By JENNIE ZEITLER, Staff Writer
At the 83rd Minnesota State FFA Convention Tuesday, Upsala High School 2011 graduate Marjorie Schleper was elected FFA state vice president for the coming year.
Chosen by a nominating committee following two intense days of interviews and speaking, she was one of six team members chosen from 21 statewide candidates.
She will represent the community of Upsala and her local FFA chapter as she travels nearly 50,000 miles to several states and to Washington, D.C., throughout the coming year.
“Marjorie is the first FFA state officer from Upsala,” said Upsala School Dean of Students Vern Capelle.
Schleper is currently enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, majoring in pre-veterinary medicine with a possible second major in agricultural education.
“I am so incredibly excited to serve Minnesota FFA this year,” said Schleper. “At random times throughout the day, it will sink in again and I just jump for joy.”
“The FFA team will host three summer camps for FFA members at Deep Portage in Hackensack, do chapter visits and have professional development days with agricultural industry leaders,” she said. “It will be very busy.”
“It’s a year of service, a chance for the team to give back to an organization that has helped each of us grow in ways we could not have imagined — a year of service, a year to learn and a year of fun,” said Schleper.
“As a family, we are encouraging her to suspend her studies next year in order to focus on FFA events,” said Marjorie’s mom, Gretchen Schleper, Upsala FFA adviser.
“We are thinking of ourselves as her pit crew, and we are here to support her in any way she needs,” she said.
At the same FFA state convention, the Upsala dairy cattle evaluation team did very well while short one person. Team members Renee Hebig, Brooke Westrich and Sara Herzog together earned a bronze rank, while Hebig earned a gold.
Member Audrey Schleper was seventh overall in FFA creed speaking, and earned a silver rank.
Member Sara Roerick tied for 14th place in dairy cattle handling and earned a gold rank.
The Upsala School’s greenhouse will open Saturday, May 5, from 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. The seventh graders have been busy and the plants are healthy. There is a new greenhouse Facebook page, so check that for updates. After May 5, the greenhouse will be open from 3:15 p.m. – 5 p.m. during the week and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. or until sales slow down.
The date for the FFA petting zoo is May 11 this year, open from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
“We’ve done it for over 10 years, with attendance each of the last two years of more than 300 people,” said Gretchen Schleper.
“We have goats, lambs, cows and calves, pigs, horses, chickens, geese and rabbits. The students are there to help viewers and to answer questions about the animals,” she said.
“Gretchen has done an excellent job advising our FFA chapter over the years. We have consistently achieved success in FFA events due to the diligence of our FFA members and Gretchen’s supervision,” Capelle said.