VS FFA officers for 2018-19 will be: Officer-At-Large – Emma Wiley; Sentinel – Ethan Rollinger; Co-Reporters – Shelby McDonald & Kaylee Sorum; Treasurer – Amy Thomas; Secretary – Franki Evans; Vice President – Eric Henkle; President – Isaac Wiley.   

2017-18 FFA President Wes Haefner received many awards at the FFA Banquet.

Below are the awards presented during Saturday’s Vinton-Shellsburg FFA Awards Banquet:

Yield Contest Awards

The VSHS FFA chapter has sponsored a corn and soybean yield contest many years now for the local farmers.  This year, there were three yield checks done by our chapter members. The yield checks involve students getting out of class to participate in hands-on Ag education.  The grain harvested is taken to the elevators to be weighed and the students measure the area combined.

The top corn yields were:

  1. Brian Carlson                            Pioneer P1197AM            276.26Bushels/Acre
  2. Mike Kaufman                           Pioneer 1366     283.73 Bushels/Acre
  3. Mike Kaufman                             Pioneer 1197                       284.87 Bushels/Acre

Sub-District Awards

    • Ag Broadcast: Isaac Wiley – Gold, Advance to Districts


  • Conduct of Meetings: Ethan Rollinger, Julia Shultis, Carly Williams, Emma Arnold, Alesha Brunssen, Eli Powers, and Kailey Bahmann – Gold, Advance to Districts  


  •      Creed Speaking: Emma Wiley – Silver, Alternate to Districts
  •      Ag Sales: Eric Henkle – Silver
  •      Job Interview: Shelby McDonald – Bronze
  •      Public Speaking: Madeline Moen – Gold, Advance to Districts
  •      Chapter Quiz: Amy Thomas, Gold

Freshman Emma Wiley received the Star Greenhand Award.

District Awards


  • Ag Broadcast: Isaac Wiley – Gold, Advance to State
  • Public Speaking: Madeline Moen – Silver
  • Conduct of Meetings: Ethan Rollinger, Julia Shultis, Carly Williams, Emma Arnold, Alesha Brunssen, Eli Powers, and Kailey Bahmann- Gold, Advance to State


  • Experience the Action: Cynlea Adams, Jordan Cantrell, Kellsie Lane, Brianna Lundvall, – Silver
    • Chapter Quiz Team: Shelby McDonald Gold-8th place individual, Franki Evans – Silver, and Amy Thomas-Silver


  • Greenhand Quiz: Philip Kalina and Carly Williams – Gold, 4th Place Team, Cynlea Adams, Kailey Bahmann, Alesha Brunssen, Eli Powers, Lydia Radeke, Ethan Rollinger all silvers, and Emma Arnold and Julia Shultis recieved a bronze


  • Secretary’s Book: Isaac Wiley – Gold, Advance to State
    • Treasurer’s Record book: Madeline Moen – Gold, Alternate to State


  • Reporter’s Scrapbook: Shelby McDonald and Franki Evans – Gold
  • Chapter Website: Kaylee Sorum – Bronze
  • Creed Speaking: Emma Wiley – Silver
  • Farm Business Management:George Haefner, Eric Henkle, Bree Tharp- Silver, 6th Place  
  • District Officer Elections: Isaac Wiley — 2018-2019 NE District Reporter


    • Shelby McDonald and Kaylee Sorum also interviewed for district officer, and they represented our chapter with pride and gained many new skills to use throughout their life.

