SYRACUSE — Held virtually last year due to the pandemic, the Wawasee FFA Awards Banquet was live this year and held Thursday evening, May 20, at the high school. The nearly 200 members, parents and guests in attendance were served a meal by the Wawasee Food Services Department with Maple Leaf Farms providing the entrees.
FFA Chapter officers EllaMae Reiff (president), Arrington Krull (vice president), Leina Helfers (student advisor), Jacob Wilkinson (treasurer), Katelyn Bray (reporter) and Lillian McCulloch (sentinel) presided over the meeting, introducing special guests and presenting awards.
Corporate and award sponsors were recognized in a special slide show. They include Bart’s Water Sports, Dr. Gervas and Ann Schafer, Arlen and Shirley Bobeck, Sherm Bryant, Crestview Farms, Crop Fertility Specialists, Mark and Denise Grady, Jackson Oil & Solvents, Knights of Columbus, KOVA Fertilizer, Maple Leaf Farms, Northern Indiana Johnnie Poppers, Matt and Mariah Roberts, Doug and Doreen Ruch, Sands Office Equipment, Schlipf Precision Ag, Tom Farms LLC and Randy and Eldonna Warren. The sponsors support the organization’s award and scholarship fund, national activities fund and college credits fund.
Brad Clayton, Kelly Heckaman, Lissa Krull and Rachel Platt were recognized for serving as a coach to a career or leadership development event.
Honorary Chapter FFA Degree was presented to Angel Hardy.
Distinguished Service Award is presented to individuals in the community who have continually demonstrated their support and encouragement to the FFA. Dr. Tom Edington, Jim Evans, Joy Goshert and the friends and family of Don Buhrt were presented this award.
A slide show presentation of members projects and activities preceded the member awards presentation. Qualifying first and second year members also received their Greenhand chapter degree pins, respectively. State and American degree recipients were also recognized.
Kristy Lin, Justin Beer and EllaMae Reiff were also recognized for being awarded with National and State FFA Scholarships. Students who participated in state career development events were awarded with their state pins.
Additional member award winner resumes were read by Evan Coblentz, the 2021 Wawasee FFA alumni honoree who is now serving as the state FFA treasurer.
Chapter Awards were presented to: Allison Gibson (Freshman Leadership Award), David Anderson (Sophomore Leadership Award), Jake Wilkinson (Junior Leadership Award), EllaMae Reiff (Senior Leadership Award), Leina Helfers (Purdue Junior Scholar Award), Lilly McCulloch (Advisor’s Award), EllaMae Reiff (Blue and Gold Award), Emerson Krull (Star Discovery), Charlie Krull (Star Greenhand), Katelyn Bray (Star in Agribusiness), Arrington Krull (Star Farmer), Ella Mae Reiff (Star in Agriculture Placement), Justin Beer (Chad Beer Memorial Scholarship), Kristy Lin (Agriculture Education Scholarship) and EllaMae Reiff (Ray E. Darr Memorial Scholarship).
Degree winners included Carter Grady, Emerson Krull, Wyatt Schafer, Jace Beer, Coltin Bucher, Preston Miller and John Wilkinson for Discovery. Greenhand winners are Allison Gibson, Libby Haab, Zeke Ihnen, Landen Kessler, Reagan Scott, Charlie Krull, Josie Melton and Reagan Fisher. Hoosier degree winners are Justin Beer, Katelyn Bray, Leina Helfers, Arrington Krull, Kristy Lin and Jake Wilkinson. Emily Sabin and Evan Coblentz are American degree winners.
The soils judging team of Justin Beer, Jared Beer, Justin Mullet, Cade Beer and Leina Helfers (quarantined) placed eighth at state and qualified for the national competition. Arrington Krull, Kristy Lin, Adalyia Hall, Wyatt Schafer and Jacob Wilkinson (quarantined) formed another soils judging team and placed 30th at state.
Arrington Krull was 220th out of 520 individuals at the state forestry competition. Leina Helfers (top individual), Arrington Krull, Kristy Lin and Lilly McCulloch placed first out of 43 teams at the state horticulture competition.
The horse judging team of EllaMae Reiff, Tai Vu, Allison Gibson and Reagan Scott were seventh out of 17 teams at the state competition.
Katelyn Bray submitted a supervised agricultural experience application on small animal care and management that received a bronze ranking at the state level. EllaMae Reiff received a gold ranking for her SAE application on equine placement. And Arrington Krull placed third with her SAE application on goat entreprenuership.
FFA Chapter officers for 2021-22 were installed at the conclusion of the banquet and include Jacob Wilkinson (president), Arrington Krull (vice president), Leina Helfers (secretary), Charlie Krull (treasurer), Reagan Scott (reporter), Landen Kessler (sentinel) and Allison Gibson (student advisor).