The Alta FFA organization concluded its year May 8 with a parent/member banquet, awards ceremony and farewell for Andy Zinnel who has served as the voc-ag teacher/FFA instructor for the past four years. He resigned from the district when his position was cut down to half time, despite a petition that was signed by over 382 citizens to keep the af program full time, as a means of cutting down the district's budget. The FFA organization has grown by leaps and bounds through Zinnel's guidance and the leadership of the students, particularly four seniors who have been in the group for four years - Scott Robbins, Scott Radke, Alli Glienke and Kayla Nickolisen. The future of the organization is uncertain.
It was a night to remember.
A slide show of the chapter's activities was shown and all 33 Alta FFA members received awards.
Special speaker for the event was Brian Lantz, voc-ag instructor for Rockwell City-Lytton who also served as the instructor for Andy Zinnel.
Lantz spoke of the importance of the "blue jacket" referring to the opportunities gained through FFA membership. Lantz also sings and plays the guitar so led the Alta FFA members in a song titled, "Surfing FFA" which was great fun for those who watched and participated.
Lantz received an appreciation award for his help with the ALta FFA chapter over the last four years. He was always responsible for organizing the bus trips which included the Alta FFA chapter and several other area FFA chapters to the National FFA convention. He also served as a judge for the Alta FFA scholarships given to Alta FFA members this year and assisted with the Alta FFA chapter in preparing for the Conduct of Meeting career development event two years ago. The Alta team advanced to districts in that competition.
The Alta FFA chapters participated in several activities throughout the year including taking part in the livestock judging contest at the Clay, Calhoun, Sac and Buena Vista County Fairs. Several members show livestock at the Buena Vista, Sac and Iowa State Fairs.
Other activities are trapshooting, including hosting the Alta FFA trap shoot in Storm Lake and traveling to Manson, Ventura and Schaller for trap shoots.
In addition, the Alta FFA chapter attends the National FFA convention, currently held in Indianapolis, Ind.
The Chapter also participates in career development events such as public speaking, creed speaking, floriculture, job interview, ag mechanics, soil judging and others.
The Chapter has participated in sub-district, districts and advanced to the state in several events.
National FFA week is observed by the Alta members including wearing official FFA dress clothing to school, driving tractors to school, putting on a petting zoo and hosting a junior high recruitment day.
In addition, the Chapter has fruit sales and pancake days for fundraising and has a chapter bowling Christmas party.
Due to the large number of senior members and everything they have accomplished over the last four years for the Alta FFA, the Chapter decided to give some scholarships to its members. The applicants were judged on their application and interviews conducted by Steven McKenny, former ag instructor at Carroll and Brian Lantz.
During his talk, Lantz shared that it was a "very difficult decision" as to who the four scholarships should be awarded to.
Instructor Zinnel had an emotional good-bye.
"These kids deserve the credit for turning this program around," he said. "They don't deserve what is happening to the program. I am very proud of the kids and what they have done."
Zinnel received a standing ovation.
At Monday night's Alta School Board meeting, Superintendent Fred Maharry said "I am committed to having voc ag. We have options but aren't getting anyplace."
FFA Scholarships - First place, Scott Robbins, $400; second place, Scott Radke, $300; third place, Kayla Nickolisen, $250; and fourth place, Alli Glienke, $200.
Outstanding Service Awards - Scott Robbins, Scott Radke, Kayla Nickolisen, Alli Glienke and Robbie Carlson, all are seniors and have contributed four years of outstanding service
Blue and Gold Awards - (for two years of outstanding service) Jordan Carlson, Sam Hamer, Nate Robbins
Greenhand Degree - (first-year members) Brody Lichtenberg, Bryghtyn Franker, Meagan Phipps, Hannah Glienke, Kolbie Boom, Adam Parcel, Sasha Bouytsenyuk, Schyler Radke, Crystal Dunham, Caleb Husman, Jake Syndergaard, Renae Hinkeldey, Destiny Peterson
Chapter Farmer Degree - (second-year members) Jordan Carlson, Shelby Meyer, Nate Robbins, Jessica Taylor, Amy Rehnstrom, Andrew Allerdings, Kenny Bishop, Jessy Bibler, Ryan Vonnohme, Chris Glienke, Sam Hamer
Trapshooting Team Medals - Andrew Allerdings, Ethan Assman, Jordan Carlson, Steven Groat, Caleb Husman, Adam Parcel, Nate Robbins, Jake Syndergaard
Outstanding Freshmen Awards - Brody Lichtenberg, Bryghtyn Franker
Outstanding Sophomore Awards - Jordan Carlson, Nate Robbins
Outstanding Junior Award - Ethan Assman
Outstanding Senior Award - Scott Robbins
Blue and Gold Awards - Jordan Carlson, Nate Robbins, Sam Hamer
Ag Partners Scholarship - Scott Robbins
The Alta FFA Chapter was founded in 1953 and is the local chapter of the National FFA organization. The FFA mission statement is premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.