The Crestview FFA celebrated the 55th Annual Chapter Banquet on April 19, 2018. The banquet is a time where members of the Crestview FFA Chapter can recognize their accomplishments and past members accomplishments. Since 1964, the chapter has continued this living tradition, producing 7 Ohio State FFA Degree recipients and 2 American degree recipients this year.
The night began with the FFA President, Kathy Lehman, welcoming the members and guest that attended the banquet. Next, Alumni member Andy Motter, gave a welcome. Then, Emma Ardis, the Crestview FFA Vice President, gave the invocation for the food which was prepared by Dave Grauer and Joni Esbenshade. Dave Grauer prepared smoked brisket and pork loin while Joni Esbenshade prepared the sides and desert. Following the introduction and meal, The Student Labor Auction took place. The Student Labor Auction is where students sign up to get sold to either do four hours of labor, or to plant four flats of flowers, and the flowers are from the FFA Greenhouse. Crestview FFA member Leo Ringler served as auctioneer. This year the Crestview FFA Chapter made over $4,000 from the Student Labor Auction. Also the Alumni Silent Auction made over $1,000 for scholarships.
After the meal, Student Labor Auction, and Silent Auction, members and guests moved to the auditorium for the award ceremony. The award ceremony started with the FFA opening ceremony performed by the 2017-2018 officer team. The officer team consist of Kathy Lehman, President; Emma Ardis, Vice President; Erin Bernhard, Secretary; Sierra Schaffer, Treasurer; Elly Motter and Sierra May, Co-Reporters; Savannah Stuart, Student Advisor; Molly Ardis, Sentinel; Brynn Witmer, Officer at large. After the opening ceremony, three senior members delivered their retiring officer address. The three seniors who spoke were; Kathy Lehman, Emma Ardis, and Brynn Witmer.
The first year members recognized at the banquet were the Greenhand Degree recipients. Greenhand Degrees are awarded to first year members who are considered “green” because they’re still new and inexperienced. In order to receive the Greenhand Degree, you must meet the requirements set by the National FFA Organization, be enrolled in FFA, conduct an accurate SAE project, learn the FFA creed, explain the FFA emblem, colors, and symbols, demonstrate parliamentary procedure, and turn in the Greenhand Degree application. This year 33 members received their Greenhand Degrees, they are: Olivia Amert, Frankie Ardis, Alivia Barber, Austin Barcroft, Andrew Bright, Jessica Brown, Cody Cervantes, Dallas Cremeans, Payton Eichelberger, Kataria Fidler, Catherine Fussner, Collin Glaze, Leighla Gray, Evan Hamilton, Austin Hendrix, Brandie Hill, Chely Holzworth, Logan Hunter, Destiny LaFever, Grayson Littleton, Mariah Maynard, Kennedy Moore, Carson Ringler, Nick Ritchey, Breannah Roberts, Chase Shifflet, Kenndi Smith, Josh Sancato, Seth Stephens, Arianna Tackett, Jor-el Taylor, Austin Waidler, and Patricia Whitt.
The next step in the degree process is Chapter Degree. The Chapter Degree is typically awarded to students after their second or third year of membership in FFA. In order to receive the Chapter Degree members must meet the requirements set by the National FFA Association and had already received their Greenhand Degree, completed 180 hours of systematic schooling in agricultural education, participated in the planning and conduction of at least three FFA activities in the FFA program of activities, and must have productively earned and invested $150 in their SAE. Further requirements include; effectively run a 15 minute class discussion, demonstrate five abilities of parliamentary procedure, have a satisfying academic record, and submit the Chapter Degree application. This year 19 members received their Chapter Degree. The Chapter Degree recipients this year were: Sage Baith, Skyler Branham, Logan Burkhart, Emily Fry, Caden Hill, Garrett Hunt, Levi KIbler, Lillian Kinstle, Sierra May, Eden McFarland, Alexia McWhorter, Elly Motter, Carter Nelson, Leo Ringler, Sierra Schaffer, Austin Smith, McKinnley Snyder, James Stuart, and Allene Watson.
Only two percent of all FFA members receive the next step in the Degree process. This step is the State Degree, in order to receive the State Degree the applicant must fulfill the requirements set by the National FFA organization. Also recipients must have produced earned and invested more than $1,000 and have $3,000 of gross income or worked 1,000 hours job placement. Furthermore, members must have participated in numerous FFA activities and leadership development activities. Also members must participate in community service. Recipients of The State Degree will receive their award at State Convention in Columbus, Ohio on May 3rd. This year seven members earned their State Degree. Recipients included; Molly Ardis, Savannah Stuart, Kelsey Boyer, Kaitlyn Hunt, Dylan LaFever, Kayona LaForest, and Brynn Witmer.
Following the State Degree award, the Chapter announced that added two names to the ever growing list of American Degrees. This American Degree is the highest degree that an FFA member can obtain. In order to get this degree the members must fulfill the requirements set by the National FFA organization and requires an outstanding amount of hardwork and dedication to the Chapter. The two recipients of this award are Dawson Lafever and Kadie Myers.
