Ionia County students honored at 90th State Convention

IONIA, Mich. (WOTV)-This past week the Ionia County Future Farmers of America Chapter, ran at Heartlands Institute of Technology in the Plant & Animal Science program, celebrated Michigan’s 90th State Convention at Michigan State University. The majority of Ionia County FFA Chapter members were acknowledged and honored by receiving awards. Students receiving the Outstanding Junior Award were: Miriam Cook, Katryna Scheid, Alyssa German, Sydney Speckin, Kayla Ripplinger and Ian Black. These students are first year members in Heartlands’ Plant and Animal Science program. Students receiving their State Degree Award were: Kristen Blasher, Andrew Martin, Karah Ring, Grace Platte, Lisa Koning and Cooper Dimond.  These students are second year members in Heartlands’ Plant and Animal Science program.

Two students were honored for individual success in their area of expertise. Kristen Blasher received a Silver State Degree and a Proficiency Silver in Diversified Livestock Production.  Andrew Martin received a Gold State Degree and was a Star Student Award Finalist in Dairy Placement.   The Star Student Award is based on the applicant’s supervised agricultural experience.  Applicants submit to the state FFA board and state representatives interview those making the cut.  In addition, the student’s teachers, principal, family members and supervisors are interviewed regarding the character and quality of work of the applicant.  A state representative visits the student’s farm/work site, school and home.  This extensive process drills down to see the positive qualities students have and what success potential they have in agriculture.  The process is long, tedious and comprehensive.

Michigan FFA State Convention also brings about change in the leadership team each year. Students work hard at presenting their qualifications and competencies in order to be considered for state office.  Grace Platte, a second-year member of the Plant and Animal Science program, was slated and received the distinctive honor to be the 2018-2019 Michigan FFA State Sentinel.  In this position she will not only represent Ionia County & Heartlands but she will represent over 7,700 students from across the state.  Grace interviewed numerous times and gave a speech to roughly 150 student delegates from around the state in order to secure her appointment to the statewide leadership position.


If your student would like to join the Ionia FFA chapter please contact Heartlands Institute of Technology at 616-527-6540, on Facebook via Heartlands Career Center, or our website

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