On Friday, April 20, the Miami Trace FFA held its annual banquet at Miami Trace High School. The chapter recognized members, advisors, parents and other community members that helped make the last year such a success. Many members were also recognized for having numerous achievements throughout the year.
Retiring president Garrett Hagler gave the welcome followed by members Abbi Pettit and Kylie Pettit with the introduction of special guests. Freshmen members, Olivia Fliehman and Abigail Mick, introduced first-year members along with their parents. The invocation was given by junior member and retiring reporter, Meri Grace Carson. There were approximately 500 people in attendance and the meal was catered by The Crown Room of Washington Court House.
To begin the award portion of the banquet, there were numerous scholarships presented to senior FFA members. Miami Trace FFA Alumni Treasurer Robin Beekman presented the FFA Alumni scholarships to the following seniors: BJ Anders, Rachel Campbell, Ryan Arledge, Quinton Waits, Kasi Payton, Preston Huff, Seth Simonson, Hannah Rose, Morgan Miller, and Jackie Wisecup. Garrett Hagler received the Cummings Memorial Scholarship. The Wendt Group Scholarship was awarded to Abby Pitstick. Noah Bobbitt received the Steven Bennett Scholarship. Gretchen Ivers was the recipient of the Mark Garland Scholarship. There were four recipients of the Justin Stuckey scholarship: Heath Cockerill, Maddi Wallace, JM Perrill, and Dylan Lovett. Garrett Hagler was the recipient of the Evans Family Scholarship as well as the AGCO Corporation Scholarship, sponsored by Mayer Farm Equipment. In total, Miami Trace FFA Seniors received a total of $19,500 in scholarships thanks to the hard work of the Miami Trace Alumni organization, sponsoring families and businesses in the community.
Every year, the Miami Trace FFA officer team works very hard to have a successful year. Miami Trace High School Assistant Principal Bryan Sheets presented the retiring officer plaques to the 2017-2018 officer team. Those receiving the plaques were: chapter development Kylie Pettit, student development Regan Hagler, community development Kasi Payton, student advisor Rebecca Heckathorn, sentinel Dylan Lovett, reporters Meri Grace Carson and Abbi Pettit, treasurers Tori Evans and Quinton Waits, secretary Madison Wallace, vice president JM Perrill, and president Garrett Hagler.
The highest honor an FFA Chapter can bestow on any individual is the Honorary Chapter Degree. This year, the chapter honored one individual, Rebekah Milstead. She is a strong supporter of the FFA chapter and is always willing to lend a helping hand, offer guidance and work with the FFA chapter on a variety of community service activities. Although she is a teacher, she still manages to make her way down to the Ag Department almost every day and offer her help wherever needed. The chapter is extremely thankful for her continual support of the Miami Trace FFA Chapter.
Beekman presented the special FFA foundation awards. These awards included the top fruit and strawberry salesmen. This year the chapter fruit sale brought in $99,898, and the strawberry sale brought in $16,809. Both of these sales help fund many chapter activities. The top 10 fruit salesmen were JM Perrill ($6,044), Quinton/Tori Waits ($4,226), Kylie Pettit ($3,742), Aubrey Schwartz ($3,510.50), Meri Grace/Graham Carson ($3,364), Tori Evans ($3,308.50), Rebecca Heckathorn ($2,704), Tyler Eggleton ($2,543.50), Garrett/Regan Hagler ($2,251), and Andrea Robinson ($2,149). The top five strawberry salesmen were Meri Grace/Graham Carson ($1,136), Lahni Stachler ($929), Kylie Pettit ($806), Abbi Pettit ($598), and Andrea Robinson ($598).
Multiple officers and members presented leadership awards, outstanding member awards, and scholarship awards. This year we have 10 State FFA Degree recipients: Ryan Arledge, Meri Grace Carson, Tori Evans, Preston Huff, Cole Karnes, Abbi Pettit, Trevor Pursell, Andrea Robinson, Seth Simonson, and Madison Wallace. These members will receive their degrees on Friday, May 4 at the State FFA Convention. There are eight members receiving their American Degrees this year from the chapter, that include: Thomas Bondurant, Cody Clyburn, Makayla Eggleton, Riley Evans, Caroline Hughes, Abbie Noble, Bailey Perrill, and Bethany Reiterman. American Degree recipients will receive their degrees at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind. in late October.
