ELGHS FFA floriculture team takes 5th in the nation

Last spring, the Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah FFA Floriculture team took first place in state competition and earned the honor of representing Wisconsin in national competition in Indianapolis, Ind.

Coached by ELG agriculture instructor Jamie Beyer, Wisconsin’s team earned fifth place in national competition. The team consisted of Gold Medal winners Jenna Mehre (fifth overall) and Kira Ruechel (10th overall) and Silver medalists E.J. Schoenborn and Emily Wusthoff.

Members of the Elkhart Lake FFA Chapter were one of 44 teams participating in the National FFA Floriculture Career Development Event (CDE). The event was held in conjunction with the 84th National FFA Convention, held Oct. 19-22 in Indianapolis. The team, led by advisor Beyer, was awarded a Gold emblem. Members also competed for individual awards with 166 other participants.

The top six individuals and the national winning team members received scholarships to further their education at a post-secondary institution of their choice. The scholarships and the floriculture event are sponsored by Ball Horticultural Co. of West Chicago, Ill., and the National FFA Foundation. Merchants in the Indiana area also donated and loaned plant materials used for the event.

In the National FFA Floriculture CDE, FFA members test their knowledge and skills in the production and retailing of flowers, plants and foliage. Participants must complete a general knowledge exam on the floriculture industry, identify plant materials, and demonstrate problem solving and decision-making skills, employment and customer service skills, technical floral skills and the ability to work as a team. Teams competed at the local and state levels to earn the privilege of representing their home state at the national FFA convention.

This event, held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, is one of many educational activities at the national convention in which FFA members apply the knowledge gained in the classroom for real-life situations.

The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 540,739 student members – all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture – as part of 7,487 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The National FFA Organization changed to its present name in 1988, in recognition of the growth and diversity of agriculture and agricultural education.

The 84th National FFA Convention drew 50,000-plus FFA members, advisors and guests from across the country. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Visit www.ffa.org for more information and follow it on Facebook, and Twitter and FFA Nation.

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