Osmond FFA Earns Gold Merit at State
Nebraska FFA members and chapters were honored for their accomplishments at the 91st
Nebraska FFA State Convention April 3-5 in Lincoln. The convention was held at Pinnacle
Bank Arena, the hotels in Lincoln’s Haymarket, and the University of Nebraska East Campus.
Over 4,000 Nebraska FFA members flooded the streets of Lincoln’s Haymarket District,
including 17 members from Osmond’s FFA chapter. Osmond FFA members competed in
competitive events, attended the annual Expo and Career Fair, and listened to state officer
retiring addresses during convention sessions.
Osmond FFA members Zach Huwaldt, Connor Gutz, Zach Alderson, and Landon Stelling kicked
off the competitions during the State FFA Convention with Farm & Agribusiness Management
on Wednesday afternoon, April 3rd. 87 teams competed in the competition and Osmond
finished in 15th earning a blue ribbon. Individually, Zach Alderson finished in 15th place earning
a purple ribbon, Zach Huwaldt finished in 72nd place earning a blue ribbon, Connor Gutz
finished in 101st earning a red ribbon and Landon Stelling finished in 135th place out of 346
contestants earning a red ribbon.
On Thursday, April 4th the Osmond FFA chapter was honored by Nebraska Farm Bureau
during the second general session as an Agricultural Literacy Champion in recognition for their
participation in the Connecting Chapters Program. Later, during the third general session the
Osmond FFA chapter was acknowledged on stage as a Top 19 chapter in the National Chapter
Award. As a Top 19 chapter, Osmond earned a Gold Merit for the activities listed in its Program
Additionally, on Thursday, April 4th, Osmond FFA members, Connor Gutz, Zach Alderson, Josh
Gansebom, and Landon Stelling, took part in the Ag Biotechnology contest. Their team finished
14th out of 24 total teams, earning a white ribbon. Individually, Zach Alderson ended up 37th out
of 96 contestants and earned a red ribbon; while Josh Gansebom earned a white ribbon in 47th
Following the Ag Biotechnology contest, Logan Stelling, Nick Timmerman, Blake Bahr, and Troy
Donner competed in the Meats Evaluation Career Development Event. This event poses special
challenges for students as they must endure cold temperatures over multiple hours of the
contest, while judging Beef, Pork, and Lamb Carcasses, wholesale cuts, and retail cuts of meat.
403 students competed in this event at state. Logan Stelling, the top scorer for Osmond,
finished in 256th place, but did not earn a ribbon.
Zach Huwaldt, Nick Reikofski, Zach Alderson, and Josh Gansebom tried their hand at the Vet
Science competition Thursday afternoon. Zach Alderson was 59th out of 144 competitors. He
received a red ribbon.
Ryan Schmit, Mason Gansebom, and Bodie True took the Agriscience Career Development
Event Test and completed the Perch Dissection Practicum. This event is only open to first year
members who are either freshmen or sophomores in high school. 448 high school students
participated in this event. Ryan Schmit earned a red ribbon, finishing 114th in the competition;
and Mason Gansebom finished in 182nd earning a white ribbon.
On Friday, April 5th, 8th graders, Zach Reikofski, Caden Wingert, and Reese Hanna, competed
in the Middle School Quiz Bowl event held at the Graduate Hotel in downtown Lincoln.
Also on Friday, April 5th, Zach Alderson, Josh Gansebom, Madeline Huwaldt, Nick Reikofski,
Landon Stelling, and Logan Stelling spent the morning touring the Kawasaki Manufacturing
Plant in Lincoln. The 1 million square foot facility is the largest manufacturing plant in Nebraska
and constructs everything from ATVs and UTVs to Jet Ski’s and Railcars. Following their tour,
these students checked in to the Living to Serve Event held on the 5th floor concourse of
Pinnacle Bank Arena where students packed over 65,000 meals for Chapter 25/Kids Against
Hunger and the Orphan Grain Train, serving starving families locally and internationally.
Nick Reikofski was honored on stage Friday afternoon during the sixth general session for his
performance in the Employment Skills Leadership Development Event on Thursday morning.
Nick was awarded a bronze medal for his performance.
The seventh general session marked the conclusion of the convention with the state degree
ceremony and installation of the new state officer team. This year four Osmond FFA members
were awarded their State Degrees, senior Nick Reikofski, and juniors Madeline Huwaldt, Josh
Gansebom, and Landon Stelling. In order to earn their state degree these members had to meet
the following requirements: 1) Must be a member for at least the immediate past 24 months. 2)
The candidate has earned both the greenhand and chapter degree. 3) Applicant must have
completed at least 2 full years of agriculture, or all of the agriculture offered at the school last
attended. 4) The candidate has completed at least 25 hours of community service in at least 2
different activities. 5) The candidate has performed 10 procedures of parliamentary law. 6) The
candidate has presented a six minute speech on a topic relating to agriculture or FFA. 7) The
candidate has done at least 500 points of FFA activities. 8) The candidate has done at least 150
points of FFA activities above the chapter level. 9) The candidate must earn and productively
invest at least $4000 or work 1,405 unpaid hours. The next step in these students’ FFA careers
is to work towards their American Degrees, the highest degree that can be conferred upon a