The Wayne FFA Chapter has shown true dedication in every challenge accepted and goal they strive to meet. August 28 was no exception as FFA members and officers boarded a charter bus at 4:30 a.m. with the moon still shining bright above them to make the five-hour trek to Decatur, Ill.
It was there at the 2019 Farm Progress Show where they would finally find out their placing in the Pioneer Brand A-Series Soybeans Big-A Challenge.
This challenge began back in the fall of 2018 when the Farm Business Management Class at Wayne submitted an essay on how farmers in our community benefit from planting Pioneer Brand-A Series Soybeans. Along with the essay, members submitted a proposed design for the Big-A seven-foot tall statue.
The project was scored on theme, writing quality, creative essay, creative design, and capturing the spirits of Pioneer and the local community. The top 15 chapters selected would receive the Big-A statue to decorate according to their proposed design and submit to be judged.
On June 1 the Wayne FFA Chapter received notice their submission had made the top three where not only would their Big-A be on display at the 2019 Farm Progress Show, but they were also in the running for a top monetary prize being awarded.
With FFA chapters from Iowa and Illinois eligible to compete, the top three selections all hailed from the State of Iowa. Along with Wayne, the Mount Ayr and Tama Chapters were also in the running for the top prize.
The Mount Ayr FFA Chapter was headed up last year by Courtney May who is a new addition to the Wayne faculty this year, and also holds another title as Mrs. Dan May.
The Wayne and Mount Ayr students shared a charter bus to make the trip to Decatur, Ill. to finally find out who would take home the top prize in the challenge.
The announcer began with the third place winner. It was then Wayne would hear they would be bringing home $1,000 for their chapter.
The Wayne FFA members along with advisor Dan stepped up to the stage to be presented with their $1,000 check.
"From the beginning the Pioneer A Series Big-A Challenge has been a great experience for our chapter and community," said Dan. "We are always looking for ways to interact with the community and this was a great way to do that."
Joining the Wayne FFA was local Pioneer Representative Josh Knutson that was a big help in the process of writing the essay and the design. Shonda Johnson with Good Ol’ Days also provided assistance to the project.
"Chapter members worked with Josh from the beginning and he was there clear up to the awards ceremony supporting Wayne FFA," Dan continued. "This project allowed students to learn more about production agriculture and the opportunities available to them in agriculture following high school."
The students finalized the trip back home after spending 10 hours on the bus, but the challenge isn’t over yet. With a People’s Choice award being given from votes received online from Aug. 26 through Aug. 30, the Wayne FFA has the ability to earn that title.
The winner of the People’s Choice award will be announced on Thursday, Sept. 5 with the winner receiving Pioneer branded items for the FFA chapter members.