La Porte-Dysart FFA stay busy into 2021

La Porte-Dysart FFA 2020-2021 Members. First row, pictured left to right: Officers Sarah Roberts, Elle Hookham, Gabe Hanson, Tyson Fleshner and TJ Freeland; Second row: Laura Rempe, Tristen Heth, Rylee Sash, Belle Weber, Breanna Weltzin, Brady Spence; Third row: Christian Keegan, Todd Weltzin, Hunter Schaefer, Brock Ruzicka, Sam Fehl, Adam Ahrendsen; Fourth row: Alison Gleason, Josh Bechthold, Roland DeHart, Hayden Spore, Tim Griswold, Hunter Gates; Fifth row: Clara Carlson, Sydney Schmuecker, Ellison Keegan, Olivia Hanson, Charlotte Keegan, Sydney Anton, Ava Mehlert; Sixth row: Lydia Albertsen, Zoe Jans, Brooklyn Hubbard, Reagan Sorensen, Ava Mills, Lauren Youngblut, Emily Petersen; Not pictured: Ellie Behrens, Micheal Frisbie, Jocelyn Gates, Gabriel Jesse, Mason Mullen, Belle Olson, Caleb Olson, Dacey Powell, Ellie Rathe, Logan Rosauer, Layton Smutz.

This FFA season has been far from ordinary. Due to the coronavirus, there have been limited events and activities. To keep all members active, the La Porte-Dysart FFA made many modifications to this year’s agenda, all while still staying safe throughout this unique time.

This summer on Friday, July 24, La Porte City welcomed 139 tractors into town with the North Iowa Tractor Ride. FFA members assisted riders in the high school parking lot. They directed traffic, answered questions, as well as helped serve lunch provided by local vendors in the high school cafeteria. Later in the summer, after the derecho in August, FFA members assisted a farmer outside Garrison by picking up parts of a home that was in an alfalfa field.

The first weekend of September, the chapter hosted a Parking Lot Party to kick off the new school year. Members enjoyed the nice weather while playing many games such as sand volleyball and spike ball. This event created a great opportunity for new and returning members to bond. Later in the month, four of our members went to Hawkeye Community College and competed at the District Soils Contest where they earned a bronze medal.

In October, The World Food Prize event was held virtually. One of our members, Tristen Heth, who was selected to be an Iowa delegate, presented her paper virtually to experts from the Global Teach Ag Network, International Rice Research Institute, Iowa State University, and the Ohio State University, as well as students from around the world.

The Marketing Plan team was honored as state runner-up with a silver rating and the Vet Science team also received a silver rating at the state event.

Throughout November, members went out into the community and sold fruit for our annual fruit sale. As a chapter, we sold over $22,000 worth of fruit, meat, cheese, snacks, and local FFA honey.

With the calendar rolling over to 2021, schedules began to pick up speed again with Career Development Contests (CDEs). Many students have spent hours preparing material and memorizing lines for the sub-district contest. Currently, 15 members are practicing to compete at sub-districts on Wednesday, February 24, at Hawkeye Community College. District Convention will take place on March 13 at Independence High School, where any member who ranked in the top two at sub-district will compete, in hopes of advancing to state.

In January, state and district officers visited our classrooms to teach students about leadership and communication with hands-on activities and games. At the end of the month, our chapter held a chapter bowling event in Vinton, which is one of the members’ favorite yearly activities.

The yearly Parent Member Banquet will take place in late April or early May.

This year will also hopefully bring back the famous labor auction, where anybody in attendance has the opportunity to support the chapter by buying three hours of labor from FFA members.