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Perham FFA ends year at state convention

Perham FFA students traveled to St. Paul to attend and compete at the Minnesota FFA Convention April 27 to 29. Submitted photo

Students of the Perham FFA went to the 85th Minnesota State Convention to compete and be recognized for their accomplishments.

The convention was held April 27-29 at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, with more than 4,000 FFA members in attendance.

While at the convention, Perham High School senior Lindsey Loerzel received a State FFA degree.

In order to be eligible for the degree, applicants must complete 360 hours of agricultural education and earn a minimum of $1,000 through their supervised agricultural experience. A supervised agricultural experience program is a planned practical agricultural activity which supports skill and competency development.

Loerzel was also a finalist for the state Star award in agri-business.

In team competition, the general livestock team won a silver ranking, with Loerzel winning an individual gold and taking 17th place.

For the livestock competition, Loerzel said students are supposed to rank various classes of animals and match up with the ‘official’ scores given by judges.

“It’s very subjective,” she said. “If you’re not on the same page as them (the judges), you’re out of luck.”

Loerzel was 36 points away from taking first place. Perham FFA advisor Shell Tumberg said the scores were unusually tight and close.

Also winning individual awards on the livestock team were Shawna Loerzel (silver), Katie Howey (bronze) and Matt Langlie (bronze).

James Vana won an individual gold for forestry.

“It’s an incredibly hard contest,” said Tumberg. “I’m just so impressed… He did, like, awesome.”

Vana identified 84 of the 100 trees in the contest based on hints such as leaves, pine cones or twigs.

Other students who won individual forestry awards were Tristan Schlosser (silver), Dean Sailer (bronze) and Kali Schlosser (bronze).

The following students on the fish and wildlife team also won individual awards: Coleton Masteller (silver), Billy Vanna (silver), Troy Brown (bronze) and Todd Brown (bronze).

Gold is for the top third of contestants. Silver awards are given to the top half of participants. Bronze goes to the top two-thirds of students.