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Triton FFA students leading chapter into the future

By Janet Kubat Willette

jkubat@agrinews.com

DODGE CENTER, Minn. — It’s been a year of learning for both the new Triton FFA adviser and her students.

MaryAnne Bedtke started teaching at Triton in the fall, following a succession of agricultural education teachers who’ve stayed at the school for a short tenure before moving on.

Triton FFA president Nichole Kanable, a junior, has had three advisors in her three years in FFA.

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Bedtke brings organization to the chapter, Kanable said. She gets things done right away.

Bedtke said the students are the ones who lead the chapter.

"I’m really just advising, I’m not doing," she said. The only way students learn leadership is by doing. Sometimes they’ll make a mistake, but they learn from that too, she added.

An example of leadership in action is the chapter’s annual Steak Feed fundraiser. The fundraiser, now in its third year, is organized entirely by the students, Bedtke said. The students plan the event and they will prepare and serve the food. She and parents will be at the Legion to help, but it’s really the FFA’s fundraiser, she said.

An example of leadership in action is the chapter’s annual Steak Feed fundraiser. The fundraiser, now in its third year, is organized entirely by the students, Bedtke said. The students plan the event and they will prepare and serve the food. She and parents will be at the Legion to help, but it’s really the FFA’s fundraiser, she said.

Bedtke doesn’t know what to expect from the fundraiser since she doesn’t have a history with the chapter. She’s counted on members of the FFA chapter to share that history as they move through this year.

"One of my biggest challenges is getting the kids to start fresh," she said.

The students have been kind of tentative to warm up to her, while at the same time she’s been trying to get to know them and discover what they want out of FFA.

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Bedtke, a Plainview graduate who served as the chapter’s president, said it’s good to be back to Region 8.

She hasn’t looked far beyond this school year, which is keeping her plenty busy, but she is making plans to take a contingent to the National FFA Convention in the fall. She’s excited to see who will be elected to serve as Triton FFA officers next year and how the membership will change.

"It’s just so wonderful to be part of an FFA program that has so much community and school support," Bedtke said. "It has made it easy to get the kids excited for it."

She is motivating her students to shoot for more in FFA. She’s encouraging Kanable to try out for state FFA choir. She’s introduced parliamentary procedure. She plans to take a delegation to the state FFA convention in April to participate as delegates and members of the courtesy corps. Perhaps some will compete in the Best Informed Greenhand contest.

There’s also a chance a team may advance to state competition. The meats and agricultural mechanics teams compete in regions this week and the crops team competes March 10. The small animals and fish and wildlife teams competed earlier in February.

The Triton chapter — Triton includes students from Claremont, Dodge Center and West Concord — has 28 members. A handful and a half are very active, Bedtke said. Some want to participate in activities at Triton only. Others want to explore the opportunities FFA offers to meet people from other schools and compete.

Sophomore Cody Fitzgerald is one of those who wants to compete outside Triton. An active beef showman, FFA allows him to meet more people who share his interests.

"You meet a lot of new people when you go to contests," he said. Fitzgerald is the chapter reporter.

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Junior Kyle Remold, chapter treasurer, said FFA offers many opportunities.

"There’s many different activities and it teaches a lot about ag," Remold said.

Steak Feed fundraiser

5-8 p.m. Feb. 28

West Concord American Legion

$10 for full meal, $5 for half meal.

Tickets are available at the door.

Other FFA Week activities:

Ice cream eating contest, truck pull where students try to pull a pickup and arm wrestling.

This summer:

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