Proficiency awards are awarded to students who excel in the development of their SAE (Supervised Agricultural Experience) project. In the area of beef production, Garrett Hagler operates the beef breeding operation on his family’s farm. While expanding his operation, Garrett increased his pasture size and utilized a variety of cover crops to maintain nutritional intake for his herd while decreasing overhead costs. He started out with only two head of Angus cows and in four years, has expanded to 25 breeding cows. Garrett is currently in the Top 4 at the state level and is awaiting an interview in May for his final placing.
In the area of diversified crop production, JM Perrill worked with corn and soybeans at Perrill Farms. His duties included operating the grain cart, plow, vertical till, and other crop production equipment. He did general maintenance and cleaned out the semis and other farm equipment. He also cleaned out grain bins, did weed-eating, and mowing around the farm. Over the past three years, JM has worked over 1,242 hours and earned over $12,000. JM placed second at districts.
In the area of fiber & oil crop production, Todd Peterson has spent many hours working for Peterson Farms. Along with working for Peterson Farms, Todd has also raised his own soybean crop. He raised 85 acres of soybeans and averaged 64 bushels to the acre. Todd is currently in the Top 4 at the state level and is awaiting a further interview in May for his final placing. Todd Peterson also utilized his knowledge from the agronomy and grain merchandising CDEs in overseeing his own crop production enterprise in the area of grain production. Todd has had the opportunity over the past four years to grow wheat and bale straw, along with corn and soybeans last year. Through hard work and successful planning, he was able to harvest 45 acres of wheat, 180 acres of corn, and over 2,000 bales of straw. Todd is currently in the Top 4 at the state level and is awaiting a further interview in May for his final placing.
In the area of veterinary science, Quinton Waits started his SAE at the Fayette Veterinary Hospital with 56 volunteer hours in 2014. He soon began assisting with setting animals up for x-rays and surgical procedures, and riding along on some farm calls. Quinton is also responsible for taking inventory and storing supplies, as well as a wide variety of other tasks. Over the past two-and-a-half years, Quinton’s placement project has earned him more than 379 paid hours and $3,550. Quinton placed second at districts.
In the area of small animal production and care, sophomore Aubrey Schwartz has a rabbit breeding business. In 2017, her operation consisted of 30 head of breeding does where she produced 84 kits that were marketed to local 4-H and FFA members as market fair projects. Aubrey placed second at districts.
In the area of swine production – entrepreneurship, Meri Grace Carson oversees a small crossbred breeding operation. Over two years in production, she has produced 43 head of pigs that she has marketed for summer and winter shows at the local, state and national level. Meri Grace is currently in the Top 4 at the state level and awaiting an interview in May to determine her placing.
In the area of agricultural sales – placement, senior Rebecca Heckathorn invested more than 2,350 hours in the past two years at our local Family Farm & Home agribusiness. She began by helping customers find farm and garden supplies, rotating and restocking merchandise, and completing inventory. In a short period of time, Rebecca received additional training and was named manager over livestock feeds and medications. Rebecca is currently in the Top 4 at the State level and is awaiting a further interview in May for her final placing.
Leadership awards are based on the FFA Leadership Profile Assessment. Members receive points for their various activities, participation, along with chapter activities. The freshman leadership award recipients received garment bags. Those recipients were: Kyler Adkins, Haylee Anders, Luke Anders, Wyatt Atley, Kyler Batson, Graham Carson, Colin Farrens, Olivia Fliehman, Tayor Moore, Lahni Stacher, and Lydia Zwoll.
The sophomore leadership award recipients received personalized yeti cups. These awards were presented to Grant DeBruin, Morgan Eggleton, Regan Hagler, Jacob Harris, Kylie Pettit, Anita Pursell, Aubrey Schwartz, Benjamin Speakmen, Victoria Waits, and Matthew Warner.
