Nebraska FFA is on the rise. At the 84th annual convention this spring, four new chapters were recognized.
The addition of new chapters at Alma, Anselmo-Merna, Lindsay Holy Family and Minatare brings the total number of FFA chapters to 143 in Nebraska, according to Donelle Johnson, executive director. In those chapters are 6,600 members.
And in the next school year this fall, three more chapters are expected. Scheduled to start vocational agriculture programs will be Bridgeport, Chambers and Omaha Bryan. An Omaha chapter would be the first in that city for more than 20 years.
"It's always exciting to add new chapters, especially when they are recognized at the state convention," Johnson says. "The new chapters, and in particular the one in Omaha, represent a win for agriculture and FFA."
A total of 3,560 FFAers attended the convention in Lincoln.
The new slate of state officers was announced: Alix Mashino West Boyd chapter, president; Johnny Ference, Ord chapter, secretary; Maci Lienemann, Norris chapter, vice president; Amber Burenheide, Howells-Clarkson chapter, vice president; Brooke Jindra, Leigh chapter, vice president; Andrew Ambritz, West Point chapter, vice president; and Doug Larsen, Stuart chapter, vice president.
Other honors at the convention were: Dennis Kenning, Fairbury, and Jack Broderick, Seward, Nebraska FFA Advisors of the Year; Bob Pedulla, Scottsbluff, Gary Scharf Helping Hand Award; Northeast Community College, Norfolk, Distinguished Service Award.
State Stars were: Kristen Reiman, West Boyd, Nebraska Star in Agribusiness; Brandon Trampe, SEM, Nebraska Star in Placement; Patrick Arkfeld, Nebraska Star in Agriscience; and Dakota Cunningham, Bloomfield, Nebraska Star in Production.
Mark Keck, a member of the Plainview FFA chapter, earned first place in the Emerging Agriculture Technology proficiency category at the 2012 Nebraska State Fair. Keck, the son of Steve and Angie Keck of Plainview, has conducted tests of a nitrogen stabilizer for the past three years, designing the studies himself and coming up with results. Nebraska Farmer is sponsor of the Emerging Agriculture Technology award.