Peotone FFA Advances Two Students to State

Emma Bialko, left, and Bryce Thomas, top right of the Peotone FFA Chapter were selected as the District II FFA Proficiency Winner in their respective areas on Wednesday, March 8, at Joliet Junior College's Weitendorf Agricultural Education Center.
Emma Bialko, left, and Bryce Thomas, top right of the Peotone FFA Chapter were selected as the District II FFA Proficiency Winner in their respective areas on Wednesday, March 8, at Joliet Junior College's Weitendorf Agricultural Education Center.

Emma Bialko and Bryce Thomas of the Peotone FFA Chapter were selected as the District II FFA Proficiency Winner in their respective areas on Wednesday, March 8, at Joliet Junior College’s Weitendorf Agricultural Education Center.

As the District II winners, both Emma and Bryce are now among the top five students in the state in their supervised agricultural experience area.

Emma Bialko was selected as the District II Winner in Equine Science Placement by a committee of agriculture industry representatives and teachers knowledgeable in this work-based area. Emma is the daughter of Michael and Amy Bialko of Peotone.

Bryce Thomas was selected as the District II Winner in Diversified Agricultural Production by a committee of agriculture industry representatives and teachers knowledgeable in this work-based area. Bryce is the son of Mike and Elaine Thomas of Manhattan.

Receiving this honor makes Bryce and Emma eligible to compete in the State FFA Awards Selection process in Decatur on Saturday, March 25.

Both Emma and Bryce were previously chosen as the Chapter and Section awardee in their respective areas, and they are active members of the Peotone FFA Chapter.

Peotone FFA is currently celebrating its 90th anniversary. Since 1933, only 13 students have been selected as District Proficiency Award winners, and only five students have been selected as State Proficiency Award Winners.

Abby Jacobs and Dakota Cowger are the agriculture teachers and FFA advisors at Peotone High School.

Also competing at the District II Proficiency Awards from the Peotone FFA Chapter were William Bialko in Turfgrass Management, Isabella Johnson in Food Service Placement, Mark Jones II in Agriculture Education, and Reese Parker in Nursery Operations. All of these students were previously awarded as the Chapter and Section winners in their areas.

Illinois FFA recognizes students in 48 different areas based on their work-based learning, also known as Supervised Agricultural Experience or SAE.

FFA members who demonstrate outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through record keeping, leadership, and scholastic achievement may be considered for this award.

SAEs allow students to learn by either owning and operating an agricultural business, working or serving an internship at an agriculture-based business, or conducting an agriculture-based scientific experiment and reporting results.

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