Sunday, July 21, 2024

Versailles FFA holds 88th annual banquet


VERSAILLES—On March 13th, the Versailles FFA Chapter held their 88th Annual FFA Parent-Member Banquet at the Versailles High School. Everyone present enjoyed a catered dinner by Mary Bergman and her staff, followed by an evening of awards highlighting the accomplishments of the Versailles FFA over the past year. Among the list of awards were Honorary FFA Degree Recipients, Chapter Awards, the Induction of the 2023-2024 Versailles FFA Officer Team, and much more.

The Versailles FFA 2023 FFA Top Awards Recipients (Left to Right): Kristopher Marshal, Reagan Winner, Luke Winner, Brady Rogers, Adam Rauh, and Patrick McGlinch

The first order of business was to recognize the capstone students and their employers. Juniors and seniors have the opportunity to participate in the capstone program where they leave school for the second half of the day to go to work. The student’s employers were awarded a plaque with the name of the capstone employee with room to add more names in the future. The plaques were proudly sponsored by the Versailles FFA Alumni. The Versailles FFA put together a slideshow featuring the capstone employers and student employees. The senior capstone employees and employers include: Darren Billenstein and Gabe Marchal employed by Gehret Nursery, Ethan Dickey employed by Bomholt Electric, Kennedy Dross and Kailya Hecht employed by Superior Aluminum, Wesley George and Austin Spradlin employed by TWG Carpentry, Taylor Grilliot employed by Brilliant Beginnings Learning Center, Isaiah Hess employed by Greenville ACE Hardware, Rachel King employed by King’s Poultry, Keegan May employed by MB Earthworks LLC, Grant Pohlman employed by Custom Foam Products, Noah Shimp employed by Koenig Equipment, Hayley Smith employed by Albers Dairy Farm Inc, Ethan Stover employed All About Tops LLC, Luke Winner employed by Winner Farms, Reagan Winner employed by DL Winner Livestock Express. The junior employees and employers include: Dominic Barga employed by Classic Carriers, Alex Dirksen employed by Smith Pallets, Alex Gilmore employed by Do Good Restaurant, Travis George employed by TWG Caprentary, Carson Heitkamp employed by URB Drees Construction, Levi Johnson employed by Village

The Versailles FFA 2023 FFA State Degree Recipients (Left to Right): Trevor Luthman, Carson Heitkamp, Carlie Gehret, Camille George, Zoe Billenstein, Reagan Winner, Hayley Smith, and Kristopher Marshal

Contractors, Madilyn Kelch employed by Custom Foam Products, Trevor Luthman employed by Knapke Farms, Grifon Miller employed by Casey’s, Kaden Miller employed by Kaden’s Detailing, Kricket Petitjean employed by Bruns Construction, Lucas Rhoades employed by Bob’s Cycles, Shelby Spradlin employed by Camelot Farms, Camden Yagle employed by Tooling and Technology.

The following people were rewarded with an FFA Honorary Degree for their outstanding services and contributions to the chapter which included: Taylor Bergman, Bill Coomer, SISCO-Gail and Josh Overholser, Kim Custenborder with Prosperity Promotions, Jon and Julie Bergman.

Former members inducted into the Hall of Fame included 2021 graduates who all received national FFA recognition : Luke Billenstein, Darian Feltz, Renea Schmitmeyer, Noah Barga, Kobe Epperly, and Madison Henry.

