West central Minnesota students earn honors at Minnesota FFA state convention

The Minnesota FFA Association state convention in April returned to an in-person event.

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The Minnesota FFA Association returned to in-person for the 93rd annual state convention in April. The following results highlight area students and teams. Complete results can be found on the Minnesota FFA Association website at .

State Star Award

The State Star Awards are presented to the top individuals from four different supervised agricultural experience project categories.

State Star in Agribusiness winner — William Bugbee, Paynesville Area

State Star in Agri Science Region V finalist — Lance Sawatzky, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg

State Officers

Vice President — Natalie Beckendorf, Renville County West


Treasurer — Brynn Lozinski, MACCRAY

State FFA Degree

The state FFA State Degree is given to the top members of a State FFA Association, and only 2 percent of Minnesota FFA members earn the degree. This degree demonstrates the student has put an exceptional amount of time into their supervised agricultural experience, local chapter and community.

Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City: Eric Melberg

Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa: Santos Sorenson, Hillary Prentice, Shelby Anderson, Olivia Thieschafer

Benson: Emma Ascheman

BOLD: Jerson Kopka, Kiara Stai

Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg: Lance Sawatzky

Lac qui Parle Valley: Ella Hammerud, Makayla Koepp, Brock Trager


Litchfield: Abagayle Shoutz

MACCRAY: Andrew Janssen, Brynn Lozinski, Caden Yoose, Cailin Yoose

Montevideo: Lauren Dehne, Kassey Pauling

New London-Spicer: Grace Gratton, Raeann Holmquist

Paynesville Area: William Bugbee

Willmar: Lily Thompson

Proficiency Award

Supervised Agricultural Experience top three proficiency award winners from the region were:

Agriscience Research, Integrated Systems: (1) Katelynn Marquardt, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg


Agricultural Mechanics Design and Fabrication: (2) Lance Sawatzky, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg

Agricultural Services: (2) Jacob Walsh, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg

Beef Production Entrepreneurship: (3) Mason Grams, Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart

Diversified Crop Production Placement: (3) Eric Melberg, Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City

Equine Science Placement: (1) Eleanor Wehseler, New London-Spicer

Forage Production: (2) Caden Yoose, MACCRAY

Goat Production: (2) Matthew Lingbeek, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg

Specialty Crop Production: (2) Saxton Melberg, Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart

Career Development Award

Area students participated in career development events. Listed are area teams finishing in the top 10 and area students in the top 25 in each event.

Agricultural Mechanics Team: (2) Willmar; Individual: Dustin Seubert, Willmar; Derik Johnson, Willmar; David Thaden, Willmar; Tyler Heida, MACCRAY

Crops Team: (4) New London-Spicer (7) MACCRAY; Individual: Robert Schimerowski, New London-Spicer; Brody Lien, New London-Spicer; Caden Yoose, MACCRAY; Landin Ahrenholz, MACCRAY; Mitchell Kleeberger, Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart

Dairy Handler Individual: Emersen Tatge, MACCRAY

Farm and Agribusiness Management Individual: Samuel Mastey, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa

Fish and Wildlife Management Individual: Kaden Iverson, New London-Spicer

Floriculture Team: (3) Willmar;  Individual: Lily Thompson, Willmar; Grace Vierhuf, Willmar; Isabell Sauceda, Willmar

Food Science and Technology Team: (6) Benson;  Individual: Leah Olson, Benson; Hailee Ellingson, Benson; Sara Evenson, Benson; Lilly Ostlie, Benson

Horse Evaluation Team: (7) Montevideo; Individual: Lana Rongstad, Montevideo; Mason Rohloff, Minnewaska Area; Kassey Pauling, Montevideo

Livestock Evaluation Individual: Macy Rohner, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg; Brynn Lozinski, MACCRAY

Meats Evaluation and Technology Team: (10) New London-Spicer; Individual: Adriana Behl, New London-Spicer

Nursery and Landscape Team: (4) MACCRAY; Individual: Cailin Yoose, MACCRAY; Emily Santjer, MACCRAY; Brogan Harguth, MACCRAY

Small Animal Individual: Rebekah Walz, Paynesville Area

Soils Individual: Jennifer Bratsch, Renville County West, Colton Noble, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg

Creed Speaking Individual: Abby Schoumaker, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa

Extemporaneous Speaking Individual: Ben Bugbee, Paynesville Area

Parliamentary Procedure Team: (5) Paynesville Area

Best Informed Greenhand Individual: Allison VanNurden, New London-Spicer

Discussion Individual: Natalie Beckendorf, Renville County West

Related Topics: EDUCATION
Donna Middleton started working at the West Central Tribune in 1975 and has been the news assistant since 1992. She compiles the arts, health, farm and community page calendars, as well as rewrites and works on the special sections.
She can be contacted at or phone 320-214-4341.
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The Tribune publishes Records as part of its obligation to inform readers about the business of public institutions and to serve as a keeper of the local historical record. All items are written by Tribune staff members based on information contained in public documents from the state court system and from law enforcement agencies. It is the Tribune’s policy that this column contain a complete record. Requests for items to be withheld will not be granted.