FFA holds county-wide banquet
Over 60 members, guests and advisors for Bradford County's four Future Farmers of America chapters celebrated outstanding achievements Friday during the annual county banquet at Athens Area High School.
The banquet honored members of Athens, Troy, Canton and Northeast Bradford high school chapters, recognizing them for awards earned during the school year. Several students also received scholarships.
Michala Kuhlman of Northeast Bradford High School, county FFA president, was awarded the Bradford County FFA Scholarship. Kuhlman plans to study agricultural business at Penn State Altoona and will receive her scholarship upon completion of her first semester, said Troy FFA advisor Nathan Schanbacher.
For the first time, six students also received $1,000 scholarships from Talisman Energy - Kuhlman, Elsie Jerzak, Marissa Schrader, Vanessa Bonnell, Lu-Anne Antisdel and Victoria Burgess.
Six county members received the state-level Keystone Degree this year - Jerzak, Antisdel, Kuhlman, Bonnell, Sarah Bly and Emily Teeter. Kuhlman was also awarded the State Star in Agricultural Production.
Eighteen students also received county-level degrees Friday, including Mara Tate, Emily Elsbree, Caleb Jelliff, Olivia Hardenstine, Kylee Ravenscroft and Jessica Stevens of Athens; Trever Hartford, Benjamin Bly, Caleb Jackson, Austin Guindon, Autum McPherson, Madison Riggs and Will Unruh of Canton; Bradley Alderson and Marilyce Young of NEB; and Matthew Thomas, Wesley Noble and Elsie Jerzak of Troy.
The banquet also featured guest speakers Maria Jo Noble, Pennsylvania Dairy Princess and Troy FFA alumni, and Tyler Schaeffer of Cumberland County, who served as state vice president in the 2011-12 year.
During her speech, Noble gave a toast to FFA and to the students faced with the continued challenges of promoting and sustaining the state's agriculture industry.
Noble encouraged FFA representatives to "represent agriculture to its fullest extent," toasting to "the future of FFA in Bradford County."
Schaeffer congratulated members on their legacy and reminded them that their actions inspire younger FFA members, stressing the importance of respect, teamwork and dedication.
"What they get out of it is exactly what everyone else puts into it," he said.
Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: email@example.com.