By Lexi Smith
Bennett County FFA wrapped up their second year with a special recognition banquet on April 29. FFA members, dressed in FFA Official Dress, gathered with their families and started the night with a spaghetti meatball meal, with Andi and Jason Fanning donating the beef.
After opening ceremonies, awards began with members receiving the degrees they earned. The officer team followed the national FFA ceremony for each degree given.
Piper Goss, Alison Novotny, Maraya VanderMay, and Leaha Pauly received their Discovery Degree, a special degree reserved for middle school students.
Ridge Ward, Timmothy Fanning, and Laney Fanning received their Greenhand Degree, the beginning of the FFA journey to the State and American Degrees.
Alison Novotny performed the FFA creed for the ceremony and Laney Fanning received the Star Greenhand degree for her dedication to the chapter throughout her first year in FFA.
Chloe Risse, Frank Huber, and Gabe Fanning earned their Chapter Degrees, a silver pin to proudly display on their jacket to show progress and accomplishment in FFA.
Following the degree ceremonies, FFA Advisor Mrs. Lexi Smith recapped the results of the Leadership and Career Development Events that the chapter participated in throughout the year. Highlights included Gabe Fanning winning first in extemporaneous speaking, the Marketing Plan team competing at the State LDEs, the Natural Resource team earning fifth place, Trey Tetrault placing fourteenth in Livestock Judging, and an eager floriculture team, amongst other great efforts by the students.
Mrs. Smith then awarded the Outstanding Member Award to the student from each grade who earned the most amount of participation points in FFA throughout the year. Recipients were as follows: sixth grade, Hadley Schomp; seventh grade, Trey Tetrault; eighth grade, Leaha Pauly, ninth grade, Laney Fanning; tenth grade, Ridge Ward; and in eleventh grade, Frank Huber. Frank also received an FFA buckle for earning the most amount of points in the chapter.
Next the chapter honored and thanked Dave Jones for his support of the chapter throughout the year. Dave has connected with Redbrand and Zoetis FFA support programs so that a portion of sales of those products at The General Store comes back to financially support the Bennett County FFA. This funding has allowed the chapter to pay for various registration fees and dues throughout the year, as well as other local chapter activities.
Mrs. Smith then reviewed some of the chapter’s adventures throughout the year. She applauded the small chapter for being “small, but mighty” – being so active throughout the year, tackling large projects, and boldly trying new things. A couple of exciting memories for members included traveling to Indianapolis for the National FFA Convention and to Brookings for the State FFA Convention.
The FFA members presented Mrs. Smith with a farm animal and FFA-themed quilt and some FFA clothes for her daughter on-the-way. “I was totally surprised, it was a very sweet, thoughtful gift that our growing family will cherish!”
The last event of the evening was the election and installation of the 2019-2020 Officer Team: President Gabe Fanning, Vice President Timmothy Fanning, Secretary Chloe Risse, Treasurer Frank Huber, Reporter Laney Fanning, Sentinel Ridge Ward, and Historian Piper Goss. Congratulations to the new officer team and best of luck to the whole chapter throughout the next school year!