By Tara Mathews
HOWARD LAKE, WAVERLY, WINSTED, MN Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted FFA’s food science team has earned at spot at the FFA 2015 national competition this fall after placing first in the State Food Science Career Development Event (CDE) competition that took place at Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) Feb. 20.
The team, made up of Abbey Weninger, Keith Lent, Maddie Weninger, and Lauren Painschab, was first assigned to create a new flavor for an existing product, an energy bar called Larabar.
They were given a list of ingredients needed to make the energy bar, and had to expand from there with a twist of their own.
“We decided to make dreamsicle-flavored Larabars,” Maddie said.
They included Craisins, orange concentrate, dates, nutmeg, and sunflower seeds to the predetermined ingredients for the Larabar.
“We had 45 minutes to make the bars, product packaging, posters, and everything else we needed for our presentation,” Abbey said.
Maddie made nutrition posters, Abbey cooked the bars, Keith worked on a pricing list, and Lauren created individual and bulk packaging for the product.
Then, it was time for the team to present the product to judges.
They were given eight minutes to present, and seven minutes for questions following the presentation.
“When we practiced before the competition, we couldn’t get our presentation done within eight minutes,” Maddie commented.
“It’s funny though, because we presented to the judges in seven minutes,” Abbey added.
Each team member had to complete a written 50-point food science knowledge test, respond to a customer complaint letter, and complete sensory evaluations, as well.
Abbey placed second individually; Maddie, sixth; Keith, 10th; and Lauren 12th.
Ag Bowl winners
There were also four teams and three individuals that placed first in the SMSU Ag Bowl Scholarship Invitational.
“There were numerous second-place winners, as well,” HLWW FFA member Liam Fury said.
HLWW FFA teams competed in 15 CDE categories, including best informed greenhand, crops, soils, fish and wildlife, agricultural communications, creed speaking, job interviews, small animals, extemporaneous speaking, advanced parliamentary procedure, novice parliamentary procedure, and market plan.
HLWW’s best informed greenhand team, Savannah Weber, Zach Uter, Kylee Sherod, Jenna Benson, and Brennan Barth, placed first as a team; and one team member, Savannah, placed first individually.
HLWW FFA’s agricultural communications team, Jackson Triplett, Shelby Campbell, and Liam Fury, placed first and were each awarded $335 scholarships to SMSU.
The small animals team, made up of Lacey Babatz, Morgan Frank, Elaina St. George, and Ashley Farnik, placed first also, and were each awarded $250 scholarships to SMSU.
HLWW FFA’s market plan team, Gabriell Bayerl, Hannah Thompson, and Alex Bestul, placed first and were awarded $335 scholarships to SMSU.
Two individuals were awarded $500 SMSU scholarships for individually placing first, Savannah Weber, in the best informed greenhand competition; and Jackson Triplett, in the extemporaneous speaking competition.
Lindsay Marketon was awarded a $250 scholarship to SMSU for placing first in the job interview competition.
Four individuals, Zach Uter, Kylee Sherod, Liam Fury, and Lacey Babatz, were awarded second-place SMSU scholarships, ranging from $125 to $250.
HLWW FFA won first place overall at the Ag Bowl, and received a $1,000 cash award for the chapter, as well.
“Even though we had to get on the bus at 4:45 a.m., it was a lot of fun. We got to explore the campus, and meet SMSU staff, including the athletic director and agriculture advisor,” Laim stated. “We got to meet the Ralco representative also, which is the main sponsor of the event.”