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Hiland FFA Chapter Banquet Year 2014-2015

By: Nikyta Engstrom 2015-2016 Reporter

On Saturday, April 18, 2015, Hiland held their annual FFA Banquet at The Carlisle Inn in Walnut Creek. As usual we had a lot of fun while holding the banquet and enjoyed the classic Der Dutchman family style meal. We held a silent auction where items were auctioned off, and winners were announced towards the end of the banquet. Some of our silent auction donors this year were; Amish Country Leather, Charm Harness And Boot, Country Craft Cupboard, Min and Jim’s Country Cupcakes, Good Steward Books, Holmes Heritage Furniture, Sommer’s Olde Thyme General Store, Ormes Hardware of Berlin, Main Street Fudge and Popcorn Co., Schrock’s Heritage Furniture, East of Chicago, Kenny Slabaugh, Olde Tyme Homespun, Queen Anne’s Lace, Sols In Berlin, Holmes Lumber, Kidron Sports Center, The Beehive Hair Salon, and 9:24 CrossFit. We are very happy to have returning businesses that have previously sponsored and we are even happier to have some new businesses generously sponsoring us as well.

Just like sports have their fall and spring banquet award ceremonies, we take part in awarding our members as well. This is where we take the time to congratulate those who participated in CDE’s (Career Development Events), and who have excelled in the classroom with our star chapter awards\ Star Chapter awards are for members who have given their all and are the “best of the best.”  Another item handed out at Banquet is class certificates to show the public all the classes we have and show everyone who participates in those classes. Along with the CDE awards, Star Chapter Awards, and class certificates, come the Chapter Degrees. Like the other awards, these degrees are a priceless treasure to a second year member in FFA, as members strive to get higher in the ranks. At the banquet the Greenhand Degree recipients were also recognized for those who were not able to make it to the Greenhand Ceremony that was held in February at Hiland. At the Greenhand Ceremony in February, all first year FFA members were given the bronze Greenhand pin and a certificate to recognize the hard work the members have done this past year.  

Also, like in sports, we have contests all year round. This includes Rural and Urban Soil Judging. In the Rural Soil Judging Contest, members compete against other schools by judging how well the soil can produce crops, or  they recommended conservation practices. The Rural Soil Judging Contest team consisted of Derek Burke, Alisha Hershberger, and Drew Mast. This team placed eighth at districts. The Urban Soil Judging team included Grant Mast, Ryan Mast, Trevor Mast, Zach Mast, Aaron Nisley, and Javan Scheufler. In this contest members must determine if a soil pit is suitable to build houses, roads, or any other structures. The urban soil judging team placed fourth at districts and twenty-first at state.

Parliamentary Procedure is another contest that Hiland FFA participates in. In this contest, members (usually officers) run a mock meeting following Robert’s Rules of Order in this contest. In today’s society, most business meetings, including the Senate and the House of Representatives, follow these rules, and in the contest students demonstrate abilities to make motions, second them, debate, and more. There were two teams: the senior officer team and the junior officer team, both coached by Ms. Ashley Woodring. The senior team was made up of Natalie Lovell, Tanner Neuenschwander, Aaron Nisley, Morgan Troyer, Tallie Troyer, Olivia Ward, Diane Yoder, and Kelsey Yoder. This team placed third at Sub-Districts. The junior team placed first at Sub- Districts and went on to place third at districts. This team was made up of Derek Burke, Alisha Hershberger, Hunter Mast, Tess Miller, Regina Nisley, Deanna Shetler, James Shetler and Skylar Yoder.

This year four members participated in the Job Interview CDE. The members had to create a resume\write a cover letter, fill out a job application, participate in a face-to-face interview with judges, and write a follow-up letter. The participants and their placings were Morgan Troyer with eighth place, Nikyta Engstrom with seventh place, Alisha Hershberger with third, and Tanner Neuenshwander with second place. The coaches for Job Interview Contest were Mrs. Carrie Weekly and Mrs. Susan Howell.

Public speaking is a common fear for many, and many FFA members have the opportunity to face it head on. In the Public Speaking Contest there are many different choices and types of speeches and topics the participants can talk about, including Beginning Creed where participants say the FFA Creed from memory and answer questions about the creed. This portion is only for first year members that are freshmen in high school. Advanced Creed is for first year members that are sophomores, juniors, or seniors in high school, but they do the same thing as the participants in the Beginning Creed section. Our chapter was represented by Alisha Hershberger for Beginning Creed and David Mast for Advanced Creed. Both placed first at District and advanced to State. Alisha was eighth in first round and David Mast placed fourth overall. The coaches for Public Speaking are Mrs. Carrie Weekly, Mrs. Susan Howell, and Mr. Brad Swaffer.

The Ag Sales Contest helps FFA members learn about how marketing of agricultural products is key to profitability in today's competitive economy,  and how agricultural sales play a major role in the marketing process. The team had a great time and put in a lot of effort to develop their own agricultural product: Sweet Delights Horse Treats. The team consisted of Grant Mast, Tess Miller, Regina Nisley, and Brandon Raber. The team placed third, and Grant Mast placed first overall.  The coach for Ag Sales is Mr. Brad Swaffer.

