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Wilson FFA Members Win State Proficiency Awards

Wilson DragonsThree members of the Wilson FFA Chapter were recognized May 30 for having some of the best agricultural career experience programs in the state at the 85th Kansas FFA Convention.

Andrea Mattas, Kristina Heinrich and Janell Ptacek earned State FFA Proficiency Awards for outstanding accomplishments they have made in developing programs that will prepare them for careers in agriculture. Their advisor is Lindsey Huseman.

Mattas received her award in Diversified Agricultural Production - Placement, sponsored by Triangle H Grain and Cattle Company. Heinrich's award is in Home and/or Community Development, sponsored by Seitz Gift Fruit, Inc. Ptacek's award is in Equine Science - Entrepreneurship, sponsored by Zenger Management.

The proficiency award program recognizes students for exceptional accomplishments and excellence in a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) program. This program allows students to set goals and gain real-world experience in a chosen area of the agriculture industry.

Mattas began working on her family's fifth-generation farm in 2008 by managing the thistle population in pastures, harvesting wheat and keeping records on cattle at pasture. She took on additional responsibilities each year and has continued her SAE while in college through part-time work at Munson Angus Farm and Black Horse Hitch near Junction City. Mattas is currently majoring in agricultural education at K-State. She is the daughter of Mike and Mary Mattas.

Heinrich has volunteered at the Czech Cat Thrift Store, Food Bank of Wilson and the summer lunch program. She has put in more than 750 hours in volunteer work in four years such as sorting clothes, filling box orders and packing school lunches. She notes living a small community taught her that it is important to help with volunteer activities. Heinrich hopes to attend Baker University and obtain bachelor and master's degrees in elementary education. She is the daughter of James and Theresa Heinrich.

Ptacek trains horses she owns and of clients. She started with the help of her sister until she was able to work independently. Over the past six years, she has learned how to use different techniques when training horses such as using halters and bridles. She incorporates social media to showcase the steps of her training sessions. She wants to pursue a degree in veterinary technology and become a veterinary technician. Ptacek is the daughter of Ronald and Virginia Ptacek.

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