Versailles FFA holds annual banquet


VERSAILLES — On March 13, the Versailles FFA Chapter held its 88th annual FFA Parent-Member Banquet. 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 more.

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 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 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 awarded an FFA Honorary Degree for their outstanding services and contributions to the chapter: Taylor Bergman, Bill Coomer, SISCO-Gail and Josh Overholser, Kim Custenborder with Prosperity Promotions, and 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 FFA also recognized its Proficiency Winners. These members are among the top 4 in the state for their Proficiency. Versailles FFA Proficiency Winners included: Diversified Crop – Reagan Winner; Ag Mechanics and Repair – Cory Timmerman; Dairy Placement – Colin Batten; Poultry Production – Maggie McGlinch; and Dairy Placement – Clay Bergman.

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

Having good record books is a key part of the SAE. 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. 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: 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.

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.

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 awarded 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.

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