State FFA

On March 29-31, 2023 Hay Springs FFA Members traveled to Lincoln to compete in the 95th annual Nebraska State FFA Convention. Thirty-eight students competed in twelve various team contests and six different individual contests. It was a successful year overall at the State Convention. Braydon Binger won 1st in the Diversified Livestock Proficiency Award area and received 2nd in both the Diversified Ag area and Diversified Crop area. Colter Meeks won 1st in the Equine Science Entrepreneurship Award area. Emily Nelson was selected to sing in the State Choir and did exceptionally well. Braydon and Ava were recognized for their participation in the Nebraska FFA Foundation student testimonials. Braydon was also a Star Finalist in the Ag Placement area. Braydon Binger, Colter Meeks, Gus Scott, James Scherbarth, and Jett Rasmussen received their State FFA Degrees, which is the highest degree in FFA that one can get while in High School. Hay Springs FFA came home with the 7th place teams in the state in Farm Business Management and Agronomy too. Julia Russell and the Conduct of Chapter Meetings team which consisted of Evan Smith, Eli Scott, Kya Binger, Aubry Anderson, Reese Varvel, and Tailyn Starke received a Silver Medal. Many other teams and students ribboned as well. Not just the Chapter or the school but the community should be very proud as Braydon was selected as one of the 2023-2024 Vice Presidents for the Nebraska State Officer team.

Sandhills State Bank 2023 State FFA Convention Contest

It’s that time of the year again! The Sandhills State Bank 2023 State FFA Convention contest is live again. The chapter with the most votes will receive a $1,000 donation and people can vote once per day until 5pm CT on Friday, March 31st.

Follow this link to cast your vote for the Hay Springs FFA Chapter:

FFA Week

For the students of Hay Springs Schools, the FFA Officers planned out a dress up day contest for this week. This contest will include the whole school, but the elementary and middle/high school will be judged separately. On the following Monday, the 27th, the winning class will be named and a prize will be given to each member of that class.

The dress up days consist of:
Monday – ‘Merica Day


Tuesday – Official Dress/Blue and Gold Day


Unfortunately, due to a winter storm, the last two dress-up days didn’t take place.

Wednesday – Denim Day
Thursday – Dress to Un-impress

FFA Chicken Presentation

FFA chapters across the country celebrate National FFA week, which is February 18-24 this year. This is an opportunity to bring awareness to the FFA program as well as agriculture in general. Hay Springs FFA Chapter vice president, Ava McKillip, was able to share some poultry education with the first grade class, who received a grant from the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation to study where our food comes from and where it is produced.

Ava brought 3 chickens, a Dark Brahma, Midnight Majesty, and an Ameraucana, from her 45 head flock for the children to learn about as well as view and pet. The children were able to see and learn the differences between the three breeds and the variations in the eggs they lay. There were samples of light brown, dark brown, cream, and blue/green eggs to view. It was discussed what the chickens eat during the warmer months as free range birds and Ava had samples of the feed and treats they eat during the winter months. One of the first graders was selected to offer the Dark Brahma some dried mealworms, aka “chicken candy”, but the chicken was feeling a bit shy and wouldn’t eat from his hand. To finish up the demonstration, Ava cracked open an egg to point out the yolk, white or albumen, and the air cell.

The children also learned some fun facts about chickens:
* Did you know that chickens have earlobes? By looking at the color of their earlobes, you can generally tell whether the chicken will lay white, brown, or blue/green eggs.
* It’s believed that chickens can see more colors and have better vision than humans. This helps them identify seeds and food on the ground.
* Have you heard of a T-rex dinosaur? Believe it or not, chickens are genetically more similar than alligators to the T-rex.

Ava will be part of a 4 member poultry team representing the Hay Springs FFA Chapter at the state level competition in Lincoln at the end of March.

National FFA Week

National FFA Week this year will take place during the week of February 20th through February 24th. During this week at Hay Springs Public Schools, the FFA Chapter will have school-wide dress up days and numerous activities planned for the students and the public. The two main events for this week will be the visit from a State FFA Officer on the 20th and the annual Pancake Feed on the 21st. The community is invited to the pancake feed, which will be made and served by the FFA Chapter, starting at 6:15 AM in the school cafeteria.

