Members Earn Proficiency Awards

During the annual State FFA Convention members were recognized for their achievement in experiential learning through their SAE (Supervised Agricultural Experiences). Through their involvement in the SAE program, students are able to consider multiple careers and occupations, learn expected workplace behavior, develop specific skills within an industry, and are given opportunities to apply academic and occupational skills in the workplace or a simulated workplace environment. Through these strategies, students learn how to apply what they are learning in the classroom as they prepare to transition into the world of college and career opportunities. On the state level, finalists earn award money provided through the South Dakota FFA Foundation.  First place receives $250, second place – $100, and third place $50. State winning applications advance to national competition where four “National Finalists” are selected for each of the award areas and will go on to compete for a national proficiency award. Each national finalist receives $500 cash award and a plaque. National winners receive an additional $500 award and a plaque.  National finalists also compete for a reward trip to Costa Rica during the summer of 2017. WCFFA proficiency applications advancing to national competition include Weston Hanisch – Wildlife Management, Kyle Vockrodt – Sheep Production, Jordan Lueth – Ag Mechanics Design and Fabrication, Cory Smith – Outdoor Recreation, Alex Klein – Agricultural Processing,  Joseph Hanisch – Poultry Production, and Ellie Krizan – Agricultural Communications.  National finalists will be announced in early August.

Proficiency finalists

State Proficiency Finalists – Matt Dellman, Weston Hanisch, Kyle Vockrodt, Erica Lorang, Jordan Lueth, Ellie Krizan, Cory Smith, Alex Klein, Quinn Hanisch, Braden Pirrung, Benjamin Miles, Ryan Titus.

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Ulrich Advances to National Competition

West Central FFA members celebrated a very successful year and advanced several members to national competition.  Carson Ulrich won the State Job Interview  CDE (Career Development Event) and is currently preparing to compete in the national event in Indianapolis, Indiana in October. CarsonUlrich

Carson Ulrich pictured with Lucas Lentsch – South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture

Participants in the Job Interview CDE submit a resume, complete job applications and participate in mock job interviews with a panel of possible employers.

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State Convention Results

The South Dakota State FFA Convention was held April 12-14, 2015 on the Campus of South Dakota State University.  57 West Central FFA members represented the Chapter in various capacities during the three day event.  Members were engaged in Career Development Events (CDE), Leadership Workshops, attended the Ag Career Carnival, toured the campus, and listened to numerous speakers.

Results from the State FFA Convention Production CDES are as follows:

Ag Mechanics – Dalton Larson – Silver, Jared Miller – Silver
Vet Science – Josh Mettler – Bronze
Livestock – Trey Struck – Bronze
Natural Resources – Austin Ideker – Silver, Benjamin Miles – Gold, Weston Hanisch – 6th place individual – Gold medal, Quinn Hanisch – 3rd place individual – Gold  medal.
Nursery Landscape – Erica Lorang – Bronze, Austin Woodard – Silver, Cory Smith – Silver
Meats – Jordan Lueth – Bronze, Kyle Vockrodt – Silver, Alex Klein – Silver
Dairy Cattle – 9th place individual – Konrad Kontz – Silver medal
Milk Quality and Products – Jill Even – Bronze
Farm Business Management – Rachel Schartz – Bronze, Jared Blume – Bronze, Sara Waldner – Bronze
Food Science – Molly McMahon – Bronze
Horse Evaluation – Blair Lammers – Silver, Lauryn Riepma – Silver

Team placings are as follows:

Vet Science Team – Bronze Award
Ag Business Management – Bronze Award
Nursery Landscape – 5th place, Silver Team Award
Meats Evaluation – 6th place, Silver Team Award
Food Science – 6th place Bronze Team Award
Ag Mechanics – Bronze Team Award
Horse Judging – Silver Team Award
Dairy Cattle – 9th place – Silver Team Award

The Natural Resources team of Quinn Hanisch, Weston Hanisch, Benjamin Miles and Austin Ideker earned a Gold Team Award and placed first in the state event.  They will now represent the state of South Dakota in the National Environment and Natural Resources CDE in October in Louisville, KY along with our Ag Issues and Ag Communications CDE Teams.


Sixteen members earned the State FFA Degree.  The recipients are: Noah Larson, Cody Farmer, Layne Krier, Jared Blume, Dean Knuth, Kylie Hanisch, Tayt Boeckholt, Jacob Anderson, Josh Mettler, Sara Waldner, Amber Weber, Rachel Schartz, Lauren Dolly, Ashlynn Henning, Brighton Edberg, and Taylor Bergeson.  The State Degree is the highest award that can be bestowed upon a member.


