Kansas Future Farmer Fall 2023

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Fall 2023


ON THE COVER: Kansas FFA President Christian

Peña displays the FFA flag at the Grand Drive. (Photo courtesy of Legacy Livestock Imaging) Fall 2023 State Officers Christian Peña

President Sublette

Payton Ryba

Vice President Cheney

Cecillia Newby

Secretary Labette County

Karli Neher

Treasurer Hays

Sage Toews

Reporter Canton-Galva

Kai Cox

Sentinel Northern Valley

State Staff Mr. Guy Shoulders State Advisor, KSDE Ms. Mary Kane State Executive Secretary Ms. Beth Gaines Kansas FFA Foundation Executive Director Mrs. Johanna Anderes Kansas FFA Foundation Development Coordinator

District Officers EAST CENTRAL Adelle Higbie, West Franklin; Bethany DeDonder, North Lyon County; Bree Allen, Prairie View; Emma Self, Anderson County; Wade Enman, Paola; Hayley Hines, Paola NORTH CENTRAL Maddy Krueger, Minneapolis; Noah Goss, Ellsworth; Joni Begnoche, Clay Center; Lillian Hulse, Minneapolis; Ava Oentrich, Junction City; Jacob Wendland, Riley County NORTHEAST Rylie Meinhardt, Wamego; Adelaide Haverkamp, Nemaha-Central; Dustin Denton, Valley Heights; Jennifer Buck, Jackson Heights; Madeline Bontrager, Holton; Chloey Stratham, Axtell NORTHWEST Marisa Wasinger, Hays; Addison Green-Russell, Lakeside; Layton Johnson, Phillipsburg; Ruby Gosmel-Osthoff, Smith Center; Emma Karst, Russell; Teagen Pfeifer, Russell SOUTH CENTRAL Connor Blubaugh, Haven; Kaitlyn Bina, Centre; Kylee Simons, Renwick; Stetson Shook, Arkansas City; Jase Beltz, Canton-Galva; Kate Haines, Wellington SOUTHEAST Ainsley Norton, Girard; Bryon Fry, Uniontown; Addy Boaz, Erie; Lyle Perrier, Eureka; Tucker Leck, Neodesha; Cody Burns, Girard SOUTHWEST Madison Seyb, Stanton County; Nicole Bustillos, Hugoton; Lincoln Martin, Bucklin; Harlee Tilley, Bucklin; Kaylen Langhofer, Southwestern Heights; Pasli Werth, Cimarron

by Christian Peña, State FFA President


any great things happened during the busy summer months for Kansas FFA! It started with the 95th Kansas FFA State Convention, where over 2,400 attendees were welcomed to Manhattan to recognize the hard work of members. Students were eager to achieve personal growth by attending Washington Leadership Conference, Chapter Leadership Training, and District Officer Conference. These experiences allowed the opportunity to meet new people, plan activities for the year ahead and gain leadership skills. With our first four months of state office coming to a close, the officers and I could not be more excited about what lies ahead within our year of service. The Kansas State Fair has come to a close and we all had a blast being able to work alongside

some excellent fair staff. Watching FFA and 4-H members show livestock and display other exhibits including posters, floral arrangements, and ag mechanics projects was exciting. The officers and I have been busy since school started traveling across the state for chapter visits and Greenhand Conferences. Being able to see the young leaders in action and fantastic students who are interested in agriculture is exciting for the future of our industry. The team and I cannot wait to see what the coming months have in store for Kansas FFA!


Kansas FFA members submitted over 1,100 projects at the Kansas State Fair in Leadership, Horticulture, Agronomy and Ag Mechanics. This edition of the Kansas FFA Future Farmer is underwritten by Frontier Farm Credit. Learn more about Frontier Farm Credit at www.frontierfarmcredit.com

State Award Winning


Celebrate the following chapters and members for their accomplishments, recognized at the 2023 Kansas FFA State Convention. State Stars Star in Agribusiness Christian Peña, Sublette Sponsored by Farm Credit Associations of Kansas Star in Ag Placement Abigail Porter, Beloit Sponsored by Kansas Farm Bureau Star Farmer Ella Pachta, Republic County Sponsored by United Bank and Trust

Top Triple Crown Chapters 1 - Ellsworth 2 - Royal Valley 3 - Beloit 4 - Chapman 5 - Oxford

