May 13, 2021

FFA Banquet

On March 26th, the 2021 Osceola Big Chief FFA Banquet took place at the Osceola Fair Grounds. The annual banquet looked a little different this year due to Covid-19 restrictions. Nonetheless, members and families were grateful for the opportunity to celebrate Osceola Big Chief members’ achievements from this past year. The local Hy-vee bakery graciously prepared cookies to be enjoyed by members and guests. Our chapter Reporter, Breanna Selsor, created a slideshow with pictures from throughout the year to entertain and enlighten our guests about activities our chapter participated in throughout the year. Once everyone was seated we got started with opening ceremonies and awards.

Once opening ceremonies were concluded we started off the night with proficiency awards. An agricultural education program is made up of three integrated parts: Classroom Instruction, FFA, and Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE). Agricultural teachers assist students with developing an SAE project based on their interests and career path. Proficiency awards are given based on a member’s SAE records. Breanna Selsor received the Goat Production Proficiency Award; her SAE focuses on raising, breeding, and marketing dairy goats. Madison Sandel received the Job Placement Proficiency Award. Madi feels her SAE has helped her increase her business and communication skills. Kacey Boyer received the Diversified Ag Production Proficiency Award for his hours of commitment and dedication to raising his own cattle herd and sheep flock. Shayla Hembry received the Market Cattle Placement Proficiency Award. Sydney feels her SAE has taught her about financial management and helped her increase her advertising and marketing skills. Osten Blevins received the Horse Entrepreneurship Proficiency Award for his successful performance horse breeding operation. Konrad Boyer received the Ag Mechanics Proficiency Award. He had learned to be resourceful when working on a difficult project. Kelli McAffe received the Diversified Swine Proficiency Award. Kelli’s SAE has two parts, swine production where he has learned the importance of a sound breeding program, and working at the family commercial hog barns. Adam Barnard received the Ag Production Place Award. Adam has learned the importance of record-keeping and communication. Alivia Bakley received the Breeding Cattle Proficiency Award for her hours of commitment and dedication to raising her own cattle herd. Allyson Abbas received the Horse Placement Proficiency Award. Allyson’s SAE consists of caring, training, and advocating for the equine industry.

Once the Proficiency Awards were all passed out it was time for degree recognition. The following degree winners were awarded their degree pins and recognition at our Greenhand Chili Supper in December, however, we still wanted to recognize them at our banquet for their outstanding achievement. The individuals who received their Greenhand Degree are Ali Henry, Tory Henry, Ashlyn Crawford, Cole White, Cort Selsor, Drew Jacobson, Elli Blackford, Kelsey Benda, Madi McCoy, Marissa Bakley, and Shawn McAfee. The individuals who received their Chapter Degree were Lane Whirrett, Dejah Rowe, Audrey Pontier, and RJ McCoy. Hunter Garrett and Adam Barnard will be receiving their Iowa Degrees April 20.

Following the degree recognition was the state fair recognition where we recognized seventeen members who participated in showing at the Iowa State Fair. Those members were Osten Blevins, Braden Blevins, Allyson Abbas, Shayla Hembry, Kelsey Benda, Dana Halsband, Ashton Spidle, Kelli McAfee, Ryleigh Luce, Hannah Wisniewski, Devin DeVore, Sydney Garrett, Elli Blackford, Kacey Boyer, Madi Sandel, Ashlyn Crawford, and Olivia Franklin. These members worked hard and stayed busy throughout the summer preparing their livestock for their shows.

