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DC FFA brings home high honors from state convention
MAY 3, 2010

Chapter named second in the state, three teams place first

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

DASSEL-COKATO, MN – The Dassel-Cokato FFA Chapter returned from the FFA state convention Tuesday with three state championships, four state degrees, and having been named the second best chapter in the state.

The three teams that took first place during the overall events were floriculture, parliamentary procedure, and marketing plan.

This was also a first time for the chapter to have state champions in these categories, according to Seena Glessing, FFA advisor.

Megan Piepgras, Nic Holm, Patty Hemerick, and Eric Wendolek, received their state degrees at the state convention. This is the highest honor the state can give, based on two years of FFA involvement, Glessing said.

The Dassel-Cokato chapter as a whole also received special recognition by being ranked the second best chapter in the state and receiving the National Chapter Award.

This is the first time the chapter has been ranked in the top 10, according to Glessing.

This is not based on awards or accomplishments, but on the activities the chapter does to implement the FFA mission statement. Part of the mission is providing educational experiences that focus on personal growth, premier leadership, and career success, Glessing explained.

“[This recognition] demonstrates the impact the students have in regards to student, community, and chapter development,” Glessing said.

Individual teams

Forty-four students from the DC FFA chapter competed in 12 events at the FFA state convention, which took place at the University of Minnesota-St. Paul campus April 25-27.

The three teams advancing to the national convention in October are:

• The floriculture team, which consists of Heidi Hendrickson, Janina Peterson, Rachel Ylitalo, and Caitlin Keskey.

This competition includes plant identification, flower arrangements, problem solving, and an exam based on general knowledge.

The team competed in three contests before heading to state this year and took second in all three.

“We were really surprised because we never got first before,” said Rachel Ylitalo, who is looking forward to nationals.

• The parliamentary procedure team, which consists of Luke Dahlman, Lucas Salfer, Katie Davis, Katie Peterson, Jasper Asplin, Carlie Hedlund, Jordann Hoernemann, and Austin Davis.

This team conducts a mock chapter meeting while demonstrating the knowledge of basic parliamentary law and procedures.

Some of the team members have been involved in parliamentary procedure for five years, Glessing said, making this an even greater achievement.

“It was very exciting to be on stage [because] we won state,” said Peterson, who has been on the team for three years.

Hedlund, who has been on the team for four years, said it’s difficult and takes a lot of practice.

“It’s not something that a lot of students . . . or adults, know,” she said.

• The marketing plan team, consisting of Megan Piepgras, Lisa Hohenstein, and Alex Piepenburg.

As part of this competition, the team develops and presents a marketing plan.

The team used the agricultural business, McCone Foods, a fundraising company.

The team developed ideas on how the company could increase its bottom line.

“It’s really fun preparing for the event, and it was exciting to win with the competition so close,” said Piepgras.

“It takes on a whole new level . . . when you win,” Hohenstein added.

The nursery/landscape team (Abby Jo Imberg, Allison Baatz, and Carlie Barth) took second. Imberg took third overall as an individual.

The Best Informed Greenhand team (Laura Tormanen, Mercedes Lemke, Michaela Gallup, Ashley Burkhardt, Emily Ertl, and Linsey Strolberg) took fifth place.

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