Kansas Future Farmer - Winter 2023

Page 1



Winter 2023

State Officers

Karlie Albright



Aidan Yoho

Emma Kepley



Mackenzie Anderson

State Staff

ON THE COVER: Jacque Gabbert, Marmaton Valley instructor, assists a student with his welding skills during class.

President Royal Valley

Vice President


Secretary Yates Center

Treasurer Riverton

Reporter Skyline

Sentinel Renwick

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


Peyton Sherron, Spring Hill; Ben Burling, Eudora; Brynn Collier, Jayhawk-Linn; Halle Finnerty, Burlington; Hayley Hines, Paola; Adelle Higbie, West Franklin


Jaren Aurand, Pike Valley; Noah Goss, Ellsworth; Allison Abeldt, Chapman; Kiersten Morgan, Pike Valley; Maddy Krueger, Minneapolis; Abby Porter, Beloit


Jenna DeRouchey, Wamego; Haden Doyle, Jackson Heights; Tyree Figge, Onaga; Olivia Rickel, Royal Valley; Ella Gantz, McLouth; Abby Robinson, Royal Valley


Amelia Jaeger, Hays; Cappi Hoeting, Stockton; Karli Neher, Hays; Kaley Wagner, Smith Center; Kai Cox, Northern Valley; Layton Johnson, Phillipsburg


Sage Toews, Canton-Galva; Payton Ryba, Cheney; Jaymee Renfro-Dubovich, Maize; Brylee Budde, Newton; Lilly Coldren, Buhler; Stetson Shook, Arkansas City


Cecillia Newby, Labette County; Zoe Rhodes, Girard; Ainsley Norton, Girard; Lyle Perrier, Eureka; Morgan Way, Coffeyville; Bryon Fry, Uniontown


Christian Pena, Sublette; Orinn Norris, Lakin; Abigail Zabel, Satanta; Areli Rodriguez, Stanton County; Lincoln Martin, Bucklin; Kyler Sheldon, Kiowa County

From across the state of Kansas, to Indianapolis, and even to Costa Rica, my officer team and I have loved getting to meet with FFA members, explore the agriculture industry and share the story of our organization in 2022. This fall brought so many cool opportunities for members, like national successes which we’ll highlight in this issue, to experiences in the classroom learning more about future career options.

As we begin a new year, it’s time to gear up for the excitement that spring brings in the FFA. We kick off this season with National FFA Week! My teammates and I will be visiting more than 20 chapters and organizations during the week, and we are so excited to be able to experience so many unique FFA Week chapter


traditions. You can share your own chapter FFA Week traditions by tagging us in your social posts and using #ksffaweek.

Let’s take the momentum from this past year into 2023 and continue to show why Kansas FFA members are the future of our state.

The first National FFA Week was held in 1948. For 76 years, members have used FFA week to celebrate the organization in their communities.

This edition of the Kansas FFA Future Farmer is underwritten by American Ag Credit. Learn more about American Ag Credit at https://www.agloan.com/

Pulling in Community

The Pike Valley agricultural education program engages multiple community members, says Katie Carlgren, agricultural education instructor and FFA advisor in Scandia.

“We are fortunate that the community is highly invested in our school, people and businesses,” says Carlgren. “Investing in our young people is an investment in the future. I am proud of the rapport we have with our partners.”

Raised in the local area, Carlgren brings in deep relationships to benefit her students.

“I strive to make connections between the community and students whether through guest speakers, field trips, inclusion in projects or features on social media,” says Carlgren. “Agriculture is our area’s number one industry, and I believe that also helps us to continue fostering relationships that benefit not only our chapter but local business and people.”

The chapter engages with social media, newspaper, radio and word-of-mouth networking. Constantly exploring and investigating new opportunities, the chapter experienced strong growth over the past eight years.

“We have students who are traditional agriculture students that come from a production or agribusiness background, but we also have students who live in town with no background,” says Carlgren. “That is one of the beautiful things about our program; we developed a culture that people want to be a part of with more than just production.”

As a 1A school in North Central Kansas, nearly 75% of the student population are FFA members, who are active and involved.

“Our culture developed an opportunity for everyone to find success if they choose, try new things, as well as embrace a diverse membership of traditional and non-traditional agriculture students,” says Carlgren.

The Pike Valley Chapter encourages students to embrace change and be change makers.

“Thinking outside the box is a mantra of sorts for myself and our chapter,” says Carlgren. “I coach the students to be constantly reflecting and thinking about how we can live the FFA motto and share the message of agriculture and leadership.”

As a teacher who transitioned into agricultural education from a different career, Carlgren’s previous experience outside of the classroom influences the program.

“It allows me to have some different perspectives on content, instruction, relationships and the ‘business’ of running a successful program,” she says. “When I was in high school, I wanted to be an agriculture teacher, but thought I wouldn’t be ‘right’ for it so changed my direction. I am a better teacher because of my path.”

