WHEATFIELD — The Kankakee Valley Chapter of the FFA held their annual Awards Banquet on Monday, April 15, in the cafeteria of the high school. Members, parents and guests joined Club Sponsor Garett Bitterling in honoring both members and non-members who had made significant contributions to the KV FFA.

Following opening ceremonies and a welcome from President Sonya Odle, Club Secretary Kristy Kohlhagen gave the invocation. All then enjoyed a meal before the presentations began.

At the culmination of dinner, Odle then introduced FFA State President Sami DeLey. Delay, a graduate of Shenandoah High School of Middleton, IN. She spoke about being ready for whatever comes your way and how FFA helps prepare you for that challenge. Career Development Awards then began.

The Soil Career Development Event (CDE) prepares students for careers in natural resources, land management and much more, Daniel Abbring, Lexie Moore, Miranda Dezelich, Bradley Boon, Elizabeth Snyder, Kristy Kohlhagen, Carl Fox, Kent Hamstra, Kelsey Kohlhagen, Jeff Recker, Tyler Frieden and Taylor Anderson all competed in Lafayette at the Beck Agricultural Center on Sept. 26 of 2018. Each received a bronze pin.

Forestry CDE pins went to Lexie Moore, Miranda Dezelich, Bradley Boon, Taylor Anderson, Sonya Odle, Alexis Cassell, Tyler Frieden and Dani Beehn for competing at the Beck Center on Nov. 20, 2018. They took seventh place overall.

Parlimentary Procedure pins went to Lexie Moore, Miranda Dezelich, Kristy Kohlhagen, Kelsey Kohlhagen, Tyler Frieden, Brittney Drangmeister and Kirsten West. They competed at Tri-County High School on Nov. 8, 2018, earning fifth place overall.

A Leadership CDE resulted in: Kelsey Kohlhagen winning First Place with a Greenhand demo in Agricultural Business Management; Maxwell Hunter took first in Agricultural Mechanics and qualified for State Competition; Alexis Cassell won first with a Greenhand demo in Agricultural Mechanics; Kent Hamstra was a blue-ribbon winner with a Greenhand demo of Animal Science; Miranda Dezelich and Kristy Kohlhagen took second in Animal Science Demonstration; and, Taylor Anderson and Makayla Lamp took second in Natural Resource Demonstration. Additionally: Sonya Odle competed in Extermporaneous Public Speaking; Mika Goin and Brittney Drangmeister took First Place with a Greenhand demo of Natural Resouces; Krisity Kohlhagen competed in Plant and Science and Prepared Punlic Speaking; Lexie Moore competed with a Traditional Scrapbook; and, Hamstra, Cassell, Anderson, Frieden and Boon cometed with the Quiz Bowl Team.

Four members of the KV FFA were honored with Class Leadership Awards for showing true leadership and growth. The freshman winner was Brittney Drangmeister with sophomore Kirstern West, junior Miranda Dezelich and senior Sonya Odle honored for their respective classes.

In the Envirothon Contest, Daniel Abbring, Miranda Dezelich, Sonya Odle, Kristy Kohlhagen and Lexie Moore competed at Red Mill County Park on March 15 and received seventh place.

Twenty-four members were honored for their participation in the annual FFA Auction and members Jeff Recker and Bradley Boon received Golden Spatulas for their cooking prowess for that event.

Kirsty and Kelsey Kohlhagen were honored for outstanding salesmanship for the annual Fruit Sale fundraiser.

Eighteen first-year members were ushered in by presentation of their Greenhand FFA Degree. These included Bradley Boon, Daniel Beehn, Evan Susnis, Jack Farr, Ryleigh DeVault, Gabbie Oliver, Kolby Barton, Maddie Swart, Makayl Lamp, Jessica Kornacki, Maxwell Hunter, Xavier Newberry, Brittney Drangmeister, Kent Hamstra, Mika Goin, Jeff Recker, Kelsey Kohlhagen and Taylor Anderson.

Three members received the Chapter FFA Degree. They were Tyler Frieden, Trace Hentschel and Kirsten West. Four members were honored for reaching the Hoosier Degree which is the highest accomplishment within the state FFA organization. They were Kristy Kohlhagen, Lexie Moore, Miranda Dezelich and Sonya Odle.

Two individuals that are not club members were presented with the Honorary Chapter FFA Degree and the Distinguished Service Award for their outstanding Service to the Kankakee Valley FFA. So honored were Emma Allen and Steve Inman.

Allen, a KVHS graduate and current teacher at the school was honored for her continued help with preparation for competitions and her general assistance to the local organization.

Inman was honored for his many years of service to the KV FFA and KVHS in general as former FFA Club Sponsor and Agriculture teacher.

Two of the current Agriculture Advisory Board Members, Jason Abbring and Jon Kingma, were recognized and honored, as well.

Jeff Recker, Tyler Frieden, Logun Bolton and Lexie Moore were recognized for competing the prior week in the State Welding CDE. They are awaiting their results.

One student member from each class was honored with the Class Service Award. Freshman Mika Goin, sophomore Tyler Frieden, junior Daniel Abbring and senior Daniel Beehn each received the award for their class.

The Star Greenhand Award, which is given to outstanding first-year members was shared by Kelsey Kohlhagen and Kent Hamstra.. Kristy Kohlhagen received the Purdue Agriculture Junior Scholar Award, given annually to a student that achieves high scholastic success, FFA success, and who are considering furthering their education in an Agricultural field after high school.

The current year’s officer each were then recognized for their contributions. These included: Sonya Odle – Chapter President; Miranda Dezelich – Vice-President; Kristy Kohlhagen – Secretary; Carl Fox – Treasurer; Lexie Moore – Reporter; and, Kirsten West – Sentinel. A break in the awards was then taken with all treated to a “Year-in-Review” slide show.

Bitterling again took the dais and gave fond remembrances of the four seniors who will graduate this year. He spoke of Carl Fox, Kourtney Fritts, Sonya Odle and Dani Dahn.

The final event of the night was the passing of the titles to the next year’s officers. They will be: Lexie Moore – Chapter President; Kristy Kohlhagen – Vice-President; Miranda Dezelich – Secretary; Kirsten West – Treasurer; Kent Hamstra – Reporter; and, Nathan Swafford – Sentinel.