The Mineral Point Chapter of the Future Farmers of America held its 93rd annual awards ceremony Tuesday, March 15 in the middle/high school cafetorium under the leadership of Advisor Mike Robinson.

Awards were presented as follows — congrats to all!

Discovery Degree

The FFA Discovery Degree is awarded to 8th grade FFA members who have successfully completed the 8th grade agriculture course, have attended FFA meetings, and have shown interest in pursuing the FFA in the coming high school years.

Recipients include: Christian Bigler, Breken Blackford-Hesselberg, Trent Culver, Kit Finley, Mallory Gould, Dane Hirsch, Aly Jones, Evan Kearns, Zoey McAdoo, Cameron Patterson, Garrett Schaaf, Kameron Schilling, Madelyn Steffes, and Keegan Wenger.

Greenhand Degree

The Greenhand Degree is the first degree of membership earned in high school in the FFA. To earn a Greenhand Degree, you must have satisfactorily planned or started a SAE (Supervised Agricultural Experience), have learned and be able to explain the meaning of the FFA Creed, know the FFA Motto, know the duties and responsibilities of FFA members, and have an understanding of the aims and purposes of the FFA.

Recipients include: Matt Aurit, Lillianna Berget, Hallie Brant, Roen Carey, Isabelle Coogan, Izzy Dannenberg, Tucker Dannenberg, Michael Edgington, Christopher Halvorson, Payton Heins, Joss James, Emma Kitelinger, Ella Kroll, Laci Lindsey, Jarvie Nafzger, Atley Potterton, Annie Robinson, Ellie Robinson, Kade Rule, Carter Schilling, Luke Schubert, Jadyn Swinehart, Jaxson Wendhausen, and Jillian Wirsbinsky.

Chapter Degree

The Chapter FFA Degree is the second degree of high school membership for an FFA member. One must have received the Greenhand Degree, have a SAE, have knowledge of the chapter’s program of activities, participated in at least three local activities, and demonstrate progress in their SAE area.

Recipients include: Lexi Kinch, Rori Bossert, Brooklyn Casper, Madisyn Heim, Jenika Horn, Estella James, Quinten Kite, Erica Rose Lease, Ellery Massey, and Regan Schuette.

Blue and Gold Award

The Blue and Gold Award is presented to FFA members in their third year of high school FFA membership. One must have received the Chapter FFA Degree, have a well established SAE, have participated in and helped organize the chapter’s program of activities, and demonstrate growth in their SAE.

Recipients include: Bryce Acherman, Ella Fox, Bo Hanson, Haylee Kearns, Bodie Bossert, Mackenzie Aurit, Graham Fitzsimmons, Jaiden Galle, Quenten Gunderson, Carson Kroll, Brody Lee, Teagan McConnell, Cooper Palzkill, Joey Robinson, AJ Rury, Regan Suddeth, Lucas Sullivan, Jimmy Tibbits, Olivia Wendhausen, and Kennedy Wenger.

Four-Year Member Award

Being a part of the Mineral Point FFA for four years of high school is an outstanding accomplishment for a member. These members have put in many hours and have participated in many events over the past four years of high school.

Recipients include: Colbi Carey, Laurianna Dannenberg, Grace Engels, Emily Graber, Landon Hermanson, Ellie Janetka, Ross Lindsey, Ollie Mitchell, Trapper Nafzger, Faith Pilling, Blake Radtke, Brett Roberts, Emma Steffes, and Keigan Yager.

State FFA Degree

The State FFA Degree is the highest degree the state association can bestow. The member must have taken two years of agricultural education and been an active member for two years. The member must have invested $2500 or worked 1500 hours in their SAE area and have completed their State FFA Degree application and have been accepted at the State level. The following will receive their State Degree at the State Convention: Trapper Nafzger and Ross Lindsey.

Honorary FFA Member Award

The Honorary FFA Member Award is the highest award the FFA can give to a non-FFA member. This year’s Honorary FFA Member is the Justin Tibbits Family. They are always supporting FFA activities through the fruitsale and auction fundraisers. One of the main areas of help is with putting together livestock judging classes for the FFA Alumni Contest and also for putting together practices to prepare teams for the state judging competitions. Justin and his family have a true passion for agriculture and understands all the benefits being part of the FFA has to offer. 

Speaking Contest

In the Creed speaking contest, Ellie Robinson placed 2nd and Annie Robinson placed 3rd and both moved onto the Sectional competition. At Sectionals, Annie placed 1st and qualified to move on to the State FFA Speaking contest in June. The Creed contest involves reciting the FFA Creed from memory and answering a series of questions about the Creed.