6 - Doniphan West 7 - Holton 8 - Udall 9 - Arkansas City 10 - Riverton

Career and Leadership Development Events Ag Communications - West Franklin FFA Ag Issues – Junction City FFA Ag Sales - Hays FFA Ag Tech. & Management - Chapman FFA Agronomy - Centre FFA Creed Speaking – Anessa Polzin, Stanton County Dairy Cattle Evaluation - Central Heights FFA Discussion Meet – Jackson McCurry, Renwick Employment Skills – Katherine Henderson, Dexter Entomology - Labette County FFA Extemporaneous Public Speaking – Tucker Leck, Neodesha Farm and Ag. Management - Paola FFA Floriculture - Spring Hill FFA

Career and Leadership Development Events cont. Food Science and Tech. - Louisburg FFA Horse Evaluation - Horton FFA Livestock Evaluation - Labette County FFA Marketing Plan – Paola FFA Meats Evaluation - Madison FFA Milk Quality & Products - Louisburg FFA Nursery/Landscape - Louisburg FFA Parliamentary Procedure – Novice – Mission Valley FFA Parliamentary Procedure – Senior – Mission Valley FFA Prepared Public Speaking – Tucker Leck, Neodesha Poultry Evaluation - Louisburg FFA Quiz Bowl – Minneapolis FFA Ritual Demonstration – Hays FFA Scrapbook – Russell FFA Veterinary Science - Labette County FFA

Celebrating Our


These students excelled in their Supervised Agricultural Experience programs and were named state Proficiency Award winners at the 95th Kansas FFA State Convention. Agricultural Education Payton Ryba, Cheney Sponsored by Harmon Bliss Family & Kurt Dillon Family Agricultural Mechanics Design and Fabrication Lawson Jones, Chapman Sponsored by Abilene Machine Agricultural Mechanics Repair and Maintenance - Placement Cole McCorkle, Wellington Sponsored by KanEquip Agricultural Processing Josie Buck, Jackson Heights Sponsored by Santa Fe Trails Meats Agricultural Sales – Entrepreneurship Benjamin Burling, Eudora Sponsored by Harris Crop Insurance Agricultural Sales – Placement Nick Kuntz, Mission Valley Sponsored by Stewart Seed Agricultural Services Ethan Kniesler, Lyndon Sponsored by Farm Credit Associations of Kansas Agriscience Research – Animal Systems Mikayla Dibben, Junction City Sponsored by Kansas FFA Foundation Agriscience Research – Integrated Systems Gracie Karst, Russell Sponsored by Kansas FFA Foundation Agriscience Research – Plant Systems Gracie Karst, Russell Sponsored by Kansas FFA Foundation Beef Production – Entrepreneurship Nissa Olsen, Manhattan Sponsored by Sam & Janet Hands

Beef Production – Placement Emma Aufdemberger, Tonganoxie Sponsored by Tiffany Cattle Co. Dairy Production – Entrepreneurship Cole Meyer, Hanover Sponsored by Kansas Dairy Commission Dairy Production – Placement Kyndall Sextro, Nemaha Central Sponsored by Kansas Dairy Commission Diversified Agricultural Production Madisyn Helwig, Labette County Sponsored by Triangle H Farms, In Memory of Greg Hands Diversified Crop Production – Placement Christian Bain, Oxford Sponsored by Kansas Corn Diversified Horticulture Rebekah Vague, Ellsworth Sponsored by Hummert International Diversified Livestock Production * Delaney New, Holton Sponsored by Harms Plainview Ranch Equine Science – Entrepreneurship Natalee Bray, Pike Valley Sponsored by Kansas FFA Foundation Equine Science – Placement Zane Poulsen, Hugoton Sponsored by United Mosquito & Fly Control Fiber and/or Oil Crop Production Cody Wille, Iola Sponsored by Kansas Soybean Forage Production * Ella Pachta, Republic County Sponsored by Kansas Forage and Grassland Council, Inc. * indicates National Finalist Award Area

