Blue, gold shine in Madison

Wisconsin dairy youth collect FFA honors

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MADISON, Wis. – The traditional sea of blue and gold jackets descended on the Alliant Energy Center for the Wisconsin State FFA Convention June 13-16 in Madison.
The 2022-23 state FFA officer team was selected with Casey Denk of Mondovi being elected as president. Joining Denk will be Isaac Hopke of Spooner, Heidi Strey of Osseo-Fairchild, Kendra Goplin of Whitehall, Jeremiah Ihm of Lancaster, Rhylie Gough of Albany, Cole Hicken of Waupun, Devani Hinkelmann of Loyal, Brooke Casey of New London, Evan Mennen of Bay Port and Mary Schrieber of East Troy.
Dairy youth from around the state garnered awards and recognition for their work in their dairy-related project areas.
Luke Sprecher of Sauk Prairie was named Wisconsin’s Star in Agricultural Placement for his work at Kevin Enge Farms. Sprecher began milking cows and feeding calves. Throughout his employment, he has gained knowledge of the dairy industry and a desire to pursue a career in dairy farming. He will attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison Farm and Industry Short Course.
Other Star in Agricultural Placement finalists included Brandon Jakobi of Loyal in second; Hannah Dahl of Columbus in third; Dillan Schwochert of Montello in fourth and Claire Duch of New London in fifth.
State proficiency winners are determined in a variety of project areas based on the youth’s Supervised Agricultural Experience.
Winning the dairy production placement proficiency was Randall Winch of Fennimore. Winch has grown up on his family’s 240-cow robotic dairy farm. Winch, who completed his freshman year at South Dakota State University, was also named the Wisconsin Star Farmer at the 2021 convention.
Other finalists in the dairy production placement proficiency included Courtney Glenna of Amery in second; Bethany Magdanz of Weyauwega-Fremont in third; Eli Nett of Weyauwega-Fremont in fourth and Dillan Schwochert of Montello in fifth.
Rainna Simone, of Marshfield, was the winner of the dairy production entrepreneurship proficiency. Simone grew up helping on her grandparents’ dairy farm until their herd was sold. She built her SAE with a few show heifers she was given. She now has four milking cows and a calf.
Placing second in the dairy production entrepreneurship proficiency was Emma Bangart of Marshfield; third place went to Rebecca Tank of New London; fourth to Justyne Frisle of Prairie Farm and fifth to Tanna Luchterhand of Loyal.
Austin Fahey, of Edgar, took home top honors in the organic agriculture proficiency followed by Lindsey Montgomery of Waupaca. Fahey works on his family’s 38-cow organic registered Holstein farm, Ji-mmy Dairy. On the farm, he assists with milking and all other farm chores.
Cody Hall, of Tomah, won the forage production proficiency. Beginning in sixth grade, Hall began to help with harvesting and hauling forage wagons on his family’s 200-cow dairy farm. He is now involved with all aspects of making forage from 140 acres of alfalfa that goes to feed his family’s herd of dairy cows.
Other finalists in the forage production proficiency included Lora Korth of New London, Rhett Nelson of Waupaca, Levi Wehrle of River Ridge and Jackie Nusbaum of Juda.  
Brandon Jakobi, of Loyal, was the diversified agricultural production proficiency winner. Jakobi is involved in the cropping duties on his family’s dairy farm. He helps with equipment operating and chopping and hauling corn silage. He also helps with pushing up feed, scraping the freestall barn and overseeing calf care.
Placing second in the diversified agricultural production proficiency was Carter Schmitt of Cochrane-Fountain City. Luke Sprecher and Logan Sprecher, both of Sauk Prairie, placed third and fourth, respectively. Lane Branville of New Auburn placed fifth.
In the Career Development Events held earlier this year, Brady Bleck from the Plymouth FFA Chapter took top individual honors in the dairy cattle evaluation and management event. The event’s top-placing team came from the Marshfield FFA Chapter and included team members Emma Bangart, Wyatt Dorshorst, Faith Beining and Sara Dorshorst.
Participants in the contest placed six classes of dairy cattle and presented oral reasons on their placings. They were tested on pedigree evaluation, sire selection and linear evaluation.
Amery FFA Chapter member Courtney Glenna was named the top dairy cattle handler while presenting animals for the dairy cattle evaluation contest.
Proficiency contest winners will learn later this summer if they have been selected as finalists at the national level. The dairy cattle evaluation winners will compete at the National FFA Convention in October in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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