Chatfield FFA chapter achieves ‘premier’ goals

By: 
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy
Chatfield News

Fritz’s kids are top stars.

“This is the first time that Chatfield has been the top chapter in Minnesota. The last two years, we were second place, and the last five years total, we were in the top ten,” stated Chatfield High School (CHS) ag instructor and FFA advisor Stacy Fritz. She was extremely proud to announce that her FFA chapter was named as the 2018 Premier Chapter at the Minnesota State FFA Convention, held April 22 to April 24.

According to a press release, “Thirty-five members from the Chatfield FFA chapter recently attended the 89th Minnesota FFA Convention, April 22-24 at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Speakers, awards, competitions, workshops and sessions were some of the highlights for the 3,575 FFA members from Minnesota attending the convention, celebrating the convention theme, ‘Go Beyond: You Decide What’s Possible’.”

Chatfield’s FFAers competed in several categories of career development events (CDE) and showed the state FFA organization that their best could shine at the top as they do all that’s possible to contribute toward the agricultural sciences in the Chatfield community and beyond.

Fritz explained, “Approximately nine years ago, my officer team and I set the goal for our chapter to be in the top ten at state, and four years later, we met that goal. The next goal in line was to be a three-star chapter — national competition doesn’t do a top ten, instead, they do a one-star, two-star and three-star ranking — and we met that goal this past fall, and the last goal was being named top chapter in the state.”

The top 10 percent of the state’s applications move on to nationals, so there are 187 programs in Minnesota, and that means the top 18 move on to national judging. This year’s application will be judged at nationals this summer.

“Two-star rankings are pretty common for chapters that move on, but three-star is very challenging to attain,” Fritz added. “Last fall, Chatfield was ranked a three-star chapter at nationals for the first time. What I tell people is it is the equivalent of being in the top 1 percent of chapters in the nation.”

Fritz explained how the rankings are determined, saying, “The National Chapter Award application is based upon the quality standards that National FFA sets forth to set the bar for high-quality FFA chapters and programs. First, a chapter has to conduct activities that qualify under these standards, and an example would be the two blood drives that we hosted this year. That meets the ‘service to our community’ standard. Once we meet that standard, then we showcase nine of our highest-quality activities, or one for each major category. Each of the nine is required to have three SMART goals, along with a plan of action for each one of the goals…evaluation of impact to the community, educational rigor and reflection of how the goals were met. There is also a picture, plus caption, required for each of the nine standards.”

The press release highlighted, “The Chatfield FFA chapter has been recognized in the 2018 National Chapter Award Program from the Minnesota FFA Organization. The program recognizes outstanding FFA chapters from throughout the country that actively implement the mission and strategies of the organization. These chapters improve chapter operations using the National Quality FFA Chapter Standards and a Program of Activities that emphasizes growing leaders, building communities and strengthening agriculture. Chapters are rewarded for providing educational experiences for the entire membership.”

Fritz concluded that she’s pleased to be advisor to her diligent students. “I am very proud of how hard our chapter members and supporters have worked over the years to help reach these goals,” she said. Chatfield FFA is very blessed to have tremendous community support, and that is one of the main reasons that we will continue to be one of the top programs in the state for years to come.”