Sleepy Eye FFA competes at National FFA Convention

Editor’s Note: Article submitted by Sleepy Eye FFA advisor

More than 64,000 student leaders swarmed in Louisville, Ky., at the 88th National FFA Convention in late October.

Thirty-two Sleepy Eye FFA Members attended the national convention including: Allie Helget, Becca Rosenhammer, Bethany Seifert, Brennon Helget, Cassidy Hacker, Cassidy Hoffmann, Colin Hillmer, Colton Gemmill, Courtney Engholm, Crystal Portner, David Jasso, Erin Kotten, Francheska Montemayor, Harley Braun, Hannah Schroepfer, Isaac Nelson, Isabella Portner, Jacob Rossbach, Jeni Kotten, Jon Mickelson, Josie Lang, Kolten Nienhaus, Lauren Laffen, Marisa Martinez, McKenzie Cselocszki, Natalie Konopka, Nathan Jorgensen, Parker Neid, Sabrina Portner, Sarah Rossbach, Tyrah Stoll, and Zoe Macklanburg.

Three members of the Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter earned their American FFA Degrees. They were Jamie Fischer, Miranda McMullen, and Austin Trebesch. The American FFA Degree is the highest FFA degree bestowed on its members.

The National Quiz Bowl Senior Team of Brennon Helget, Courtney Engholm, Cassidy Hacker, Zoe Macklanburg, and Tyrah Stoll received 7th place overall out of 47 teams. Courtney Engholm was the top finisher on the team, earning 13th; followed by Cassidy Hacker, who placed 18th out of 177 individuals.

The National Quiz Bowl Junior Team of Isaac Nelson, Nathan Jorgensen, McKenzie Cselovszki, Francheska Montemayor, and Josie Lang received 19th place overall out of 46 teams. McKenzie Cselovszki was the top finisher on the team, who placed 46th out of 157 individuals.

The National Milk Quality and Products Team from Sleepy Eye, representing Minnesota, included: Harley Braun, Marisa Martinez, Lauren Laffen, and Erin Kotten. The team earned 4th place in the nation, three members receiving a gold rating. Harley Braun was the top finisher on the team, earning 6th place out of more than 140 individuals earning $700. Braun was followed by Marisa Martinez, who received 22nd place gold and Erin Kotten, who was 28th place gold. Lauren Laffen received a silver rating. Two members received other special awards at the Milk Quality Banquet: Marisa Martinez 2nd Place Overall in Cheese Evaluation and Harley Braun 1st Place Overall in Fat Content Interpretation.

The Sleepy Eye FFA National Dairy Cattle Evaluation team members were Bethany Seifert, Crystal Portner, Isabella Portner, and Sabrina Portner. The team earned 11th place in the nation, with two members receiving a gold rating. Sabrina Portner was the top finisher on the team, earning 23rd place out of more than 140 individuals. Sabrina was followed by her sister Crystal Portner, who received 31st place gold. Isabella Portner and Bethany Seifert both earned a silver rating.

The Sleepy Eye FFA National Poultry Judging Team members included Kolten Nienhaus, Jacob Rossbach, Sarah Rossbach, Jeniffer Kotten. The team placed 20th in the nation out of 38 teams. Kolten Nienhaus was the top scorer on the team placing 70th out of more than 140 individuals. All of the team members received a silver rating.

The Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter had one national proficiency finalist, McKenzie Cselovszki. After first submitting her first place application to Nationals this summer, she was chosen as one the top four in the nation. She interviewed at the National FFA Convention on October 29th and received runner-up in the nation for her Equine Production Entrepreneurship Proficiency.

While at the National FFA Convention, several of the Sleepy Eye FFA members took time to work behind the scenes at the KNUJ Media Booth. They assisted Larry Baumgardt and Jim Bartels in interviewing different FFA chapters in Minnesota about their convention experiences and FFA activities. The Sleepy Eye group included Cassidy Hoffmann, Harley Braun, Brennon Helget, Rebecca Rosenhammer, Natalie Konopka, Hannah Schroepfer, Cassidy Hacker, and Courtney Engholm.

Representing the Sleepy Eye FFA Officers, Parker Neid and Colton Gemmill accepted the chapter’s THREE STAR National Chapter Award for student, chapter, and community development activities that the Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter highlighted. Sleepy Eye FFA was the only chapter to earn Three Stars at the national level.