By Alysa Pringle, chapter reporter
On Saturday May 8th, 2021 the West Holmes FFA chapter held their annual banquet at Harvest Ridge with over 250 guests and chapter members present. The banquet was held to honor and recognize all the FFA members’ achievements over the past year, as well as recognize community members for their help and involvement in the FFA.
Special recognition was given to the following members: Jayme Pennell- DeKalb Award, Natasha Averbukh – Outstanding Senior Award; Cora Crilow- Outstanding Junior Award; Becca Schuch- Star Chapter Farmer, Alysa Pringle-Outstanding Sophomore Award; Wyatt Schlauch and Ashley Tate- Star Greenhand, Maren Drzazga and Wyatt Myers- Outstanding Freshman Awards. These members earned the highest amount of points in their respective grades from their involvement in activities throughout the year.
We recognized our Honorary State Degrees. This is the highest award a State can give to a non FFA member. Our two nominees were presented with their award at the virtual State Convention. These two individuals have shown us continuous support throughout the years. Mr. Patrick Miller has helped us and dedicated his time to our annual ALL IN WEEK, helped us create a web page for the chapter, and assisted with scheduling for the State Convention. Mr. Aaron Kaufman understood how important the FFA program was to the school and always had the chapters back in decision making and strategies to make this chapter have its fullest potential. He will be dearly missed and always a friend to the West Holmes FFA Chapter.
The chapter also recognized community members that have helped our chapter in many ways. Three individuals received the Honorary Chapter Degree, the highest award a chapter can give a non-member. Our first Honorary Chapter Degree went to Pat Martin, when we couldn’t do our “normal” thing we were able to work with Pat and she let us use the facilities at Harvest Ridge. The next individual to receive this award was Ms. Janessa Hill, she had helped with coaching a team, judging chapter contests, helping at officer interviews and was our speaker at our greenhand initiation but no matter what we need Janessa is always willing to lend a hand. Our last recipient was Trevor and Ashley Ogi, for the last two year’s they got food ready and provided us a place to hold our August meeting. Thank you all so much for everything you do for our chapter.
Distinguished service awards are given to community members who have gone above and beyond the normal call of duty for the chapter and three were awarded this year. Our first Distinguished Service Award went to Mr. Molnar, he drove our bus to Snow trails as well as helped with fundraisers in the past. The next award went to Micah Mensing, he has helped with contest practices as well as helped member Jayme Pennell develop a video for his National Proficiency. Our final Distinguished Service award went to Mr. Dave McMillen, he is always in the ag room and helped with the Ag Mechanical Engineering contest. We thank you all for helping us.
Camp Scholarship Donors provide opportunities for our members to attend FFA camp over the summer or other activities during the fall, our camp scholarship donors are Andrews Auctioneers, Arlie and Evelyn Rodhe, Bill Flinner, Bunker Hill Cheese/Buckeye Deli, Commercial and Savings Bank, Lang Vue Farms, Loder Farms, Mike and Gwen Uhl, Millersburg Electric, Millersburg Tire Service, Snyder Brothers Sales and Service, Sue Overholt and Family, Sweet Breeze Farms, Tate Farms, Uhland Farms, and Village Motors. Thank you all for supporting our chapter.
Every year we hand out awards of appreciation to all people that have helped us throughout the year serving as guest speakers, judges, and team coaches. This year’s Certificates of Appreciation went to Miss Andrea Anderson, Ms. Elaine Averbukh, Ms. Lindsay Bowen, Mr. Jeremy Bernison, Mrs. Mindi Campbell, Mr. & Mrs. Aaron Clark, Mr. Troy Crilow, Mr. Brian Dodd, Mr. Greg Eichelberger, Exclusively Yours Catering, Miss Taylor Feikert, Mrs. Melenie Ferguson, Mr. Zach Gardner, Mr. Nick Gerber, Mr. & Mrs. AJ Helterbrand, Mr. Tim Hershberger, Mrs. Kandi Hipp, Hipp Farms Mulch, Holmes Co. Beef Committee, Holmes Rental, Mr. Ed Honabarger, Mr. & Mrs. Craig Houin, Mrs. Jessica Kaufman, Keim Lumber, Miss Morgan Kellogg, Mrs. Tes Kinsey, Mr. Brian Lash, Mrs. Ella Lorentz, Lorentz Lawncare & Landscaping, Mrs. Teresa Mackey, Ms. Tiffany Meyer, Mrs. Dawn Miller, Miss Sandra Miller, Mrs. Dawne O’Donnell, Mr. & Mrs. Jason and Ti Pennell, The Posey Pad, Mr. & Mrs. Dennis Pringle, Mrs. Malinda Raber, Miss MKylie Ramirez, Mr. Tyler Renner, Mr. & Mrs. Jason Schuch, Mr. & Mrs. Rod Shepler, Miss Gabby Sherman, Mr. & Mrs. Jason Shumaker, Silver Dollar Sportsmans Club, Sweet Breeze Farms & Excavating, Mrs. Heather Tegetmeir, Mr. John Thomas, WHHS Kitchen Staff, Mr. Corey Zickel, Mr. John Zvolensky. Thank you for helping our chapter!
