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Rugby FFA ag mechanics team headed for nationals

By Sue Sitter - | Jun 19, 2021

Submitted Photo Rugby High Ag Mechanics team members are, from left, Thatcher Volk, Carson Mattern, Zach Jaeger and Kordell Kraft.

The Rugby High School FFA Chapter traveled to Fargo the week of June 6 for the state championship and came home June 11 with awards, pins and a ticket to nationals for the ag mechanics team.

“I am so proud of our students and their results at the 2021 State FFA Convention,” said Kristi Tonnessen, who co-advises the Rugby chapter along with Kasey Okke. Both teach ag classes at Rugby High.

“Many students walked away from (the) convention with new gold pins for their blue jackets – a symbol of their dedication and hard work in preparing for their Career and Leadership Development Events,” Tonnessen said in a message to the Tribune.

Tonnessen said two Rugby students, Carson Mattern and Amber Selensky, earned the convention’s Baby Bison trophy in their competitions. Mattern earned his award in the Advanced Ag Mechanics category, while Selensky earned her trophy in the Small Animal Care/Veterinary Science category.

Participant Katelyn Duchscher earned the individual champion title in Ag Communications.

The Baby Bison trophies are the students’ to keep, while team trophies travel to winning schools every year.

Students representing high schools from the Montana to Minnesota state lines and South Dakota to the Canadian border competed in 18 career development events at the convention.

Rugby students Carson Mattern, Kordell Kraft, Thatcher Volk and Zach Jaeger competed as the Advanced Ag Mechanics team at the convention. The team took both state champion and state champion sweepstakes titles in that category. They will participate in the FFA National Convention, to be held Oct. 27-30 in Indianapolis.

Second-place awards went to Jenner Johnson for Basic Ag Mechanics and Amy Volk for Meats Evaluation. The Rugby FFA Chapter’s Ag Communications and Small Animal Care/Vet Science teams also placed second in their events.

Additionally, nine students made the final rounds for competitions in public speaking and proficiency. Jaclyn Duchscher reached the finals for reciting the FFA Creed, while Selensky was a finalist in the Extemporaneous Public Speaking category. Proficiency Award finalists were Collyn Bosch, Thatcher Volk, Zach Jaeger, Kordell Kraft and Lathan DeMontigny.

Tonnessen noted 25 students received Gold Individual Pins “to proudly wear on the front of their jackets.

“Rugby FFA had all silver and gold teams, overall,” Tonnessen added. “More importantly than awards, our students pushed themselves outside their comfort zones to become stronger leaders for our community and state.”

Students dressed in dark blue corduroy jackets grinned for several photos shared on social media, apparently unfettered by the 90-degree Fargo temperatures.

But a post from Tonnessen on social media alluded to the team’s hard work and endurance, even in the heat.

“We are already looking forward to next year, but for now, catch up on some sleep and enjoy some AC,” Tonnessen said.

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