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Indiana FFA elects new officers, names Stars

Indiana FFA wraps up a challenging year and starts off fresh.

July 7, 2022

3 Min Read
2022-2023 Indiana FFA State Officers
NEW CREW: The 2022-23 Indiana FFA officers are (from left) Jaden Maze, Gracie Lee, Anthony Taylor, Jenna Kelsay, Mary Jones, Tobias Sturgell and Seth Ariens. Indiana FFA

Excitement is flowing in Indiana FFA once again after a challenging year. Seven eager young people will lead Indiana FFA into the new academic year. They were elected at the state FFA convention in June.

The 2022-23 Indiana FFA state officers include: Jaden Maze, sentinel, Western Boone; Gracie Lee, reporter, Monroe Central; Anthony Taylor, treasurer, Warsaw; Jenna Kelsay, southern region vice president, Whiteland; Mary Jones, northern region vice president, Adams Central; Tobias Sturgell, secretary, Indian Creek; and Seth Ariens, president, North Putnam.

Congratulations to each newly installed state officer. Best wishes to the 2021-22 state officers, who retired in June. You met each through articles they penned in Indiana Prairie Farmer. They included Kourtney Otte, Abby Stuckwisch, Tyler Kilmer, Nicholas Neuman, Jordyn Wickard and Madison Carnes.

State stars named

The state Star awards were presented at the Indiana FFA Convention.

Star Farmer. This coveted award went to Seth Ariens, North Putnam FFA. Ariens was also elected state president, as noted. His grandfather is Don Rekeweg, Allen County, an ardent supporter of the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

Star in Agribusiness. Finalists from each region in Indiana FFA vied for this honor. Kolton Bailey, from the Central Noble FFA, was named the overall winner.

Star in Ag Placement. FFA members who develop outstanding Supervised Agricultural Experience programs working for an agricultural employer compete for this honor. Carson Lambert, a member of the [email protected] FFA Chapter, took home the title.

Star in Agriscience. FFA students who carry out research projects qualify for this award. The 2022 winner is Reagan Koester, North Posey FFA.

Overcome challenges

Indiana FFA as an organization faced a variety of challenges during the 2021-22 year. COVID-19 was still an issue when this academic year started, but it was only one of several challenges for Indiana FFA.

Here are some obstacles the organization overcame during the past year:

Staff changes. At least three key people on the state staff resigned during the year. Tami Ketchen, hired earlier as assistant director for Indiana FFA, was tapped to be the new leader after Sam Miller resigned in late 2021. Joe Martin, now with National FFA, resigned early in 2022 from his role primarily working with state officers. Later, Megan Mensch, who worked with FFA contests, left her role. New staff members include Skylar Clingan and Erin Padgett.

Officer resignation. If you only counted six names for retiring Indiana FFA officers above, you did not miscount. Jeremiah Geise, Rushville, resigned in November. He was not replaced, leaving a team of six state officers to finish the year. Geise appeared on the December cover of Indiana Prairie Farmer because the magazine was being printed before word of his resignation reached the editor.

Different state convention venue. The Indiana FFA Convention, held at Purdue University until 2020, when COVID-19 forced a virtual convention, did not return to Purdue due to scheduling conflicts. Instead, for the second straight year, most state contests were held at Hamilton Southeastern High School, with live sessions at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Congratulations to the current staff, state officers and each FFA member for pulling off a successful year despite all these challenges. We look for even better things in the future!

Comments? Email [email protected].

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