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.