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Spotlight on youth - June 13, 2018

Milton-Union FFA members cheer state winner at convention


COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Milton-Union MVCTC FFA chapter attended Ohio’s State FFA Convention on May 3-4, at the Ohio State Fairgrounds in Columbus. Members who attended were Abby Hissong, Jessica Leffew, Jamie Rasor, Tyler Pratt, Jacob Hornberger, Emily Hornberger, Joel Cress, Webb Kress, Tyler Leffew, Taylor Falb, Darby Welbaum and Emmie Bohse.

Thursday morning, Hissong competed in the State Agriscience Fair and State Proficiency Award interview process. Her Agriscience Fair project, “The Effects of Fungicides on Growth and Yield of Corn and Soybeans,” received a Gold Rating and placed second in the state.

On Thursday Evening she was named State Proficiency Winner in the Agriscience Research – Plant Systems Category. She will move on to compete at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis in October.

On Friday, the students attended the fourth session where officers who received gold ratings were announced. 2017-18 Chapter Treasurer Daniel Albaugh was recognized for his gold rating on the treasurer’s notebook, and Chapter Secretary Emily Hornberger received a gold rating on her secretary’s book.

At the fifth and final session, Leffew, Jacob Hornberger and Pratt each received their State FFA Degree.

Earlier this spring, the FFA chapter held its fourth annual Parent-Member Banquet at Milton-Union High School. Highlights from the award ceremony include:

•Eighth-grader Leffew was recognized for his involvement in FFA and his hard work on his Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) with the Star Greenhand Degree

•Star Chapter Degree was awarded to Madison Silveira for her involvement in FFA and her hard work on her SAE

•Stars in SAE areas were also awarded: Star in Agribusiness to Albaugh, Star in Agriscience to Hissong, Star in Agricultural Placement to Pratt and the Star Chapter Farmer to Webb Kress

Throughout the school year the chapter hosted several fundraising events, and students recognized for exceeding expectations in raising money for FFA included Hissong, Tyler Pratt and Erica Pratt.

The students in each class with the highest grade point average were honored with the scholarship pin and certificate. Those recognized were Nathan Black, Allie Bohse, Hissong, Emily Hornberger and Jacob Hornberger.

The 2018-19 chapter officers were also installed: President Jessica Leffew, Vice President Webb Kress, Secretary Emily Hornberger, Treasurer Colton Leach, Reporter Kelsie Tomlinson, Sentinel Jacob Hornberger and Student Advisor Madison Silveira.

Finally, Milton-Union MVCTC FFA Chapter is honored to have the opportunity to recognize local community members who are helping to advance the agricultural education program and the chapter. This year it recognized Karen Wellbaum and Candi Hissong.

National FFA awards more than $2.5 million in scholarships

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The National FFA Organization and National FFA Foundation have awarded more than $2.5 million in scholarships to 1,842 recipients, thanks to the generosity of 114 sponsors.

More than 8,800 students applied online for the scholarships, with many of the applicants considered for multiple awards. Approximately one in every five students who applied was awarded a scholarship. The scholarships were available to students pursuing two- or four-year degrees or vocational programs. The average recipient had a GPA of 3.77 on a 4.0 scale, and the average class rank was 23 out of 261.

This marks the 34th year for the scholarship program, which began in 1984 with 16 scholarships offered. Since then, more than $50 million has been awarded. A list of recipients is available on the scholarship results webpage at

Information for the 2019 scholarship program will be available on the website as of Nov. 15.

Amanda-Clearcreek FFA CDE team wins second at State


AMANDA, Ohio — The Amanda-Clearcreek FFA Agricultural Issues Forum CDE team competed on April 29 at The Ohio State University. The team, consisting of Allie Poston, Kaylee Sharp, Ellie Sahr, Kyle Hicks and Jay Sahr, received a well-deserved second place at the state competition.

This contest requires a 15-minute presentation followed by a seven-minute Q&A session, a 10-page written portfolio and the completion of a minimum of five presentation forums. This team not only met these standards, but exceeded them by completing a total of 20 forums, including presenting to state Sen. Troy Balderson, state Rep. Ron Hood and the Ohio Farm Bureau, to name a few.

In these forums, the team explained the pros and cons of their topic from many standpoints. The topic this year’s team chose was veterinary feed directives (VFDs). The event helps students to develop critical thinking, problem-solving and formal communication skills.

This is only the ninth year this CDE has been offered in the state of Ohio and since its inception, the A-C chapter has always placed in the top five in the state. Of those nine years, five A-C FFA teams won the state contest and continued to compete at the national level. Just last year, the A-C FFA Ag Issues Forum team made not only chapter, but state, history by placing fourth in the nation – the highest placing any team in the state of Ohio has ever received in this contest area.

Scott Sharp, one of the FFA advisors and team coach, has high hopes for this young team to come back even better next year and return to national competition.

FFA members named to 54th class of Presidential Scholars

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Four Midwest FFA members were recently named U.S. Presidential Scholars – one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students – for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education. Each year, up to 161 students receive this honor.

The scholars from this area are: Connor K. Erbsen of Lanark, Ill., member of Eastland FFA Chapter; Lane Hilgenhold of Tell City, Ind., member of Perry Central FFA Chapter; Caleb L. Lines of Nashua, Iowa, member of the Nashua-Plainfield FFA Chapter; and Caitlin Henne of Eaton Rapids, Mich., member of the Springport FFA Chapter.

Established in 1964 by executive order of President Lyndon B. Johnson, the U.S. Presidential Scholars program was created with the intent to recognize the nation's most distinguished high school graduating seniors. In 2015, the program was expanded to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education.

Overseen by the Commission on Presidential Scholars, the program is administered by staff at the U.S. Department of Education. The commission selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service and leadership. Each honoree is invited to attend a recognition program on June 24 in Washington, D.C.

"This recognition demonstrates the students’ ability to balance their academic work while making a positive difference in their schools and communities," said National FFA Advisor Dr. Steve Brown. "As an FFA member, these students went above and beyond expectations that are set. They are living out the mission and vision of the organization each day."