State Awards:


  • Ag Broadcast: Isaac Wiley – Silver
  • Conduct of Meetings: Emma Arnold, Kailey Bahmann, Alesha Brunssen, Eli Powers, Ethan Rollinger, Julia Shultis, and Carly Williams – Silver


    • Biotechnology: Ethan Horak, Maren Redlinger, Josie Sagen, Amy Thomas – Silver
    • Chapter Exhibit:  Emma Arnold, Jordan Cantrell Eric Henkle, Shelby McDonald, Emma Wiley, – Gold, 1st Place
    • Farm Business Management:Caroline Lang, Eric Henkle, Kaylee Sorum, Bree Tharp – Bronze 
    • Greenhand Quiz: Philip Kalina and Emma Wiley -Silver Team
    • Poultry: Cynlea Adams, George Haefner, Kellsie Lane, Bethany Miller -Silver


  • Secretary Book: Isaac Wiley – Silver


    • State Honor Choir: Amanda Cardenas
    • State Honor Band: Alyssa Hanson and Julia Shultis. Julia got sick on our trip and was unable to participate, but we would still like to recognize her.


  • State Officer Candidate: Madeline Moen
  • State Degrees: This year the VS FFA chapter had eight members achieve the requirements for earning their state FFA Degrees. These members have had two or more years of Ag education and FFA membership, have earned their Chapter Farmer Degree, and have an SAE project where they have productively earned and invested at least $1500. This year’s State Degree recipients are: Collin Henry, Nicole Venneman, Shelby McDonald, Eric Henkle, Grant Ries, Isaac Wiley, Brianna Lundvall, and Jakob Long. Will you please come forward to accept your awards?
  • Stars Over Iowa: Two FFA members applied for a Stars Over Iowa. Eric Henkle in the area of Agriculture Production and Grant Ries in the area of Agriculture Placement. Out of all the applications for each award area, a set of judges with criteria select the 6 top members based on their application and record books. This year Grant Ries was selected as a state finalist and was recognized on stage. He received a plaque at state convention
  • Academic Achievement Award: This year the VS chapter nominated three senior FFA members for the State Academic Achievement Award.  To qualify for this award, members have to have at least three years of membership and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. Madeline Moen, Bethany Miller, and Meredith Glynn earned this honor.

State Chapter Awards: As a whole chapter, the VS FFA was fortunate to receive a few recognitions while at state convention this year. We would like to take a moment to recognize the efforts of all our members through the next awards. They are the:

  • Ambassador Award: In recognition of our financial support to the Iowa FFA foundation. We received the $1000 contribution award.
  • WHO Public Relations Award: This is an award to recognize our efforts in publicizing our chapter and classroom activities. This would not have been possible without our chapter reporters.
  • Supreme National Chapter Award:This award recognizes chapters based on three overall categories of growing leaders, building communities and strengthening agriculture. The application was judged at the state level and we were ranked 6th in the state. The application will advance to nationals and be judged in July for our national ranking.

Chaperones:  The Chapter recognized chaperones Denise Evans, Marge McDonald and Susie Henkle and thanked them “for putting up with us, providing lots of snacks and goodies, helping us find our locations for our competitions, packing extra pants or even being an off duty nurse when some of us got sick.”

Skill CDEs:  

On April 19th four members participated in District Ag Mechanics. These four members placed 4th as a team in the District.

  • Jordan Cantrell
  • Eric Henkle
  • Trent McFatridge
  • Amy Thomas

Star Awards

Star Greenhand

The Star Greenhand degree is awarded to a first year FFA member who has earned their Greenhand degree and is active in the chapter. Even though it is their first year in FFA, they are already fully aware that it is okay to treat the Ag room as a second home. This year’s Star Greenhand has been an active member and is always willing to put in extra time. Just a few of the activities she has participated in include creed speaking, holiday party, fruit sales, labor auction, chapter exhibit, and is always willing to help out. This year’s Star Greenhand Award goes to Emma Wiley.

Star Chapter Farmer

The Star Chapter Farmer award is given to a member who has been in FFA for two or more years and earned their Chapter Degree. This year, the recipient of the Star Chapter Farmer award has put a lot of time and effort into making the Vinton-Shellsburg FFA Chapter the best it can be. This person has been involved in many activities throughout their four years of membership; including Farm Safety Day, Third Grade Ag Day, Fruit Sales, Labor Auction, chapter display, and Biotechnology to name a few. Their efforts and hard work have shown through in many activities; including their Iowa Degree at last year’s state convention. Madeline Moen received this year’s Star Chapter Farmer award!

