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The Tri County FFA Chapter was well represented at the 93rd State FFA Convention April 7-9, 2021.  The Convention theme was, “Next Level'' and was held virtually this year.  The event was hosted by the Nebraska Dept. of Education- Career & Technical Division.

The Tri County Chapter was ranked in the top ten of the Nebraska FFA Chapters and earned a gold rating in the National Chapter Awards.  The membership received a plaque. This rating moved them to the next state level.   The Nebraska FFA Association ranks the 200 FFA Chapters in Nebraska using the National FFA Chapter Award program.  Three Models of Excellence areas are evaluated and the top three rated Chapters in the state are announced.  In the Models of Excellence “Building Communities” area Tri County FFA received the first place plaque.  In the Models of Excellence “Strengthening Agriculture” area Tri County FFA earned the second place state plaque.  In the Models of Excellence “Growing Leadership” area Tri County FFA also earned the second place plaque.  Overall Tri County was named the State FFA second rated Chapter behind Holdrege FFA.  The local Chapter will move on for National FFA recognition.  

Tri County FFA  was recognized with the State Connecting Chapters Award.  The award is sponsored by Farm Bureau and recognizes outreach in agriculture youth education.

On Thursday senior member Caden Kapke earned second place in the State Swine Placement Proficiency Area.  Caden earned a plaque and a cash stipend.  Chapter Treasurer Landen Chapman earned a gold rating in Turfgrass Management Proficiency.

Junior High student Sydney Brauer competed in the Ag Literacy Speaking Leadership Development Event.  She earned a silver medal.  Chapter members Brooke Morgan and Meila Gronemeyer competed in Ag Discovery Speaking.  Brooke earned a silver medal and Meila Gronemeyer received a bronze medal.

The Tri County FFA accepted a Chapter banner from the Nebraska Investment Financial Agency (NIFA).   Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts presented the banner to the Chapter for career readiness.

A convention highlight for the local chapter was the conferring of the State FFA Degree on eleven members.  Earning the degree were Caden Kapke, Hanna Taylor, Hannah Holtmeier, Landen Chapman, Drew Garrison, Cole Siems, Logan Larson, Lucas Weise, Andie Koch, Ella Crawford and Nicole Vodraska. This is the largest number of State Degree recipients from one class in Tri County FFA history.  Caden was also recognized as a Nebraska State Star Finalist.  Kapke received a plaque for this outstanding achievement.



Twenty-seven students enrolled in agriculture education classes at Tri County schools competed in the State Career Development Events (CDE) in Lincoln April 3-9th.  The competitions were held virtually.  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 red team ribbon for finishing in the top third of teams.  Dusty Kapke received a blue ribbon and teammate John Wehrman scored a red.  August Gerlach finished with a white ribbon.  Kaden VanWinkle was also on the team.  There were 94 schools competing.


The Natural Resources Team received a blue team ribbon and finished 16th out of 86 teams. Nick Loxterkamp brought home a purple ribbon.  Kanin Baker earned a red ribbon and Nicole Vodraska received a white.  Caden Kapke was also on the team.


The Agronomy Team finished 8th out of 77 schools and earned a purple team ribbon.    Lucas Weise, Logan Larson and Gavin Weichel finished with blue individual ribbons and Brevin Damrow received a red ribbon.


Emmett Franzen’s 10th place individual MIG Welding finish highlighted the Welding Team competition.  The team earned a blue ribbon for finishing 10th out of 60 teams.  Senior Caden Kapke received a blue ribbon in O/A Welding, Zahn Kuhn received a blue ribbon in TIG and Noah Luetziner earned a white ribbon in ARC welding.


The Ag Mechanics Team was paced by Gracin Hahn and Nick Loxterkamp’s blue ribbons.  The team brought home a blue ribbon and finished 15th out of 50 state qualifying teams.  Grant Lewindowski received a red ribbon.  Trevor Johnson was also on the team. 


The Farm Business Management Team consisted of Logan Larson, Cole Siems, Landen Chapman and Drew Garrison.  The team earned a blue ribbon for their top third finish at state.  Logan received a blue ribbon, Cole finished in the top ten with a purple and Landen brought home a white ribbon.


The Livestock Management Team of Cole Siems, Carter Holtmeier, Caden Kapke, Emerson Schultis and Hannah Holtmeier earned a blue team ribbon for their 14th place finish out of 54 teams.  The group brought home a plaque in the area of Equine Management.


The Junior Livestock Judging Team placed as state runner-up and earned a purple ribbon and a plaque.  Evan Quackenbush, Dusty Kapke and August Gerlach placed in the top ten individually and earned purple ribbons.  Colton Placek received a blue ribbon.


The Food Science team scored a red ribbon for their 13th place finish.  Gracin Hahn received a blue ribbon and Emerson Schultis & Emily Thavenet earned whites.  Mya Maxwell was also a member of the team.