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West Plains FFA earns another Top Chapter Award, several individual awards


The Missouri FFA Association awarded the West Plains FFA Chapter a Gold Emblem and a Top Chapter Award once again during the 96th annual state convention held April 17 through 19 in Columbia. West Plains placed 16th out of 362 chapters. Only 10% of state chapters receive a top chapter designation annually, officials pointed out.

The West Plains FFA is advised by Tonya Jedlicka, Jay Hale and Rachel Brotherton, and as a Top Chapter Award recipient, will compete for the National FFA Chapter Awards, to be given at the 97th National FFA Convention & Expo this fall in Indianapolis.

The National Chapter Award Program is designed to recognize FFA chapters that actively implement the organization’s mission and strategies, officials explained. Chapters improve operations using the National Quality Chapter Standards and a Program of Activities emphasizing growing leaders, building communities and strengthening agriculture. Chapters are rewarded for providing educational experiences for the entire membership. FCS Financial sponsors this award.

The West Plains FFA helps grow leaders by attending leadership conferences. Community building is done by holding a Supporters Breakfast, where community members are invited in for breakfast during FFA Week. For a chapter activity that focuses on strengthening, FFA members worked to teach agriculture literacy lessons to local third grade students.


In addition to the chapter award, individual members were recognized as Star Area Farmer and Star in Agriculture Business, as well as Area Proficiency Winners. Members also performed during the convention’s talent show, two received Youth in Ag Scholarships, five members were awarded the State FFA Degree and 28 members competed in career and leadership development events.

West Plains Chapter officer Jaden Brotherton, a senior, was recognized as the Area 13 Star in Agriculture Business. He is the son of Donnie and adviser Rachel Brotherton. 

Area Stars in Agribusiness are selected based on outstanding achievement in work experience in an agricultural-related business as part of their supervised agriculture experience program and active participation in FFA.

American Family Insurance sponsors the 16 State Star in Agribusiness awards as well as the State Star in Agribusiness Award.

Brotherton’s supervised agriculture project (SAE) involves breeding, raising and selling show pigs. He owns over 30 head of breeding stock and seeks out superior genetics from some of the nation’s most reputable swine herdsmen so that he can raise high-quality swine. His responsibilities include making breeding decisions, farrowing, sanitation and daily care. He also uses a bid board platform to sell show pigs.

In addition to the pigs, Brotherton owns a herd of commercial Simmental/Angus cattle and exhibits sheep and goats.

As an FFA member, Brotherton has served as an officer at the chapter and area level. This year, he won the State Swine Production Entrepreneurship Proficiency Award and will now be competing at the national level. He has participated in Livestock Evaluation, Equine Evaluation, Dairy Food Evaluation, Agriculture Sales and Entomology Career Development Events at the state level.

In addition to FFA, Brotherton is a member of the Missouri State Swine Association Junior Board, National Junior Swine Association and the Missouri Pork Association.

After graduating high school, he plans to attend Connors State College in Warner, Okla., to be a member of the Livestock Judging Team and to pursue an associate’s degree in agriculture business.  

West Plains Chapter officer Cody Jedlicka, a senior, was individually recognized as the Area 13 Star Farmer. Jedlicka is the son of Dale and adviser Tonya Jedlicka. 

State Star Farmers are chosen based on outstanding production agriculture in the student’s supervised agricultural experience program and active participation in FFA. 

American Family Insurance sponsors the 16 Area Star Farmer as well as the State Star Farmer Award.

Jedlicka’s SAE program involves managing a herd of Charolais cattle. His responsibilities include making breeding decisions, calving and daily herd care. He raises purebred Charolais herd bulls to sell and heifers to show and keep for replacement females. He also raises and sells cowboy Corgi puppies. 

As an FFA member, Jedlicka has served as chapter treasurer and Area 13 President. He has participated in Livestock Evaluation, Agriculture Sales, Horse Evaluation, Agronomy, Employment Skills and Agriculture Mechanics at the state level as well as attending the HMAX academy.

In addition to FFA, Jedlicka is a member of the National Honors Society, a member and officer of the Missouri Junior Charolais Association and a member of the American International Charolais Association. 

After high school graduation, Jedlicka plans to attend Missouri State University-West Plains to earn his associate’s degree in Agriculture Business. 

Four FFA members were recognized for area-winning proficiency, receiving plaques on stage during the convention: Brayden Murray for Food Service, Jedlicka for Beef Production Placement, Ruby Hinds for Diversified Livestock and Malia West for Equine Production Entrepreneurship. Brotherton won the State Swine Production Entrepreneurship Proficiency and will go on to compete at the national level.

Hinds was selected to perform for the state talent show during the second session of the convention, where she sang Olivia Newton-John’s “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” 

Five senior members were awarded the State FFA Degree, the highest degree members can receive at the state level: Hallie Bunch, Hattie Patillo, Brotherton, Hinds and Jedlicka. 

The Youth in Agriculture committee and the Missouri State Fair annually provide scholarships to FFA and 4-H exhibitors at the state fair. Sixty-two recipients from across Missouri were recognized at the 96th Missouri FFA Convention. Brotherton and Jedlicka were recognized as recipients of a $1,500 scholarship.

Youth in Agriculture Scholarships are sponsored by the Youth in Agriculture Supporters, Betty Jane Bell Trust, Sydenstricker Nobbe Partners/Sydenstricker Genetics, and the Missouri State Fair Foundation.

The Missouri FFA has 26,830 members representing 362 chapters. The national organization has more than 945,000 members representing 9,163 chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.