Star Placement

The Star Placement Award is given to a member who has been in FFA for two or more years and earned their Chapter Degree in an Agricultural Placement area. This can be a paid or unpaid placement opportunity. This particular senior member has worked with at Theisens and is currently working for a local farmer. This member has served as a chapter officer, participated in the chapter fundraisers, and has earned their Iowa Degree. Colton Evans received the Star Placement Award.

Leadership-Merit Awards

The chapter uses a merit point system that is used in our Chapter to encourage Agriculture Education students to get more involved in FFA.  Members receive merit points for many different activities that our Chapter offers, such as selling fruit and participating in our labor auction.  Each member of the FFA Chapter has a goal set for merit points and they must reach their goal to receive this award.  A Greenhand must earn at least 125 points, a Chapter member at least 250, and Officers are required to earn at least 525 points. Leadership Awards went to the following 35 members:


  • Kaylie Appleby
  • Emma Arnold
  • Kailey Bahmann
  • Alesha Brunssen
  • Kylee Delay
  • Brooks Erickson
  • Alyssa Hansen
  • Philip Kalina
  • Elijah Kalous
  • Sandra Kraklio
  • Jenna Pattee
  • Eli Powers
  • Lydia Radeke
  • Maren Redlinger
  • Mathew Rippel
  • Ethan Rollinger
  • Josie Sagan
  • Julia Shultis
  • Emma Wiley
  • Carly Williams

Chapter Farmers

  • Cynlea Adams
  • Kellsie Lane
  • Bree Tharp
  • ​Blake Witzel
  • Jordan Cantrell
  • Jordan Pattee
  • Madison Novotny

Iowa Degree

  • Eric Henkle
  • Ethan Horak
  • Grant Ries
  • Nikki Venneman


  • George Haefner
  • Colton Evans
  • Isaac Wiley
  • Madeline Moen
  • Shelby McDonald
  • Franki Evans
  • Amy Thomas
  • Kaylee Sorum

Fruit Sales

Every year, the chapter conducts its annual Holiday Sales fundraiser. This year, 7  members sold 1000 dollars’ or more of sales, making them members of our chapter’s 1000 dollar club. The top selling members were:

  • Eric Henkle
  • Shelby McDonald
  • Kaylee Sorum
  • Amy Thomas
  • Grant Ries
  • Riley Schneider
  • Ethan Horak

The money raised from fruit sales is used to fund the many activities and events the Vinton-Shellsburg FFA attends throughout the year, such as State and National Convention.

Proficiency Awards

Currently, there are 18 members that have applied for a local proficiency award in their SAE area. There can only be one member receiving an award in each area. Proficiency awards are given to each member for excellence in their Supervised Agriculture Experience, or SAE.  P

This year’s Proficiency in Ag Mechanics Repair and Maintenance Placement has worked many hours helping her dad in the shop. She is learning skills in engine maintenance. Amy Thomas received this award.

This year’s Proficiency in Ag Service has worked many hours over the past year at the local Fareway store.  He has learned responsibility as well as a strong work ethic. Eli Powers received this award.

This year’s Proficiency in Beef Production has been working with her calf. She is planning to show it at county fair and hoping to breed the heifer to potentially start her own herd. Emma Arnold received this award.

This year’s Proficiency in Diversified Agricultural Production has spent many hours working with their grandpa learning about a variety of crops and livestock species. Grant Ries received this award.

This year’s Proficiency in Diversified Crop Production Entrepreneurship farms 80 acres that he crop shares with his Grandpa. He has the task of taking care of the land, making management decisions, and much more with his grandpa mentoring him. Eric Henkle received this award.

This year’s Proficiency in Diversified Crop Production Placement farms with his dad. He has the task of taking care of the land, helping with planting, and harvesting the rows of crops. Ethan Horak received this award.