Fruit Production Emilee Gaston, Chapman Sponsored by Kansas FFA Foundation Goat Production Tucker Seibert, Chapman Sponsored by Kevin Davis Family Grain Production * Noah Wiley, Labette County Sponsored by Kansas Wheat Landscape Management Christian Peña, Sublette Sponsored by Lawrence Landscape Outdoor Recreation Benton Kerr, Manhattan Sponsored by ONEOK, Inc. Poultry Production Christopher Cain, Mission Valley Sponsored by Amos Kahr Trust Service-Learning Breckon Pearson, Canton-Galva Sponsored by Seitz Fundraising Sheep Production Kacey Butler, Chapman Sponsored by Hobbs Show Lambs

Apply for a

Small Animal Production and Care Carly Dreher, Iola Sponsored by Animal Health Center of Marion County Specialty Animal Production Michaela Neely, Renwick Sponsored by Prairie School Farms Swine Production – Entrepreneurship Tucker Leck, Neodesha Sponsored by Kansas Pork Association Swine Production – Placement Jenna DeRouchey, Wamego Sponsored by Kansas Pork Association Turf Grass Management Landon Schreiber, Blue Valley Sponsored by Sod Shop Inc. Vegetable Production * Augustus Wright, Paola Sponsored by From the Land of Kansas Program Veterinary Science * Cecillia Newby, Labette County Sponsored by Kansas Veterinary Medicine Association Wildlife Production & Management Trey Melton, Republic County Sponsored by Ducks Unlimited


by November 15th

Do you need financial assistance to help start or expand your SAE? A limited

number of grants are available to current FFA members, provided by the Kansas FFA Foundation and the National FFA Foundation. The online application process is open now and closes at 7 p.m. CST on November 15.

A Farmer


Students’ respect and praise propel urban agricultural education teacher into Kansas spotlight.


elcoming urban students into the agricultural education program at Wichita Southeast High School became a game changer for students and the agriculture chapter; propelling teacher and FFA advisor Joanna Farmer into the spotlight; as one of eight finalists for ‘2024 Kansas Teacher of the Year.’

Joanna Farmer with her school dog Jolene. Farmer’s students are able to practice caring for a pet, such as clipping nails, in the classroom.

After winning locally, her district nominated Farmer for state teacher of the year. Although Farmer did not win the overall state title, she feels honored that a student’s parent nominated her for the district title. Farmer already travels across Kansas; representing education to students and lawmakers.

“I am humbled by the experience and hope to gain more knowledge this school year to share with my students,” Farmer said. Starting an agricultural education program was a challenge, since her students come from an urban setting. “I may have three kids a year who ever stepped foot on a farm (usually a grandparent’s farm in another state,)” Farmer said. She ‘won over’ students, school administration

by Amy Hadachek

and the Board of Education; explaining how the program would succeed in an urban setting. “We weren’t working with kids that wanted to be farmers, and students thought - that was all we’d talk about. Our in-house budget was small. Students had big ideas; my first group was taught how to find and write grants. The first two years netted us $25,000 in new funds,” Farmer said.

“No matter how stressed she is, Mrs. Farmer always takes time to help students.” - Raven Kanthamit Kids loved developing a community garden and helping raise chickens, and attending Career Development Events (CDEs) to learn how those worked. “No matter how stressed she is, Mrs. Farmer always takes time to help students. She’s very passionate about what she does,” said senior Raven Kanthamit. Wichita Southeast FFA was incorporated in 2018. The ag program started in 2016. Farmer has been there since its inception. Their program showcases plant science and animal science pathways, and recently added small engine classes to gauge interest in a third pathway. Her own high school graduation class of 35 students is in stark comparison to the 600 students in a grade at Wichita Southeast. Farmer is especially proud of the program’s diversity.

“We’ve grown from a few city kids to the largest FFA chapter in Kansas,” Farmer said. Her students learn that there areagriculture careers for them; as a farmer or other ag opportunities. Growing up in FFA and 4-H in Texas, Farmer’s family raised and showed registered Southdown sheep. Her brothers and she had market pigs, steers, goats, rabbits and chickens. With a biology degree from Pittsburg State University, Farmer married and moved to Wichita for her husband’s job. Responding to a shortage of substitute teachers, she discovered her love of teaching. She later taught at an alternative school featuring hands-on projects; growing plants and starting a hay bale garden. Ultimately, the Wichita Southeast job became available. Farmer reflected...“I am super proud of the effort my students give and their willingness to try something new.”

