FFA members celebrate success at convention

Minnesota FFA

Minnesota FFA members engage in contests, workshops and award ceremony at convention

FFA members began the second day of the Minnesota FFA Convention with contests, workshops and sessions at the University of Minnesota (UMN). Nearly 4,000 members competed in Career Development Events (CDEs) and attended leadership workshops on the UMN-St. Paul campus. Following the CDEs and workshops, members gathered at the 3M Arena at Mariucci in Minneapolis for the annual award ceremony.

Session Speakers

To open the second general session, FFA members received greetings from Dr. Frances Homans, University of Minnesota. She shared the importance of agricultural education and its upcoming developments at the university.

Session attendees were also welcomed by Minnesota Pork Ambassador Leyton Becker and Sarah Dornink, Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council.

“We are here, at this convention and in these blue jackets, to do great things, and we will do great things,” said Keegan Zimmermann, FFA state vice president. “These moments are where it happens. The moments we choose to live in, to truly be present in.”

Zimmermann, a Red Rock Central FFA member, delivered his retiring address titled, “Where it Happens.”

Amir Ahmed, senior vice president of sales for DISH Network, shared remarks about his admiration of the National FFA Organization and Minnesota FFA Association. During his visit to convention, he announced a donation of 30 FFA jackets intended for Minnesota FFA members.

At the fourth general session, Laura Church, state secretary, delivered her retiring address.

“Each day may not be good, but there is good in each day. We can be the reason someone else sees that good, too,” said Church, a Randolph FFA member.

During the 2019 Annual Awards Program, Minnesota FFA Foundation Chair Natasha Mortenson offered words of encouragement and advice to the FFA members.

“These people who give you gifts, they are your tribe. That tribe of people want you to be successful. They realize that you are the future leaders. We hope your experiences in FFA will allow you to grow as a leader and that the gift you’ve been given will be used wisely,” Mortenson said.

Jordan Stowe, National FFA southern region vice president, provided remarks as part of her year-long journey serving the National FFA Organization.

“There are people who believe in us, and we have the ability to believe in others,” Stowe said.

The Minnesota FFA Proficiency Awards, highlighting students’ Supervised Agricultural Experiences, were announced during the second general session.

