FFA President Troy Elwer congratulates Mike Reindel as the newest Honorary Chapter member Sunday evening at the annual banquet. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
FFA President Troy Elwer congratulates Mike Reindel as the newest Honorary Chapter member Sunday evening at the annual banquet. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
DELPHOS — Delphos FFA members celebrated the past year’s accomplishments last Sunday at Jefferson High School.

The 68th annual Parent/Member Banquet drew more than 200 to the gymnasium for a catered meal and awards presentation.

“This year’s seniors, 18 and the largest class we’ve ever had, worked more than 19,000 hours and earned more than $200,000,” FFA Advisor Scott Elwer told the crowd. “That equals more than $1.6 million back into the community.”

This is Elwer’s 17th year as ag instructor and FFA advisor.

Farmer and auctioneer Mike Reindel was given the Honorary Chapter Degree Award. Reindel helps with the chapter’s Food for American Tour by hosting students at his farm; employs members at his auction house; and helps with Supervised Agricultural Experience projects.

“The FFA kids do a lot of work for me and with me. I’ve also helped with the ag building at the high school,” Reindel explained. “It’s a great program and I’m glad to see the number of kids who keep entering the program.”

Elwer also read a letter of thanks from local radio personality Bob Ulm. The local FFA chapter held a “Kiss the Pig” contest during FFA Week and raised more than $500 that was given to the Eric Um Benefit to help Erik’s widow with medical expenses.

“I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the Delphos FFA and their donation to help support my late son’s wife,” Ulm wrote. “You will never find a place as special as Delphos.”

Advisor Elwer personally selects a handful of the local award winners. This year’s FFA Appreciation Award went to Meghan Ream and Kaelin Anders. This award is given by Elwer to students who assist with everyday and special activities to make them run smoothly.

Jenny Ditto and Emily Buettner won the 110-Percent Awards. Elwer said the pair are always asking how they can help and what they can do.

The Star Awards recognize the chapter’s top achievers. Jeffrey Odenweller was the Star Greenhand; Cody Wright was Star Chapter Farmer; Star in Agribusiness was Cole Reindel; Ethan Bonifas and Brandon Wrasman earned the Star in Agricultural Placement Award; and Troy Elwer won the Dekalb Award.

Dozens of local awards were given: Agriscience — Jeffrey Odenweller, Brianna Altenburger, Trent Lindeman, Abbie Riordan, Brook Brinkman, Savanna Barnes and Zoe Harter; SAE Discovery — Gage Stemen, Chase Martin and Dominic Bonifas; Ag. Services Placement — Ethan Bonifas and Brandon Wrasman; Ag. Sales Placement — Trevor German and Derek Lindeman; Beef Production Entrepreneurship — Cole Reindel and Jacob Smith; Specialty Crop Production Placement — Isaac Gable; Equine Science Placement — Kaelin Anders; Poultry Production Entrepreneurship — Braxton Scalf; Sheep Production Entrepreneurship — Michelle Rode; Small Animal Care Entrepreneurship — Kelly Krites; Turf Grass Mgt. Entrepreneurship — Troy Elwer (also was a state finalist); Highest GPA Scholarship — Collin Will (4.0); Freshmen Record Book — Jeffrey Odenweller and Abbie Riordan; Sophomore Record Book — Anna May, Hannah Elwer and Mark Wrasman; Junior Record Book — Colin White and Rachel Kroeger; and Senior Record Book — Cole Reindel and Troy Elwer.

Shelly Schulte also presented the FFA Alumni/Booster Club scholarships to Jason Ditto, Troy Elwer, Kaelin Anders and Cole Reindel.

Two graduates earned their American Degrees. They are Brent Buettner and Evan Krites.

State Degrees were earned by Jason Ditto, Ethan Bonifas, Emily Buettner and Brandon Wrasman.

The chapter placed 11th of 307 at the national convention and also collected $1,500 for the Ohio FFA Foundation.

The 2018-19 officers and project leaders were also installed and include: President Emily Buettner, Vice President Hannah Elwer, Secretary Maggie Ream, Treasurer Michelle Rode, Reporter Anna May, Sentinel Adam Fischer, Student Advisor Brady Johnston, Chaplain Kelly Krites, FFA Leadership — Trevor German, State & National — Hannah Elwer, Van Wert County Fair — Rachel Kroeger, Allen County Fair — Anna May, Christmas Project — Emily Buettner, Food for America — Trevor German and Colin White, FFA Banquest — officer team, Safety — Brady Johnston, Recruitment — Michelle Rode, Fruit Basket Sales — Emily Buettner, Recreation — Adam Fischer, Greenhand — Maggie Ream, Freshmen Experience — Hannah Elwer, SAE Enhancement — Mattie Fair-Sevitz, Canal Days, — Maggie Ream, Scholarships — Braxton Scalf, Environmental Improvement — Colin White; and Foundation — Mark Wrasman.