The National FFA is an organization filled with young men and women striving to be their best and succeed in the agriculture industry. On Tuesday, April 19 the Cortez FFA Chapter had their annual banquet in the Montezuma- Cortez High School (M-CHS) commons area and auditorium.
This banquet is held to show the chapters appreciation to the parents, teachers and FFA supporters throughout the community. For the members, the banquet is a chance to be rewarded for all of the hard work they have done all year. There are a variety of awards given to the members to encourage members to strive for only the best and accomplish more and more each year.
The banquet was kicked off by eating a delicious roast beef and pot-luck dinner, prepared by the Wilson family. With 84 guests and 43 members present, there was plenty of food for everyone with a variety of flavors.
As the guests lined up, the members were courteous and waited to line up until most of the guests were through the line. Looking at the back of the line, the blue corduroy jackets with the gold emblem and black slacks or skirts united all the members in a unique way.
As the night progressed, the guests and members were called into the M-CHS auditorium and the banquet was called to order by Cortez FFA Chapter President Mr. Staton Jeter.
The chapter was thankful to have Colorado State Officer Katelynn Wilson give greetings to members and guests from the state association. After greetings, the awards ceremony began. Members of the chapter announced each category and the recipient of the award.
The chapter was pleased to announce that several special guests were in attendance that have helped the chapter in various ways throughout the year: Gordon Shepherd, M-CHS principal, Ag advisory committee members Tanner Young and Kris Lindsley, and school board member Tim Lanier. The chapter gave certificates of appreciation to members in the community that have made a positive impact in the Cortez FFA Chapter: Paul and Kathy VanVleet, Jerry Koskie, Kyle Koskie, Tim Lanier, Joe Lanier, Doris McDonald, Trenzo Lambert, Kris Lindsley, Gordon Shepherd, Vern Aulston, Vic Vanic, Tanner Young and Kelli Reder. These recipients generously donated their time to judge or serve on a committee.
After thanking the supporters of the chapter the awards were directed towards the accomplishments of the chapter members. The first award was Forage Production proficiency awards. Katelynn Wilson received the gold chapter award and was also named the state winner in this area and Allison Porter also received gold chapter award and was the second place state finalist.
The next award was notebook awards; notebooks in agriculture education are a major part of class and organization of these notebooks allows student to excel in class. Each class had at least three recipients; in Ag. 1, Laycee Jones, Liz Hoch, Byron Porter and Nickelle Oliver received pins. In Ag. 2, Allison Porter, Jaycee Syra and Lacey McDonald were recipients. In Advanced Ag. Cheyenne Mortensen, Jennifer McDonald and Baylee Lindsley had the best notebooks.
To be enrolled in FFA members must manage a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE), such as crop and livestock production or a placement job. In order to accurately and efficiently manage their SAE, students must keep accurate record books. Ag 2 and Advanced Ag classes each had a gold, silver and bronze recipient. In Ag.2 Jaycee Syra placed bronze, Ryan Daves was silver and Allison Porter was gold. In Advanced Ag Chantz Koskie placed bronze, Laura Heaton was silver and gold went to Dalton Daves.
Students work hard in the classroom and show their dedication to the FFA in their actions by setting a good example for others to follow. The leadership award was given to individuals who showed commitment and encouragement to others in class and at FFA Activities. Out of the Ag 1 students, Liz Hoch and Laycee Jones were recognized with leadership pins, in Ag 2 Ryan Daves and Kaitlin Whited, in Advanced Ag Laura Heaton was honored.
The scholarship award was given to individuals who worked hard in all classes and had the highest grade point average; in Ag 1 Laycee Jones, in Ag 2 Wiley Kirks, and in Advanced Ag Baylee Lindsley were the students with the highest grade point average.
The chapter created a slideshow of events and class work that had happened throughout the year and presented it to the audience. After the slideshow the senior officers, Quinton Lanier, Staton Jeter and Jennifer McDonald gave a gift to the chapter advisors, McComb and Ramos. Awards continued and the top salesman of the year went to Quinton Lanier. A bonus of $100 was put into Quintons account as his reward.