This year’s Proficiency in Diversified Livestock raises a variety of animals ranging from llama to poultry. He exhibits each year at the local county fair. His animals are frequently part of our many petting zoos sponsored by the chapter.  George Haefner received this award.

This year’s Proficiency in Equine Science Entrepreneurship has put many hours caring for and showing her horses. She has spent time working with a variety of animals but is most fond of the horses. She manages her own accounts for the financials needs of her horses. Bethany Miller received this award.

This year’s Proficiency in Fiber and Oil Crop Production has spent many hours learning planting and harvesting for best soybean yields. Colton Evans received this award.

This year’s Proficiency in Grain Production rents 10 acres of ground from her dad and farms it. She is planning to learn management decisions and is planning to plant corn this upcoming planting season. Emma Wiley received this award.

This year’s Proficiency in Nursery Operations has recently started working at Frazier Nursery over the summer and has learned a lot about the caring of nursery plants. Shelby McDonald received this award.

This year’s Proficiency in Outdoor Recreation works at the swimming pool lifeguarding. She works about 20 hours a week between 2 different pools. She teaches swimming lessons.Franki Evans received this award.

This year’s Proficiency in Small Animal Production and Care, feeds, takes care of and shows rabbits at fair. He records spendings and earnings from the rabbit, and also buys and sells rabbits.  Ethan Rollinger received this award.

This year’s Proficiency in Specialty Animal Production raises and breeds pigeons. She also goes to swap meets to sell the pigeons Carly Williams received this award.

This year’s Proficiency in Swine Production works on his family farm where he breeds sows, power washes, and processes piglets. He has also taught the pig station at third grade ag day. Isaac Wiley received this award.

This years Proficiency in Veterinary Science has worked for over two years at the Vinton/Urbana veterinary hospital several nights a week, learning skills to help her pursue a career in Veterinary Med. Madeline Moen received this award.

SAE Award

An important part of a Supervised Agricultural Experience is record keeping.  Each year the chapter recognizes a junior member who has done an outstanding job managing and expanding their SAE project(s). This year’s recipient has been a three-year FFA member and has just earned their Iowa FFA Degree at state convention based on an Ag Entrepreneurship crop sharing 80 acres. This person’s records were neat and their numbers were as accurate of any of the junior to earn this award. Eric Henkle  received this award.

Chapter Scholars

The VS FFA recognizes those students who have succeeded academically throughout their high school career. We will honor the top student in each grade based on their cumulative GPA. Would you please come forward to receive your certificates of achievement and pins? The winners are:

  •      Freshman: Ethan Rollinger
  •      Sophomore: Caroline Lang
  •      Junior: Morgan White
  •      Senior: Madeline Moen


This award is given to the member of each class that has shown the most involvement in our chapter, based on the number of merit points they have accumulated and activities that they have taken part in. This year’s recipients are:

  • Freshman: Ethan Rollinger
  • Sophomore: Franki Evans
  • Junior: Isaac Wiley
  • Senior: Bree Tharp


Advisors: Every year, the DeKalb Seed Company sponsors one senior student from every chapter to be recognized as their award winner. This person should display an interest in agriculture, been successful in agriculture education classes, as well as other curriculum, but most importantly been an active asset to their FFA chapter. They receive a certificate from the DeKalb Company, a pin and have their name added to DeKalb’s national recognition list. This year’s award winner is Ethan Horak.


SENIOR SERVICE AWARD (Advisors Speaking and Presenting Awards)


Advisor: The Senior Service Award, is a tractor sponsored by the Bierschenk Farms. Would the Bierschenk’s, please come forward to help me present this award? They have been donating a tractor to our chapter to present to a senior member that has shown hard work and diligence to our chapter’s programs and activities. The outstanding senior award is presented to a senior in FFA who has shown outstanding leadership in their school, community, and FFA chapter. They are Senior and four-year member of our chapter; they have shown true leadership and responsibility, and understand the true meaning of service for this FFA chapter.This year’s senior service award goes to  George Haefner!


