The Diamond Trail FFA Chapter held its 66th annual banquet on May 11 at the PCM High School. There was about 165 people in attendance. The meal was catered by Brad Magg and his family from Prairie City. Ice cream was donated by Jersey Freeze, with the toppings by Pete’s Monroe Foods. The FFA emblem cake was made by Sue Samson.
Freshman Mallory Bell started out the awards ceremony by reciting the FFA Creed which she had received a silver at subdistricts. After that, Greenhand (first-year) FFA members received a certificate and pin. Then the chapter degrees were given out to second year members. Scholarship awards and leadership awards were next, followed by contest recognition and the Greenhand honor roll. Then the star Greenhand award was given to Charity Ingle and Mallory Bell. Star Chapter Farmer was given to senior Alex Samson. Honorary Chapter Farmers were announced and presented with plaques, these recipients include Mrs. Sue Samson and Uitermarkt Farms.
There were two National teams recognized Saturday night with celebratory jackets. The Agronomy team consisted of Seniors Alex Samson, Jodie DeVries, Nathan VandeWall and Junior Derrick Hoodjer.
This team competed at the state level last spring placing first and then continued on to Nationals last fall where they placed ninth. The Meat/Poultry evaluation team was made up of senior Alex Samson, Juniors Derrick Hoodjer, Tyler Espenscheid, Jennafer Uitermarkt, and sophomore Michael Birkenholtz. This team competed at the state level placing third and then continued on to nationals where they received a bronze rating.
All the senior FFA members brought a pie to auction off to the crowd with Bob Heemsbergen as the auctioneer. The proceeds from the auction will go to next year’s senior scholarships. The pie that sold for the highest amount was a peanut-butter chocolate pie made by Chloe Yoder, which sold for $600.
Mr. and Mrs. Ed Ricks were honored with flowers, a retiring plaque, FFA mugs, and much applause as Mr. Ricks is retiring at the end of this year after teaching at PCM for 34 years. FFA President Alex Samson presented a speech for his retirement. Emotion filled the room as people thought of this being Mr. Ricks’ last year. He will truly be missed. New ISU graduate Nicole Gent has been hired to take his place next year.
Lastly, the new FFA officers were installed into position. Junior Derrick Hoodjer took over senior Alex Samson’s office of President, as junior Jennafer Uitermarkt replaced him in the office of Vice President. Junior Makenlee Wilkerson and sophomore Tyler Townsend took Jennafer’s office as Secretary. Sophomore Michael Birkenholtz remains the Treasurer for next year. Sophomore Charity Ingle replaced seniors Jodie DeVries and Chloe Yoder as Reporter. Sophomore Brady Woody handed over his position of Sentinel to sophomore Connor Warrick. Finally, Advisor Ed Ricks gave his position over to Ms. Nicole Gent.