Proficiency Award Area

Top Individuals



Agricultural Communications

Cassidy Hoffman

Sleepy Eye

The Farmer

Agricultural Education

Carolyn Pavlish


The Jim Ertl Fund

Agricultural Mechanics Fabrication and Design

Emily Stemper


John Deere Company

Agricultural Mechanics Repair and Maintenance Entrepreneurship

Brennan Kluender

United South Central

Charles and Barb Melberg

Agricultural Mechanics Repair and Maintenance Placement

Brittany Schultz

Atwater Cosmos Grove City

MN SD Equipment Dealers Association

Agricultural Processing

Madison Heide

Detroit Lakes

CHS Foundation

Agricultural Sales Entrepreneurship

Beth Hanson


Minnesota FFA Foundation

Agricultural Sales Placement

Meghan Beckendorf

Renville County West

McDonald’s Twin Cities Co-op

Agricultural Services

Tyson Meidl


Rosen’s Diversified

Agriscience Research- Animal Systems

Ben Clark

Kerkhoven Murdock Sunburg

Hormel Foods

Agriscience Research- Integrated Systems

Daniel Williamson

Atwater Cosmos Grove City

Minnesota Grain and Feed Association

Agriscience Research Plant Systems

Lauren Krieger

Kerkhoven Murdock Sunburg

MN Soybean Research & Promotion Council

Beef Production Entrepreneurship

Camren Saxton


Greg, Karen and Nick Gosen

Beef Production Placement

Dylan Lunning

Leroy Ostrander

Minnesota FFA Foundation

Dairy Production Entrepreneurship

Jenna Caughey


MInnesota Select Sires Co-op

Dairy Production Placement

Rebeckah Schroeder


Midwest Dairy Association

Diversified Agricultural Production

Tyler Jax


Minnesota Crop Improvement Association

Diversified Crop Production Entrepreneurship

Carson Kahler

Martin County West

CF Industries

Diversified Crop Production Placement

Trent Stevermer

United South Central

Land O’Lakes

Diversified Horticulture

Alija Ros


Compeer Financial Services

Diversified Livestock Production

Adrienne Lipinski

Eden Valley Watkins

Minnesota Veterinary Medical Foundation

Environmental Science & Natural Resources Management

Ellie Lindow

Lake City

Great River Energy

Equine Science Entrepreneurship

Kyerra Carter


Zinpro Corporation

Equine Science Placement

Jonni Biren

Russel Tyler Ruthton

Central Farm Service

Fiber and/or Oil Crop Production

Brayden Schultz

United South Central

Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council

Forage Production

Lisa Kolseth

Thief River Falls

DuPont Pioneer

Fruit Production

Ekaterina Ivanov

Fertile Beltrami


Goat Production

Payton Guenther


Minnesota Veterinary Medical Foundation

Grain Production Entrepreneurship

Carson Kahler

Martin County West

Minnesota Corn Growers Association

Grain Production Placement

Marc Collins

Kerkhoven Murdock Sunburg

DuPont Pioneer

Home and/or Community Development

Justin Nord

Norman County West


Landscape Management

Tara Schultz

Grand Rapids

Wells Fargo

Nursery Operations

Talitha Horkey

Westbrook Walnut Grove

Ziegler Cat

Outdoor Recreation

Paige Stuber


Johnson Outdoors

Poultry Production

Kaitlyn Lorang

Cedar Mountain

Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council

Sheep Production

Wyatt Jensen


James & Nancy Youngs

Small Animal Production and Care

Amanda Kelling

Pine Island

Minnesota Veterinary Medical Foundation

Specialty Animal Production

Ashley Teubert

Glencoe Silver Lake


Swine Production Entrepreneurship

Creighton Sauer

Lewiston Altura

Christensen Farms

Swine Production Placement

Jacob Stevermer

United South Central

Christensen Farms

Turf Grass Management

Adam Stenzel

United South Central

Northland Ford Dealers

Vegetable Production

Jennifer Wear

Sibley East

AgCountry Farm Credit Services

Veterinary Science

Auna Koenigs


Minnesota Veterinary Medical Foundation

Wildlife Management

Conner Lemmon


George & Mary Peichel

Stars Over Minnesota
The Star Farmer award and Stars in Production Placement, Agribusiness and Agriscience indicate students’ commitment to their Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) throughout the course of previous years. These projects, in conjunction with agriculture education courses, help increase student knowledge of agriculture. The Stars over Minnesota awards are sponsored by Compeer Financial Services.

Star in Production Placement

Emma Friauth, Hutchinson FFA

Star in Agribusiness

Morgan Olson, Sebeka FFA

Star in Agriscience

Daniel Williamson, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City FFA

Star Farmer

Katherine Moller, Princeton FFA



Minnesota FFA Hall of Fame
The Minnesota FFA Alumni Association recognized nine inductees to the Minnesota FFA Hall of Fame. They join more than 180 members named to the Minnesota FFA Hall of Fame in the past 15 years. The FFA Hall of Fame is a collaborative effort between the Minnesota FFA Association, Alumni and Foundation.

The 2019 Minnesota FFA Hall of Fame inductees include: Judy Barka (Watkins), Nancy Dahlman (Cokato), Ken Hammer (Frazee), Doug Hoseck (Hector), Roy Johnson (Elk River), Gary Olson (Moorhead), Neil Pearson (Grove City), Fred Troendle (St. Charles), and Jeff Voss (Jackson).

Honorary State FFA Degree
Twenty-one outstanding teachers and business professionals received Honorary State FFA Degrees from the Minnesota FFA Association. They demonstrate success and support of FFA and agricultural education. Each year, the Minnesota FFA Association recognizes the contributions of those who have made a significant impact towards the success of the membership and the organization. Many of these individuals have served in numerous leadership roles through Career Development Events, the State Officer team, the FFA Foundation or Alumni events.

The 2019 recipients of the Honorary State FFA Degree are: Rick Banes (St. Paul), Jen Boersma (Lake Benton), Dean Broadhead (Minneapolis), Jenna Cardinal (Mahnomen), Stacy Fritz (Chatfield), Dr. Connie Gores (Marshall), Wendy Haavisto (St. Paul), Amber Hanson Glaeser (Eagan), Dan Hoffman (Austin), Tiffany Hulinsky (Staples), Dr. Frances Homans (St. Paul), Doris Mold (St. Paul), Marge Larsen (New Prague), Sara Nagel Newberg (St. Paul), Jeff Nelson (New Ulm), Tracy Nelson (Cokato), Dave Peper (Alexandria), Clint Smith (Rockford), Ken Theissen (St. Cloud), Juleah Tolosky (Roseville), and Mike Wybierala (St. Paul).

The parents of the 2018-2019 Minnesota FFA State Officers also received Honorary Minnesota FFA Degrees, including: Dean and Sara Taylor (Randolph), Roger and Kerri Zimmermann (Lamberton), Russell and Ann Church (Hastings), Duane and Linda Kroll (Pierz), Michael and Kristen Eaton (Pine Island), and Bruce and Wendy Mathiowetz (Belle Plaine).

State FFA Degree

Three hundred and sixty-eight Minnesota FFA members received the State FFA Degree at the 90th Minnesota FFA Awards Ceremony. To be eligible for the State FFA Degree, members must earn and invest at least $2,000 into their Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE). Candidates must complete a minimum of two years of classroom instruction in an agricultural, food and natural resources education program. The list of recipients by region and chapter can be viewed at mnffa.org.

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