The Agricultural Industrial Diagnostics CDE, better known as the Tractor Troubleshooting Contest, evaluates member's ability to diagnose and repair malfunctions in agricultural or industrial power equipment.  This year's team was made up of Tanner Neuenschwander and Aaron Nisley.  They placed seventh at the district level. The coach for Tractor Troubleshooting was Mr. Chad Strouse.

Also, Grant Mast and Javan Scheufler represented our chapter in the General Livestock Contest. At this contest they select sheep, beef, swine, and goats on their ideal characteristics for the livestock industry, and Grant Mast placed forty-third at State.

Equine Management is another great contest that members are able to participate in. This contest is an educational activity designed as a practical method of teaching members current horse evaluation, selection techniques and management. Under the coaching of Mrs. Emily Scheufler the team made up of Lexi Raber, Hayleigh Scheufler, Cheryl Yoder, and Diane Yoder placed sixteenth at the Ashland Invitational.

Members interested in going into the veterinary field can participate in the Animal Health Contest. This is a CDE that provides the opportunity to learn about these health occupations. Competitors of the Animal Health contest competed on Wednesday, April 15. The team included Hunter Mast, Tess Miller, Tallie Troyer, Nikyta Engstrom, and Regina Nisley, coached by Kelly Reusser; together the team placed fourteenth.

This year we had two teams that participated in the Fall Trapshoot Contest. Team one consisted of Kenny Clark, Marlin Hershberger, Zach Mast, Aaron Nisley, and Brandon Raber. This team placed third. The second team  had Grant Mast, Ryan Mast, Zeke Miller, Will Stoltzfus, and Brandon Stutzman. This team placed eleventh. The coach for fall trapshoot was Mr. Larry Hershberger. In the Spring Trapshoot Contest, the team placed second, and Brandon Stutzman placed first overall. Trevor Mast, Zeke Miller, Aaron Nisley, Brandon Raber, and Brandon Stutzman made up the team.

Every year our secretary, treasurer, and reporter put together officer books to keep track of how our chapter progressed during the year.  Morgan Troyer, Tallie Troyer, and Diane Yoder all received gold rating on their officer books. They walked across the stage at State FFA Convention on May 2 to receive their gold pins.

This year at Hiland, six Ag classes were offered at the high school level along with the eighth grade wheel class. The classes included Communication and Leadership with six students, Structural Engineering with ten students, Animal Science with fifteen students, Science and Technology of Food with ten students, Agriculture Food and Natural Resources with eighteen students, and lastly Senior Capstone with three students.

The award plaques were sponsored by local businesses and community members including Berlin Embroidery & Screen Printing LLC, Habrun’s Insurance Service, Mast Tractor Sales LLC, TMK Farm Service, Mast Farm Service LTD, Mast Trucking Inc., Berlin Heating and Cooling LLC, Mullet Cabinet, Yoder Lumber, Shearer Equipment, Tom Hamsher Insurance  Agency Inc., Harold’s Equipment Inc., Holmes Lumber, East Holmes Vet Clinic Inc., The Killbuck Savings Bank Co., Guggisberg Cheese Factory, Doughty Valley Holstein, and Millersburg Tire.

Every year FFA students complete SAE, or Supervised Agricultural Experience, projects. These are specific to the student’s field of interest and fall under two of many categories, the two chosen were job placement and entrepreneurship. In job placement the members hold a job or job shadow a professional in their field of interest. In entrepreneurship the members operate their own agricultural related business, such as growing and selling produce, plants, or animals. Top Entrepreneurship SAE award went to Nikyta Engstrom for her diligence and hard work in raising and selling three market ducks at fair. The Top Job Placement SAE award went to Cody Slabaugh for working hard and being very diligent in his work with Grasshopper, landscaping business. These two special people received glass plaques.

FFA members often strive to obtain their state degree. In order to do so, members must have one thousand hours of an SAE and must have made four thousand dollars. This year at State Convention there were eight hundred state degree recipients. On May 2, Javan Scheufler walked across the stage at the State FFA Convention; his SAE project was working for the Scheufler Dairy Farm. Congratulations to Javan on his hard work and dedication to FFA! Javan Scheufler is the son of Duran and Emily Scheufler; he will be graduating in 2016, and after high school Javan plans to attend college for mechanics.

Grant Mast is the Hiland FFA recipient of the State Degree of last year's state convention. Grant is the son of Neil and Laura Mast, and he will be graduating this year. Grant works at Clover Patch Dairy and after high school he plans on raising beef cattle and wants to become a mechanic.