For the students of Hay Springs Schools, the FFA Officers have planned out a dress up day contest for this week. This contest will include the whole school, but the elementary and middle/high school will be judged separately. On the following Monday, the 27th, the winning class will be named and a prize will be given to each member of that class.

The dress up days consist of:
Monday – ‘Merica Day
Tuesday – Official Dress/Blue and Gold Day
Wednesday – Denim Day
Thursday – Dress to Unimpress

Also for the elementary, The FFA Officers have decided to host another coloring contest for each class to participate in if they choose to. The colored pages will be collected and judged on Wednesday and the winners will be announced on Thursday.

Santa Soup Cookoff

Join the Hay Springs FFA and The Hip Hop as they host the Santa Soup Cook-off Thursday, December 8th from 4:00-7:30 at the Lister Sage Community Center. We have a nice assortment of craft & food vendors who will be ready for the public at 4:00 PM. Great time to do some Christmas shopping!

There are 12 soup contestants vying for the Judge’s Choice and the People’s Choice awards. Soup sampling begins at 5:00PM sharp.

The Hay Springs Senior Center ladies will have their delicious desserts available for after (or before!) you eat some soup.

Santa & Mrs. Claus will be there from 5-7 to visit with the kids and pose for pictures, compliments of “moments” by Bev.

The Middle Level & High School Band & Choir, along with the Community Choir, will present a concert at 7:00 in the auditorium.

FFA Banquet

On Tuesday, May 17th, 2022, the Hay Springs FFA Chapter hosted their 2nd annual FFA Banquet for the public to attend. They started off with the opening ceremonies performed by the 2021-2022 Chapter Officers followed by the free meal that consisted of pulled pork, potatoes, and salads and desserts that were provided by the FFA members and their families. Once everyone concluded with the meal, we resumed the ceremony with our guest speaker Dana Soukup. Dana was a keynote speaker who was once taught by our own Mr. Lechtenberg and who became the State FFA President and moved on to become the National FFA President during the years 1988 and 1989. He started out as a small part of a company and worked his way up to becoming the President of Siemens Industry Inc, a global organization.
After Dana finished his speech, the ceremony moved onto the recognition of the State Degree recipients, the Star Greenhand recipients, and the Chapter Star recipients. This year we gave two awards to Honorary Chapter Members for giving a lot of community support. These awards were presented to David Russell and representatives of Westco based in Hay Springs.
Following this, there was the Chapter Leadership Award presented to our president, Braydon Binger, for possessing the most ideal leadership qualities in our chapter. This year, we had two senior FFA members who were also officers. These two seniors, Logan Decoste and Laney Smith, both gave their retiring addresses and showed their support for the future FFA members.
As most of you know, Mr. Lechtenberg, our ag advisor and superintendent, is planning to retire this year. To honor everything he did for us, the chapter made him an appreciation slideshow with clips from his family members and from students he inspired. The FFA members also made him a precious gift to honor his time as an advisor and to always remind him of what he accomplished. To end the night, the 2021-2022 FFA officers announced and installed the new officer team for 2022-2023. It was then put upon these officers to finish off the evening with the closing ceremonies.

FFA State Results

We will try to keep this post updated with state FFA results as we get them!  Keep an eye open for updates as they roll in.  Big thanks to Mr. Lechtenberg for the “play-by-play”.

04/06/22 @ 5:41 PM — Abigail Russell is one of four finalists in Junior Public Speaking Finals tomorrow with final results on Friday afternoon.

04/06/22 @ 5:51 PM — Logan DeCoste performing in State FFA Chorus at State FFA Convention:

04/07/22 @ 7:15 AM — Part of the State Choir’s Performance:

04/07/22 @ 5:50 PM — State Chorus

04/07/22 @ 6:41 PM — Braydon Binger recieved third place award in both Diversified Agricultural Placement and Diversified Livestock Placement.

04/08/22 @ 12:56PM — Abigail Russell was 3rd Gold in Jr. Public Speaking and Colter Meeks received a Bronze.

04/08/22 @ 4:06 PM — Logan DeCoste and Laney Smith set to receive their State FFA Degree.