Farmer’s Savings Bank and Trust: Farmer’s Savings Bank for many years now has been donating $750 to a senior FFA member that has demonstrated leadership skills and outstanding service to the chapter and the community. This year’s recipient of the Farmer’s Savings Bank and Trust Scholarship is: Madeline Moen. Madeline has been accepted at Iowa State University and is majoring in Animal Science.

The Ross and Shirley Wiley Scholarship:

To qualify for the Ross and Shirley Wiley Scholarship, applicants must have at least 2 years of active FFA membership, maintain an honor roll cumulative GPA, be attending either a 2 or 4-year college in Iowa, and preferably pursuing a career in agriculture. This year’s recipient is looking attending Ellsworth Community College and majoring in Conservation: George Haefner.

Advisor’s Scholarship sponsored by the Yedlik Family:

For the past several years, the Yedlik family has sponsored a $1,000 scholarship to recognize a student that is pursuing a degree in the agriculture field. It is stressed that this financial award is not limited to only the highest achieving student, but merely hardworking and driven students looking to better themselves with higher education. This year’s winner has demonstrated that they are hardworking and self-driven in many aspects of their life. This person has been an active FFA member for four years participating in many career development events and helping with whatever they can to make our chapter successful. This person plans to attend Kirkwood Community College in Diesel Ag Technology. This year, the Advisor’s Scholarship is proudly presented to: Colton Evans.

Bronson Paul Werning Scholarship:

The Bronson P. Werning scholarship is in memory of a former chapter member and officer of the Vinton-Shellsburg chapter. Unfortunately his life ended too soon, but those that knew Bronson knew his fun spirit and passion for agriculture. In his memory, the family has decided to sponsor a $500 scholarship to someone that exhibits many of these same qualities. The winner of the second annual Bronson P. Werning scholarship is Madeline Moen.

Crop Plot Scholarships:

Thanks to John’s Anderson’s generous donation of land for our students crop research plot, we have been allowed to continue a scholarship program for our deserving senior FFA members. This year’s winners of the $500 Crop Plot Scholarship goes to:

  • Bethany Miller


The Honorary Degree is bestowed to people who have aided our chapter above and beyond. The Honorary Degree is a one-time award and is considered the highest level of appreciation our chapter can bestow. This year, the FFA honored five Honorary Degree recipients.

Below are the five honorees, and the words spoken about them:

Ethan R: My dad, Jeff Rollinger, we thank you for everything you do for our crop plot to help keep it running and make it the best it can be. For your numerous donations including fertilizer and anhydrous. Thanks for being our go to agronomist when ever we need you, from asking questions about our crop plot, helping with soil tests, and getting the new agronomy group started within our chapter. With all of your support for our chapter, we thank you!

Ethan H: My dad, Matt Horak, over the years, we have never formally said thank you. Without you we would not have the successful crop plot we do today. Your generous donations of seed and valuable time spent harvesting our plot in past years has really made our crop plot stand out from the rest. Members would not get the experience they do today without you. Your support for this chapter has been amazing and a reason why this chapter is the great chapter it is today.  

Grant: My grandpa, Kenny Henkle, you have helped our chapter in many ways. Thank you for allowing us to borrow animals for fair and petting zoos, and for the gates you let us use throughout the years. They have truly been the reason why we can have the events we do. Thank you for letting me help with all the FFA events even when you need me on the farm, for all your support and donations to this chapter. Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for us.

Wes H: My mom and dad, Julie and Kevin Haefner, we can’t thank you enough for all the animals you have let me bring in to help students learn, and get hands on experience with. And also for the animals you let us borrow for petting zoos. The petting zoos you help with happen because of our animals and we are truly grateful for them. While we don’t always do the best job of expressing it, our chapter and members are truly grateful for all you do for us.


The VS FFA has a vast amount of supporters who help with many aspects of our chapter. We will be recognizing supporters in five different categories.

