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Paynesville Press - October 27, 2004

FFA members place at judging competition

By Bonnie Jo Hanson

Nineteen students in the Paynesville Area High School chapter of Future Farmers of America (FFA) took part in a livestock judging competition at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul earlier this month.

As a team, the PAHS students who competed did very well, according to FFA advisor Natalie Todnem, especially considering most of the members competed for the first time.

Judging competitions encourage students to look at livestock and rate the animals from best to worst. Most of the Paynesville students had little or no experience with livestock judging, said Todnem, and learned about their animals from video tapes and Power Point demonstrations.

The following students earned individual gold medals: sophomore Brad Hemmesch, dairy cattle judging; ninth grader Nathan Kranz, general livestock judging; junior Stephen Lenzmeier, dairy cattle judging; junior Megan Reeck, general livestock judging; ninth grader Jordan Spaeth, general livestock judging; and senior Kristi Utsch, general livestock judging.

The following students earned individual silver medals: junior Shawn Buermann, dairy cattle judging; junior Jess Engler, general livestock judging; junior Adam Flanders, dairy cattle judging; junior Albert Hemmesch, general livestock judging; junior Caitlin Lien, general livestock judging; junior Melanie Mages, poultry judging; ninth grader Neil Osendorf, general livestock judging; and junior Kris Pearson, poultry judging.

The following students earned individual bronze medals: junior Megan Bushman, poultry judging; ninth grader Kaitlyn Frenchick, general livestock judging; senior Christine Gerding, general livestock judging; senior James Jansen, dairy cattle judging; and junior Joe Rondeau, poultry judging.

Overall, PAHS livestock team #1 placed 16th out of 69 teams, earning a gold medal; livestock team #2 placed 25th out of 69 teams, earning a silver medal; the dairy judging team placed 18th out of 57 teams, earning a silver medal; and the poultry team placed 20th out of 37 teams earning a silver medal.

In addition, Frenchick qualified for FFA's state horse judging competition.

Competition is just one part of the FFA experience, said Todnem. As the new ag instructor and FFA advisor, she hopes to help increase local FFA membership. FFA has three main goals: to promote leadership, to promote personal growth, and to help members with future career success.

Currently the Paynesville FFA chapter has about 25 students who have begun fundraising for future events, said Todnem, including the national FFA convention, which started this week in Louisville, Ky. PAHS students attending the national convention are Buermann, Flanders, Jansen, and Lenzmeier.

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