The Versailles FFA 2023 Hall of Fame Inductees (Left to Right): Luke Billenstein, Kobe Epperly, Darian Feltz, Noah Barga, Renea Schmitmeyer, and Madison Henry

The FFA also recognized its Proficiency Winners who completed a 25 plus page application that was submitted to the regional and state evaluations. These members are among the top 4 in the state for their Proficiency. Plaques were sponsored by Phelan Insurance Agency represented by David Coons. Versailles FFA Proficiency Winners included: Diversified Crop; Reagan Winner, Ag Mechanics and Repair; Cory Timmerman, Dairy Placement; Colin Batten, Poultry Production; Maggie McGlinch, Dairy Placement; Clay Bergman

Chapter Proficiency winners include: Diversified Horticulture; Mallory York, Beef Placement; Luke Winner, Ag Communications; Laura Wuebker

The Versailles FFA 2023 FFA Honorary Degree Recipients (Left to Right): Jon Bergman, Julie Bergman, Taylor Bergman, Kim Custenboarder with Prosperity Promotions, Bill Coomer, Gail and Josh Overholser with SISCO

Having good record books is a key part of the SAE. At the banquet, the Versailles FFA recognized those individuals with outstanding record books. Outstanding Record Book Winners: 8th Grade Class: Abby Henry, Lucy Schmitmeyer, Simone Grieshop, Hank Smith, Ben Pitsenbarger and Isley DeMange. Freshmen Class: Caleb Bubeck, Roger Winner, Jace Bohman, Jayna Luthman and Owen Rindler. Sophomore Class: James Schmitmeyer, Lucas Timmerman, Andrew Lyons and Karlie Litten. Junior Class: Dominic Barga, Carson Heitkamp and Cody Groff. Senior Class: Darren Billenstein, Asa DeMange, Gabe Marchal and Isaiah Hess.

High Scholastics is an important part of each high school student’s life. The Versailles FFA Chapter recognizes those students from each class who excelled in academics in all high school classes. Outstanding Scholarship Winners: 8th Grade Class: Natalie Gehret, Patrick McGlinch, Rhylan Broerman, Gracie Henry and Greta Broering. Freshman Class: Sam Albers, Eden Barga, Ruthie Smith, Brooke Bergman, Paige Gehret, Shawna Schmitmeyer and Brayden Wagner. Sophomore Class: Colin Batten, Taylor Wagner and Emmitt DeMange Junior Class: Levi Barga, Zoe Billenstein and Kaleb Petitjean. Senior Class: Emily Delzeith

The fruit selling winners are as follows: Top selling family was Molly and Eli White-Shappie, 2nd place family was Lucas and Nathan Timmerman and 3rd place family was Carlie and Natalie Gehret. The top selling individual was Grant Pohlman, 2nd place individual was Paige Gehret and 3rd place individual was Kristopher Marshal.

The Versailles FFA 2023 American FFA Degree Candidates as shown are (Left to Right): Carter Luthman, Alex Mangen, Lizzy May, Wyatt Browder, Clay Bergman, Cory Timmerman, and Elise George (Not Shown; Caleb Kaiser)

2023 State FFA Degree Candidates were recognized which includes: Zoe Billenstein, Carson Heitkamp, Hayley Smith, Camille George, Carlie Gehret, Trevor Luthman, Kristopher Marshal, and Reagan Winner. 2023 American Degree Candidates were recognized which includes: Alex Mangen, Carter Luthman, Lizzy May, Cory Timmerman, Elise George, Wyatt Browder, Caleb Kaiser, and Clay Bergman.

The Chapter also gave recognition to members who assisted with all types of activities during their study hall which include: Andrew Lyons, Taylor Wagner, Karlie Litten, Luke Kaiser, Trey Huber, Lucas Timmerman, Danica York, Jace Bohman, Blake Schmitmeyer and Grifon Miller.

The highlight of the awards program was the announcement of the top awards.

2023 8th Grade Class Star Greenhands: Patrick McGlinch, Brady Rogers and Adam Rauh. The 2023 Star in Ag Placement: Luke Winner. The 2023 Star Farmer Award: Reagan Winner.

