Herders head to state

Big Timber FFA members earn degrees, top honors in Billings
Stephen Kalb-Koenigsfeld, Pioneer Editor

From left: JoDee Fleming, Bailey Veteto, Madilyn Emter, Carter Brownlee, Dylan Laverell and Cole Lunceford pose after earning their state FFA degrees (Contributed photo by Jackie Emter).


More than 1,500 students flooded Billings last weekend, donning their blue corduroy jackets for the state FFA convention downtown. Big Timber sent some of its finest presenters, helping Sweet Grass County High School come away with a pair of top-10 finishes in Career Development Events (CDE). 

Students had a chance to present on various CDE, including livestock evaluation, agribusiness management, agronomy, prepared speaking, ag mechanics, ag sales and service and FFA creed speaking, while interviewing with some of the industry’s top professionals. 

“Our biggest goal is to give them career skills,” said Jeneva Lunceford, the assistant FFA adviser at the high school. “Anything from public speaking to being able to do mechanics or evaluating livestock, that’s our end goal. A lot of the workshops and panels we listen to highlight those career skills and leadership.”

Six different Big Timber FFA members earned their state FFA degrees at the state convention, while taking top honors in different CDE. 

Dylan Laverell took fifth out of 301 competitors in the individual livestock evaluation. As a team, the Big Timber FFA group placed seventh out of 79 teams in the same category. And as a team, Big Timber was third out of 45 in the ag sales and service event. 

JoDee Fleming was a Star Ag Placement Finalist, Laverell earned the Top Sheep Production-Entrepreneurship Proficiency Award and was the Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) Grant winner. Jacob Husman was also an SAE Grant winner, and Carter Brownlee, Madiliyn Emter, Clayton Gano, Cole Lunceford, Bailey Veteto, Fleming and Laverell all earned their state FFA degrees.

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