Joliet students progress to National FFA

Joliet National FFA state award winning students (left to right): Emily Jones, Tyrel Hoferer, Teal Hatten, Cori Krook, Dani Dewell, Brittany Wetstein, Jada Thompson, Levi Mydland, Tayler Mydland.

Two teams from Joliet High School made first place in the Future Farmers of America (FFA) state competition. They now advance to the national level.
Chad Massar has taught Ag Education and been the FFA advisor at Joliet for twelve years.

In Joliet, on Monday, April 8, the students gathered to review their efforts. There were two winning teams, Parlimentary Procedure and for Floriculture.

On the Parlimentary Procedure winning team were: Tayler Mydland(Sr.), Jada Thompson (Sr.), Cori Krook (Sr.), Brittany Wetstein (Jr.), Dani Dewell (Jr.) and Levi Mydland (Jr.).
On the Floriculture winning team were: Emily Jones (Sr.), Cori Krook (Sr.), Brittany Wetstein and Teal Hatten (Sr.).

Weinstein remarked, “It was a nervewracking competition,” as they advanced. “We had to take a test to qualify for the competition.” Students then conducted a mock meeting covering one given item of business in which they need to debate and apply required and additional motions in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order. Individuals had to keep within the allotted time on their own. The Parlimentary team placed first out of 16 schools.

Krook said, “We practiced a lot and we have fun doing it. We enjoy debating!”
The Floriculture team placed first out of 30 schools. Likewise, the Floriculture team had to take written tests, identify floriculture plants of the US, build a dish garden, create boutonnieres and corsages, design and construct a wedding bouquet and cake piece, complete a job interview and identify floricultural pests at the competition.

Massar noted that Tyrel Hoferer was also a state champ, placing first statewide in Agriculture Mechanics individually. “Tyrel wants to be an ag producer. He will be successful because he has those skills.” His team came in second place.
Masar praised the teams and individuals. “I am very proud of all of them. There were quite a number of Joliet students competing. It is really leadership training. These are career development events. Parliamentary students will go on to be leaders on school boards and bosses of agricultural businesses.” The competitions required hours on their own in preparation and as teams. “It is a big part of parliamentary procedure,” added Massar.

Twenty-five different motions were required involving a great deal of collaboration and improvisation.
The groups go on to the Nationals at the end of October. Awards were given out last week at the state convention in Billings. Massar said, “All the topics they were tested on were things that were taught in Agriculture Education class.” He saw their great potential years ago. “When they were in the 8th grade, I said, ‘You will be competing in the nationals.’” He said, “It takes a lot of work, a lot of individual initiative.”

In the front of Massar’s room is a “Wall of Fame.” Students entering his class for the first time see the goal on the wall-the winners of the nationals. There is only one team per state in each category so the Parlimentary Procedure Team and the Floriculture Team will represent Montana. “The Mechanics team came in second missing first by only four points,” said Massar.
The Joliet Chapter has fifty students. Massar teaches 70 students a day to prepare them for agronomy, farm business and related fields. He wanted to also praise the other Joliet students who competed in other fields: Agronomy came in 9th of 56 teams; Mechanics 2nd of 60 teams; Livestock 16th of 68 teams, Agricultural Sales 22nd of 38 and Prepared Speaking had one student in the top 16 in the state.