“Without the support of these community members, our chapter would not function. Due to the vast amount of supporters our chapter has, we apologize in advance if any names are missing. Please believe me when I say you are all so very important to what we do and what we can accomplish.  There are multiple categories; some names may be read twice. As your names are read, please come up on stage to receive your certificate and remain for a group picture. Thank you for all your support,” says Wes Haefner.

 The following are recognized for their contributions to our chapter’s Crop Plot:

  •      John Anderson
  •      Jeff Rollinger with New Century Farm Service
  •      Matt Horak
  •      Tama Benton Coop

The following are recognized for their contributions for CDEs:

  •      Stacie Buhr
  •      Brian Carlson
  •      Mr. Duane Fisher
  •      Mrs. Mary Jo Hainstock
  •      Susie Henkle
  •      John Holst
  •      Mr. Matt Kingsbury
  •      Sue Gates
  •      Joe Yedlick
  •      Emily Cashman

The following are recognized for their contributions to our chapter in various ways throughout the year:

  • Belle Plaine FFA
  • Benton County Corn Growers
  • Benton Community FFA Chapter
  • Benton County Fair Board
  • Benton County Iowa State Extension and Outreach Office
  • Paul Bierschenk
  • Dillon Brummer
  • Cedar Valley Times
  • Cedar River Ink
  • Tina Eden
  • Fareway Grocery, Inc.
  • Farmer’s Savings Bank
  • Christopher Fleming
  • Scott Fleming
  • Alana Flemming
  • Frazier Nursery
  • GO VS
  • Julie & Kevin Haefner
  • Bob and Maureen Hanson
  • Kyle Henkle
  • Jim Huber
  • Mr. Matt Kingsbury
  • Vinton Kiwanis Club
  • LaPorte – Dysart FFA Chapter
  • Vinton Lions Club
  • Marge & Jay McDonald
  • McDowell’s
  • Allen Merchant
  • Merchant’s Grilling
  • Matt Marovec
  • Ben Olson
  • Laura Payne
  • Mark Pingenot
  • Pizza Ranch
  • Theisen’s
  • Mr. Eric Upmeyer
  • V-S Cooks
  • Vinton Newspapers
  • Vinton Parks and Recreation Department
  • Vinton Today
  • Vinton Trophy
  • The Vinton Vet Clinic
  • Virginia Gay Hospital
  • Rachel Webster
  • Jason White
  • Todd Wiley

The following are recognized for their contributions to our chapter’s Labor Auction:

  •      John Anderson
  •      Benton County Cattlemen
  •      Benton County Pork Producers
  •      Brian Carlson Crop Insurance
  •      Bob Hanson– B&B Seeds
  •      Buhr Farms
  •      Farmers Savings Bank and Trust-Vinton
  •      Kenny Henkle
  •      Lori Lang
  •      Joel Schmitz Auctioning
  •      Thomas Repair

The following are recognized for their unconditional support of the Ag Ed/FFA Program:

  •      John Anderson
  •      Duane Fisher

Graduation Cords:

Throughout its history, the FFA chapter has been shaped by its members and made greater through their hard work and dedication. These people have helped lead through their experience, guided us with their knowledge, and worked hard to make this chapter what it is today. They have either completed 4 years in FFA or participated in many events and met their leadership point goals. These members include:

  • Colton Evans
  • Logan Grabin
  • George Haefner
  • Ethan Horak
  • Jakob Long
  • Bethany Miller
  • Madeline Moen
  • Bree Tharp
  • Tailynn Tharp
  • Nikki Venneman

Installation of New Officers

The 2018-2019 Vinton-Shellsburg Officer team will include!

  • Officer At Large – Emma Wiley                       
  • Sentinel – Ethan Rollinger                           
  • Co-Reporters – Shelby McDonald & Kaylee Sorum   
  • Treasurer – Amy Thomas                       
  • Secretary – Franki Evans
  • Vice President – Eric Henkle                            
  • President – Isaac Wiley