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LV FFA wins tenth national title

LV FFA wins tenth national title
La Vernia FFA advisor Kevin Sells (from left) congratulates the National FFA Milk Quality & Products Career Development Event team of Kasey Reinen, Jordan Bailey, Jaelyn Kotzur, and Braden Recker.

The Milk Quality and Products Team from La Vernia High School recently competed at the National Contest in Louisville, Ky. The team consists of seniors Jordan Bailey and Kasey Reinen, junior Braden Recker, and sophomore Jaelyn Kotzur.

The contest consists of eight different factors. The contestants have to complete the following as individuals: determine the off flavors of milk, determine the fat contents of different milks, identify cheese and cheese characteristics, perform a California Mastitis Test, complete a problem-solving test, and take both a production and marketing exam involving the dairy industry.

In addition to the individual part of the contest, as a group they must complete a team activity and give a presentation based upon their results. The team activity consists of the following: performing a titratable acidity test, reading the results of a antibiotic snap test, determine the somatic cell count of the milk, determine the standard plate count of the milk, use their knowledge of milk to decide whether or not the freezing point of the milk is too high, and determine whether or not the overall temperature of the load of milk is too high.

The team from La Vernia received first place in the national contest out of 37 other state teams. Kasey Reinen placed first as an individual; Jordan Bailey, fourth; and Braden Recker, seventh. Jaelyn Kotzur was a gold emblem candidate, placing in the top one-third of all participants. Kasey Reinen also placed second in the fat content identification portion of the contest as well as third in the problem-solving portion. Jordan Bailey also placed second in the off flavors of milk portion of the contest. As a group, the team won the team activity as well.

Kasey received a $2,000 scholarship; Jordan, a $1,700 scholarship; Braden, a $1,400 scholarship; and Jaelyn, a $1,000 scholarship for their individual efforts as well as their championship placing.

The team would like to thank Mrs. Haye for teaching them how to do a titratable acidity test and Mrs. Young for assisting the students with the problem-solving test. We would also like to take the time to thank the Marsh and Boening dairies for supplying different samples of raw milk for the team to use for their various tests.

A special thank you goes out to Rex Schnitz for all of the time and effort that he put into helping Kevin Sells prepare for the competition. His help was greatly appreciated. This is the 10th national title that La Vernia has received.

The La Vernia Chapter has brought back to the community two national meat titles in 1998 and 2001; four national poultry titles in 1995, 1997, 2006, and 2008; and four national milk quality and product titles in 1997, 1999, 2002, and 2013.

It is a great accomplishment for these young students to compete at the national level and to win. This year’s national team was coached by Kevin Sells and other chapter advisors, including Jennifer Kotzur and Eric Davis. Once again the chapter would like to thank the community for their continued support and prayers throughout the year.

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