Chad Niemeier chaired the April 19th Hwy 4 Roadside Pick-up.  Members helping were Cole Siems, Evan Larson, Logan Larson, Nicole Vodraska, August Gerlach, Cassidy Kowalski, Savannah Gerlach, Landen Chapman, Hannah Holtmeier, Gavin Weichel and Mr. Barnard.  The group gathered nine full bags in two miles on both sides. Great Job!






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