The Chapter FFA Degree is an important step in achieving more throughout the FFA organization. It is the second degree a member can receive and the highest degree a chapter can give to its members. The recipients met all of the requirements. The members who received this degree were: Johnny Abercrombie, Jesus Castillo, Ryan Daves, Greg Eavenson, Tanner Elliot, Baylen Garza, Trenton Gustafson, Cheyenne Henderson, Wyatt Jeter, Wiley Kirks, Kyle Likes, Tenai Lansing, Aryanna Lee, Aaron McClain, Lacey McDonald, Allison Porter, Kira Smouse, Jaycee Syra, Alex Vaughn, Kaitlin Whited, Tanya Wilkin and Landan Wilson. The members were awarded with a certificate and given a silver pin to attach to their jackets until they receive their state degree.
This year we had five seniors receive their State FFA Degree, Dalton Daves, Cody Likes, Staton Jeter, Patrick Cottom-Rhine, and Quinton Lanier. They will receive their gold charm at the Colorado State FFA Convention in Alamosa in June. We also had members that will receive the American FFA Degree; this is the highest degree that can be obtained in FFA. Rachelle Moore, Breen McComb, and Aeron Acott will be receiving the golden key of the American FFA Degree at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind. this October.
The rest of the awards were given to participants in Southwest District Leadership Contests held last November. The Parliamentary Procedure team consisting of Chantz Koskie, Laura Heaton, Staton Jeter, Landan Wilson, Sammi Fish, Byron Porter, and Jaycee Syra, placed first at districts and will be attending state competition this June. Quiz Bowl teams, which took silver and gold at Districts were also recognized.
The gold placing team will be moving on to state. Members of the silver placing team were: Elizabeth Hoch, Byron Porter, and Trevor Holaday, and on the gold team, Nickelle Oliver, Ahanabah Finley and Laycee Jones.
The Creed Speakers were also awarded certificates and pins; Sammi Fish placed silver and Elizabeth Hoch placed gold and will be representing Cortez FFA Chapter at state. Cheyenne Mortensen placed in the gold category in Prepared Public Speaking. Two of our members participated in Extemporaneous Speaking Contest, both Shelby Webster and Jennifer McDonald received the gold award at chapter level and silver at the district level. The chapter wished the contestants going to state good luck.
There were special individual awards given by the advisors McComb and Ramos to outstanding members that made an impact on everyone in the chapter. McComb presented the Star Greenhand Award to Sammi Fish and Byron Porter. The Star Greenhand award is given to first year members who shows dedication to the FFA and sets a good example for all other members to follow. The Dekalb Award was given to Quinton Lanier who is a quiet guy but leads by example as Ramos stated it. Ramos also awarded the Star Chapter Farmer to a remarkable senior, Dalton Daves who went far beyond what is required in class and outside class.
Throughout the awards ceremony the senior officers made retirement speeches, which were inspiring. Quinton Lanier spoke of what freedom meant to him and how FFA has encouraged him to follow his dream of serving in the armed forces. Jennifer McDonald spoke about how everyone has struggled and how FFA has helped her achieve what she wishes for.
She has grown through the FFA program and learned many lessons each year. Staton Jeter, retiring president, talked about how life is a highway and with all of the ups and downs and potholes ,everyone can get through them. He spoke about how chances can be good because they allow unknown outcomes that may have a benefit. Each member asked some of their supporters to the stage and gave them flowers and thanked them for all of their care. After all of the awards there was a slideshow of all of the FFA seniors, with baby pictures and senior pictures.
The last event was the installation of new officers. The outgoing officers listed the duties of the new officers and congratulated them for their achievement in obtaining the office they were chosen for. The new officer team was filled with devoted members who plan on making the chapter better each day: Chantz Koskie- President, Kaitlin Whited Vice President, Landan Wilson- Secretary, Elizabeth Hoch Treasurer, Laura Heaton- Reporter, Cheyenne Mortensen- Sentinel and Byron Porter and Jaycee Syra- Executive Committee members. Each candidate accepted their duties and were officially installed into the offices they were voted to serve as. The newly elected officers took their seat at their new stations and closing ceremonies were conducted to bring the banquet to an end.
The 2011 Cortez FFA Banquet was a success. There were many supporters present that made all the hard work that members do worth doing. The Cortez FFA Chapter would like to thank all of the guests present and look forward to seeing you this next year.