Start an Agricultural Education Program Here are the Essential Program Standards needed for an accredited Agricultural Education program in Kansas:

1. A credentialed and licensed

Agricultural Education instructor shall be employed in every approved program.

2. Interactive classroom and

laboratory learning is offered through contextual, inquiry-based instruction.

3. Premier leadership, personal

growth and career success are available through engagement in FFA activities and programs.

4. Experiential, service and/or workbased learning are offered through the implementation of a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) program.

5. Operate under the auspices of a program advisory committee.

6. Approved programs must be

offered in accordance with policies and requirements of the Kansas State Department of Education. Contact Guy Shoulders (gshoulders@ksde.org) to learn more about starting a program.

Discover Our


Where’s the Energy?

Premier Chapter: Growing Leaders Finalist

Beloit FFA

Murder Mystery Night Premier Chapter: Growing Leaders Finalist

The chapter wanted to provide the whole school with a leadership opportunity by hosting a breakout room activity based on the board game, Clue. This event was opened to the entire school, giving the student body a chance to grow leadership skills. The FFA members on the committee created breakout rooms with leadership challenges. This event served the members and the student body by giving students a break from school, and a chance to participate in an activity that developed their overall leadership skills. This event let the forty students grow their ability to work together, and work with people they don’t normally see. The eight leadership challenges provided competition and promoted integrity and leadership.

“Where’s The Energy” was designed to raise awareness in the chapter about the effects of energy drinks. Members designated one week a month when energy drinks weren’t allowed in class, and healthier options, such as fruit water, were available. Additionally, members learned effects from a dentist and physician and learned how to make protein balls. Energy drinks can affect heart rhythms, anxiety levels, tooth decay, and more. Members made advancements by trying new, more health-conscious drink decisions, like tea. Additionally, members learned how to make monster cookie protein balls, an easy recipe for anyone to make. This activity provided 1,275 healthy drink options throughout the year. Collectively, 76.5% of members passed health quizes, showing the knowledge gained.

Udall FFA

Bully No More

Premier Chapter: Growing Leaders Finalist Bully No More focused on teaching elementary school students the effects of bullying. Members worked with the Udall elementary school and school counselor to create an engaging presentation for the 3rd and 4th graders. The activity was designed to enhance the lives of students of Udall Elementary through education sessions. Throughout the lesson, students gained knowledge of the four types of bullying; physical, verbal, social, and cyber. Committee members then showed the social, emotional, and physical side effects of bullying. Lastly came the knowledge of how to stop bullying. This information was reinforced in the positive imprints activity, where students write what they can do, to “Bully No More”

Kansas FFA has a record number of chapters nominated for the Premier Chapter award program, where 10 chapters with innovative activities in each of the three divisions (growing leaders, building communities and strengthening agriculture) are recognized at the National FFA Convention, with one winner being named. Learn more about each of our nominees.


Oxford FFA

FFAmily of the Year

Premier Chapter: Strengthening Agriculture Finalist To strengthen relationships with families and community members, Oxford FFA hosted an evening dedicated to family bonding and education about FFA. Members and their families participated in samples of various CDEs. The family with the best score was recognized as the Oxford FFAmily of the Year. This activity presented a unique opportunity for young agriculturalists of the chapter to teach their families about their passions in FFA. Parents gained valuable insight on the agriculture-based events in which their students are competing. In addition to serving as a great recruitment tool for younger siblings that will be the future of the chapter, agriculture is very valued in the Oxford community and bringing multiple generations together to establish understanding is important for the industry.

Sedan FFA

Suicide Awareness Luminary Event

Premier Chapter: Building Communities Finalist To raise awareness for the growing amount of teen suicides in Kansas, the Sedan FFA Chapter lined the sidewalks of Sedan’s Mainstreet with 82 luminaries. The luminaries, comprised of paper bags, sand, and candles, were constructed by chapter members. The 82 luminaries represent the Kansas teens that lost their lives to suicide in 2021 This activity advanced the community by bringing to their attention that there are many teen lives taken by suicide each year. For years, suicide prevention has been a hot topic in the agricultural industry. Awareness is one of the most important steps in lowering suicide rates. Teenagers are the most tolerable group for mental health issues.

1. Think about what current issues your chapter/community are facing. How could your chapter solve them?

2. Get feedback

about your idea from other members and leaders in your area.