Joey Robinson placed 5th and Michael Edgington placed 9th in the FFA Employment Skills Contest. The Employment Skills Contest has the FFA member interview for an agricultural related job, as well as submit a resume, cover letter, and job description.

In Extemporaneous Speaking, Regan Schuette placed 2nd and moved on to Sectional competition.  Regan competed well at Sectionals but just missed qualifying for State. Atley Potterton placed 7th at the district contest. The Extemporaneous contest consists of a student drawing an agricultural related topic and in 30 minutes preparing a 4-6 minute speech on that topic.

The 8th grade quiz bowlers that competed were Madelyn Steffes, Cameron Patterson, and Christian Bigler; the team made the quarterfinals, but did not advance. In this contest, 8th grade FFA members compete against teams from other schools to answer questions about FFA facts.  It is the first speaking competition open to them in their FFA career.  

In the Prepared speaking contest, Jadyn Swinehart placed 3rd and Ella James placed 4th.   In the Prepared contest, FFA members memorize an agricultural related speech of 6-8 minutes and present it to a panel of judges.

The Discussion Meet contest had Brett Roberts and Blake Radtke competing. In Discussion Meet, the FFA members are gathered at a table and discuss solutions to an agricultural issue.

Chapter Proficiency Awards

We had 17 different FFA proficiency awards applied for at the State level, which are based on their Supervised Agriculture Experience.  They are given a ranking of bronze, silver, or gold on the State level.  With each ranking the students get a monetary amount from the local chapter of $20, $20, or $50.  All gold rated proficiencies are awarded at the State FFA Convention in June. Also this year at the State level is a ranking of the top five finalists in the State, which means they will not find out their final ranking of 1-5 in the State until on stage at the State FFA Convention.  

Carson Kroll is a top five finalist and received a gold rating in Turf Grass Management.  Carson’s proficiency is based on his work at the Dodge-Point Country Club.  Carson has many job responsibilities which include preparing bunkers, moving tees, mowing fairways and roughs, trimming and maintenance of equipment. 

Ross Lindsey received a gold rating and placed 15th in Beef Production.  Ross’ SAE is based on showing beef steers at all levels of competition.  Ross becomes more involved and learns more each year about showing steers.  One of Ross’ highlights from showing cattle is having the 3rd overall market steer at the Wisconsin State Fair in 2021.  

Laurianna Dannenberg received a bronze rating in diversified livestock production.  Laurianna’s SAE is based on her show goats, miniature horses, and chicken operation.  Laurainna has many responsibilities in raising her animals and spends many hours training her horses for competition. 

Ella James received a gold rating and placed 6th in dairy production.  Ella’s SAE is based on raising and showing dairy cattle at all levels of competition.  Ella has shown at district shows, state fair, and county fair.  Ella enjoys working with her calves and taking care of them throughout the year. 

Trapper Nafzger placed 8th in dairy production and received a gold rating at the State level.  Trapper’s SAE is based on raising and showing his own herd of dairy cows.  Trapper performs many duties which include milking and feeding his cow herd, caring for the calves, and breeding decisions.  He is also involved in showing his cattle at district, county, and state shows.  

Joey Robinson is a top five finalist in goat production and received a gold rating.  Joey’s SAE is based on raising and showing Boer goats.  Joey raises his own Boer goats to show and sell to other exhibitors to be competitive at all levels.  One of Joey’s accomplishments was raising and showing the champion market wether goat at the 2019 and 2021 Wisconsin State Fairs, as well as the reserve market breeding doe at the 2019 Wisconsin State Fair. 

Joey Robinson placed 8th in sheep production and received a gold rating at the State level.  Joey’s SAE is based on raising and showing sheep.  Joey raises his own purebred southdown and commercial sheep for showing at all levels of competition.  Joey produced and showed the 2019 Wisconsin State Fair Champion southdown ewe and the 2018 Wisconsin State Fair Reserve Champion southdown ewe. 

Joey Robinson is a top five finalist in Beef Production and received a gold rating.  Joey’s SAE is based on raising and showing beef cattle.  Joey raises purebred angus, red angus and commercial cattle.  Joey has shown at all levels of competition and has expanded his beef operation into selling quality bulls to other beef producers.  

Joey Robinson placed 13th in diversified livestock production and received a gold rating.  Joey’s diversified proficiency area allowed him to combine his goats, sheep, and beef cattle SAEs into one area. 

Joey Robinson is a top five finalist in agricultural mechanics repair and maintenance placement and received a gold rating.  Joey’s SAE is based on his work at DJ Enterprises and AM Farms where he works on a variety of equipment.  He performs regular equipment maintenance as well as total engine rebuilds. 

Payton Heins received a silver rating in sheep production at the State level.  Payton’s SAE is based on raising and breeding quality commercial show lambs.  Payton has her own ewes that she breeds to have lambs for herself to show as well as selling to others. Payton has been very successful showing lambs at all levels of competition.  

