Pictured from left are Rachel Rickenbach, Megan Sanders and William Kuhl
BROOKINGS – One of the hallmarks of agricultural education and the FFA is the opportunity to showcase skills learned in classrooms and spotlighted through competitive events. This is a source of pride and students look forward to the state-level events each year to determine who will represent South Dakota at the national level in the fall.
This year, South Dakota agricultural teachers explored options to safely conduct these events – and determined it was best to proceed with a virtual event versus conducting them in a more traditional manner. Those events happened May 6 & 7 and were announced May 14th during the virtual State Convention.
“Our chapter competed in various events and had great success,” said Tanna White, who was the Hot Springs FFA Advisor this past year.
Hot Springs’ Agronomy Team of Rachel Rickenbach, Megan Sanders and William Kuhl took top team honors in the state.
Rickenbach was also honored as the first place individual in the competition division, while Sanders placed second overall.
In addition, the Hot Springs Floriculture Team also placed third overall in their division with Mallaigh McCarthy placing in the top-10.
Horse Judging took 5th overall with Taylor Pulscher placing 3rd individually.
“We understand this (virtual state convention) is not ideal for students, teachers or industry, however, the covid-19 pandemic only reinforced the importance of a safe, abundant food supply to feed people in our communities and globally,” said Jennifer Tonak, and SD FFA Intern. “Agriculture has not shut down during this pandemic and student learning is not ending either. Students are still preparing for careers, and it is our hope that they’ll take a second look at careers in the agriculture industry when they understand the role agriculture plays in times like this. FFA’s Career Development Events are built around ag industry careers, expose members to many of the opportunities and needs in the agriculture sector, and enable them to develop and refine their abilities to critically evaluate, effectively communicate and ultimately, succeed in future careers.”
The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 700,170 student members as part of 8,612 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. As part of the National FFA Organization, the South Dakota FFA Association encompasses over 94 chapters with over 4,600 South Dakota FFA members. FFA strives to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. To discover more about the South Dakota FFA Association or the South Dakota FFA Foundation, visit them both at sdaged.org or on Facebook and Instagram.