Up next on the agenda were the results of the annual Fruit, Meat, and Cheese Sales. The money generated from these sales is used to send over thirty-five students to leadership conferences such as the National and State Convention. The top sellers from the freshman class were: 1st Drew Jacobson, 2nd Elli Blackford, and 3rd Marissa Bakley. The top sellers for the sophomore class were: 1st RJ McCoy, 2nd Zoey Spalding, and 3rd Lane Whirrett. The top sellers for the junior class were: 1st Ryleigh Luce, 2nd Shayla Hembry, and 3rd Breanna Selsor. The top sellers for the senior class were: 1st Adam and Nicole Barnard, 2nd Allyson Abbas, and 3rd Carter McCann. This year’s top salespeople overall were RJ McCoy, Drew Jacobson, and Ryleigh Luce. The Osceola Big Chief FFA Chapter would like to thank all of the people who supported the annual fundraiser. Without the students’ hard work and the community’s continued support, many of the activities that the Osceola Big Chief FFA Chapter does throughout the year would not be possible.

The evening continued on to the results of the 2021 Career Development Events (CDE), which took place in February and March. Career Development Events help students develop the ability to think critically, communicate clearly, and perform efficiently in a competitive job market. There were eight teams that participated in CDE’s this year.

  • Conduct of Meetings-The Conduct of Meetings Team consisted of the following: President – Drew Jacobson, Vice President – Shawn McAfee, Secretary – Marissa Bakley, Reporter – Ashlyn Crawford, Treasurer – Cole White, Sentinel – Madi McCoy, and Advisor – Cort Selsor. These students advanced to the district contests and received a gold alternate to state. This team practiced together learning different parliamentary laws and practicing their speaking parts. These acquired skills will help them as they prepare for the future.
  • Creed Speaker- The Creed speaker this year was Elli Blackford. She memorized the FIVE paragraphs of the FFA Creed, recited it for the contest, and then answered three questions. Elli received gold at districts and advanced to the state contest in April.
  • Secretary’s Book- This year Kelli McAfee and Allyson Abbas completed a Secretary’s book. For the fifth time in a row, the secretary’s book received gold and will be advancing to the state competition in April.
  • Chapter Website- This year Breanna Selsor worked hard to create a new chapter website that captures and shares all the great accomplishments of our chapter. Breanna received a gold alternate to state at districts. Breanna also competed in Chapter Quiz as well.
  • Ag Sales- Konrad Boyer participated in the Ag Sales contest. He created a sales presentation and then sold the product to the interviewer. Konrad gained skills in public speaking, organization, and broadened his confidence in the area of sales. Konrad received gold at Districts and will be representing the chapter at State in April.
  • Public Speaking- Kacey Boyer participated in Public Speaking. He created an eight-minute speech focusing on educating others about GMOs. Kacey received gold at districts.
  • Extemporaneous Speaking- Osten Blevins participated in Extemporaneous Speaking where he had thirty minutes to prepare a six-minute speech. Osten received gold alternate to districts.
  • Experience the Action- This year Dejah Rowe, Audrey Pontier, Kelsey Benda, Zoey Spalding, and three other school students were audience members(Alyssa Kent, Clayton Abbas, and Jake Pontier). Competed in Experience the Action. They did well at districts, receiving a gold – alternate to state.
  • Job Interview- Allyson Abbas competed in Job Interview. She completed a job application, resume, and cover letter then demonstrated her skills through interacting in a mock interview. Allyson received a gold and will compete at the state competition in April.
  • Treasurer’s Book- Kacey Boyer and Carter McCann completed the Treasurer’s book and received gold.
  • Reporter’s Book- Alivia Bakley completed the chapter scrapbook and received a silver.
  • State Officer- We wanted to also share how proud we were to have Devin DeVore serve as a State Officer this past year as well. Devin has proven to be a great model for his fellow peers and will continue to do great things in the future. Congratulations Devin.

The banquet proceeded to the Academic Achievement Award, which recognizes members for their outstanding achievements in academics during the District FFA Convention. To receive this award you must be an active senior member and have a cumulative grade point of 3.5 or higher. The senior members to receive this award were Adam Barnard, Nicole Barnard, Kaitlyn Halsband, Allyson Abbas, and Carter McCann. They earned a certificate and a pin of academic achievement.

Carter McCann presented the 2021 Honorary Member Award. This award goes to community members who have been extremely supportive throughout the year. Our chapter would not be as successful as we are in many of our FFA activities without ongoing support from our community. This year’s Honorary Member is Solutions!

