FFA meats team at state contest this week

The Chatfield FFA meats team is at the state FFA convention this week. From left are members Nikki Minter, Payton Guenther, Chase Ketterhagen and Patrick Drogemuller. COURTESY OF STACY FITZ
By : 
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy
Chatfield News

The Chatfield High School FFA meats team has some tasty knowledge worth the price of practice.

“I can learn how to tell if the meat I’m buying is worth the price,” stated FFA meats evaluation career development event (CDE) team member Nikki Minter.

She noted that being a part of the team will prove useful even after she graduates from high school this spring.

The state-bound CDE team is comprised of Minter, senior Payton Guenther, junior Chase Ketterhagen and sophomore Patrick Drogemuller. The team members are spending the first part of this week — April 22 to April 24 — at the state FFA convention, giving their best decision during competition against other teams on whether one pork chop is the big ham, or if the beef roast is what brings everyone home for dinner.

Minter shared, “I joined FFA in ninth grade because I felt like I needed to get out of my comfort zone. I chose this CDE because I’ve been in it since ninth grade and it seemed like I would enjoy this CDE more than others. I enjoy being with some of my friends, and every practice, I learn something new. The challenging part at state is trying to finish the ID part of the competition, but I like going to state and going bowling and hanging out with my friends.”

Guenther has been an FFA member for five years and joined because he felt the organization would offer him more leadership opportunities. Additionally, being on the meats team would help him understand where various cuts of meat are taken from.

“We get to learn new things and where the cuts of meat come from, and I can butcher my own livestock,” he said. “We learn together and are a good team. I feel ready to compete at state – I look forward to seeing how we compete at state. I think we’re a very good team that places close to each other. I also like to go bowling with everyone else at state.”

Ketterhagen is rounding off three years in FFA, and he’s a member because he wanted to learn more and work in the community. He chose the meats CDE because he likes meat and thought it would be a cool team on which to participate.

“I enjoy the people. It’s a challenge knowing the stuff for competition, but I get to learn how to ID meat, and it’s fun to be on my team, spending time with my friends. I feel ready to compete,” he said. “My favorite part of state is the food. Our team — we’re awesome.”

Drogemuller has been in FFA for four years and became a member because his older brother had been in FFA. “My brother was in it, and I needed something to do. I like the people I get to be with and meet. This will be my first time at state, and my team is a good team to have. I’m ready to go and compete.”