The chapter also chartered a new alumni and supporters chapter in 2022.

“Our board and members are composed of individuals who are Pike Valley alumni, alumni from different programs in the state and even people who were never in FFA but believe in what we are doing and want to support it,” says Carlgren.

Pike Valley agricultural education instructor Katie Carlgren utilizes community support for her programming. Story by Lucas Shivers Pike Valley FFA members pose for their chapter photo.

What it Takes

Kansas FFA teams and individuals share how they took top honors in CDE and LDEs at nationals.

Earning national credentials takes full focus for showcasing skills.

“Representing Kansas was such a tremendous opportunity, and on the national level, it was a true honor to represent my state,” says Tucker Leck of Neodesha FFA.

After being named the Kansas Creed Speaking Leadership Development Event (LDE) winner in 2022, Leck looked forward to the national contest this past fall.

“In all honesty, in the weeks leading up to traveling to Indianapolis, I became extremely nervous. I wanted to make the people of Kansas and the members of FFA proud,” says Leck. “I never imagined becoming a national finalist.”

Leck practiced with his mom, dad, and brother as well as teachers and his entire high school.

“Honestly, I’m sure that all of them knew the creed better than me by the time national convention rolled around, and it’s because they took hours to listen,” he says.

Neodesha FFA advisor Ms. Emma Lehmann and Ms. Botts, his journalism teacher, constantly

“I was able to learn about real-world agricultural concerns, and the importance of young people in demonstrating their own leadership and problemsolving abilities to solve them,”

encouraged Leck to learn the value of the creed.

“My teachers understand the value and importance of every word, each sentence and the delivery,” says Leck.

Several others from Dr. Brown at KSU; Mr. Shoulders, Ms. Kane and Ms. Gaines with Kansas FFA; and Secretary Mike Beam with the Kansas Department of Agriculture allowed Leck to have meaningful conversations.

“I was able to learn about real-world agricultural concerns, and the importance of young people in demonstrating their own leadership and problemsolving abilities to solve them,” he says.

To Leck, the creed is something everyone can strive to understand and apply to everyday life.

“Through times of both positivity and struggle, the creed’s meaning is the same; our hard work and dedication, all of which should be displayed in our actions,” Leck says. “We can together build a sustainable future by working with each other.”

In another national area for Kansas, the Minneapolis FFA Meats Judging team took home several honors at nationals.

“It was a surreal, emotional experience because of all the work that went into it,” says team member August Hulse.

Ms. Christina Wallace, Minneapolis FFA Advisor, pulled in several local and state support systems to learn more.

“We had lots of help from our advisor to find a place to study and practice over the summer,” says August. “We had an incredible level of support.”

Banking ample time studying on their own and doing prior contests, the team diligently practiced two times a week over the summer to prepare.

“The most beneficial thing that we did was travel to in-person contests, there is no real substitute

for seeing actual physical products of meat and being able to learn from that experience,” says August.

August’s sister, Lillian, enjoyed the time learning at the K-State and Garden City Community College Meat Labs.

“It was a remarkable honor to be recognized for the hours and hours of studying we put into this contest,” Lillian Hulse says. “The stage at the National Convention is like no other.”

After driving all over Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Missouri to go to contests and late nights of solo studying, the team’s effort paid off with their victory at nationals.

“It really proved to me that hard work does pay off,” Lillian says. “When you spend that much time practicing and dedicating yourself to something, you are successful.”


As we move into the spring, FFA members have the opportunity to take their SAE programs, competitions and leadership capabilities to the next level. Here are just a few of the ways that you can elevate your FFA experience this semester.

1. Reach out to your Advisor

There are so many opportunities for you in FFA, but it might feel overwhelming. Talk to your advisor about what you like to do and they can recommended programs for you to participate in that complement what you already do.

2. Run for Chapter, District or State Office

Do you have interest in serving at any level? Take the leap! Whether or not you receive an office, you’ll grow in so many ways by trying. If you’re unsure, talk a to a member in the office and hear their perspective. Officer applications are typically due in March and April, with the state officer application being due April 5th.

3. Plan a CDE team practice after school

Want to take your CDE team to state this April and end up on stage receiving 1st place? Schedule practices with your team outside of the regular school hours. Just like a sport, the more time you put into your practice, the better you’ll perform.

4 . Apply for a Proficiency or Star Award

You’ve done so much good work through your Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE). Share the good work that you’ve done by taking the time to fill out an application for either a Proficiency Award in your area, or recount all of your experiences and apply for a Star award.

5. Attend the Leader Lab conference

Not sure where you want to start your leadership journey? Join your fellow Kansas FFA members at Leader Lab, where you’ll have an opportunity to go through workshops with professional facilitators on important topics such as goal setting, time management, and communication.

Minneapolis Meat Judging team members pose during their national contest. Team members consisted of (L to R) Liam Nichols, Lillian Hulse, August Hulse, and Hayden Lott.