Each year our chapter recognizes a new member that has been an outstanding example of young members involved in the chapter’s activities to be Star Greenhand. This member must also have a secure SAE program that will progress them in their degree advancement. These two members have been extremely involved in activities throughout the year and were voted to be on this year’s officer team. This year’s 2021 Star Greenhand Award went to Drew Jacobson and Elli Blackford.

The next item of business was the Star Chapter Farmer Award. The Star Chapter Farmer Award recognizes members that have an excellent SAE project that focused on agriculture and has received their Iowa Degree. They must also show dedication to our chapter, and act as a role model of strong character and academic for the younger FFA. This year’s Star Chapter Farmer Award went to Adam Barnard.

The night had moved on to Chapter Scholarships. On behalf of the Paul Family, Marissa Bakley awarded the Marvin Paul Memorial Scholarship to Carter McCann. Lane Whirrett shared some words from Mr. Darwin Downing as he presented the Dennis Downing/ Robert Chaney Memorial Award to Dean Spalding because he was unable to attend. Mrs. Linda Abbott awarded the Oshel-Abbott Family Scholarship to Allyson Abbas, Carter McCann, and Adam Barnard. A member of the Osceola Big Chief FFA Alumni, Darbi DeVore, awarded the 2021 Alumni Scholarship to Adam Barnard, Allyson Abbas, Carter McCann, Dean Spalding, and Nicole Barnard.

As annual tradition states, chapter members have the opportunity to elect a junior girl as the Osceola Big Chief FFA Chapter Sweetheart. Each individual has to be an active member throughout the National FFA Organization and be involved in activities throughout the year. As the Sweetheart, this individual will run for county fair queen, be in charge of next year’s Sweetheart election, and make the “Special Gooseberry Pie”. She will also be in charge of many other activities. The candidates for Chapter Sweetheart were Shayla Hembry, Kelli McAfee, Madison Sandel, Alivia Bakley, Breanna Selsor, Hannah Wisniewski, Ryleigh Luce. Allyson Abbas was the 2020 Chapter Sweetheart and was in charge of crowning this year’s Sweetheart. The 2021 Osceola Big Chief FFA Chapter Sweetheart is Ms. Breanna Selsor.

Traditionally, we hold a silent auction with various donated items from local businesses. This year the officer team reflected on the past year and saw how covid-19 affected local businesses. They wanted to help these businesses out because they are always there to support us. Osceola Big Chief set out on the town and bought several certificates and gift cards. The officer team took these certificates and gift cards and created various bundle packages that were raffled off. The money from the raffle is used for various activities our chapter participates in throughout the year. These activities would not be possible without your continued support.

This year’s retiring officers were Allyson Abbas, Adam Barnard, Carter McCann, and Hunter Garrett. They have all been outstanding leaders in our chapter as well as great friends. They all have bright futures ahead of them and we couldn’t be happier for them.

The retiring 2020 -2021 FFA Officers introduced the new 2021-2022 FFA Officers once the video had been played. The new 2021-20 officers are as follows: Sentinel- Osten Blevins, Treasurers- Konrad Boyer and RJ McCoy, Reporters- Breanna Selsor ad Madi Sandel, Secretaries- Alivia Bakley and Shayla Hembry, Vice President- Kelli McAfee, and President- Kacey Boyer. This year the retiring officers decided to make history by creating Middle School Ambassored positions. They are responsible for coordinating and planning events with our middle school chapter. Elli Blackford and Drew Jacobson welcomed these positions with open arms. Once the new officers were introduced Kacey Boyer took his place as president and completed closing ceremonies.

The 2021 Osceola Big Chief FFA Banquet was a success. The night was spent remembering the past year and recognizing individuals for their accomplishments. We would like to thank everyone for attending our banquet and supporting our chapter over the years. Your support is key to helping our chapter continue its’ success.