Members of the Grand Rapids FFA Chapter in Minnesota were one of 42 teams participating in the National FFA Environmental and Natural Resources Career Development Event (CDE). The event was held in conjunction with the 84th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind. Oct. 19-22. The team, led by advisor Shawn Linder, was awarded a Gold emblem.

Members also competed for individual awards with 163 other participants. Torey Belich received a Gold emblem, Travis Belich received a Gold emblem, Ryan Bowers received a Silver emblem, and Jessica Haig received a Bronze emblem.

The top six individuals and the national winning team members received scholarships to further their education at a post-secondary institution of their choice.

The National FFA Environmental and Natural Resources CDE is a competitive activity that allows students to apply classroom knowledge to real-life situations. This event focuses on testing students' problem solving and decision making skills in environmental and natural resources. These areas concentrate on soil profiles, water and air quality, waste management, environmental analysis, and use of global positioning units. Each team competed at local and state levels for the privilege of representing their home state at the national FFA convention.

The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 540,739 student members - all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture - as part of 7,487 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The National FFA Organization changed to its present name in 1988, in recognition of the growth and diversity of agriculture and agricultural education.

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