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Three titles — one year

By Staff | Sep 25, 2009

Rugby’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter has a rich and storied tradition of excellence at state competitions.

And one would only have to look to this past year to illustrate the chapter’s continued success.

Rugby’s chapter currently is the reigning state champion in Parliamentary Procedure, Meat Judging and Land Judging, and it’s believed to be the first time in the chapter’s long history that has occurred.

Parliamentary procedure competition is to determine which chapter can run a mock meeting effectively and do it within the guidelines of Roberts’ Rules of Order.

Meat judging involves inspecting the cut of meat and determining its grading.

Land judging is to evaluate the soil and slope of the land to determine its best use for farming operations. Whether that land should be used in crop production, and what kind; or if should be for grazing or other uses.

Monica Pritchett, who is a freshman at Dakota College of Bottineau, was part of the parliamentary procedure and land judging title teams.

She said the interest the students take in the program and their willingness to put in the time to do well in the competitions is a big reason why Rugby’s chapter has enjoyed a lot of success. She adds the advisors – Rick Vannett and Jason Mongeon – do a good job of introducing the program and getting students involved, adding she particularly enjoyed the individual and team contests.

Pritchett, who is majoring in agriculture education, credits FFA for providing her the opportunity to learn and understand many agriculture-related subjects. The organization also enabled her to travel and gain friendships and meet others involved in the organization.

Junior Michael Ostrem, who was part of the meat and land judging title teams adds that the dedication of the advisors and students has kept Rugby’s program among the best in the state.

“Mr. Vannett and Mr. Mongeon are willing to work around your schedule and are always there to push us to do better,” Ostrem said.

Championships just don’t come by accident, and the students have to be willing to put in the time. “Practice is really what makes us (a strong team),” Ostrem said.

The tradition of the program also is a reason students continue to excel.

“Success breeds success,” Michael said, and I know I’ve looked up to past FFA members who accomplished a lot of great things.”

Rugby along with Carrington and Napoleon are three FFA programs which often are competing for titles. “To be able to compete with them is pretty special,” Ostrem said.

Junior Josh Stutrud, who was also part of the meat and land judging teams, agrees a lot of the credit goes to the advisors for their support and the commitment of the members to practice.

And having family members with a FFA background also helps to foster that dedication. Josh’s father, Todd, was an advisor at Willow City school several years ago and was a state officer during his school days. “That’s a goal I’ve set to one day be a state officer, and having my dad’s experience (in FFA) is helpful,” Josh said.

Senior Zach Rameden who was part of the parliamentary procedure and land judging teams, said each member brings experience and knowledge to the group and that combination has allowed Rugby to be successful at district and state events.

In addition to the team titles, Pritchett won the state individual crown for land judging, recording the highest score. Rameden currently holds the top individual titles for crop judging, and most recently, range judging.

Rick Vannett, advisor, said it’s the students who make the program, putting in the time to be successful at competitions. And their accomplishments only perpetuate the rich tradition of Rugby’s program.

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