October 13, 2016
By David Nordby The Brillion News
BRILLION – Four Brillion High School students will embark on a trip to Indianapolis next week to compete for national recognition in the 89th National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Convention and Expo.
Ben Kasten, Katarina Meyer, Hannah Roehrig and Tyler Schmidt will participate in the area of poultry evaluation. Poultry evaluation is one of 24 national CDE areas, but to the students involved, FFA is about way more than just chickens.
“It [FFA] relates to everything. Decision making, leadership traits and responsibility. [It] helps make you a better person,” Kasten, the lone senior on the team, said.
The poultry team took first at the state competition earlier this year in Madison, which qualified them for Indianapolis.
“It’s cool we get to represent our chapter and our school when we get to go down there,” Meyer said.
FFA is the largest student organization at Brillion High School, with around 75 members. Nationally, it is in all 50 states with 7,757 chapters and 629,367 students.
The group has plenty of experience including a recent trip to Minnesota where they took third in their region at a poultry event and Kasten finished sixth overall. The other three members finished in the top 50 of the large event too. They also took first at a competition in Platteville and second at Fox Valley Tech.
“It’s pretty amazing what these guys have done,” Brillion FFA Advisor Stacey Kunde said.
The trip lasts from Tuesday, October 18 through the 22nd with competition on the 20th. Unlike their previous experiences, the group will be paired with other FFA members from around the country, which they all admit to some apprehension about. The groups will judge different categories, identify different parts of chickens, participate in a written exam on chickens and farms and meet with judges to give their reasoning behind their assessments.
All of the uncertainty of the trip has the students admittedly anxious, but not in a bad way. “You don’t know what’s going to happen,” Schmidt said. Roehrig added she’s nervous to be in a room alone with the judges.
“It’s not anything specific, it’s just the fact it’s nationals … That’s nerve-racking,” Kasten said.
Please see the complete story in the October 13, 2016 edition of The Brillion News.