St. James Area FFA has success at State


The 2020-2021 school year has been challenging, but also has allowed for a lot of learning opportunities. This was especially true for the St. James Area FFA. Since members could not travel to contests—to allow for social distancing and keeping pods small—all FFA contests were made into a virtual format. It wasn’t ideal, but still gave students opportunities for learning, growth, and success.

This year’s Minnesota State FFA Convention was also held in a virtual format, April 19-29. Sessions were pre-recorded on YouTube and workshops were over Zoom. Students competed in Career Development Events and Leadership Developments Events on electronic scantrons and over Zoom. FFA members across the state proved the convention’s theme “Worth It” true as they worked to prepare and participate in this altered format.

Left: The Fish and Wildlife team placed third in the State. From left: Austin Spitzner, Jack Westman, Tanner Olson, and Cooper Olson.  Right: Keeley Runge placed fifth in the State FFA Creed Contest.

St. James Area FFA had 19 members compete in LDEs and CDEs over the two weeks of state competition. 

During the first week of competition Keeley Runge competed in the Creed Competition. She placed fifth in the state and got a gold ranking. She was also on the Best Informed Greenhand Team with Kayl Johnson, Mykela Hanson, Briley Henderson, and Alexis Brekken. They placed 15th and received a silver rating. Keeley placed 26th as an individual and received a gold ranking. Mykela, Kayl and Briley received silver rankings.

The next week, Jacob Runge, Mayson Haler, and Jarrett Durheim competed in the Soils CDE. As a team they got 27th and a bronze ranking. Jacob and Mayson received silver rank as individuals. 

The Small Animal/Vet Science team of Barbara Craig, Mykela Hanson, and Tarynn Helling placed 23rd and got a silver ranking. Tarynn placed 40th and received a gold ranking. Barbara and Mykela earned silver ranking. 

The Meats Evaluation team of Carter Wolner, Kaid Sandbo, and Kyle Sperl earned 24th place and a bronze ranking. Carter and Kyle received silver ranking individually.

The final day of contests brought a lot of success for those who competed. 

Ryan Pierson competed in the Dairy Evaluation CDE as an individual. He placed 14th out of over 200 contestants and got a gold ranking. 

Tanner Olson, Cooper Olson, Austin Spitzner, and Jack Westman competed in the Fish and Wildlife contest. They earned the highest ranking of the chapter by placing third and getting a gold ranking. Cooper was 5th place individual, Tanner was 7th, Austin was 33rd, and Jack was 70th, giving each of them a gold ranking.

Congratulations to all of these competitors!