Members were also recognized for earning highest GPAs in each class. Freshman were Grant Miller, Natalie Rohr, Torrie Savage, Wyatt Schlauch, Emily Sheely, and Zoee Snow all with 4.0s. Sophomores Sarah Irwin, Jess Miller, and Olivia Sampsel all with 4.0s. Juniors Ally Ogi and Ashley Tate both with 4.0s. Seniors Taryn Grassbaugh with 3.88 and Natasha Averbukh with 3.76.
Top ten salesmen were also recognized. 10th Garret Houin $1,950, 9th Ashley Tate $2,000, 8th Ethan Feikert $2,061, 7th Dyllan Bender $2,174, 6th Derek Miller $2,549, 5th Zoee Snow $2,564, 4th Cody Miller $3,256, 4th Jess Miller $3,256, 3rd Ally Ogi $3,689, 2nd Becca Schuch $4,401, 1st Amy Hughes $4,402.
Members were also recognized for who had received State degrees this year as well as state and national proficiency finalists. State Degree recipients were Cora Crilow, Ethan Feikert, Clay Shepler, Chloe Shumaker, Emma Stitzlein. The state proficiency finalists were Ethan Drzazga-Agricultural Sales Placement 1st, Brayden Shumaker- Ag Services 1st, Lexi Ogi – Beef Placement 3rd, Rebecca Sprang -Dairy Placement 3rd, Lexi Ogi- Diversified Livestock 2nd, Tierra Slaubaugh – Diversified Livestock 4th, Ethan Drzazga- Goat Production 3rd, Becca Schuch- Grain Production 2nd, Garrett Houin- Outdoor Recreation 3rd, and Kylie Ramirez- Service Learning 2nd. Chase Stitzlein was the Ohio Star Farmer and Ohio’s American Star Farmer Candidate. Congratulations guys!
We recognized our top 10 CDEs. Top 10 CDEs were Job Interview- Ashley Tate 2nd in the state first year Junior/Senior Division, Dairy Cattle- Wyatt Schlauch- 2nd place individual, Dairy Handler- Amy Hughes 3rd and Wyatt Slauch 9th, Extemporaneous Speaking 4th in the State Jayme Pennell. Ag Issues- 4th in the State team members, Garrett Houin, Alysa Pringle, and Becca Schuch, Ag. Communications -9th in the State members Ashley Tate- 17th, Alysa Pringle- 44th, Jayme Pennell- 48th, and Ally Ogi- 52nd.
Members are given a gold, silver, or bronze level rating based on their involvement in activities throughout the year! In the freshman class bronze level members were Emily Harrower, Blake Mathew, Abigail Patterson, Isabella Starner, Derek Miller, Jimmy Lesiak, Torrie Savage, Natalie Rohr. Silver level members were John Maloney, Olivia Gerber, Liberty Hendrix, Taelor Patterson, Grant Miller, Kalan Bowling, Maison Carter, Laina Croskey, Logan VanSickle, and Zoee Snow. Gold level members were Emily Sheely, Maren Drzazga, Wyatt Myers, Wyatt Schlauch, and Ashley Tate.
In the sophomore class bronze level members were Dawson Doretich, Syrus Tish, Maria Steiner, Ansen Hall, Silver level members were Blaine Winkler, Dyllan Bender, Kadan McDougale, Olivia Sampsel, Dakotah Ringwalt. Gold level members were Garrett Houin, Pacee Miller, Sarah Irwin, Tyler Eichelberger, Jess Miller, Alysa Pringle, and Becca Schuch.
In the Junior class bronze level members were Kyle Mowery and Emma Stitzlein. Silver level members were Leah Reining, Amy Hughes, and Ethan Feikert. Gold level members were Chloe Shumaker, Ally Ogi, and Cora Crilow.
In the senior class bronze level members were Cody Miller and Rebecca Sprang. Silver level members were Taryn Grassbaugh, Samantha Kendall, Addison Yates, and Clay Shepler. Gold level members were Natasha Averbukh and Jayme Pennell.
New officers were installed as follows: President-Cora Crilow, Vice President-Ally Ogi, Secretary- Chloe Shumaker, Treasurer- Maren Drzazga, Reporter- Alysa Pringle, Historian- Emily Sheely, Sentinel-Becca Schuch, Student Advisor- Leah Reining.
Dinner was prepared by Exclusively Yours Catering for the guests. There were several silent auction items put together by the members as well as senior boards for guests to enjoy. The banquet concluded with a live cake auction and other miscellaneous items auctioned by FFA member Jayme Pennell. The live and silent auction raised almost $6,000 to donate to FFA Camp Muskingum.