Achievements, contributions recognized at Ash Grove FFA banquet

The Ash Grove FFA chapter held their 2019 FFA Banquet at the Sac River Cowboy Church Event Center in Springfield on Tuesday, May 21. More than 180 people attended the event.
During the banquet, individuals and organizations who diligently supported the FFA were recognized, some with honorary memberships in the chapter. The honored representatives of SOMO Farm and Ranch, Hubbard Feeds, and Crytalyx Brand Supplements were in attendance. They were: Mike Frieze, Jared Frieze, Kelly Smith and Mark Stinchcomb. Also receiving memberships were Jeremy Willmon, of Willmon Land Clearing, David Tummons, and Kiersten Trantham, an 11-year-old girl who is battling cancer.
FFA members were also recognized for their accomplishments over the year. During the evening, many of the FFA members received pins and certificates for their achievements in career development events. Leadership and scholarship.
Several members were presented with degrees, reflecting levels of accomplishment. Among the members, 22 were awarded their Greenhand degrees, 21 were awarded with Chapter degrees, and four were awarded Area degrees.
Another highlight of the evening was when Chapter President MaKenna Johnson delivered her award wining speech which she’d used in her Prepared Public Speaking career development event. Johnson won first place in area-level competition earlier in the year, and later third place at the district level.
Johnson’s speech was about the valuable lessons agriculture instructors impart to their students. Taking inspiration from Paul Harvey’s “And God Made a Farmer” speech, the theme of Johnson’s speech was “And God Made an Ag Instructor.”
In her speech, Johnson said ag instructors not only pass on knowledge to the younger generations, they also sacrifice their free time for their students, help them find their passions so they are better prepared to pick a career path, and develop their skills through ag-related events.
Later, Johnson said her entire speech was inspired by Ash Grove Ag Instructor Nathan Isakson.
“My inspiration was 110-percent my ag teacher, (Mr. Isakson),” she said. “He was beside me and told me what I needed to write because there’s certain qualifications, but I just kind of took off from there, and everything that he’s taught me, and just inspired me, and everything, I made sure I included what I’ve seen him do in my speech.”
The evening concluded with the installation of the FFA’s new officers for the 2018-20 school year. They are: Dillon Magers, chapter president; MaKenna Johnson, vice-president; Cannon Palmer, second vice-president; William Lampley, secretary; Jessica Wheeler, assistant secretary; Daniel Elliot, treasurer; Luke Elliot, assistant treasurer; Alexis Long, reporter; Ben Hines, assistant reporter; Hunter Wheeler, sentinel; Olivia Steimel, assistant sentinel; Makenzie Lutz, parliamentarian; Michael Blaine, chaplain; Madison Ware, historian and Emma Hancock, assistant historian.
As the new president, Magers said he hoped he would be as good of a president as Johnson.
“I feel confident, but Makenna Johnson was a great president. I have big shoes to fill, and hopefully I will fill them,” he said. Magers added that he hopes to increase the chapter’s community involvement.
Johnson herself is also taking on the role of Area 10 vice-president next year.
Isakson said he looks forward to working with the ag students and the FFA officers during the 2019-20 school year.
“Our officer team that served this year is a very strong group, they’re very dedicated, and their teamwork has been second to none,” he said. “We also have graduated an excellent officer as a senior, and the cool thing is, since the majority of that team was juniors, they have returned to serve as a second officer team. We’ll look forward to watching not only their success, but the way they mentor and lead the next group of officers who have studied underneath them in assistant positions into our new year.”


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