Luke Schubert is a State finalist in grain production placement and received a gold rating.  Luke’s SAE is based on his work on Schubert Farms. Luke performs many duties on the farm including tilling the soil and planting the crops.  He runs combine and grain cart in the fall as well as helping to run the grain storage unit. 

Izzy Dannenberg received a silver rating in Diversified livestock entrepreneurship.  Izzy’s SAE is based on showing sheep and dairy cattle. Izzy enjoys working with her show animals, getting them ready for competition.  She has shown at jackpot shows, county fair, and the Wisconsin State Fair.  

Erica Rose Lease received a bronze rating in swine production entrepreneurship.  Erica Rose’s SAE is based on raising show pigs for the county fair.  Erica Rose spends many hours in the summer preparing her animals for county fair and looks forward to exhibiting them at the county fair. 

Ellie Robinson is a State finalist in beef production entrepreneurship and received a gold rating.  Ellie’s SAE is based on raising commercial show cattle.  Ellie has her own herd of cows, which she raises crossbred steer and heifer calves to sell to others for showing, as well as for herself to show. 

Annie Robinson placed 11th in sheep production entrepreneurship and received a gold rating.  Annie’s SAE is based on raising commercial sheep for show.  Annie has her own flock of commercial sheep that she selects her next show lambs from each year.  Annie also sells lambs to other exhibitors for showing as well. 

Annie Robinson placed 7th in goat production entrepreneurship and received a gold rating.  Annie owns her own herd of commercial Boer goats.  Annie has been very successful in her operation raising, showing, and selling several champion show goats.  These goats have won at all levels of competition.  

National Participants

Jimmy Tibbits, Joey Robinson, Annie Robinson, and Payton Heins were all part of the State Champion and 29th national placing livestock evaluation team representing the Wisconsin FFA in 2021.  Joey finished with a silver rating at the national level while Jimmy, Annie, and Payton had a bronze rating. This team did an outstanding job representing the State of Wisconsin and the Mineral Point FFA.  This team continues on a great tradition of livestock evaluation at Mineral Point having been the sixth livestock judging team to compete at the national level.   

Daniel Nordstrom won State in the Turf Grass Management proficiency last summer and was recognized at the State convention with a video during the convention session and a display set up in the Hall of Champions. Daniel also went on to national competition and received a silver rating at the national level. Daniel’s proficiency was based on his work as one of the owners of Nordstrom Brothers Lawn Service. 

Fruit Sale

This year we had another successful fruit sale. Combining with the Skills USA club, we sold over $45,000 worth of fruit and locally produced products.  Thank you to everyone that is involved in the fruit sale to make it such a successful fundraiser. We would like to honor the top five sales people from the FFA. This year’s top FFA salesperson is Graham Fitzsimmons with $2154, second in sales went to Ross Lindsey with $2075, third in sales went to Roen Carey $1575, fourth in sales went to Joey Robinson with $1426, and the fifth spot in sales went to Jimmy Tibbits with $1293.  The single season sale record still stands at $3899 by Dylan Burke.  

Cash Back Awards

We have a cash back award program for FFA members who raised over $1000 in fruit sale and auction fundraising. They get 5% back on their total sales.  Congrats to Annie Robinson, Joey Robinson, Jimmy Tibbits, Graham Fitzsimmons, Roen Carey, Ross Lindsey, Ellie Robinson, Payton Heins, Luke Schubert, Regan Suddeth, Kennedy Wenger, and Jaiden Galle. 

Star Discovery Award

The Star Discovery award is to honor the outstanding 8th grade FFA member.  This award is based on the member’s involvement in FFA activities that are available to them as 8th grade members.  This year’s recipients have participated in quiz bowl, fruitsale, donation auction, and participated in judging contests. They are off to a good start in the FFA and we look forward to their continued participation in FFA events. Congratulations to Cameron Patterson and Madelyn Steffes. 

Star Greenhand Award

The Star Greenhand Award is presented to a first year high school FFA member, based on FFA participation, school activities, scholastic attainment, and evidence of beginning the Supervised Agriculture Experience program. This year’s Star Greenhand members have done a variety of activities which include: being on a national livestock and state winning CDE team, as well as this year on vet science and livestock CDE teams, some of the top fruit sales and donation auction fundraisers, creed speaking contest and qualifying to move onto sectionals, FFA week events, proficiency awards in beef, sheep, and goat. They are enrolled in a variety of agriculture classes with a total of seven classes between them as 9th graders.  They have a tremendous start in the FFA and will continue to display their leadership throughout their FFA career. Congratulations to Annie Robinson, Ellie Robinson, and Payton Heins. 

