VERSAILLES – On March 9, the Versailles FFA Chapter held its 85th annual FFA Parent-Member Banquet at the Versailles High School. The banquet room was packed with over five hundred members, parents, and guests.
Among the list of awards were Honorary FFA Degree Recipients, Chapter Awards, the Induction of the 2020-2021 Versailles FFA Officer Team, and more. The 2019 Banquet was dedicated to the late Jon Gehret.
One order of business was to recognize the Capstone students and their employers. This past year juniors and seniors were both allowed 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, and the plaques were sponsored by the Versailles FFA Alumni.
The senior Capstone employees and employers include: Kasidy Dross, BMI; Sarah Hart and Bradley Fullenkamp, Subway; Sam Gilmore, Weaver Eggs Garage; Nick Monnier, Direct Tool; Evan Rammel, Pohl Transportation; Laney Petitjean, Midmark; Lewis Winner, Kenn-Feld Group; Deanna Hesson, Greenville Ace Hardware; Logan Winner, DL Winner Livestock Express; Chad Shimp, Westfoot Construction; Payton Niekamp, John Schmitmeyer Dairy Farm; Troy May, Indian Stone Holsteins; Cole Prenger, Urb Drees Construction; Jack Barga, Barga Construction, LLC; Austin Timmerman, SISCO; Sarah Hess and Adam Cordonier, Brilliant Beginnings; Isaac Gilmore, JK Pallet; Nathan Wagner, Weaver Eggs-Defresh; Kameron Marchel, Francis Manufacturing; and Evan Keller, Smith Pallets and Poultry.
The junior FFA members and their Capstone employers include: Sam Bensman and Evan Clark, Smith Pallet and Poultry; Luke Billenstein, Billenstein Farms; Elliot George, TNT Installation; Xavier Grillot, Burkettsville Garage; Austin Nerderman, Schmitmeyer Farms; Hayden Yagle, Tooling Technology; Gage Holmes, Knapke Farms LLC; Gregory Bohman, Francis Manufacturing; Jason Meascher, Custom Foam; and Karl Kelch, Lance Kelch Tree Farm.
The following people and businesses were awarded an FFA Honorary Degree for their outstanding services and contributions to the chapter which included Ryan Sornsen, Gary and Jill Gehret, Krista Harman, and Brittney Harman and the Life Skills Class.
Former members inducted into the Hall of Fame were David Barlage, Issac Gehret, Jamie Hart, Sean Bescker, Sarah Giganget.
The FFA also recognized its Proficiency Winners who completed an 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. Versailles FFA Proficiency Winners are Goat Production, Noah Barga; Sheep Production, Emma Peters; Ag Sales Placement, Austin Timmerman; Swine Placement, Luke Billenstein; Dairy Placement, Renea Schmitmeyer. Chapter Proficiency winners include: Poultry Production, Emma George; Diversified Livestock Production, Cory Timmerman; Vegetable Production, Breanna Nieport; and Wildlife Management Proficiency, Alex Kaiser
Individuals with outstanding record books were recognized – Eighth Grade Class: Trevor Luthman, Camille George, Jacob Mescher, Dakota Overholser, Kricket Petitjean and Riley Kruckeburg; Freshmen Class: Gabe Marchal, Luke Winner, Emily Delzeith and Asa Demange; Sophomore Class: Wesley Gehret, Jayden Groff, Elizabeth May and Caleb Fraley; Junior Class: Gage Holmes, Madison Henry, Darian Feltz, Jason Mescher, and Victoria Wuebker; and Senior Class: Lewis Winner, Evan Rammel, Trent Langenkamp, Nathan Wagner, and Payton Neikamp.
High Scholastics is an important part of each high school student’s life. The Versailles FFA Chapter recognized students from each class who excelled in academics in all high school classes. Outstanding Scholarship Winners: Eighth Grade Class: Zoe Billenstein, Tori Tyo, Kaleb Petitjean, Holly Langenkamp, and Levi Barga; Freshman Class: Joe Ruhenkamp; Sophomore Class: Dalton Hesson, Delaney Barga, Caleb Kaiser, and Jaydon Groff; Junior Class: Cayla Batten, Luke Billenstein, and Kennedy Hughes; and Senior Class: Emma Peters and Bradley Didier
The fruit selling winners are as followed: Top selling family, Deanna and Dalton Hesson; second place family, Alex and Greg Dircksen; and third place family, Owen, Carlie, and Tyler Gehret. The top selling individual was Laura Wuebker; second place individual, Ian Gehret; and third place individual, Darian Feltz.
2020 State FFA Degree Candidates include Kobe Epperly, Madison Henry, Victoria Wuebker, Elliot George, Xaiver Grilliot, Breanna Nieport, Luke Billenstein, Noah Barga Alex Kaiser, Emma George, Renea Schmitmeyer, Darian Feltz, Chloe Grilliot, Emma Peters, Emma Gasson, Sam Gilmore, and Anna Barlage. This is the most Versailles FFA State Degree candidates the program’s history.
2020 American Degree Candidates include Shelbie Schmitmeyer, Cole Luthman, Kimberly Winner, Grace McEldowney, Marcus Berger, Kayla Bohman and Dallas Hess.
The highlight of the awards program was the announcement of the top awards. 2020 Eighth Grade Class Star Greenhands: Zoe Billenstein, Grifon Miller, Lydia Gilmore, Cora Trissell and Levi Barga. The 2020 Star in Ag Placement, Austin Timmerman; 2020 Leadership Award, Deanna Hesson; 2020 Achievement Winners, Ian Gehret and Caden Buscher; and the 2020 Star Farmer, Emma Peters.
There were also several scholarships awarded with the help of the Versailles FFA alumni. Cole Luthman, Jacob Wuebker, and Shelbie, who are all majoring in agriculture, each received a $150 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. Lewis Winner received this scholarship and was rewarded with a $1,000 Ag Production Grant. The FFA Alumni also awarded a scholarship in memory of Lester and Marlene Ward. This $2000 scholarship was given to Ian Gehret who is majoring in Ag Business and Animal Science.