On Friday night, the St. James Area FFA Chapter held their annual banquet via google meet.

While the FFA State Convention was canceled, seniors Kaydi Anderson, Jayger Dannhoff, Seth Pierson, Charles Schmidt all received the FFA State Degree.

"They worked very hard in their last six years as FFA members to get this award," said FFA Advisor Becky Cronk.

Each year, the FFA recognizes individuals outside the FFA as honorary members. This year, Jamie and Kayle McGuire were given the honorary chapter degree.

"This family has been a great help to our chapter," said son and chapter sentinel Landon McGuire. "They are always willing to chaperone for our trips to the rodeo or spring tour. Their sense of humor keeps us on our toes and laughing."

This year, the FFA had tremendous success with its fruit sale. A total of 1,304 items were sold, an increase of 310 boxes from a year ago. Jacob and Keeley Runge each sold 80 items.

FFA also does a magazine fundraiser. This year, Austin and Ava Spitzner combined to sell 40 magazines out of the 61 total sold by the FFA.

The FFA corn drive yielded $2,400. 

All of the proceeds were donated towards local causes.

The St. James Fire Department, Darfur Fire Department, Butterfield Fire Department, Odin Fire Department, Ormsby Fire Department, La Salle Fire Department, and St. James EMS all received $235.

A total of $750 was sent to True Friends.

Each year at the banquet, FFA crowns a championship showperson following the crop show.

"Challenging," said Jeremy Spitzner. "I think that's the best way to describe the 2019 crop year. This year it was a challenge for different reasons. Despite the challenges, we had a very successful 2020 crop show." 

This year's champion showperson was Ava Spitzner, who was champion in soybeans, shelled corn, and oats, as well as reserve champion in ten ear sample, soybeans, and hay. She was best in show for DeKalb 49-73 shelled corn. 

Cronk also provided updates on the numerous Career Development Events. 

For trapshooting, the team one group of Tanner Olson, Cooper Olson, Jack Westman, David Rathman, and Willie Curry placed 17th at state. The second team of Koltin Johnson, Austin Spitzner, Kollin Anderson, and Ethan Liemer finished 48th. The team finished seventh in a meet at Springfield, with Rathman and Westman finishing first and second overall.

The horse evaluation team of Kaydi Anderson, Alexis Brekken, Taryn Helling and Kayl Johnson placed third in the region and qualified for state.

The soils team of Tanner Olson, Cooper Olson, and Jack Westman finished ninth regionally.

The Best-Informed Greenhand team of Cohen Dannhoff, Mayson Haler, Briley Henderson, Cooper Olson, Keeley Runge, and Jack Westman qualified for state. 

Keeley Runge finished fourth in creed. 

Cooper Olson, Tanner Olson, Austin Spitzner, Jack Westman, and Jarrett Durheim made up the fish and wildlife team. They finished first as a team. Individually Cooper Olson placed first, Tanner Olson finished second, and Spitzner in 11th.

The small animal team of Barbara Craig, Mykela Hansen, and Isaac Carstensen placed sixth overall and qualified for state. Carstensen placed ninth, while Hanson placed 19th.

Charles Schmidt, Jayger Dannhoff, and Jacob Runge were the Ag Sales team and finished sixth.

Kollin Anderson, Willie Curry, Bennett Flohrs, and Jacob Friesen placed tenth in crops.

Jayger Dannhoff competed in employment skills and finished ninth.

Jayger Dannhoff, Mason Dannhoff, Jacob Runge, and Keeley Runge and Briley Henderson made up the livestock evaluation team.

Seth Pierson, Charles Schmidt, Jackson Miest, Ryan Pierson, and Levi Miest were the daily evaluation team. The team placed fourth at the University of Minnesota, and Seth Pierson finished fourth overall.

President Jayger Dannhoff shared some thoughts regarding the FFA year.

"The officer team has brought forth friendships that will last a lifetime," said Dannhoff. "We have done this by working really hard this year and we've made some memories along the way."

"This school year has by far been the best part of my life and a large part of that is because of FFA. This year has come to an unexpected end, unfortunately. However, I am thankful for the experiences that I've had."

Maddie Smith, an FFA State Officer and member of the Fillmore Central FFA Chapter was the night's guest speaker. Smith talked about the importance of being prepared for any situation and how FFA helps those become prepared.

At the end of the banquet, the new officer team for 2021-2021 was named.

Cooper Olson was named sentinel. Landon McGuire was named reporter. Jack Westman was named treasurer. Barbara Craig was named secretary. Tanner Olson was named vice president. Jacob Runge was named as President.

"I am pumped to work with this new group," said Cronk.  "We have many returning officers so they will provide wisdom for the new officers. Our team is smaller than the past couple of years, but I think we have a good team that has a variety of skills that will complement each other. If we have a skill that is weaker than the others, they will work together as a team to make it stronger. I am so excited to see the new activities they will plan and how they will better our chapter."

"Our officers are very passionate about growing our program and making it successful. They work hard to come up with events that many students will enjoy and participate in. They also encourage our young members to try new things to find the activities they are most interested in so they can find their place in our organization. "

Other awards:

Discovery FFA Degree: Kollin Anderson, Alexis Brekken, Willie Curry, Jarrett Durheim, Bennett Flohrs, Jacob Friesen, Mykela Hanson, Taryn Helling, Briley Henderson, Kayl Johnson, Gage Jones, Levi Miest, Keeley Runge

Greenhand FFA Degree: Isaac Carstensen, Mayson Haler, Cooper Olson, Jack Westman

Chapter FFA Degree: Isaac Carstensen, Barbara Craig, Tanner Olson, Jacob Runge

Blue Academic Award:

Middle School: Johanna Rodriguez, Kaid Sandbo, Ava Spitzner, Amelia Westberg, Max Westman, Jamin Ruiz, David Rathman

High School: Mayson Haler, Jacob Runge, Landon McGuire, Jayger Dannhoff, Charles Schmidt

Gold Academic Award:

Middle School: Ashlynn Dannhoff, Sophie Durheim, Teagan Erickson, Zoe Nelson, Lidia Ruiz, Nevaeh Brudelie Trebesch, Cohen Dannhoff, Briley Henderson, Ethan Leimer, Keeley Runge, Kyle Sperl, Carter Wolner, Kollin Anderson, Alexis Brekken, Jarrett Durheim, Bennett Flohrs, Jacob Friesen, Mykela Hanson, Taryn Helling, Kayl Johnson, Gage Jones, Levi Miest, Ryan Pierson, Austin Spitzner

High School: Cooper Olson, Jack Westman, Barbara Craig, Tanner Olson, Isaac Carstensen, Elizabeth Pankratz, Seth Pierson