SE FFA Chapter named Minn. Premier Chapter

Lendt named MN State Star Farmer

Submitted photo Sleepy Eye FFA member Isaac Lendt holds his 2024 Minnesota Star Farmer award at the state FFA convention.

SLEEPY EYE — The Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter and its many members have won many awards through the years, at regional, state and national levels.

This year, it reached the pinnacle of state FFA chapter awards, finishing first in the Minnesota Premier FFA Chapter contest at the 95th Minnesota FFA Convention in Minneapolis Wednesday.

Veteran Sleepy Eye FFA Advisor Mary Hoffmann was a bit choked up regarding the first place award she said can only be awarded once to an FFA chapter.

Premier FFA chapters are recognized for dedication to further their education, project work and carrying out community service initiatives.

“We’ve been named in the top three Premier FFA Chapters in Minnesota several times, but never won it,” Hoffmann said.

Submitted photo Sleepy Eye FFA member Isaac Lendt, named the Minnesota State Star Farmer Wednesday, feeds swine on the family farm.

Asked if it was fulfilling to win, said she “oh my gosh, yes.”

“Oh my gosh, yes,” she said.

“We had a great convention. We have a great group of (303 students),” Hoffmann said.

In addition, the Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter placed third in the Land of Service Challenge and was named a Top 10 Chapter for the Agricultural Literacy Challenge.

On top of that, Sleepy Eye High School senior Isaac Lendt was named Minnesota State Star Farmer. He was the first Sleepy Eye FFA member to win that award since Sabrina Portner won it in 2015.

“Isaac is a very bright, hard-working individual with a great work ethic,” Hoffmann said. “To be able to raise 400-500 pigs a year since 2019, Isaac took on a huge responsibility. He was able to do this while in school, sports, FFA, and other activities. Issac is truly a star.”

The award honors students who have developed outstanding agricultural skills through supervised agricultural earnings from livestock or crop production, completed a State FFA Degree application, earned and invested at least $2,000, participated in at least 10 activities above the chapter level, completed a six-minute speech on an agriculture topic, demonstrated 10 parliamentary procedure activities, and more.

Lendt was swine production entrepreneurship state runner-up and was part of the third-place soils team.

He talked about what FFA has meant to him.

“FFA is something I’ve grown up with. It’s a great opportunity for gaining leadership skills as well as work and business skills I can use later in life,” Lendt said.

He plans to attend Arizona State University this fall and study microbiology with a pre-med focus.

“I want to be an orthopedic surgeon,” he added.

Lendt said former Sleepy Eye FFA advisor Larry Baumgardt was an important mentor for him.

“He helped me a lot raising for raising pigs and in FFA. All three Sleepy Eye FFA advisors, Mary Hoffmann, Katie Emmett and Paul Hendrickx did a lot for me, helping me through this process, helping me become the best person I can be,” said Lendt.

Isaac said he loves playing basketball, baseball and farm work.

Last year, Lendt and classmate Kadence Hesse were named Sleepy Eye High School ExCEL winners. The unique recognition program is for high school juniors active in school activities including fine arts and/or athletics, show leadership qualities, and volunteer in their communities.

Other Sleepy Eye FFA members placing high at the state convention were Agriscience Research Plant Systems Proficiency state winner Alex Confer. Logan Ludewig was runner-up in mechanics repair & maintenance placement. Emma Fischer was third in dairy production placement proficiency and a regional finalist in star in ag. production placement.

State FFA Degree recipients were Courtney Brey, Kadence Lund, Kyle Capacia, Emma Fischer, Isaac Lendt, Winsten Nienhaus, Leo Fernandez, Katelyn Tauer, Nathan Rathman, Ellen Windschitl, and Marcus Martinez.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper?

Starting at $4.38/week.

Subscribe Today