3. Create a

committee or task force to accomplish your activity. Specific roles = specific results.

4. Keep track of

how many people participate and the impact of your activity. Quantify your impact!

Meet Our

2023-24 STATE OFFICERS Christian Peña

State President Hometown: Sublette, KS College/University: Kansas State University

“Kansas FFA has given me many opportunities and experiences that have been life changing. Serving Kansas FFA is an honor and I am excited to meet with members, open new doors of opportunities and continue advocating for agriculture.”

Payton Ryba

State Vice President Hometown: Cheney, KS College/University: Cloud County Community College “FFA has made an astronomical impact in my life; making me into who I am today. As a state officer, I strive to be a positive difference maker in members’ lives, just as officers before me.”

Cecillia Newby

State Secretary Hometown: Yates Center, KS College/University: Kansas State University “FFA has become my second home over the past four years. Through this organization, I have had the opportunity to build connections and relationships with others. I look forward to serving Kansas FFA members throughout the next year and learning more about everyone’s experiences and passions within our organization.”

Karli Neher

State Treasurer Hometown: Pfiefer, KS College/University: Colby Community College “Having the opportunity to serve Kansas FFA is a privilege and an honor. I am excited to work with members across the state and have meaningful conversations. FFA has provided me with experiences and opportunities that I am looking forward to sharing with fellow members.”

Sage Toews

State Reporter Hometown: Canton, KS College/University: Kansas State University “I have reaped the benefits of personal growth and development that FFA offers and identified a passion for advocating for the agricultural industry and education. I hope to be of service to young people, who when making the decision to join FFA, are making the decision to reap benefits that will last a lifetime.”

Kai Cox

State Sentinel Hometown: Long Island, KS College/University: North Central Kansas Technical College “Growing up in a rural community, I have been drawn to the agricultural industry and the people in it. When I was shown the many opportunities within FFA, I felt right at home. This year, I will strive to be intentional with FFA members and members of the ag industry. I hope that together we can make the industry better, one step at a time.”

Help us Keep


The Kansas FFA Foundation’s ambitious endowment+ campaign needs your support as it nears its completion.


ver the past decade, Kansas FFA has experienced remarkable growth, with FFA chapters expanding by 30%. This growth is a testament to the dedication of our ag teachers and the enthusiasm of FFA students. However, as the demand for FFA programs has increased, our funding stream has not kept pace. To ensure that future generations of students can benefit from their FFA experience and become the leaders our world needs, we are embarking on an ambitious campaign. Our goal is to raise $5,000,000 for the Kansas FFA Foundation Endowment Fund by the end of 2023. These funds will provide critical support to ag teachers and FFA chapters across the state, enabling us to offer more opportunities and resources to our young agricultural leaders. Your contribution can make a significant difference. By donating to the Kansas FFA Foundation, you are investing in the future of agriculture, education, and leadership in our state. Your generosity will help us continue to nurture the talents and ambitions of FFA students, equipping them with the skills they need to excel in the agricultural industry and beyond. If you believe, as we do, that FFA plays a vital role in shaping the leaders of tomorrow and that our students deserve every opportunity to succeed, I urge you to consider making a donation today. Your support will help us reach our $5 million goal and ensure that the Kansas FFA continues to thrive. To donate and learn more about our campaign, please visit www.ksffa.org/endowment. Thank you for your consideration, and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. Together, we can empower the next generation of Kansas (and beyond!) leaders.

by Johanna Anderes

Kansas FFA Association 110 Umberger Hall 1612 Claflin Road Manhattan, KS 66506

AG TEACHER for the Nominate Your

Golden Owl Award Presented by Nationwide®, the #1 insurer of farms and ranches in the U.S., and the Kansas FFA Foundation, the Golden Owl Award® recognizes agricultural educators for their tremendous contributions to helping the next generation of agricultural leaders. Students, parents, fellow teachers and other supporters can nominate their favorite agricultural teacher and summarize what makes him or her the best in the state.

digitally CONNECT

See our website (www.ksffa.org) for more information on the following: Calendar of Events List of Chapters and Districts List of Foundation Sponsors Awards Programs

Nominations Due December 31st

Give to the Kansas FFA Foundation by scanning the QR code above!

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