FFA gives “Advisor Tribute” Scholarships
BATH (May 31, 2019) — Agriculture education teachers/FFA advisors make a world of difference for the students they teach. This spring students put into words, as part of an FFA Advisor Tribute Scholarship application, how their ag teachers/FFA advisors have impacted their lives. Sixteen outstanding examples of amazing teachers impacting their students have been chosen out of over 60 applicants, and winning students will each receive scholarships to attend a SD FFA Leadership Retreat this summer.
Sioux Valley Energy scholarships — Kaleb Holm, Brandon Valley; and Madison Decker, Garretson; Jacob Schmidt, Garretson; and Mason Machmiller, Dell Rapids senior
SD FFA Alumni scholarships — Shannon Brown, Deuel; Shane Johnson, Doland; Serena Davis, Belle Fourche; and Jacob Charles Campbell, Viborg Hurley
Walt Johnson Memorial Scholarships — Mikayla Oleson, Harrisburg; Ella Stiefvater, McCook Central; Grace Kock, Parker; Haelee Wuertzer, Rapid City; Lillyanna Wagner, Wall; and Joslyn Gonzalez, Wolsey Wessington
Leonard DeBoer Scholarships — Alex Seuer, Hoven and Paige Lehrkamp, Rapid City
The students wrote essays about how their FFA advisors have made an impact on their lives. Each of these students think their advisor is one of the best and is happy to say so!
Kaleb Holm, Brandon Valley senior appreciates the two years he’s had with Ms. Jackie Bogue as his ag teacher, “From the start she pushed me to be involved. She shared all the different things FFA could do for me in and after high school. She is still supporting me and telling me about all the things for college and life.”
Madison Decker, Garretson sophomore shares, “Mrs. Kientopf taught me to believe in myself, share my passion for agriculture, and have fun doing it. She let me know I am cared about and worth the time. She guides me in making decisions, makes sure I am doing my best and never gives up on me. I was a keep-to-myself girl; she took that shy girl, pushed me out of my comfort zone to try new things, and changed me into an independent person.” Jacob Schmidt, junior adds, “Ms. Kientopf has done so much for all of us — staying at school late to make sure everything is ready and even canceling family plans to helping us out. She cares about us, treats us like her own, and always makes sure we are ok!”
Mason Machmiller, Dell Rapids senior appreciates all his advisor has done, “Mr. Tom Wolf has influenced me and the other members of my FFA chapter by encouraging us and pushing us to participate in Career and Leadership Development Events, which help us develop leadership skills for life.”
Shannon Brown, Deuel FFA sophomore shares, “Mrs. Jaacks helped me understand that working hard to get to where you want to be is better than not trying at all. I have carried her advice beyond FFA, throughout the school year and it has proven itself over and over.”
Shane Johnson, Doland freshman comments, “Mrs. Bailey Coates is caring, supportive, and encouraging. She goes above and beyond. She pushes me to strive for greatness in every aspect of my life and encourages me to incorporate FFA lessons into my everyday life. Because of her I have made amazing improvements in my Agriscience Fair entries and CDEs.”
Serena Davis, Belle Fourche junior comments, “Mr. Bishop knows the students, can tell each kids personality and interests, and helps us based on these qualities. He is positive and never says a bad thing anyone. He’s informed about class subjects and seeks more knowledge to add to class. We will never forget his ability to help us grow and learn.”
Jacob Charles Campbell, Viborg Hurley freshman, thanks his advisor, Mr. Nathan Knutson, “He taught me that if I work hard on something the results will always be good. He pushes us to volunteer for our community, making the world a better place. He is loyal, trustworthy, fun and encourages us to do our best and have fun doing it. He pushes me to meet more people through FFA and prepares me for life. Before Mr. Knutson, I knew nothing about farming or FFA, now it’s part of my life.”
Mikayla Oleson, Harrisburg senior, considers Mr. Todd Marks, who has been an FFA adivosr for almost 40 years, a 2nd dad, “As a freshman, I cried at the thought of public speaking. I was depressed and couldn’t see myself going anywhere in life. Mr. Marks showed me the light in life, because he is encouraging and wants to see me and everyone else succeed. He is an amazing advisor.”
Ella Stiefvater, McCook Central sophomore, is forever grateful, “My advisors, Mrs. Tracy Chase and Mr. Terry Rieckman, give me an abundance of opportunities and encourage me to do my best. Time management, work ethic, responsibility, and passion for agriculture are attributes they develop in members. Mrs. Chase’s ideas, creativity, organization, and endless supply of energy and generosity amaze me. Mr. Rieckman taught me to make a router sign, plan an SAE, and preside over a conduct of meetings team. Both continually support and push me to my greatest potential.
Grace Kock, Parker senior shares, “Mrs. Kelly Dunkelberger works hard to ensure all her students are successful. Under stress, she always perseveres and makes sure everyone is getting the attention and help needed. She has a clear knowledge and great passion for teaching. She encouraged and pushed me to get out of my comfort zone, making me a stronger leader with goals for personal success. She has not only impacted my life, but many other current and past students, pushing them to find confidence.”
Haelee Wuertzer, Rapid City junior say, “Mrs. Genetie Hendrix is always pushing us to our fullest potential. She doesn’t care about winning or doing well, but that we experience it, have fun, try our hardest and learn something. She is caring, humble, kind, and working to better the future of agriculture.”
Lillyanna Wagner, Wall junior, appreciates Ms. Dani Herring, “for showing people what FFA is really about and supporting us in everything we strive to do. She shows us opportunities and pushes our limits to show us what we really are capable of doing.”
Joslyn Gonzalez, Wolsey Wessington sophomore shares, “Mr. Boersma teaches students through hands on activities. Over the summer he checks in with members to look at SAE projects. He helps our community with shop projects, ice cream socials, and by organizing a school career fair. He has changed our school and the community’s perspective of FFA, bringing a new set of goals every year. His commitment to agriculture and FFA is inspiring.
Alex Seuer, Hoven junior happily says thanks to her ag teacher, “Ms. Sara Colombe has showed me what leadership is in everyday life. FFA and agriculture class has allowed me to grow in many different ways, and see things in a different light. She pushed me to be an officer and has made a big impact in my life.”
Paige Lehrkamp, Rapid City junior says “Mrs. Donavon has supported me from day one. She pushes me to strive for success and improvement within our chapter, district, and State. The first time I met her we discussed FFA livestock shows at the state fair and she got so excited! She immediately started emailing other advisors to get information. She helps her students grow in our passion of the agricultural industry and me become more confident and outgoing.”
Scholarships are made possible through the SD FFA Foundation by the SD FFA Alumni, Sioux Valley Energy, and the Walt Johnson Memorial Fund; in memory of two past FFA advisors: Leonard DeBoer and Walt Johnson. Both men led by example and their advice was truly ripened with wisdom. Mr. DeBoer spent his life teaching young people about agriculture and the leadership skills that would make them successful in their career choice. He was the FFA advisor in Chamberlain for almost 40 years where he lived FFA’s mission by making a difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Mr. Johnson served as the SD FFA Foundation President, as well as on the SD FFA Foundation board, in Newell as an ag teacher, community supporter and coach for FFA career development events. He was devoted to agriculture education and earned his Honorary American FFA Degree in 2007.
For more information about the South Dakota FFA Foundation and South Dakota’s FFA programs, visit http://www.sdffafoundation.org. F
— South Dakota FFA
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the June 19, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News