Active members shape FFA

Members garner national, state awards, honors
The number of awards achieved is not always the true measure of a good year, a Wapakoneta FFA adviser told FFA members and parents Thursday night.

With approximately 4,000 people attending Thursday’s banquet, Wapakoneta FFA advisers Ron Brown and Chris Turner discussed the fact so many FFA students had done so well throughout the year.

“This may not have been our biggest year as far as winning state awards,” Turner said, “but the amount of students we had being recognized in various things shows how active of a year it was.”

Many FFA members earned recognition in state proficiencies. Certificates were given out in 36 different categories with many members representing the chapter at state.

Senior Mallory McDevitt was honored as a district, state and national winner.

Tyler Armstrong and junior Nicole Brown earned honors as being in the top four in the state in their respective proficiency.

Brown also received a Gold rating.

Nathan Hager placed in the top four at state in diversified crop production.

Nine FFA members were honored with state FFA degrees, and four people were honored with American FFA degrees. The four American degree students were Maverick Liles, Kristyn Zwiebel, Kaylee Fisher and LeeAnn Steinke.

Ron Brown said those four represented more than $400,000 in sales in FFA.

Scholarships were given to the highest grade in each class. Freshmen winners were Colton Clark, Ridge Hut and Morgan Miller. Sophomores awarded were Devin Davis and Collin Schneider. Juniors were Nicole Brown, Ann Harrod and Jonnny Zwiebel, and Drew Davis was the lone senior.

Brown and Turner also honored FFA alumni, parents, and other contributors during the program, saying it would be impossible for the FFA to keep going without their help.

Guest speaker David Pendleton treated attendees to a ventriloquist act that resulting in laughter rolling through the crowd.

Pendl-eton said he was asked a lot if he used his ability to pull tricks or practical jokes on people.

“Sometimes it is a little inappropriate,” Pendleton said. “I am pretty sure I will never be asked to be a pall bearer again.”

Pendleton referred to his stagemates (dummies)  as Wooden-Americans.

“You have to be politically correct,” Pendleton said.

All three Wooden-Americans turned their sights on outgoing FFA president Kaleb Vondenhuevel, who took it all in stride.

The dummy, Mac Elroy,  reminded Vondenhuevel he had to be pretty smart to study business in college but then again he was talking to a piece of wood.

“And he’s the president,” Mac said.

Wooden American Aunt Tilly told about her physician giving her a laxative to cure her cough, and how it was working because she was afraid to cough.

Tilly then checked her make-up using the top of Turner’s head while sitting on his shoulder, much to the pleasure of the crowd. Tilly then told Turner to be careful because she felt a cough coming on.

Vern the misguided vulture then treated the crowd to more laughs.

Pendleton saved his best laughs for last, using Ron Brown as his last Wooden-American for a perfect rendition of “I’m a little teapot.”

Vondenheuvel closed the banquet by thanking everyone involved as he closes out his FFA career.

“I will have many memories,” Vondenheuvel said. “Memories that will stay with me for life. It has been a wonderful experience for me and FFA has been a good stepping stone.”


Three seniors take home FFA awards

Three Wapakoneta High School seniors left the school Thursday carrying some hardware.

Mallory McDevitt concluded her FFA career at Wapakoneta Thursday being named the Star Agri-Business Person of the Year during the annual Wapakoneta FFA chapter banquet.

The award is one of three top awards giving to seniors annually at the banquet.

“I was very surprised to be named the winner,” McDevitt said after the

See AWARDS, Page 6A

banquet. “There were a lot of people who could have received it. I feel very honored for such a high award.”

McDevitt received the award primarily for her work on Mal’s Garden and Landscaping, a business she started as part of her agricultural education.

McDevitt grows tomatoes, potatoes, and squash among many other vegetables and is in her third year of business. She makes about $1,500 annually with the produce.

She donates much of the produce to Mercy Unlimited and God’s Storehouse.

McDevitt is completing her fourth year of FFA.

She served as the vice president this year and served as treasurer during her junior year. The Wapakoneta High School senior is planning to attend Purdue University and will pursue a degree in aeronautical engineering.

The daughter of Jennifer and Steve McDevitt plans to use her degree to work or design airplanes. She also has an older brother, Luke.

Nick Fisher was honored by the chapter with this year’s Star Chapter Farmer Award. The award is given to a student involved in the farming aspect of FFA.

Fisher is involved in his family farm, which produces hogs, grain and beef cattle. He also works on a dairy farm.

He said he was shocked when his name was announced for the award.

“There were a lot of guys who did a lot of things,” Fisher said. “There were a couple of kids I thought might get this. I didn’t expect it.”

Fisher plans to attend Hobart in Troy and earn several levels of certification in welding. He said when he finishes his schooling he would like to land a job working on heavy equipment or farm equipment, possibly at Unverferth in Delphos. He said he ultimately would like to work on the pipelines in Alaska.

The son of Tina and Mark Fisher has an older brother, Nathan, who is 26, and a 14-year-old sister, Jessica.

The final of FFA’s biggest awards, the DeKalb winner, was given to Drew Davis.

Davis spent all four years of high school in FFA. Davis personally farms three acres of sweet corn and shows two dairy steers each year at the Auglaize County Fair. He works for the city of Wapakoneta at Veterans Memorial Park and for Davis Farms.

“I was very surprised when I got the award,” Davis said. “I was very excited.”

The son of Diane and Alan Davis plans to attend The Ohio State University and pursue a degree in agricultural business. He said he would like to land a job at Trupointe Cooperative or on the Chicago Board of Trade.