Next was CDE recognition. Career Development events are competitive activities that allow students to use knowledge learned in classroom to real life situations, and explore opportunities in agriculture. This year the Crestview FFA Chapter recognized members and teams that placed top 20 percent at the district level, as well as State and National contest participants. This year our Chapter had an outstanding Urban Soil Team that consisted of Kathy Lehman, Brynn Witmer, Erin Bernhard, and Kaitlyn Hunt. They placed 4th at the state level and will be traveling to Oklahoma City on May 1st for the National Soils competition. Also our chapter had an impressive Parliamentary Procedure team who consisted of Emma Ardis, Kathy Lehman, Brynn Witmer, Erin Bernhard, Molly Ardis, Sierra May and Elly Motter. The team got top two at sub-districts and placed fourth at state.
Following CDE recognition was Proficiency Awards. This year the Crestview FFA is pleased to have the opportunity to recognize three Ohio FFA proficiency finalist. These finalist will compete at the state convention to be recognized as having the best SAE project in their proficiency area. The proficiency award is awarded to members who through their SAE’s have developed specialized skills that they can apply toward their future careers. The members receiving this award include Justin Bond for Dairy Placement, Emma Ardis for Veterinary Science, and Kathy Lehman for Beef Production.
After Proficiency Awards, the Chapter recognized Star Greenhand and Star Chapter award. To be a Star Greenhand, you must have good attitude, exhibit outstanding leadership skills, and be willing to go above and beyond everyday expectations. This years Star Greenhand went to Destiny LaFever. The Star Chapter Award is presented to a second year Ag student who had demonstrated strong work ethic and has a developed SAE project. Recipient must also be an active part in our chapter’s activities, and maintain a positive attitude as they continue to develop leadership skills. This years Star Chapter Award was presented to Elly Motter, Sierra May, Leo Ringler, and Sierra Schaffer.
The Outstanding Committee Chair was presented next. The Outstanding Committee Chair is given to the chairperson who showed excellence in their efforts to complete their committee duties and best represent the Crestview FFA. This years Outstanding Committee Chair was presented to Kenzie Workman.
Following Outstanding Committee Chair was Outstanding Sales. Outstanding Sales is awarded to members who raise the largest amount of funds for the Crestview FFA by participating in the chapter's multiple fundraisers throughout the year. This year the Outstanding Sales award was present to Savannah Stuart, Jay Oswalt, Peyton Eichleberger, Kaitlyn Hunt, and Kathy Lehman.
Next was Outstanding Juniors. Outstanding Junior Award goes to members who go above and beyond demonstrating hardwork and leadership in the FFA program. The two juniors who were presented with Outstanding Junior Award, are both hardworking and display the qualities that all FFA members strive to process. This year Outstanding Junior Award was presented to Molly Ardis and Savannah Stuart.
Then Outstanding Senior was presented to nine seniors who demonstrate strong student leadership, dedication, and hard work to keep the Chapter successful. Each senior has made a positive impact on the Crestview FFA Chapter by using good character, leadership, and involvement to continue to improve the Chapter. Outstanding Senior Award was presented to Emma Ardis, Erin Bernhard, Kelsey Boyer, Kaityln Hunt, Dylan LaFever, Kayona LaForest, Kathy Lehman, Jay Oswalt, and Brynn Witmer.
Following the Outstanding Senior Award, The Crestview FFA Alumni awarded 12 seniors the Alumni Scholarship with Living Legacy Fund. The Crestview FFA began the Living Legacy Fund in 2001 throughout generous donations and fundraisers. The following seniors were awarded The Living Legacy Award: Emma Ardis, Erin Bernhard, Kelsey Boyer, Clayton Eagle, Lane Fry, Kaitlyn Hunt, Dylan LaFever, Kayona LaForest, Kathy Lehman, Jay Oswalt, and Mackenzie Workman. Also Brynn Witmer was awarded the LeMac Farms Scholarship.
Next Chapter President, Kathy Lehman, and Vice President, Emma Ardis, Awarded the Honorary Chapter Degree. Honorary Chapter Degree recipients are chosen by the chapter at a regular business meeting by majority vote. The honorary members are individuals who have been nominated for helping the chapter expand, grow, and succeed in the past several years. The chapter could not have obtained its many accomplishments without the support of these Honorary Chapter Degree recipients. The first recipients of the Honorary Chapter Degree was Gary and Angie Lehman. Mr. and Mrs. Lehman have shown continuous support to the chapter in numerous ways. Such as: hauling grain to evelators during the harvest of the school farm test plots. They also have been generous in letting the chapter use their tractors for test plots and Food For America. Mr. and Mrs. Lehman have also donated their time and land by providing the chapter with soil practice pits for competing teams in the fall. They also have donated to the Alumni Hog Raffle many times. The second and final recipient of the Honorary Chapter Degree was presented to Greg Ramsay. Mr. Ramsay has shown continuous support towards the FFA program throughout the years. Greg’s biggest contribution has been toward out school farms. Mr.Ramsay’s equipment has allowed the chapter to successfully plant and harvest test plots for the last several years.
Concluding the banquet was the installation of the 2018-2019 officer team. The new officers are: Sierra May, President; Molly Ardis and Elly Motter, Vice President; Sierra Schaffer, Secretary; Allene Watson, Treasurer; Emily Fry and Destiny LaFever, Reporter; Savannah Stuart, Student Advisor; Leo Ringler, Sentinel; Kennedy Moore, Officer at Large.
Submitted by Destiny LaFever, Student Reporter