Boonville FFA students recognized at State Convention

The Boonville FFA Chapter received multiple awards at the 85th Missouri State FFA Convention in Columbia on April 18 and 19. Jacob Rahmer and Jack Lang won Missouri State Proficiency Awards in their respective Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) areas. Each FFA student is required to participate in an SAE with supervised guidance from advisors Doug Henke and Deanna Thies.
“We are very proud of the accomplishments of our chapter members.  The success at State Convention is just a snapshot of the hard work, dedication, and accomplishments that our students have achieved this year.” Thies and Henke said.
Thies and Henke stated the convention is the highlight of the year for FFA members.  It is two days filled with competition, fun, learning and is a great opportunity tor FFA members all over the state.
According to a release, many convention activities took place ranging from leadership skills to agriculture education.  The Hearnes Center in Columbia was designated the conventions headquarters where the large events were held, including musical talents of other FFA members, observations by the Missouri State Officers and the degree ceremonies.  
Proficiency awards were given to a number of Boonville students. These are  based upon an application that highlights one aspect of a members SAE Program. The application goes through a screening and selection process throughout the Area and State levels. Individuals who progressed to the state level were already winners of Area Six, which includes 21 chapters in the Central District.  Individuals who won first at state will then compete nationally at the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ken.  
Rahmer won first place in the Nursery Operations Entrepreneurship and Placement Proficiency for his SAE in nursery operations. The SAE consisted of many responsibilities, including mowing lawns and planting and caring for plants in his grandmother’s greenhouse. Rahmer also worked at a nearby Christmas tree farm where he was involved in shaping and selling trees, as well as replanting trees in the spring.
“This SAE has improved not only my knowledge of nursery operations, but as improved me as a person,” Rahmer told a Missouri FFA official in an interview. “I believe my interest in nursery operations has helped my personal growth and led me into being a more active FFA member.”
Lang won first at the state level proficiency award in Fiber and/or Oil Crop Production Entrepreneurship and Placement. Lang’s SAE consisted of working for his father, Russell Lang who pays him a fixed salary in addition to his exchange of labor agreements. Lang began his ownership SAE when he became a Greenhand (freshman year). It included raising five head of breeding Black Angus. He then rented 27 acres and planted soybeans.
Kayla Kempf received second place in the Veterinary Science Entrepreneurship and Placement Combined Proficiency. Kempf’s supervised agricultural experience consisted of working at Cooper County Animal Hospital. Her responsibilities included checking in animals, cleaning cages and kennels, administering medications, doing laundry and assisting the veterinarian with appointments.  She said her experience has taught her the importance of animal and owner safety, record keeping and financial management.
“Working at Cooper County Animal Hospital has taught me many skills and increased my interest in working in a field related to animal science, specifically animal health care,” Kempf said.
Haley Innes received second in the Small Animal Production and Care Entrepreneurship and Placement Combined Proficiency. Her SAE expanded on her interest of rabbits, which started at a young age. After working with several different breeds, Innes chose to concentrate on high-quality Mini Lops. She purchased rabbits and raised them to exhibit and sell. Innes has raised and exhibited Mini Lop rabbits that have earned designations as best of variety and best of breed, among others, at district, county and state fairs.
Amee Riley received second-place in the Equine Science Entrepreneurship Proficiency. According to a release Riley’s SAE was inspired by her passion for horses. She started with a couple of horses and began training them for barrel racing. Riley also holds multiple rodeo queen titles.  Her SAE responsibilities included record keeping, financial management and caring for her horses.
Other proficiency awards were given to Austin Timm for Agriculture Mechanical Design and Fabrication, Kendra Stinson for Beef Production-Entrepreneurship, Graham Schuh for Forest Management, Ethan Imhoff for Goat Production, Carley Esser for Poultry Production, Zane Volkmann for Sheep Production, Kole Holliday for Specialty Crop Production and Josh Vollmer for Vegetable Production.
In further news, Stinson received the Missouri Youth in Agriculture Scholarship from the Youth in Agriculture Committee members at the convention. Josiah Searfoss received Area Six Star in Agribusiness.  Area Stars in Agribusiness are selected based upon outstanding achievement in work experience in an agricultural business as part of a student's SAE program and active participation in their FFA chapter. Searfoss' SAE program consisted of trapping animals for furs and pelts. It began in 2009 when his brother-in-law introduced him to trapping. He now traps on more than 15 properties in four counties.  
Boonville native Kenny Swope retired from his position as the Area VI State Vice President for the Missouri State FFA Association. Swope was the first state officer from Boonville since 1980.
Brennan Hammers and Graham Schuh performed Wagon Wheel for the talent portion of the convention while Trent Monk performed with the State FFA Chorus.
Twelve Boonville FFA members were awarded the State FFA Degree, they included: Allie Adair, Brennan Hammers, Ethan Kempf, Kayla Kempf, Ethan Imhoff, Trever Huth, Abby Kircher, Justin Swope, Amee Riley, Josiah Searfoss, Graham Schuh and Austin Timm.
Throughout the two days, seven teams, three individuals, and two books advanced to the state competition.
The following is a list of team members and placements in state competition if any.
• Floriculture: Ethan Kempf, Madison Lester, Kathryn Rodman and Josh Vollmer. Results were 12th Overall, entitling the Team and a Group with a  I Team rating. Ethan Kempf and Josh Vollmer were also recognized as Group I Individuals.
• The Ag Mechanics: Austin Timm, Jack Lang, Ethan Imhoff and Brennan Hammers. Lang was recognized as a Group I Individual.
• Dairy Cattle: Jake Lenz, Alec Viertel, Austin Day and Seth Butler. Jake Lenz was recognized as a Group I Individual.
• Ag Issues: Carley Esser, Melissa Richerson, Richelle Morton, Allie Adair, Jon Brandes, Mitchel Lenz and Robbie Wood.
• Livestock: Amee Riley, Zane Volkmann, Graham Schuh and Sophia Elder.
• Nursery Landscape: Rebecca Kempf, Amanda Hampton and Jake Lenz.
• Soils: Ryan Young, Audra Whitehurse, Lizzie Robb and Taylor Kluck.
• Job Interview: Carley Esser.
• Advanced Prepared Speaking: Zane Volkmann and Melissa Richerson.  
• Timm’s Complete Ownership Record Book and Lang’s Complete Placement Record Book were also on display during state convention earning them state leadership medals.