By: James Pruitt
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
Celebrating a successful year of a resurgent program Edgerton’s FFA held its 78th annual banquet.
The high school commons was packed April 23 with students, families and other representatives of FFA chapters from other schools. The evening featured a meal as well as a special time to recognize the many achievements of the students.
The ceremonies also saw the transition from the leadership team for 2016 to next year’s as President Dakota Freeman passed the mantle.
“FFA is probably the biggest responsibility that I have encountered,” Freeman said. “Just becoming an officer my sophomore year all the way to my senior year and now the president has been a ton of effort, put on not only myself, but the chapter as a whole.”
That effort includes helping out the community with service projects as well as hosting fundraisers for the chapter. The work continues the legacy of the chapter as well as strengthening the chapter overall.
Looking back on his time he can see how the work has paid off with a sterling reputation of the chapter, Freeman said. He also appreciates those under him.
“It’s really humbling to lead them,” Freeman said. “I am with them daily. It was an awesome opportunity to be able to work with all of these students.”
In his farewell speech Freeman talked of the changes he has gone through from being a timid underclassman to leading the chapter as its popularity is on the upswing. The ability to give a speech in front of more than 125 people was something he would have scoffed at only a couple of years ago.
“I wasn’t a kid that did well at leading and public speaking,” Freeman said. “But now I do it for so many different organizations such as FFA, 4-H, Student Council. All of which I am holding president or a leadership position.”
He will be attending Heidelberg University in Tiffin and hopes to become a chiropractor.
Freeman just received his Eagle Scout honor recently, capping off his school career. While humbled by the experience, he said it taught him how to manage his time.
His favorite memory was going to the state convention his sophomore year and visiting the zoo, going to the convention itself and enjoying a waterpark at his hotel.
For second-year advisor Kalley Schaefer, this year was another sign of the chapter bouncing back.
“We had a really great year,” Schaefer said. “Coming from a transition of teachers, it was awesome to see the participation there in this chapter as well as the community.
“We had a lot of different interests this year and we had a great turnout with two American degree recipients and three state degree recipients.”
The evening was coordinated by the student leaders including Freeman, Vice President Molly Miller, Secretary Rebecca Schroeder, Assistant Secretary Timothy Herman, Treasurer Courtney Vollmer, Reporter Rachel Schroder, Sentinel Nick Nye and Student Advisor Hanna Hug.
The following club members were recognized for their achievements:
Greenhand Degree Recipients: Bailey Bowen, Jonah Brown, Megan Chapman, Kayla Cobb, Dacoda Faber, Madison Freeman, Jake Herman, Meghan Keller, Leeanna Pelz, Andre Ramirez, Grace Ream, Jacelyn Schlachter, Kirsten Seiler and Morgan Smith.
Chapter Degree recipients: Alexiah Baird, Rachel Cape, Chanse Evans, Danielle Foltz, Caitlyn Gruver, Isaac Hamblin, Drew Herman, Timothy Herman, Drew Hug, Hanna Hug, Connor Landis, Zane Lehner, Alex Michael, Zadin McNalley, Madyson Pahl, Levi Sanders, Cameron Schaper, Rachel Schroder, Rebecca Schroeder, Alex Shaffer, Jordan Shufelt, Reid Stahler, Keegan Steele and Hunter Weber.
Third year students: Christian Cliffton, Madison Herman, Braden Hicks, Cade McClellan, Nick Nye and Courtney Vollmer.
Fourth year students: Keith Carlin, Colin Etchen, Dakota Freeman, Andrew Guillaume, David Herman, Molly Miller, Bailey Nickels, Gunnar Siebenaler.
Several contest teams were honored as well students who competed at the state level.
Dairy Products: Courtney Vollmer, Grace Ream, Jake Herman, Jacelyn Schlachter, and Danielle Folz.
Greenhand Quiz: Rebecca Schroeder, Rachel Schroeder, Madyson Pahl, Hanna Hug, Caitlyn Gruver, Alex Shaffer.
Poultry Judging: Rachel Cape.
Wildlife Judging: Alex Shaffer.
General Livestock Judging: Isaac Hamblin, Drew Herman, M. Pahl, D. Freeman, Keith Carlin, Connor Landis, Hanna Hug, C. Etchen, Cade McClellan, Ra. Schroeder, Re. Schroeder, A. Guillaume, C. Gruver, Morgan Smith.
Equine Management: Leeanna Pelz, B. Bowen,
FFA Degree Recipients: D. Freeman, C. McClellan, N. Nye.