Brady Gittlein, seen here working on some fencing, is one of just four Imperial FFA members in the last 10 years to be a State Star Finalist in placement. (Courtesy photo)

Imperial FFA chapter takes 41 members to state convention

    Imperial’s chapter will likely make its presence known this week as 41 members attend the 90th State FFA Convention in Lincoln, which kicked off Wednesday and continues through Friday.
    Imperial FFA will be in Lincoln for a number of awards already earned, one of which includes CCS senior Brady Gittlein’s selection as one of 10 State Star Finalists in placement.
    FFA Advisor Jeremy Vlasin said only a select few ever gain that recognition.
    To earn this, Gittlein had to fill out a State Star Application along with his state degree application. He had to be chosen as a District Star first and then his application went to the state level.
    Applications are chosen based on the quality of their SAE, Vlasin said, and their total accomplishments in the FFA organization.
    “Getting selected as State Star is extremely difficult. In the last 10 years, Brady will be only the fourth student from the Imperial chapter chosen as a State Star Finalist,” Vlasin said.  
    Gittlein is in the beef placement division. He works for Larges Farms, Inc., a progressive cow/calf operation in Chase County that focuses on custom feeding and heifer development. The operation has about 430 head of SimAngus cows. Gittlein has worked for the Larges’ operation since he was 14 years old.
    Four Imperial FFA members are in the top three for their proficiency areas, Vlasin said, including Gittlein, Kayla Schilke, Ryelee Christensen and Molly Luhrs.
    Vlasin said the proficiency application highlights the FFA member’s Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE). However, before a proficiency can get to be top three in the state, it first had to be judged on the district level.
    The district reviewers decide whether the applications are worthy to move onto the first round of state reviews. From the first round of state reviews, the top three are selected. Those FFA members then are interviewed at the state convention by a panel of judges.
    Seven Imperial FFA members will receive their state degrees this weekend, another major accomplishment.
    They include Gittlein, Lauren Prior, Kayla Schilke, Sydney Vetter, Ryelee Christensen, Stevie Johnson and Emma Ferguson.

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