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Morris Area FFA wins chapter award at nationals

MORRIS – Fourteen students from Morris Area were among the 62,998 FFA members across the country to converge on Louisville, KY, for the 2013 National Convention last week.

As a team, Morris Area FFA was recognized with the three-star chapter award, and two teams competed in career development events.

The Marketing Plan team of Carly Maanum, Joanna Moser and Lexi Mahoney developed a marketing strategy for a type of organic cheese. The team made it to the semi-final round and placed in the top 18 teams with a silver emblem.

“We had a lot of fun and it was a great experience for all of us,” said Moser. “I went last year just as a member, but it’s definitely a lot more fun if you’re going to go compete.”

The Ag Issues Forum team of Andrew Goulet, Melanie Vanhorn, Rebekah Aanerud and Taylor Staples received a bronze emblem.

In Ag Issues, teams present on current issues facing agriculture. This year’s team focused on tiling versus duck hunting, specifically how farmers’ decisions to tile would affect the duck population, Aanerud explained.

“We had a lot of fun down there,” said Aanerud.

The team also received a three-star rating in the 2013 National Chapter Award Program.

This program recognizes outstanding FFA chapters across the country to who complete a set of activities that encourage individual growth, team-building and community service. Team members Brady Wulf and Matt Munsterman accepted the award on behalf of the team.

In addition to competing, students got to meet FFA members from across the country, attend sessions, and even head to a couple of concerts – Dierks Bentley and Jana Kramer.

The students also got off the convention floor for a couple of trips, one to Churchill Downs, the home of the Kentucky Derby, and the Louisville Slugger factory and museum.  

One of the highlights for member Austin White was meeting singer Easton Corbin as well as Mountain Man, a character on A&E’s Duck Dynasty.

Morris Area High School Principal Craig Peterson attended as a chaperone, his first time going to FFA’s national convention.

“I didn’t realize that putting on that blue coat and wearing that blue jacket is a big deal,” said Peterson.

“One of the major things I saw is that our kids are leading this. The adults are organizing, but our kids are leading the charge,” said Peterson. “It’s very easy as an administrator to go down there because the kids are invested in it.”