HJ/EDHerald Journal, Nov. 7, 2005

HLWW FFA earns national awards

By Dave Cox
Staff Writer

Members of the Howard LakeWinsted-Waverly (HLWW) FFA chapter took the FFA national convention by storm, gaining recognition in several areas.

“The kids did a phenomenal job,” said advisor Jim Weninger.

Bret Butterfass of Howard Lake was one of four finalists competing in the Dairy Production - Entrepreneurship Proficiency award program.

Butterfass received a $250 cash award from the National FFA Foundation.

He also received a trip to a 10-day international travel seminar in Costa Rica.

Participants will visit farms, institutions, and agriculture-related businesses.

Butterfass was also one of six HLWW chapter members that received the American FFA degree during the convention.

Other members receiving the award were Amber Painschab, Tanya Merritt, Jo Decker, Tom Bobrowske, and Pat Bakeberg.

Only about .5 percent of the nearly half a million national FFA members earn this degree, said Weninger.

Members need to earn or invest at least $7,500 in their supervised agriculture experience, as well as earning three other degrees, before they can apply for the American FFA degree.

It takes a minimum of five years to earn the degree, Weninger said.

The HLWW team of Jackie Koch, Hope Horstman, Brittany Cardinal, and Jill Decker, took second place in the food science and technology career development event.

The team earned 391 of a possible 400 points in the competition.

“They won the state competition last March, and since then, their goal was to place in the top five nationally, and they accomplished that,” Weninger said.

Part of the competition required each team to design and formulate a simulated food product and meet all market requirements.

The HLWW team produced a vegetarian stir-fry.

They designed packaging, conducted nutritional analysis, determined nutritional label requirements, and produced a flow-chart showing good manufacturing principles.

Team member Jackie Koch also earned individual recognition, and won a $900 scholarship from the National FFA Foundation.

The HLWW chapter was recognized as a National Two Star Chapter.

In order to win this award, the chapter had to complete three activities in each of three areas; student development, chapter development, and community development.

The HLWW leadership class completed the 21-page application for the award, which required documentation and photographs of all qualifying activities.

The HLWW chapter was ranked one of the top 10 chapters in the state last year, Weninger said.

“I’ve got some good kids in the program,” Weninger noted.

Weninger has been the HLWW FFA advisor for 21 years.

HLWW sent 18 people to the Oct. 26-29 convention in Louisville, Ky.

The trip was funded by the FFA, FFA alumni, the school, and by the members, themselves.

Additional funding was provided by Tony Downs Foods of southeastern Minnesota, which sponsored the food science team.

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