Nearly 600 FFA members from across the state competed in State FFA Leadership Career Development Events in Pierre last week and were recognized for their efforts in 11 leadership areas.

Students qualified through district competitions, advancing the top two teams and top three individuals from each of the seven FFA districts. State-winning teams and individuals now advance to the National FFA Career Development Events in Indianapolis next fall.

While Hot Springs students failed to reach nationals, they did place in two events. Sam Simenk placed sixth in extemporaneous public speaking, an event that requires a four to six minute speech written and presented onsite with only 30 minutes of preparation. The Hot Springs Ag Sales team also found their way on to the medal stand, placing fourth in the event that requires them to develop a strategy for selling a pre-determined product in specific scenarios.

The rest of the competitions and statewide winners are as follows:

Parliamentary Procedure teams, consisting of six members per team, demonstrate an FFA business meeting.

1. McCook Central team members Caitlynn McGregor, Ryker Seamer and Natalie Gottlob; back row: Kyle Butzke, Haylee Ecklein, Hadley Stiefvater, Advisors Terry Reickman & Tracy Chase)


3. Highmore

4. Menno

5. Willow Lake

The All-State Parliamentary Procedure Team is comprised of the top individual officer from each position in the Parliamentary Procedure CDE. These competitors are the best-of-the-best in their respective position.

President – Cooper Benning, Lennox. 

Members At Large: Jaedyn Oplinger, Menno, Madeline Loewe, Lennox, Natalie Gottlob, McCook Central, Caitlynn McGregor, McCook Central,

Veronica Knippling, Highmore

In Prepared Public Speaking, each contestant presents a 6-8 minute agriculture-oriented speech and answers five minutes of related questions.

1.  Jensina Davis, Brookings

2. Sydney Hoffman, Bridgewater Emery

3. TJ Bigge, Parkston

4. Danika Gordon, Sturgis

5. Hunter Eide, Gettysburg 

6. Heidi Stiklestad, Bowdle

7. Danielle Houghtaling, Doland

8. Journey Mehlhaf, Freeman

In Extemporaneous Public Speaking, results were as follows:

1. Bridger Gordon, Sturgis

2. Mitchell VanderWal, Northwestern Area

3. Landen Wolter, Wessington Springs

4. Caleb Wieland, Beresford 

5. Sadie VanderWal, Northwestern Area

6. Sam Simenk, Hot Springs

7. Kylee Mogen, Wilmot

8. Sawyer Naasz, Platte-Geddes

Employment Interview Skills challenges FFA members to complete a job application, write a letter of application and resume, participate in an actual interview and compose a follow-up letter.

1. Dalton Howe, Redfield

2. Bridger Gordon, Sturgis

3. Blake Kontz, Flandreau

4. Savannah Krogman, Jones County

5. Tiffany Rausch, West Central

6. Madyson Morehart, Winner

7. Jensina Davis, Brookings

8. Marie Robbins, Elkton

Ag Sales results were:

1. West Central ((photo left to right)CHS Brandon Sponsor, Jennifer Johnso,n team members Jacob Harden, Hunter Wilebski, Branzon Underwood, Clay Farmer, advisor Linda Petersen)

2. McCook

3. Rutland

4. Hot Springs

5. Canton

The Junior Conduct of Meetings event is designed for high school freshmen to present a mock FFA meeting.

1. McCook Central team members Abby Blagg, Jacob Wagner, Kayle Lauck, Lauren Stiefvater, Paige Peterson, Caitlyn Eich and Madison Stroud, Advisors Terry Reickman & Tracy Chase

2. Willow Lake

3. Highmore

4. Sturgis

5. Parkston

Creed Speaking participants recite the FFA Creed and answer questions posed by the judges.

1. Kayle Lauck, McCook Central

2. Tessa Erdman, Groton

3. Kylie Harrimon, Parker

4. Jocelyn Vogel, Mitchell

5. Layton Eide, Deuel

6. Laura Bogue, Beresford

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7. Drew Peterson, Garretson

8. Morgan White, Brookings

In Marketing Plan, teams of students determine a local community need and create a complete strategy for marketing a new agricultural product or company to fill that need.

1. Lennox team members Sarah Kroeger, Naomi Reiss, and Brook Geiken, Advisor Jim Wilson

2. West Central

3. Bowdle

4. Madison

5. McCook Central

In Ag Issues, a team of 3-7 students discuss the pros and cons of a major agricultural issue facing their area.

1. Wall team members Trista Reinert, Karlie Dartt, Cooper McLaughlin, Shelby Ruland, Samantha Deutscher, Brianna Schreiber, Abby Moon

2. Howard

3. West Central

4. Milbank

5. Parker

In Ag Broadcasting/Journalism, students have 30 minutes to prepare a five-minute agricultural radio newscast and then “air” it.

1. Elle Stiefvater, McCook Central

2. Cassidy Sayler, Vibor-Hurley

3. Teanna Pawlowski, Miller

4. Tianna Tschetter, Doland

5. Connor Dekker, Philip

6. Jessica Colville, Lemmon

7. Trevor Johnson, Beresford

8. Hunter Peterson, Philip

In Ag Communications, teams of students play the role of communications consultants to develop and present a media plan for an assigned scenario. Members also complete Editing and Communications tests.

1. Northwestern team members Darien Watson, Sadie Vander Wal, Mackenzie Engels, Samantha Olson

2. West Central

3. Lemmon

4. Miller

5. Harrisburg

The South Dakota FFA consists of 90 FFA chapters with nearly 5,000 FFA members. FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education. Visit for more information, and/or follow them on Facebook.

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