Star Chapter FFA Award

The Star Chapter FFA Award is presented to a 2nd year high school member based on the activities they are involved in, which includes the areas of FFA participation, school activities, scholastic attainment, and evidence of a Supervised Agriculture Experience program. This year’s recipient has participated in prepared speaking contest, dairy judging contests, donation auction, fruit sales, showing dairy cattle at all levels of competition and willing to help out at a variety of events. Congratulations to Ella James.

Star Blue and Gold Award

The Star Blue and Gold Award is given to a third year high school FFA member based on involvement in activities which include FFA participation, school activities, scholastic attainment, and evidence of a Supervised Agriculture Experience program. This year’s recipients have planned and been involved in many FFA activities this year and work to continue their growth in the FFA. Some of these activities include filling out gold rated and state finalist proficiency applications in turf grass management, sheep, goat, beef, ag bechanics, attended national convention to compete in the national livestock judging completion, attended fall leadership workshop, top give in fruit sales, served as officers for two years, alumni judging, and helped with cattleman’s activities. They are always willing to help out with an activity whatever it might be. Congratulations to Joey Robinson and Carson Kroll. 

Dekalb Award

The Dekalb Agriculture Award is presented to a Senior FFA member who has an agriculture SAE and has shown leadership capabilities throughout their FFA career. This year we will present the award to two senior members. These two have been together in FFA for five years starting back in 8th grade.  They do a variety of activities together from showing at state fair and county fair, to serving as officers for three years, attending WLC together, each filling out a proficiency award, each receiving their state FFA degree this year.  They have planned and worked many FFA events over their years in FFA. Congratulations on helping to lead the Mineral Point FFA during your years as members, Ross Lindsey and Trapper Nafzger.

FFA Scholarships

This year we are able to present four scholarships from the FFA. The recipients of these scholarships have done a variety of FFA activities.  They have helped organize and have participated in various FFA activities. They helped to organize the FFA banquet, judging contests, donation auction, worked at donation auction, sold fruit, and have been excellent FFA members. They have competed in judging contests, speaking contest, leadership workshops, attended national convention, and many other FFA Activities.  They have spent many hours doing FFA activities as well as taking ag classes.  These recipients are also involved in other school and community organizations.  The areas they are pursuing their education in are health care, physics, agricultural education, and business. Congratulations to: Grace Engels $250, Emily Graber $250, Ross Lindsey $1000, and Trapper Nafzger $1000.

FFA Alumni Scholarships

This year we were able to present two scholarships from the Mineral Point FFA Alumni. Both of these individuals have been involved in the FFA, both are pursuing a degree in agriculture, both work on family farming operations, both have contributed to their school and community, and both have a bright future ahead of them. Blake Radtke ($500) is pursuing a degree in Agri-business and Emma Steffes ($500) in animal science.  

Don Hawkins Scholarship

Former Mineral Point Agricultural Instructor Don Hawkins set a bar very high for community service, love of the outdoors, and a passion for agriculture.  With this in mind, his family made a donation in his name to sponsor a scholarship to a Mineral Point FFA member.  As the scholarship committee looks at the applications, they consider the same attributes that Mr. Hawkins brought to our community in the member they select.  This year’s $500 scholarship recipient has those qualities and is continuing their education by pursuing a degree in animal science. Brett Roberts has been a part of the oak savanna work at school, enjoys the outdoors, and has a passion for agriculture.  

Career Development Events- Judging Contests

A little different this year was a virtual qualifier to get to go to the in-person qualifying contest on March 24th.  The following competed in early March and all five teams qualified to move on to the in-person qualification contest.  

Ag Mechanics: Joey Robinson, Jaiden Galle, Landon Hermanson, Graham Fitzsimmons, and Tucker Dannenberg.

Livestock: Ellie Robinson, Emma Steffes, Luke Schubert, and Cameron Patterson.

Vet Science: Annie Robinson, Payton Heins, Jadyn Swinehart, and Erica Rose Lease.

Dairy Evaluation: Ella James, Madelyn Steffes, Trapper Nafzger, Jarvie Nafzger, and Christian Bigler.

Wildlife: Brett Roberts, Brody Lee, Kennedy Wenger, and Haylee Kearns.

Retiring Officers

Trapper Nafzger, President

Ross Lindsey, Vice President

Joey Robinson, Secretary

Kennedy Wenger, Treasurer

Carson Kroll, Reporter

Regan Suddeth, Sentinel

2022-23 Officers

Joey Robinson, President

Kennedy Wenger, Vice President

Carson Kroll, Secretary

Regan Suddeth, Treasurer

Ellie Robinson, Reporter

Annie Robinson, Sentinel