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Lennox CDE Results

Congratulations to the following FFA members who competed in the Lennox  CDEs yesterday.

The Ag Business Management team placed 2nd.  Team members Rachel Schartz 4th place, Jared Blume 12th place, Drue Miler 16th place, Lauren Dolly 22nd place.

Food Science Team of Nichole Axelson, Molly McMahon, Emma Habben and Emma Lewis placed 6th.  Nichole placed 15th high individual.

Horse team placed 2nd.  Team members Braden Pirrung, Layne Krier, Blair Lammers, and Lauryn Riepma.  Braden was 2nd place individual, Layne was 14th.

Meats Team placed 2nd Team members Alex Klein, Ryan Titus, Jordan Lueth, and Kyle Vockrodt.  Members placed 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th respectively.

Natural Resources Team placed 1st.  Team members Austin Ideker, Weston Hanisch, Quinn Hanisch, and Benjamin Miles.  Members placed 2nd, 4th, 8th and 13th respectively.

Nursery Landscape Team placed 3rd.  Team members Cory Smith, Erica Lorang, Austin Woodard, and Elijah Hanisch.  Cory placed 9th individual, Erica was 15th.

Teams now advance to the State CDEs April 12-14 during the State FFA Convention.  Winning teams will earn a berth to the national CDE in October.

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Tri Valley CDE Results

Congratulations to the following FFA members who competed in the TriValley CDEs recently.  There were 44 schools competing.

Ag Business Management – first place – Team of Rachel Schartz, Jared Blume, Drue Miller, and Sara Waldner.  Rachel was 5th place individual, Jared and Drue tied for 7th

In Food Science, Emma Habben was 5th place individual.

Horse Judging team placed 3rd.  Team members include Braden Pirrung, Lauryn Riepma, Blair Lammers, and Layne Krier.  Braden placed 7th and Lauryn placed 8th high individuals.

Meats Team placed 4th, team members Kyle Vockrodt, Alex Klein, and Jordan Lueth.  Kyle placed 7th high individual.

Natural Resources Team placed 2nd, team members Weston Hanisch, Quinn Hanisch, Benjamin Miles, and Andrew Jungels  Weston placed 3rd, Quinn placed 4th, Benjamin placed 10th.

Nursery Landscape Team placed 3rd.  Team members Cory Smith, Erica Lorang, Austin Woodard, and Elijah Hanisch.  Cory was 8th place individual.

The last competition prior to state will be March 31st  in Lennox.

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Members Compete at Flandreau CDEs

Sixty plus members of the West Central FFA Chapter traveled to Flandreau to take part in their first preliminary CDE (Career Development Event) of the year.  Competitions ranged from Floriculture to Livestock judging and Milk and Quality Foods to Agronomy.  Each CDE challenges members to apply concepts learned in the classroom to solve real agricultural problems.

Congratulations to the following FFA members who competed in the Flandreau CDEs.

Ag Business Management Team placed fifth.  Team members Jared Blume, Rachel Schartz, Drue Miller and Sara Waldner.

Horse Team placed fifth. Team members Braden Pirrung, Layne Krier, Blair Lammers, and Lauryn Riepma.

Meats Team placed second.  Team members Kyle Vockrodt, Ryan Titus, Alex Klein, and Jordan Lueth.

Natural Resources team placed first.  Team members Weston Hanisch, Benjamin Miles, Matt Dellman, and Quinn Hanisch.

Nursery Landscape team placed fourth.  Team members Cory Smith, Austin Woodard, Erica Lorang, and Eliijah Hanisch.

West Central also fielded teams in Agronomy, Dairy Cattle, Livestock, Vet Science, Floriculture, Food Science, Ag Mechanics, and Milk Quality and Foods.

Members will also compete at the Tri Valley and Lennox CDEs prior to State Convention in April.

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Sixteen Earn State’s Highest Honor

Sixteen WCFFA members will be awarded the State FFA Degree.  The State Degree is the highest award that can be bestowed upon a member at the state level.  Those earning the degree are Jacob Anderson, Taylor Bergeson, Jared Blume, Tayt Boeckholt, Lauren Dolly, Bryghton Edberg, Cody Farmer, Kylie Hanisch, Ashlynn Henning, Dean Knuth, Layne Krier, Noah Larson, Josh Mettler, Rachel Schartz, and Sara Waldner  The Degree will be awarded during the South Dakota State FFA Convention this coming April on the campus of SDSU.

