By Shiela K. Haynes
Winnsboro FFA students and supporters filled the Winnsboro Civic Center Monday evening for a time of celebration, recognition of outstanding members, and installation of officers for 2022-23.
Chapter president Cody Ellison was recognized with the DeKalb Agricultural Accomplishment Award. The award is given to a senior student and is a symbol for excellence. It is a school’s highest agricultural honor.
Naomi Reese was named Star Chapter Farmer in Production, and Lukas Busby was named Star Chapter Farmer in Placement.
Eight students were awarded the Chapter FFA Degree, the highest degree given at the local level. They were Ashlan Barnhart, Sawyer Burns, Lukas Busby, Alora Joyner, Layton Keith, Rylie Newsome, Naomi Reese, and Emma Stansbury.
Makenzy Driver was named Star Greenhand in Production, and Luke Rogers was named Star Greenhand in Agriscience. Altogether, 72 students received their Greenhand FFA Degree; greenhands are first-year students in agricultural science.
At the State FFA Convention this summer, three outstanding individuals will receive the highest degree possible within the Texas FFA Association. Receiving the Lone Star Degree recognition are Emma Allen, Madison Driver, and Landon Mabry. This honor is the result of their work on a supervised agricultural experience. The students were awarded the chains that will attach to the degrees that will be awarded in July.
The Star Lone Star Farmer in Production was awarded to Emma Allen. The Star Lone Star Farmer in Agri-Business was awarded to Madison Driver.
Top Ten Buckles are awarded to students who participate in activities on a constant basis throughout the year and have generally advanced to a high level. Students recognized this year were engaged in Leadership Development Events, Career Development Events, and Supervised Agricultural Experiences. These are the top 10 overall FFA members for 2021-22. From first to 10th, they are Emma Allen, Makenzy Driver, Cody Ellison, Ashlan Barnhart, Luke Rogers, Rylie Newsome, Naomi Reese, Madison Driver, Lukas Busby, and Sarah Jo Hood.
Under traveling buckles awards, last year’s special recipients passed their buckles to this year’s recipients. Madison Poole presented the Jack Cross buckle to Skylar DeLaRosa, Cody Ellison presented the Burke Bullock buckle to Landon Mabry, and Albert Plaskey presented the Matt Howton buckle to Lukas Busby. The Jack Cross buckle is awarded to the overall top animal showman, the Burke Bullock buckle is given to the leading student in Ag Mechanics, and the Matt Howton buckle goes to a student who works behind the scenes and is always ready to jump in and assist.
The top five sellers for fundraising sales were recognized. They are Trista Taylor, Layton Keith, Sarah Jo Hood, Cassie Coleman, and Jase Summers.
Proficiency and Herdsman Awards were given to Naomi Reese, Beef Herdsman; Madison Driver, Beef Proficiency; Ashlan Barnhart, Broiler Herdsman and Proficiency; Emma Allen, Dairy Herdsman and Proficiency; Karsen Driver, Lamb Herdsman and Proficiency; Jace Mitchell, Rabbit Herdsman and Proficiency; and Brody Busby, Swine Herdsman and Proficiency.
Honorary Chapter FFA Degrees were awarded to Dave Wilcox, Shiela Haynes, Marta Preciado, and Cindy Rogers for their help in advancing the cause of agricultural education and the FFA. At the conclusion of the evening, the officer team for 2022-23 was announced. They are president Emma Allen, vice president Naomi Reese, secretary Rylie Newsome, treasurer Lukas Busby, reporter Madison Driver, sentinel Madison Poole, student advisor Sawyer Burns, and historian Kassidy Watson. The team was sworn in by outgoing president Cody Ellison.