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UWRF Students Succeed at National FFA Convention

NOV. 20, 2006--Several UW-River Falls students were recognized for their achievements in agriculture during the 79th National FFA Convention held in Indianapolis in October.

Two UWRF students were national proficiency winners: Amy Robak, a freshman conservation major from Foley, Minn., won in the Environmental Science and Natural Resource Entrepreneurship-Placement. Kaleb Santy, a freshman agricultural education major from Pulaski, Wis., received the award in Emerging Agriculture Technologies.  

During the National Collegiate Agricultural Education Conference, which is held in conjunction with the National FFA Convention, UW-River Falls was honored with numerous awards.

The quiz bowl team comprised of: Kellie Claflin, a freshman agricultural education major from Osseo, Wis., Jeanna James, a senior agriculture major from Darlington, Wis., Travis Klinkner, a senior agricultural education major from Cashton, Wis., and Chris Ritscher, a senior agricultural education major from Alma, Wis., placed second overall among the ten teams participating. Questions came from three different categories including: FFA and New Farmers of America (NFA), Ag Mechanics, and Agricultural Education.  

The debate team also received second place respectively. Team members included: Steve Boe, a senior agricultural education major from Taylor, Wis., Jared Acker, a sophomore food science and technology major from Waunakee, Wis., Gena Polzin, a junior marketing communications major from Cadott, Wis., and Jill Hinrichsen, a senior agricultural education major from Abbotsford, Wis. The topic debated was, "Does the agriculture education curriculum increase student achievement in core academic areas?"

Ashley Wierzchowski, a sophomore biology major from Green Bay, Wis., who placed first in the essay contest last year was in charge of running the essay contest this year. Leah Johnson, a senior agriculture major from La Crescent, Minn., presented for the Program of Excellence competition as a representative of UWRF. The contest includes four areas: fundraising, community service, social, and professional development. Schools are judged on accomplishments over the past year, member involvement, and overall quality. UWRF received first place in the fundraising category.  

The Alpha Tau Alpha (Alpha Mu) Chapter received the Nolan Award at the Platinum level, which is the highest award that can be bestowed upon a chapter. Alpha Tau Alpha (ATA) is an honorary organization that promotes the highest standards of the agricultural education profession by allowing closer relationships with individuals who have chosen the profession of teaching agriculture. UWRF is the only university to win the Nolan Award three consecutive years.

Several UWRF students were awarded with the American FFA Degree, which is the highest level of recognition that can be achieved as an FFA member. American FFA degree recipients from UW-River Falls included:


Andrew Adams, Lake Geneva, junior, animal science
Jenny Breuer, Hartford, sophomore, animal science
Jacob Cramer, Watertown, senior, agricultural education
Jarred Huber, Melrose, sophomore, agricultural business
Frances Kinnard, Sturgeon Bay, sophomore, marketing communications
Peter Kolpack, Barron, senior, agricultural education
Paula Matuszak, Green Bay, sophomore, animal science
Tiffany Mickelson, Hixton, junior, agriculture
Leonard Polzin, Cadott, sophomore, dairy science
Crystal Rakestraw, Boyd, freshman, food science and technology
Erin Steinmetz, Chippewa Falls, sophomore, animal science
Amie Stillman, Weyauwega, sophomore, agricultural education
Daniel Thorman, Watertown, junior, agricultural business
Zachary Tiry, Stanley, sophomore, animal science
Jaclyn Weis, Janesville, junior, dairy science


Jenelle Laska, Winona, freshman, agricultural business
Katie Mack, Zumbrota, sophomore, animal science
Becky Theobald, Granada, freshman, agricultural education


Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:07:48 Central Daylight Time


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