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Holdrege Public Schools | July 14, 2024

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Holdrege FFA Chapter Participates in State Convention

James Reed

Twenty-nine Holdrege FFA members represented the Chapter at the 96th Nebraska State FFA Convention April 3-5th. Events and State Contests were held at Pinnacle Bank Arena and University of Nebraska – Lincoln, East Campus. The State FFA Association developed a program of keynote speakers, National FFA Officers, State FFA Officer retiring addresses, agricultural industry tours and career expo.  Holdrege FFA members participated in several leadership and industry workshops. Several honors and awards were presented to the Holdrege Chapter and members. 

Holdrege FFA submitted its application for judging of the Chapter’s Program of Activities in the National Chapter Awards. The Chapter was awarded a Premier Chapter Rating Award. The award was presented to the Top 20 chapters across the state out of 210 chapters. The application will now move to the national level for evaluation. This is the 15th time in 16 years that the Holdrege application has been named a Premier Chapter.  Holdrege was also recognized as the 3rd place chapter in the State Models of Innovation Chapter in the area of Growing Leaders activities.

Chapter members Trey Weaver, Corey Hanson, Charli Wells, and Jaren Moore each earned their State FFA Degrees.  The State FFA Degree is the highest degree that members can earn through the State Association. Since 1940 one hundred sixty-seventy Holdrege FFA Members have earned the State FFA Degree. 

Holdrege was represented by two State Proficiency finalists.  Senior Charli Wells was state runner-up in Equine Management Entrepreneurship and Senior Jaren Moore was also a runner-up in the Landscape Management area.

In Leadership Development Events, the parliamentary Procedure team of Jaren Moore, Charli Wells, Claire and Clay Maloley, Derrek Marquardt and Cooper Lindstrom received a Silver Rating out of 36 teams. 

Another LDE Team competing was the Ag Demonstration Team of Nick Taylor, Keeley Vaughn and Julia Rust. Their Demonstration of a Precision Planting row unit earned a gold rating in the top 12 of 36 teams.

The chapter had two members qualify for State LDE speaking events. Charli Wells competed in Natural Resource Speaking and received a silver ranking on her topic of the Bureau of Land Management Horse program. Jett Johnson competed in Junior Public Speaking and received a bronze rating for his topic of Soybean Biodiesel Fuels.

Sophomore Aldyn Hadley participated in the Nebraska FFA Foundation student grant program and gave testimony about the funding she received to support her mini highland cattle operation. 

Competing in Agriscience and earning a Red were freshman Haley Kunz, Reese Hodge, Katelyn Weekley, Kambryn Vaughn.  The team submitted Agriculture Career Outlook reports, took individual tests covering general agriculture and plant systems. The team completed a hands-on practicum in plant sciences. Both Haley and Katelyn earned red ratings for the contest.

The team of Tad Dossett, Jacob Moon, Sam Holen, Conner Tilson competed against fifty-seven other teams in Meat Evaluation. They were tested on their knowledge of retail meat cut identification, yield grading, carcass evaluation, and general meat industry knowledge. Tad earned a Red Ribbon. 

The Agronomy Team of Jaren Moore, Cooper Lindstrom, Quincy Bell, and Sunder Schemper competed against fifty-eight other schools testing their knowledge of crop insects, weeds, equipment, and soils. Jaren and Cooper both earned team White Ribbons. 

The team of Keeley Vaughn, Aurora Tidyman, Charli Wells, and Amelia Ptacnik competed in the Veterinary Science CDE. The team earned an overall. Individually, Charli was the State Runner-up with Amelia bringing in a Red Placing.  The Team was 10th overall and 2nd in the team Identification practicum. 

Claire and Clay Maloley, Aldyn Hadley, and Jett Johnson competed in the Ag Sales CDE. The sales team tested on knowledge of the sales process, an individual sales practicum, and a team pre-sales meeting simulation. Claire earned an individual red ribbon for the group.

In the Welding CDE, senior Corey Hanson earned white placing in MIG Welding. Trey Weaver competed in TIG Welding, Roman Urbom competed in Arc Welding and JJ Bell competed in the Oxy Fuel Welding section. 

The Farm Business Management team of Curtis Eschen, Derrek Marquardt, Nick Taylor and Clay Maloley earned 11th place Blue ranking out of 96 other schools.  Clay, Nick and Derrek each earned blue ribbons individually. 


Holdrege FFA Chapter members will be concluding major activities for the school year with the 88th Annual FFA Banquet on Sunday, April 14th at the Phelps County Ag Center. The Chapter will also be conducting their annual Plant Sales starting May 3rd at the high school.

State LDE Speaking Events saw Sophomore; Jett Johnson earn a Bronze Ranking and Charli Wells (Natural Resources Speaking earned a Silver Rating.)
Holdrege FFA was named one of Twenty – one Nebraska Premier Chapters for the 15th time in 16 years.  Representing the Chapter were; President, Charli Wells, Vice President; Nick Taylor and members Keeley Vaughn and Julia Rust.  Holdrege was named 3rd Overall in Strengthening Ag Chapter Activities.
Holdrege FFA had four Senior Members earn their State FFA Degree: (l-r) Charli Wells, Corey Hanson, Trey Weaver, and Jaren Moore.