Holton FFA team places third in national competition
FFA students from all three Jackson County high schools were honored during the 96th National FFA Convention and Expo this past weekend, including five Holton High School students who ranked high among their peers in their respective fields of expertise and two schools whose chapters were named, as HHS FFA adviser Jason Larison put it, among “the top one percent of all chapters in the country.”
The environmental and natural resources career development event (CDE) team from Holton’s FFA chapter was named third-best in the nation for 2023 during the fifth session of the annual FFA convention, held in Indianapolis, Ind., and two of the team’s members were among the top 10 individual placers in the nation in that particular category.
Environmental and natural resources team member Jacob Huyett finished seventh individually in the competition, while team member Lora Larison finished 10th. The team also consisted of Madeline Bontrager and Jace Huyett, both of whom placed in the top 30 individually, and all four members of the team were named “gold emblem individuals.”
“This is a group that’s worked really, really hard over the last couple of years, and they really put it together for this competition,” Jason Larison said of the team. “They also are the core of our Envirothon team that competes each spring. That’s how they earned this honor, and they put in countless hours getting ready. They really did Holton, their families and our school proud.”
Larison also credited HHS agricultural education teacher and co-adviser Alex Bartel for his work in guiding the environmental CDE team to its national honor.
Also honored from HHS was recent graduate Delaney New, who was named among the top four individual competitors in the nation in diversified livestock production proficiency. Larison said the school was honored to have New, who was named Kansas state champion in that category earlier this year, as a national finalist representing HHS.
The state and national awards recognized New’s work in using best management practices available to efficiently produce and market a combination of animals for two or more of the livestock-related proficiency award areas, it was reported.
Josie Buck of Jackson Heights High School’s FFA chapter, another state champion honoree from earlier this year in agricultural processing proficiency, earned the silver award in her particular category at the national level, according to JHHS FFA adviser Paul Lierz. Buck is a recent graduate of JHHS.
The FFA chapters from Holton and Royal Valley High School also were honored during the convention as “three-star” national chapters, the highest honor that chapters receiving “gold” ratings from their state FFA associations are eligible to receive at the national level. The chapters were two of 14 from Kansas to receive the honor, it was noted.
For more on this and other stories, please log in to your holtonrecorder.com account and select “Nov. 8, 2023” under “E-Editions.”