2021 Star and Proficiency Award Winners
The winners of this year’s FFA Proficiency and Star Awards have been announced and Presque Isle was well represented. Mrs. Gross and Mrs. McCurry could not be prouder of these four! Our chapter winners are as follows:
Brandon Dubie won his second Proficiency Award this year. His category was Forest Management & Products. Brandon worked alongside Larry Park for the last two years learning all about forestry and working in the wood industry. He forged an irreplaceable friendship with Mr. Park that will be treasured forever. The judges of the awards felt that Brandon “did a great job, was clearly eager to learn this area and benefitted from a well-chosen mentor.” It was also stated that the application reflected a lot of work, and they loved the ax handles that Brandon and Mr. Park made using yellow curly birch and birdseye maple.
Jonathan Mealey won his second Proficiency Award this year. Jon competed in the Vegetable Production category. He spent two years working alongside Aaron Buzza at Aroostook Farm helping to care for, collect, and tally insects used in research projects. What started out as a volunteer position at Aroostook Farm led to an actual paying job for Jonathan. The award judges felt that Jon’s application reflected excellent work. They also noted “good earnings and a good letter of recommendation.” Thank you to Mr. Buzza for that!
Rheanna Ortman won her second Proficiency Award this year. She competed in the Outdoor Recreation category. Rheanna works after school giving lessons to mentally and physically disabled children and adults at a local riding stable. She also has learned how to train horses. In her application Rheanna noted that doing this sort of work has helped her to work through her own anxieties when dealing with new things. The judges agreed that Rheanna’s application was very well written and that “her photos were chosen well to effectively reflect her work.”
Izabelle Higgins won the State Star Award in AgriBusiness. What started out during her sophomore year as an AgriScience Fair project, has led Izzy to begin a business called, Purely Good Creations. She makes products used to groom horses that are all-natural, vegan, and environmentally friendly. The last couple years have seen Izzy expanding her business to include leg wraps and other items. She started by selling her products at fairs, but has now integrated an online presence as well. The judges felt that Izzy’s application “reflected an excellent project scope, her role as an entrepreneur and appropriate strategies including a Facebook presence.”