Junior leadership awards received personalized fleece pullovers. These recipients were: Cassandra Baird, Meri Grace Carson, Callyne Cockerill, Wyatt Cory, Tyler Eggleton, Tori Evans, Khenadi Grubb, Abbi Pettit, Trevor Pursell, Becca Ratliff, and Andrea Robinson.
Senior leadership award recipients received fleece blankets, these recipients were: BJ Anders, Ryan Arledge, Blake Bradshaw, Garrett Hagler, Rebecca Heckathorn, Dylan Lovett, Charley Milstead, Kasi Payton, JM Perrill, Abby Pitstick, Quinton Waits, and Maddi Wallace.
Along with leadership awards, Outstanding FFA Member Awards are given each year to those most involved in the chapter activities. The top 10 outstanding members of the chapter were 1. Rebecca Heckathorn 2. Meri Grace Carson 3. Kylie Pettit 4. Tori Evans 5. Lahni Stachler 6. Quinton Waits 7. JM Perrill 8. Aubrey Schwartz 9. Graham Carson 10. Garrett Hagler. The top 10 members received laptop bags that were personalized with “Miami Trace FFA” and the FFA logo.
Every year two freshman members are bestowed with the title of Star Greenhand. These members are the most involved in leadership and chapter activities throughout the year in the freshmen class. This year the Star Greenhands were Graham Carson and Lahni Stachler. Also, one senior member is awarded the title of Star Chapter Member. This member is rated on their involvement over the course of four years. The Star Chapter Member for 2017 was JM Perrill. The chapter also rewards a member as the Star Chapter Agribusiness Member. This is based on how many points the member has earned over their four years in the MT FFA Chapter. This year the winner was Rebecca Heckathorn.
The Miami Trace FFA is also concerned with academics and encourages members to excel in this area. In order to receive an FFA Scholarship Award, a member must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5. The members that receive this award are rewarded with a pin that the member can wear on their FFA jackets. The freshman scholarships were awarded to Haylee Anders, Luke Anders, Jillian Anthony, Wyatt Atley, Reagan Barton, Kyler Batson, Graham Carson, Ella Coe, Adrienne Dollarhide, Siara Eggleton, Colin Farrens, Olivia Fliehman, Addison Little, Bo Little, Emily McNeal, Saylor Moore, Taylor Moore, Lahni Stachler, Gracee Stewart, Luke Zimmerman, and Lydia Zwoll.
The sophomore scholarship awards were given out to Abby Arledge, Grant DeBruin, Morgan Eggleton, Cole Enochs, Olivia Fullmer, Regan Hagler, Jacob Harris, Aubrey McCoy, Kylie Pettit, Anita Pursell, Aubrey Schwartz, Devan Thomas, and Victoria Waits.
The junior scholarship awards were given to Meri Grace Carson, Callynne Cockerill, Wyatt Cory, Tyler Eggleton, Tori Evans, Khenadi Grubb, Abbi Pettit, and Andrea Robinson.
The senior scholarships were given to Adam Ginn, Garrett Hagler, Morgan Miller, JM Perrill, Abbygail Pitstick, Hannah Rose, Jillian Sollars, Quinton Waits, and Jacklynn Wisecup.
The banquet would not be complete without the announcement of the newly elected 2018-2019 FFA officers. The new officer team consists of president – Meri Grace Carson, vice president – Abbi Pettit, secretary – Andrea Robinson, treasurers – Morgan Eggleton and Cassandra Baird, reporter – Aubrey Schwartz, publicity reporter – Aubrey McCoy, student advisor – Anita Pursell, sentinel – Regan Hagler, Growing Leaders – Graham Carson, Developing Communities – Lahni Stachler, Strengthening Ag – Wyatt Atley, and Farm Manager – Luke Anders.
The officers were installed at the conclusion of the banquet.
The Miami Trace FFA Chapter is proud to provide premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through 55 years of tradition. The Miami Trace Agricultural Education department is a satellite program of Great Oaks Career Campuses.