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EAST LANSING, MI --

Throughout the year, FFA chapters work to improve their community through education, service to others, and involvement in local efforts. A number of honors were awarded for the individual group’s projects and work outside of the classrooms.

The Building our Michigan Communities award requires the chapters apply and fulfill twelve of the seventeen qualifications to be recognized for their project. Those chapters that were awarded the BOMC honor were Alpena, Bay-Arenac, Byron, Caledonia, Camden- Frontier, Coopersville, Corunna, Homer, Hopkins, Ionia AM, Jonesville, Muskegon Area, New Lothrop, Perry, Ravenna, Springport, Ubly, and Webberville.

The Food for America program is run through the National FFA organization with awards given at the state level for chapters that qualified. In first place was Olivet with Webberville coming in second, Springport third, Homer fourth, and Ubly in fifth place. Other honorees included Alma, Caledonia, Capac, Corunna, Hopkins, Ionia, Jonesville, New Lothrop, Perry, and Standish-Sterling.

The 2016 National Chapter Awards were given with Springport being named the state winner, Montague was the first runner-up, and Byron took home the second runner-up honors. Other chapters receiving a gold rating were Alma, Alpena, Caledonia, Corunna, Dundee, Hopkins, Lapeer, Milan, New Lothrop, North Huron, Sanilac, Ubly, and Webberville. Silver ratings were awarded to Branch Area Career Center (BACC), Dansville, Homer, Jonesville, Mason, Olivet, Ravenna, and Waldron.

FFA members could also apply for individual honors that were specific to their area of interest. The FFA members who are currently juniors in high school could apply for the Outstanding Junior award which honors three students for their efforts. Kyle Markley of Byron received the 2016 award with Jake Bushey of Laker coming in second and third place was given to Keegan Humm of Breckinridge.

Proficiency awards span the range of agricultural career pursuits and allow the young people to be recognized for their studies and work. In 2016, the winners were: Jenna Kingsley, Webberville, Ag Communications; Lauren Bednarski, Jackson Area Career Center (JACC), Agricultural Education; Kollin Johnson, BACC, Ag Sales; Andrew Lanser, Caledonia, Ag Sales Placement; Sidney Linck, Ravenna, Ag Services; Emily Fricko, Lapeer, Agriscience Research Animal Systems; Loren King, BACC, Agriscience Research Integrated Systems; Madeline Henrickson, Hopkins, Agriscience Research Plant Systems; Eric Moser, Dansville, Dairy Production; Paige Wilson, Webberville, Dairy Production Placement; Jesse Vogel, Ubly, Diversified Crop Production Placement; Mahayla Edgar, JACC, Diversified Horticulture; Austin Haywood, Hastings, Diversified Livestock Production; Gabrielle Frostic, Sanilac, Equine Science; Kathryn Clavier, JACC, Equine Science Placement; Mark Rasch, Lowell, Fruit Production; Garrett Marion, Saline, Grain Production; Noah Wyn, Fremont, Landscape Management; Jordan Hath, Webberville, Poultry Production; Alex Ludlam, Hopkins, Sheep Production; and Cailyn Hines, BACC, Swine Production.

The top awards are the Stars over Michigan with four different categories. The young people apply with the top five applications selected to be interviewed. The top three move to the next level with another round of interviews. The winners are announced at the state convention to a great deal of fanfare. The 2016 honorees were Austin Haywood of Hastings for Agricultural Production, Madeline Meyer of Ionia for Agricultural Placement, Ashley Hemminger of Jonesville for Agribusiness and Loren King of BACC for Agriscience.

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