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SPOTLIGHT
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State FFA convention produces honors for students

Published on -6/5/2013, 8:57 AM

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Special to The Hays Daily News

MANHATTAN -- A total of 17 students from the Northwest District FFA were awarded their State FFA Degree on May 31 at the 85th Kansas FFA State Convention.

The State Degree is the highest honor the Kansas FFA Association can bestow upon its members. In order to achieve this award, members must meet the following requirements: have received their Chapter FFA Degree, been an FFA member and agricultural education student for at least two years, earned at least $2,000 or worked 600 hours in their Supervised Agricultural Experience program, given a six-minute speech about agriculture or FFA, participated in eight leadership activities, received a "C" average or better in high school and shown a record of outstanding leadership and community involvement.

The members who met these qualifications and their respective FFA chapters from the Northwest District are Sierra Fields, Mallory Horinek, Atwood; Samantha Graves, Braden Parke, Monica Towns, Ellis; Allison Nickelson, Chantelle Simon, Ashley Strathman, Hill City; Tanner Bowles, Tanner Gasper, Lakeside; Darcy Bainter, Cody Ellis, Garret Otter, Dylan Sprigg, Norton; Shyanne Holzmeister, Jessica Layne Rudell, Oakley; Zachary Carder, Smith Center.

* * *

During the state FFA convention, the State FFA Chorus performed. Area members included Nicolette Nemeth, Isabella Skolout, Atwood; Alexis Mattheyer, Sam Polifka, Ellis; Kathryn Haffner, Hill City; Carson Montgomery, Khrissanna Van Patten, Northern Valley; Kristina Heinrich, Janell Ptacek, Wilson.

In order to participate, members were required to submit audition tapes and recommendations from their local music instructors.

* * *

Chelsey Smith from the Hays FFA Chapter completed her term as state FFA secretary after helping lead the 85th Kansas FFA Convention from May 29 to 31 on the Kansas State University campus. Smith represented more than 8,000 Kansas FFA members during her 2012-13 term.

After being elected state FFA secretary in May 2012, Smith traveled across the state sharing her passion for leadership, service and agriculture. She was one of six officers who presented workshops and speeches challenging high school students to serve their community in the spirit of this year's convention theme, "Grow."

Smith marked the completion of her year of service by presenting her retiring address titled "Cultivate a Sustainable Life" at the third session of the convention May 30. To read the full text of her address, visit www.kansasffaconvention.blogspot.com.

Smith, a 2012 graduate of Hays High School, will be a junior at Kansas State University this fall and is majoring in agricultural education.

Her team included President Emily Beneda, Wilson FFA; Vice President Glendolyn Neely, Humboldt FFA; Treasurer Kayla Clapp, Caney FFA; Reporter Justin Haun, Fredonia FFA; and Sentinel Denver Johnston, Anderson County FFA.

Smith is the daughter of John and Karen Smith. Her adviser is Curt Vajnar.

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