The American FFA Degree is awarded to members who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to FFA and have made significant accomplishments in their supervised agricultural experiences or SAEs. At the National FFA Convention each year approximately 3,500 American FFA Degrees are handed out; this number represents less than half of one percent of all FFA members,  making it one of the organization's highest honors.  This past October Jason Schlabach received his American Degree at National Convention. Jason Schlabach is the son of Lester and Barbara Schlabach. Jason is a 2012 graduate of Hiland High School and the former FFA treasurer.  His SAE project was raising rabbits and ducks. Since graduation, Jason has been working for Cornerstone Masonry.

One of the major fundraising projects for our FFA Chapter was selling Florida Citrus Fruit. The funds raised from this sale were used to benefit all FFA members. At banquet we like to recognize our top sellers. The third highest fruit seller was James Yoder,  the second highest was Derek Burke, and Javan Scheufler sold the most fruit this year.

Another sale we like to take part in is the Strawberry Sale which took place this past March. The members sold flats or half flats of strawberries. The funds raised from this sale were used to benefit all FFA members. Just like with Fruit Sale we like to recognize the top sellers for Strawberry Sale as well. The third highest seller was Natalie Byler, coming in second was Marlin Hershberger, and the top strawberry seller was Zeke Miller.

Every year at the Hiland FFA Banquet the FFA Creed is recited by one or two members. This year David Mast and Alisha Hershberger had the honor of saying the five paragraph Creed at the banquet.

A true honor in the FFA is when the chapter gets to appoint an Honorary FFA Member. This year we honored a couple. It is always a pleasure to receive honorary members into the FFA. The purpose of this ceremony is to recognize the efforts of adults on our behalf. Our secretary read the section out of the National Constitution that provides a place for honorary membership. Our Honorary members this year were Paul and Anna Nisley. Paul and Anna have graciously helped the chapter in many ways. Anna has assisted with preparing meals for our chapter meetings, as well as our Sponsor Appreciation Luncheon. Paul and Anna have helped with our Fruit Sale fundraiser, chaperoning events such as the OSU Men’s Hockey Game, and Paul has dug practice pits at their residence for the soil judging team. The officers welcomed Paul and Anna into the chapter with pride and honor and made them feel very welcome.

Every year we recognize the students that work above the rest. For example, the top Greenhand member each year is given the distinguished honor of Star Greenhand. It is the highest honor given to a first year member. The Star Greenhand winners of this year’s banquet were Alisha Hershberger and Regina Nisley.

Just like the Top Greenhand member is for first years, the second year members are given the Star Farmer Award. This year the chapter has two Star Farmers who have shown leadership in the classroom and in their SAE projects: Tallie Troyer and Diane Yoder.

The Star Ag Science Award is given to one or two juniors who have shown leadership skills in the classroom and chapter. The two juniors that received this award were Nikyta Engstrom and Javan Scheufler.

The FFA has had a successful year and we like to commend the Star Ag Business award winner in our chapter to seniors who have shown a lot of outstanding leadership skills. This year Kenny Clark and Grant Mast were the recipients of the Star Ag Business Award.

The Outstanding Member Award is given to students who have shown leadership in the chapter and the classroom. For every classroom there are two student chosen by Ms. Albright. The two from Communication and Leadership were Cody Slabaugh and Morgan Troyer. Zeke Miller and Brandon Raber were the two chosen from the  Science and Technology of Foods class. For Animal Science, Olivia Ward and Kelsey Yoder were two chosen. Structural Engineering’s Aaron Nisley and Kenny Slabaugh were given the award. Agriculture Food and Natural Resources’ two Outstanding Members were Claire Farquhar and Deanna Shetler.

Another award members are grateful to get is the scholarship award. This award is based on the Ag Ed  academic grade point average of our students. Morgan Troyer was chosen in her Communication and Leadership class for this year. For Science and Technology of Foods was Brandon Raber. Alisha Hershberger was chosen from the Agriculture Food and Natural Resources class. From the Structural Engineering class was Kenny Slabaugh.

The Hiland FFA Chapter also showed a recap slideshow of our events from this year, which brought smiles to everyone’s faces.

Along with all the special awards there is a special ceremony as well and that would be the introduction of the new officers. First, we had the old senior officers induct them. Senior officers for the 2014 - 2015 year were President Aaron Nisley, Vice President Kelsey Yoder, Sentinel Natalie Lovell, Reporter Morgan Troyer, Treasurer Tallie Troyer, Secretary Diane Yoder, and Student Advisor Tanner Neuenschwander. The junior officer from the 2014 - 2015 were President Regina Nisley, Vice President Derek Burke, Sentinel James Shetler, Reporter Alisha Hershberger, Treasurer Hunter Mast, Secretary Deanna Shetler, and Student Advisor Tess Miller.The new officers for the 2015 - 2016 year are President sophomore Alisha Hershberger, Vice President sophomore Regina Nisley, Sentinel sophomore Tess Miller, Reporter senior Nikyta Engstrom, Treasurer sophomore Hunter Mast, Secretary junior Diane Yoder, and Student Advisor sophomore James Shetler. Congratulations and support was given to our chapter on the success of the Hiland FFA Chapter.


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