Penn Yan FFA celebrates successful year at banquet

Gwen Chamberlain
Members of the Penn Yan FFA leadership team with Honorary Degree recipient Anita Kriese and the wheelbarrow some of them made for her. (from left) Brayden Webber, Lucas Paige, Ryan Andersen, Mitchell Potts, Nathan Elliott, Tito Chavez, Kriese, Triana Burgos-Farnan, and Maci Nicholson. For more photos from the annual banquet, visit

Members and supporters of the Penn Yan Academy FFA Chapter celebrated the completion of another successful year at the 86th Annual FFA Banquet May 25.

The event was held at Penn Yan Academy, beginning with a banquet, followed by the recognition ceremony, which included a special opening ceremony and presentation about the chapter’s history.

During their comments, Superintendent Howard Dennis and Academy Principal David Pullen lauded the work of the chapter and its members. “FFA excellence is a hallmark at Penn Yan Academy,” said Dennis, crediting Agriculture teacher John Kriese for his “unwaivering belief in the good FFA does for the students.”

“You can see the pride in these kids,” said Pullen.

Chapter President Maci Nicholson conducted the meeting, and Jacob Ax of Stockbridge Valley, treasurer of the New York State FFA, was the guest speaker.

Seniors Alex Gurba, Mitch Potts, Ryan Andersen and Jacob DeMay received the FFA stole to wear during the upcoming commencement ceremony.

Awards were presented to the following:

• Sean Murdock Memorial Award: Alex Voak

• Dekalb Agricultural Award: Ryan Andersen. Kriese noted that Andersen finished in first place in the state Ag Mechanics competition.

• Outstanding Junior: Brayden Webber

• Outstanding Sophomore: Akiya Brewer

• Outstanding Freshman: Triana Burgos-Farnan

• Chapter Degree: Maci Nicholson, Nathan Elliott, and Tito Chavez

At the end of the ceremonies, a special honor was presented to Anita Kriese, who was given an Honorary Degree for her support of the chapter and its members over the past 27 years.