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Ag Issues Team Presents to Members of the Legislature


Pictured left to right: Carson Ulrich, Carter Ulrich, Lauryn Riepma, Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch, Rachel Kapperman, Jill Even, McKenzie Henning, and Jake Anderson

The West Central FFA Ag Issues Team recently traveled to Pierre where they delivered their Ag Issues presentation entitled “Is Organic Really Better”? The team was invited to present before both the House and Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committees. Each appearance was followed by questions and comments from members of the committees. Members also had the opportunity to meet Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch. The Secretary discussed the importance of advocacy in agriculture with the team and commended them on their research and performance. The Ag Issues team earned a berth to the National Ag Issues Career Development Event by winning the state title in December. The national competition will take place during the 88th National FFA Convention this October in Louisville, KY

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Video Views Needed

One of our videos made it into the finals for the SD Soybean Contest.  All videos appear to be stuck at 301 views.  This is Youtube’s way of assuring that all views are actual views.  Please watch the video and pass the link to your friends and family.  We need views from as many different locations/IP addresses as possible.  Once Youtube is certain that the views our video is accumulating are real, the play counter will start counting up again.  Watching and refreshing over and over again will not accumulate views on Youtube.  Please help spread the word that GMOs are safe!

Here’s a direct link for the video:


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WCFFA Adds Two State Championships

West Central FFA members have wrapped up an extremely successful fall competition season with two teams capturing state championships.   The  Agricultural Communications Team of Erica Lorang, Taylor Lewin, and Jared Blume and the Ag Issues Team of Jake Anderson, Cody Bussell, Conner Ulrich, Rachel Kapperman, Carson Ulrich, Jill Even, and Carter Ulrich earned a berth in the National CDEs (Career Development Event) by winning their state contest in December.  The teams will represent the state in October during the 88th National FFA Convention in Louisville, KY.  Team members will begin fund raising for their trip in the coming weeks.

Agricultural Communications and Ag Issues are two of 24 career development event areas ranging from transferable job skills in everything from communications to mechanics.


Pictured left to right: Ag Communications Team Taylor Lewin, Jared Blume, Erica Lorang

The three-member  Ag Communications team is challenged in all areas of the communications field.  Participants attend a press conference, utilize information gathered in a team activity and complete individual practicums in design, electronic media and writing.  Students are also tested on editing and other communications skills.  CDEs help students develop the abilities to think critically, communicate clearly, and perform effectively in a competitive job market.  The event supports student development of sound communication principles to become strong assets to the agriculture industry in the future.


Pictured left to right: Ag Issues Team Carter Ulrich, Cody Bussell, Carson Ulrich, Rachel Kapperman, Jill Even, Jake Anderson, Conner Ulrich

The Ag Issues CDE requires students to thoroughly research a problem facing agriculture or consumers.  Team members then present all the pros and cons surrounding the issue in a 15 minute presentation with questions from the audience at the completion. This team selected the question “Is Organic Really Better?” to center their research and arguments.

The teams will compete for individual scholarships and team awards worth more than $18,000 made possible by the National FFA Foundation.  The Ag Communications team becomes the sixth team to compete in the Ag Communications CDE on the national level since the inception of the event in 2002. This team extended WCFFA’s winning streak in the Ag Communications Event capturing the state title for the fourth year in a row. The Ag Issues team will be the second team from West Central to advance to the national level.  In 2012 the team of Maty Skinner, Anthony Lueth, Rachel Schartz, Sara Waldner, Taylor Bergeson, Dean Knuth and Jared Blume asked the question “Should the Federal School Lunch Regulations be Repealed?” All students involved are members of the West Central FFA Chapter and are advised and coached by Linda Petersen.

Previous National Ag Communications CDE Teams from West Central included the following:   2006 – Noelle Rist, Marissa Moeller, Kristy Rosenbrook, Danielle Morrison, Chelsea Sandahl, Travis Swier. 2008 – Joe Schartz, Shannon Miller, Stacia Knuth, Spencer Kurtz, Tucker Smith, Riley Olson. 2012 – Liz Renner, Rachel Schartz, Melinda Knuth. 2013 – Cassie Wilebski, Matt Sebert, Kaitlyn Schmeichel, Rachel Kapperman. 2014 Sara Waldner, Lauren Dolly, Dean Knuth, Dalton Larson.

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