SAE Successes

Two Kansas FFA members share their SAE programs which led them to be named national Proficiency Award winners.



Beloit FFA member Abby Porter has a love for animals. Her love has turned into her current SAE, a program that earned her a national award this past October. Abby was completely stunned when her name was called to stand upon the stage to receive her award.

In June 2017, when Abby was getting ready to head into 7th grade, she began as an unpaid intern at the Solomon Valley Veterinary Clinic in Beloit. This internship eventually led to a job, which has made her love of animals and their owners grow with each day. For Abby, her favorite part of her SAE is working with the clients and patients. Being able to help people with any difficulty that arises brings her joy. Plus, going to a job that deals with animals is an incredible experience. Her love and passion for animals led

Jay McClure

If Jay McClure could give any new FFA member advice on starting their SAE it would be to wake up every day, pursue your dreams, persevere, and never give up. These are the same words of wisdom that he took as a sophomore in high school while he was thinking of all the possibilities of his future SAE. Perseverance paid off big time this past year for Jay.

In 2022, Jay was named the District, State, and National winner in the Forage Production Proficiency award for his SAE. Shocked is a word that comes to his mind when he recalled being named the National winner. “Being on stage with 65,000 to 70,000 FFA members was beyond awesome,” notes McClure.

His SAE began in 2018 when the family planted two circles of alfalfa hay just to see how it would

to the continuation of her SAE, and the eventual state and national winning award applications.

For those starting out their SAE journey, Abby would give them the advice of hard work. If you desire a successful SAE, you have to put in the hard work to build it into something great. SAE’s take time and effort to grow into what you want them to become.

work out. This was also the same year Jay and his dad purchased a square baler. The family then expanded to seven circles of alfalfa and now do all the work themselves, which includes swathing, bailing, and hauling the hay to a local dairy.

As for Jay, he hopes to keep expanding on his haying business, the business that started out as an SAE and has turned into a turn-key operation. An operation that he is proud of.

Gifts of Commodities

Cash isn’t the only way you can support Kansas FFA. While monetary gifts might be the most common, there are other vehicles of support that can accomplish the mission of supporting FFA members, chapters and agricultural educators, while providing some handy tax incentives at the same time.

Just as the FFA was founded on the principles of developing leaders in production agriculture, farmers and ranchers have the opportunity to support the future leaders of the agriculture industry by donating agricultural commodities. The Gifts of Commodity program allows a producer to designate a number of heads of livestock or bushels of grain for the benefit of the Kansas FFA Foundation. That production is then sold, with the proceeds coming directly to the Kansas FFA Foundation.

“Gifts of commodities have a great benefit to an agriculture producer because the farmer or rancher does not have to recognize the income as it goes directly to the organization,” said Robert Kohman, farmer and Kansas State Farm Management Association Professional Development Officer. “I think any agriculture producer wanting to support a charitable cause, like the Kansas FFA Foundation, should be

utilizing gifts of grain as it’s easy and provides the best tax advantage to the producer.”

The process is easy. Simply notify your merchandiser, such as a grain elevator or salebarn, how much of the commodity you would like to sell to the benefit of the Kansas FFA Foundation. The merchandiser will notify the Kansas FFA Foundation of the commodity gift and a receipt will be generated for the sale. Agriculture producers like Kansas FFA Alumni Mike and Jodi Guetterman of Bucyrus, Kan. have utilized gifts of commodities.

“The FFA has provided opportunities to our family for generations. When we heard that the Kansas FFA Foundation was developing an Endowment Fund that will provide funding to the Kansas FFA for future generations, we knew we wanted to become involved,” said the Guettermans. “The Gifts of Commodity option provided us an easy and tax-efficient avenue to donate to the endowment. We simply determined the amount of grain we wanted to donate and put those bushels in the Kansas FFA Foundation’s name at the elevator. The FFA Foundation then handled selling the grain and collecting funds from that point.”

More information is available on the Kansas FFA website, ksffa.org/foundation

A generational FFA family shares the unique way they contribute to the Kansas FFA Foundation.
“The FFA has provided opportunities to our family for generations... The Gifts of Commodity option provided us an easy and tax efficient avenue to donate to the endowment”
- Mike, Jodi, Weston, Davis, Wyatt & John Guetterman, of Bucyrus Kan.
Story by Johanna Anderes

Kansas FFA Association

110 Umberger Hall

1612 Claflin Road Manhattan, KS 66506

Would you be willing to assist Kansas FFA this spring as a volunteer? We have a variety of ways you can help grow future Kansas leaders:

Judge a LDE Review Proficiency and Star Awards

Serve in a role at the State Convention & more

Visit www.ksffa.org/volunteer and complete the interest form and learn more about volunteering.

Calendar of Events

List of Chapters and Districts

List of Foundation Sponsors Awards Programs

CONNECT digitally
our website (www.ksffa.org) for more information on the
to the Kansas FFA Foundation by scanning the QR code above! Call
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.