Each year, the National FFA Organization honors FFA members who show the utmost dedication to the organization through their desire to develop their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
The American FFA Degree is bestowed upon a select group of students in recognition of their years of academic and professional excellence.
This year, 3,765 American Degrees were awarded.
Devon Baum and Tyler Childers, members of the Elgin FFA chapter, were awarded the American FFA Degree at the 2014 National FFA Convention & Expo Oct. 29-Nov. 1 in Louisville, Ky.
Sponsored by ADM Crop Risk Services, Case IH, DuPont Pioneer, Elanco, Farm Credit and Syngenta as a special project of the National FFA Foundation, the award recognizes demonstrated ability and outstanding achievements in agricultural business, production, processing or service programs.
To be eligible, FFA members must have earned and productively invested $7,500 through a supervised agricultural experience program in which they start, own or hold a professional position in an existing agriculture enterprise. Recipients must also complete 50 hours community service and demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities and civic involvement.
Each recipient of the American FFA Degree receives a gold American FFA Degree key and a certificate after being recognized on stage at that national convention.
Although Devon and Tyler were unable to attend due to college and work commitments their awards will be given to them by Advisor, Mrs. Schwartz.
The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 579,678 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,570 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
An audience of youths and adults, veterans who served in times of peace and times of war, gathered to observe Veterans Day Tuesday morning in Elgin.
There were few empty seats at Elgin High School gymnasium for the program. Students from all three schools in the community participated in the event either through the spoken word or in music during the nearly hour-long program.
Those veterans in attendance who served during times of war or other armed conflict were recognized by a standing ovation. Giving the Veterans Day Address was Garrett Dwyer. A 2004 graduate of Pope John, Dwyer joined the United State Marine Corps and served four years as an infantryman including a combat tour in Ramadi, Iraq in 2006-2007.
After returning home, he attended NCTA in Curtis, graduating with a degree in agriculture production. He said, “Seventeen percent of the US population lives in rural America and of that number, 40 percent of the people who serve in the military come from rural America. So, almost half of our military comes from small town America.”
He then spoke of the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) and its efforts to assist veterans after returning home. The mission of FVC is not just to have veterans grow food, but to mobilize veterans to feed America. “The FVC strives to cultivate a new generation of farmers and food leaders, and develop viable employment and meaningful careers through the collaboration of the farming and military communities,” he said.
In closing, Dwyer shared what it means to be a veteran farmer, or in his case, a veteran rancher.
“Those who have served in the military and those who have specifically served in combat know the friendship and camaraderie that develops. Even though it is a short time in your life, it can seem like eternity as you experience it. It’s hard to keep the morale up at times, it is hard to stay motivated and worse yet to become complacent. In the agriculture world it is very easy to get into a rut and to keep doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. That is the definition of insanity.
For the complete story, see the print edition of The Elgin Review
November 5, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off
Nebraskans have a new governor and a new U.S. senator, bringing about a new era in state government. However, regarding local races, voters elected few new faces to public office here in Elgin and throughout much of Antelope County.
The 2014 general election is in the books. Unofficial vote totals show Republican Pete Ricketts handily defeating Democrat Chuck Hassebrook for the state’s highest office.
Across the state, Ricketts collected 56 percent of the votes, Hassebrook received 40 percent of the ballots cast.
Republican Ben Sasse defeated Democrat Dave Domina to become Nebraska’s next senator, replacing Mike Johanns who is stepping down when his term expires in January.
Sasse received 63 percent of the vote compared to 33 percent for Domina.
In local races of note, Kelly Mueller was elected county assessor and Lisa Payne was elected county clerk.
Incumbents re-elected were Sheriff Bob Moore, County Attorney Joe Abler and County Treasurer Sandy Knapp.
The only county-wide election of note involved whether or not to maintain a supervisor form of government. Voters, by a margin of 1,140 ‘For’ to 1,106 ‘Against’ approved switching to a board of commissioners which will take several years (three to be exact) to implement.
Voters overwhelmingly said ‘No’ to a ballot issue allowing the Antelope County Agricultural Society to increase their budget’s restricted funds base by 95 percent over the allowable growth percentage beginning with the 2015-2016 fiscal year. The vote was 1,516 ‘Against’ to 553 ‘For’.
Voters in the Neligh-Oakdale School District said “No” (923 to 175) to the issuance of nearly $7 million in bonds for the costs of renovating, rehabilitating and improving the district’s existing school buildings.
At city hall, election races featured candidates running unopposed. Mike Schmitt was re-elected mayor. Duane Miller was elected to City Council Ward #1.
All candidates running for the District #18 Board of Education were elected/re-elected.
There were several contested races for positions on the Upper Elkhorn NRD Board.
In Subdistrict #7, Michael Moser beat Keith Heithoff by a margin of 968 votes to 945.
In Subdistrict #4, Jerry Childers collected 1,184 votes compared to just 479 for Chip Whitaker.
In another UENRD race, for the at large seat, Paul Bartak collected 928 votes to just 865 for Christopher Dierks.
The night proved to be a victory for the Republican Party, particularly in the U.S. Senate where, unofficial results show them becoming the majority party.
A complete listing of unofficial election results can be found at www.elginreview.com.
November 5, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off
We’ll be updating throughout the evening as precinct ballots come into the Antelope County Clerk’s office. All results are unofficial as they are on the Clerk’s website: https://antelopecounty.nebraska.gov/2014-general-election-results
With all precincts in…numbers from Antelope County (9:51 p.m.):