Palmer, AKContact: Don Berberich
FFA Convention907-746-8457 or 355-4419
Palmer,AK - Members of the Palmer Future Farmers of America (FFA) Chapter returned from state convention in Fairbanks hauling the bacon. Twenty-one of the 25 members participating qualified for national competition.
Palmer claimed four first place team events, one second place and one third place. Others placed individually also. Advisor, Don Berberich, is optimistic about the chapter's future. "As a group these students are mostly underclassmen but they act very mature and have a lot of talent. Our Juniors and Seniors have been excellent role models." Said Berberich.
A highlight for Berberich was finding out his floriculture teams placed 1st and 2nd with sophomore, Gabe Waldhaus taking top individual awards. "Gabe placed second overall last year two points behind team mate Ariel Olson. He trained these teams as much or more than I did." Berberich commented.
Other teams placing first were Agriculture Mechanics anchored by Seniors Chandler Putnam and Josh Gordon. Putnam was second high points individual. Joseph Wallace chaired the first place parliamentary procedures team. Palmer also had the third place team chaired by Gabe Waldhaus.
The Agriculture Issues Forum team also placed first. The team was organized by freshmen, Jake Cunningham. The challenge is to present both sides of a controversial topic and let the audience make up their own minds. The Palmer team took on Pebble Mine as a topic and presented it using a skit based around a coffee shop discussion between friends and customers. Team members had to research the topic in detail to be able to accurately answer judges’ questions. Berberich was impressed with the group's creativity and dedication. "This team has been meeting once and sometimes twice a week preparing. Working with this team has been the most fun I've had coaching FFA." Said Berberich.
Other successful students included Freshman, Sidney Howe who placed 2nd in the FFA Creed Speaking event. Freshman, Shannon Foley, placed third in Extemporaneous Public Speaking, a contest normally dominated by upperclassman. Sophomore Austin Nerup was recognized for his leadership potential when he was selected for the chapter leadership medal.
The Palmer FFA Chapter would like to thank the Mat-Su Farm Bureau, Northland Pioneer Grange #1, Representative Bill Stoltze and all the people who bought hundreds of cinnamon rolls for their generous financial support.
Complete List of Palmer FFA State Convention Winners
FFA Creed - Sidney Howe (freshman) 2nd place
Extemporaneous Public Speaking - Shannon Foley (freshman) 3rd place
Parliamentary Procedures 1st and 3rd place teams
Team A - Joseph Wallace, Charley Smith, Jasmine Speck, Jake Cunningham, and Edward Lewis.
Team B - Gabe Waldhaus, Chris Cranfill, Shannon Foley, Asa Stryken, Sidney Howe, and Nick Gubitosa.
Agriculture Mechanics 2nd place Individual - Chandler Putnam
Asa Stryken - 3rd Place Welding
Agriculture Mechanics 1st Place Team - Chandler Putnam, Josh Gordon, Justin Conaster, and Asa Stryken
Ag Issues Forum - First Place
Jake Cunningham, Sharita Casagranda, Chandler Putnam, Zoe Wonderling, Katerina Andreanoff, Nick Gubitosa, and Christopher Armstrong.
Floriculture - 1st Place Individual - Gabe Waldhaus
Palmer Team A - 1st Place
Gabe Waldhaus, Sharita Casagranda, Tessah Stokinger, and Chandler Putnam.
2nd, Palmer B
Zoe Wonderling, Sidney Howe, Shannon Foley, and Kyndle Kirbey.
Austin Nerup - Chapter Leadership Award
FFA press release