As part of the evening, Versailles FFA conducted a silent auction to benefit the Versailles FFA Chapter, FFA, Alumni. John Deere Pedal Tractor donated by Jeff and Dena Wuebker; purchased by Dr. Brad Bruns, Whole Hog and Processing donated by Jason and Kelly Billenstein; purchased by North Star Hardware, Gift Basket including Local Businesses and a Decorated Cake donated by Suzanne Hippley; purchased by Al Smith, Tractor/ American Flag Sign as well with Cherry Pie donated by FFA Alumni Jon and Julie Bergman; purchased by Bill Coomer, Bags of Dekalb Corn Seed donated by Dan and Beth Simons and Co-Alliance Versailles; purchased by Dan Winner, Full Interior and Exterior Car Detail donated by Kaden’s Detailing; purchased by Jeff and Dena Wuebler, Decorative Wreath and Gift Card donated by Dan and Patty Winner; purchased by Reyna Shardo, Basket filled with Scensty’s donated by Greg and Holli George; purchased by Jackie Kremer, Decorative Wreath and Gift Cards donated by Brian Kruckeberg; purchased by Michael Barga, Outside Decoration and Candles donated by Jon and Kristi Kaiser; purchased by Camden Yagle, Garden Basket donated by Gwenn and Michael Barga; purchased by Suzanne Hippley, Blessed Cross and Gift Cards donated by Ted and Darlene Lyons; purchased by Line View Farms, Sausage and Hamburger donated by Matt and Liz Schmitmeyer–Butcher Block; purchased by Dawn Shimp, 200 lbs of Layer Feed donated by Greg McGlinch–Down Home Farms benefiting the Versailles FFA Alumni; purchased by James McClurg, Wheelbarrow donated by Versailles ACE Hardware; purchased by Travis Wilker, Adorable Stiches Item- Welcome Plaque and Cookies donated by Laura Schwieterman and Dylan Meyer benefiting the Versailles FFA Alumni; purchased by Jessica Watts, Decorative Arrangement donated by Nature’s Reflections; purchased by Line View Farms, Cheese Basket donated by Marilyn Wyler; purchased by Dr. Brad Bruns, FFA Engraved Charcuterie Board donated by Ken and Mary Kartke; purchased by Jackie Kremer, Homemade Pies donated by Kevin Luthman; purchased by Kevin Luthman, Coffee and Coffee Cakes donated by Jeff and Dena Wuebker; purchased by Michelle Dirksen, Mary Kay Basket donated by Curt and Monica Goubeax benefiting the Versailles FFA Alumni; purchased by Nicole Keller.

There was a scholarship awarded with the help of the Versailles FFA Alumni. Laura Wuebker, Wyatt Browder, and Jayden Groff, who are all majoring in agriculture, received a book scholarship from the alumni. The next scholarship given was in memory of Doug and Craig Meier, given to students who plan on entering full-time farming or who are full time farming after graduation. Luke Winner received this scholarship and was rewarded with an Ag Production Grant. The last scholarship given was the Ben Overholser award from Gail and Josh Overholser with the help of SISCO, Reagan Winner received this scholarship.

The Versailles FFA would like to say thank you to the following people and businesses for making the banquet a success: The following who donated to the Auction; 2022-2023 Versailles FFA Officer Parents, Olivia Pohlman, Dylan Meyer, Kaden’s Detailing, Nature’s Reflections, Mary Kay- Curt and Monica Goubeax, Versailles Ace Hardware, Jon and Julie Bergman, Dan and Beth Simons Family, Versailles Co-Alliance, Jeff and Dena Wuebker, Down Home Farms- Greg McGlinch, Adorable Stitches- Laura Schwieterman. To the following who purchased items at the 2023 Versailles FFA Banquet Auction. To Phelan Insurance- David Coons for sponsoring the plaques. To North Star Hardware & Implement for donating banquet supplies. To Farm Credit Mid America- Ryan Langenkamp for sponsoring the plates. To Mrs. Harman and the Life Skills Class for wrapping the silverware and the water. To the Greenhouse Management class for propagating the centerpieces. To Grifon Miller for making and designing the placemats. Thank you to Susan Balllinger of Nature Reflections for decorating the stage and table decorations.