Versailles holds annual FFA banquet


Versailles FFA Conducts the 89th Annual FFA Banquet

VERSAILLES — On March 11, the Versailles FFA Chapter held its 89th 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 2024-2025 Versailles FFA Officer Team, and much 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 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: Classic Carriers student employes Dominic Barga and junior Blake Schmitmeyer, Gehret Nursery employee Levi Barga, Koenig Equipment employee Alex Dirksen, TWG Carpentry employee Travis George, Do Good Restaurant employees alex Gilmore, Madilyn Kelch, and junior Jensen Bruey, Greenville ACE Hardware employees Cody Groff and Kaleb Petitjean, MB Earthworks employee Carson Heitkamp, Paramount Group employee Levi Johnson, Knapke Farms employee Trevor Luthman, Creekside employee Emma Middendorf, Crown Equipment employee Grifon Miller, Kaden Miller Detailing employee Kaden Miller, Bruns Construction employee Kricket Petitjean, Brilliant Beginnings employe Shelby Spradlin, Frenchtown Trailer Sales employee Logan Williams, and Tooling Technology employee Camden Yagle. The junior employees and employers include: Demange Farms employee Owen Demange, Bensman Welding employee Nick Gehret, All About Tops LLC. employees Quentin Grillot and Luke Kaiser, Versailles Ace Hardware employee Allee Grimme, TNT Insulation employee Trey Huber, Smith Pallets employee Zander Keller, Superior Aluminum employee Andrew Lyons, Pothast Insulation employee Josie Pothast, Line View Dairy Farm employee James Schmiteyer, Kanapke Kitchen and Baths employee Kaden Starkey, Heckman Farms employee Lucas Timmerman, Worch Lumber employee Jeremiah Wagner, and Brian Winner Farms employee Lincoln Winner.

The following people were awarded an FFA Honorary Degree for their outstanding services and contributions to the chapter which included: Ken and Mary Hartke, Lucas and Wes Subler representing Classic Carriers, and Jason and Kelly Billenstein. Former members inducted into the Hall of Fame included 2022 graduates who all received national FFA recognition: Carter Luthman, Wyatt Browder, Alex Mangen, Elise George, Clay Bergman, Lizzy May, Caleb Kaiser, and Cory Timmerman.

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: Dairy Placement; Colin Batten, Poultry Production; Maggie McGlinch, Organic Dairy; Lucas Timmerman, Forestry Management: Danica York, Vegetable Production: Paige Gehret.

Chapter Proficiency winners include: Diversified Crop Production; Grace Borchers.

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: Jake Bergman, Liam Barga, Alayna Dirksen, and Margret Schmitmeyer. Freshmen Class: Ben Pitsenbarger, Isley Demange, Luke Demange, and Brandyn Heitkamp. Sophomore Class: Roger Winner, Jace Bohman, Haley Mescher, and Ruthie Smith. Junior Class: Lauren Grogean, Keira Rahm, and Allie Grimme. Senior Class: Cody Groff, Carlie Gehret, and Grifon Miller.

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: Monica Evers. Freshman Class: Adam Rauh, Patrick McGlinch, Rhylan Broerman, Natalie Gehret, Hank Smith, and Kallie Banks. Sophomore Class: Eden Barga, Sam Albers, Brooke Bergman, Paige Gehret, Shawna Schmitmeyer, Ethan Wilker and Brayden Wagner. Junior Class: Blake Schmitmeyer, Maggie McGlinch, and Andrew Wuebker. Senior Class: Kaleb Petitjean.

The fruit selling winners are as follows: Top selling family was Jacob and Haley Mescher, 2nd place family was Carson and Brandyn Heitkamp, and 3rd place family was Lucas and Nathan Timmerman. The top selling individual was Zander Keller, 2nd place individual was Greta Broering and 3rd place individual was Paige Gehret.

2024 State FFA Degree Candidates were recognized which includes:Dominic Barga, Levi Barga, Colin Batten, Emmit DeMange, Owen DeMange, Nick Gehret, Luke Kaiser, Zander Keller, Karlie Littehn, Andrew Lyons, Maggie McGlinch, Blake Schmitmeyer, James Schmitmeyer, Lucas Timmerman, Jeremiah Wagner, Lincoln Winner, Andrew Wuebker, Danica York.

2023 American Degree Candidates were recognized which includes: Noah Shimp, Regan Winner, Laura Wuebker, Luke Winner, and Haley Smith.

The Chapter also gave recognition to members who assisted with all types of activities during their study hall which include: Ruthie Smith, Shawna Schmitmeyer, Logan Nerderman, Drake Arhens, Delaynee Bulcher, and Jacob Simons.

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

2024 8th Grade Class Star Greenhands: Drew Geisendorff, Brooklyn Livingston, Monica Evers. The 2024 Star in Ag Placement: Trevor Luthman. The 2024 Star Leadership Award: Zoe Billenstein.

There was a scholarship awarded with the help of the Versailles FFA Alumni. Regan Winner, who is 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. Trevor Luthman 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, Zoe Billenstein received this scholarship.

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