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RHS FFA speakers bring home awards

By Staff | Dec 6, 2019

Submitted photo Pictured (left to right) are Rugby FFA chapter members who participated in the Leadership Development Event Championships: Kristian Fritz, Kordell Kraft, Thatcher Volk, Amber Selensky, Amy Volk and Katelyn Duchscher. Fritz participated in Creed Speaking; Kraft and Thatcher Volk participated in Demonstration; Selensky participated in Extemporaneous Public Speaking; Amy Volk participated in Prepared Public Speaking; and Duchscher participated in Employment Skills.

Six Rugby High School students brought home silver and bronze medals after competing in public speaking events at the North Dakota Future Farmers of America Leadership Development Event Championships held Nov. 20 in Bismarck.

Members Amy Volk and Katelyn Duchscher competed in the championships along with Rugby students Kristian Fritz, Kordell Kraft, Thatcher Volk and Amber Selensky.

“The LDE day was mostly speaking events because the LDEs in FFA are mostly speaking events. So, these are events that help you gain leadership skills in your future careers. It mostly has to do with talking,” said Duchscher, a sophomore at Rugby High.

“I competed in Job Interview,” Duchscher said of her event. “That’s where you go to the event with a resume and a cover letter all typed out. Then once you’re there, you fill out an application. You do a face-to-face interview with a panel of judges, and then you write a follow-up letter. And I did that all and I placed silver.”

Fellow sophomore Volk said she won a bronze for the Prepared Public Speaking event.

Volk explained her event began with essay writing. “You can write whatever you want as long as it relates to agriculture,” she said.

“I wrote about bee endangerment throughout not only in North Dakota but throughout the entire world. I wrote about how we can protect bees better. What you do is have your speech. You can have note cards, but it’s better to memorize it. The speech is approximately six to eight minutes. You give it to a panel of three judges. After you say it, you answer some questions,” Volk noted.

Duchscher and Volk said the six Rugby students advanced from a regional FFA Leadership Development Event competition held Sept. 30 at Rugby High.

“Thatcher and Kordell did demonstrations. They got a silver,” Volk said of her fellow students. “Christian got a bronze.”

“Kristian Fritz did ‘creed speaking,'” Duchscher said.

“It’s where you memorize the FFA Creed. It’s five paragraphs long. You have to say it word by word in front of a panel of judges. After they do that, the judges will ask some questions based on the creed,” Duchscher added.

Duchscher said she enjoyed the competition.

“I had a really good time. I liked doing job interview there because I got to do it in the state capitol and so you had to go through security, and that was really fun,” Duchscher said.

Volk agreed. “It was really fun in my opinion. I got to see so many different topics for prepared public speaking and it was so cool how everyone presented a different way. Especially when I watch demonstrations, like what Thatcher and Kordell did. It was so cool. Someone made soap out of goat milk.”

FFA Adviser Kristi Tonnessen said the competition was “the first time they had done the state leadership development contests. Usually, they’re part of the state convention so this was the first year they had done it this way.

“I really enjoyed it,” Tonnessen said. “I thought it was a great showcase of North Dakota’s public speaking talents and more employability skills and being ready for a future career than some of the other contests have been.”

“It was a great showcase of the skills that our kids have,” Tonnessen added.

“I was very proud of them,” Tonnessen said of the competitors. “They put in a lot of time and a lot of practice to prepare for the contest. They’re young. The oldest group we had were sophomores, and they’re competing against juniors and seniors.”

Tonnessen said the Rugby FFA speakers were competing against speakers from other schools who “have been doing that same contest for four years. As sophomores, they put on a great showing, and we were proud of them and are definitely excited for how far they can go in the future.”

Both Duchscher and Volk said they hope to attend the North Dakota State FFA Convention in June.

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