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The 2010-2011 Blackduck FFA officers are, back from left to right: Justin Bryant, Sentinel; Joseph Nehl, Vice President and Brady Gross, Reporter. Front row: Clara Notsch, Treasurer, Tisheena Freyholtz- President; Aleshia Lucken, Secretary and Mark Friesen, Advisor.

Eleven members of the Blackduck FFA Chapter attended the 81st Minnesota State FFA Convention at the University of Minnesota April 25-27 along with over 3,000 other Minnesota FFA members. The convention theme this year was "iBelieve." Blackduck students participated in five different career development events at the state competition.

Kip Solberg, Brady Gross and Justin Bryant competed in Forestry and received a silver rating.

Tisheena Freyholtz, Rose Wirkus, Joseph Nehl and Aleshia Lucken were on the Floriculture team and also earned a silver rating as a team.

Dylan Radke, Derek Gustafson and Tyler Mistic competed in General Livestock judging and received a bronze rating.

Clara Notsch represented Blackduck in the Soil Judging contest and was a silver individual, only missing gold by one placing.

Tisheena Freyholtz competed in the Job Interview competition and earned a silver ranking in an extremely competitive contest this year.

Blackduck FFA members had the opportunity to observed the Parlimentary Procedure contest, the best talent that Minnesota FFA members possess in the state talent competition, practice their judging skills, hear from Minnesota Commisioner of Agriculture Gene Hugoson and meet other FFA members from across the state.

Another highlight of the convention for Blackduck was the opportunity to listen to National FFA Secretary Bethany Bohnenblust from Kansas. Most FFA members only had an opportunity to hear Bohnenblust on stage during her addresss, but the Blackduck members had the rare opportunity to personally meet and visit with Bohnenblust in the hall between sessions.

The convention was concluded with the final session in Northrup Auditorium, which featured the retiring address of Minnesota FFA President, Kirby Schmidt from the Marshall FFA Chapter.

Schmidt visited Blackduck this fall during the Business, Industry and Education tours; as well as speaking at the Blackduck FFA Banquet April 16.

They also heard the inspirational message of keynote speaker Shawn Harper.

Harper went from graduating last in his high school class to ascend to great heights as a successful college student, playing in the NFL for seven years and becoming an excellent motivational speaker.

The results for the Career Development Events were also announced as the top five teams and top three individuals in each contest were called up on stage. With many of this years contest participants returning, Blackduck members may find themselves in the spotlight at convention next spring.