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May 13, 2019
Grand Rapids FFA Shines at 90th State FFA Convention

The Grand Rapids FFA were represented by 36 students at this year’s 90th State FFA Convention held on the U of M Twin Cities campuses April 29th-May 1st. The group included an interesting mix of seniors and freshman making up 30 out of the 36 members in attendance. This year’s group did extremely well in the career development event contests winning three of them and placing in the top five with another three contests. 

The experienced forestry team consisting of four out of the five from last year’s team took the state championship. The members included Tyler Curtiss (2nd Ind.), Eric Gunderson (6th Ind), Beau Winkler (8th Ind), Brant Kortekaas (16th Ind.), and Gavin Meyer (18th Ind.). The brand new wildlife team pulled off an extremely difficult task by winning back-to-back wildlife championships with a team that consisted of two freshman, and two sophomores. Them members included Andy Linder (2nd Ind.), Jacob Anderson (17th Ind.), Dane Kennedy (31st Ind.), and Brendan Huntley who placed in the top half of the competition. The third state championship on the day belonged to senior Tara Schultz who won the employment skills event. 

The next set of students had near misses at winning the state championship. These teams included the horse evaluation, agricultural issues, and an individual in FFA creed speaking. The new horse evaluation team placed 5th in the state. The members included Madison Janecke (7th Ind.), Claire Schroeder (11th Ind.), Gabbi Henke and Gabrielle Drotts who both placed in the top half of the students in competition.  The all senior agricultural issues team placed 3rd in the state. The true team event members included Emma Tolrud, Courtney Nelson, and Charlotte Langanki. Freshman Jacob Anderson took 3rd individual in the state in the freshman only speaking event FFA creed speaking. 

The other teams in competition receiving silver or bronze team rankings for placing near the middle of the pack included the floriculture, meats, nursery landscape, and parliamentary procedure. The floriculture team included; Abby Johnson, Baily Hengel, Maddie Hengel, and Emma Tolrud. The meats team consisted of Cole Tolrud, Katelyn Slettom, Hunter Hass, and Lexi Munger. The nursery landscape team consisted of Connor Wakefeild, Beau Linder, Landon Tubbs, Matti Rajala, and Gus Block. The parliamentary procedure team placed 13th and consisted of Tara Schultz, Tyler Curtiss, Brendan Huntley, Alayah Lane, Corrina Kuechle, and Eric Gunderson.  Other individuals who competed in events include Katelyn Slettom in farm bureau discussion meet, Hailey Mahoney and Maddie Hengel competed in the Best Informed Greenhand contest. 

There were a whole host of other accomplishments achieved at the state FFA convention. These included Tara Schultz winning the state FFA proficiency award in Landscape Management. Tara Schultz, Beau Winkler, Courtney Nelson, and Charlotte Langanki received the State FFA Degree which is the highest award that can be earned in Minnesota FFA. Kyle Lederman won the Minnesota FFA Agriscience Fair in power and structural systems. 

A special thanks goes out our chaperones and parents who attended the convention as well as the student teacher Monica Reichert, Tara Schultz, Emma Tolrud, Madeline Cook, and Grant Anderson for their contributions to their successful career development event teams. The top teams and individuals will compete for the national championship in October at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, IN!

See additional pictures on our Facebook page!