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Trio named national proficiency finalists

CULLOM — Braden Ifft, Jared Haberkorn and Kacie Haag, all 2016 Tri-Point High School graduates, will compete in the national finals in October in Indianapolis for their work on their FFA proficiency projects.

Each is one of only four people chosen to compete in the national finals to be held during the 89th National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis. They became eligible for the national finals after winning the Illinois state FFA competition earlier this year.

The National FFA Organization announced that Ifft was selected as a national finalist for the National FFA Proficiency Award in agricultural sales-entrepreneurship. Haberkorn was selected as a national finalist in diversified crop production-entrepreneurship. Haag was selected as a national finalist in environmental science and natural resources.

Ifft is the son of Tim and Julie Ifft of rural Piper City.  Ifft’s project consisted of a wholesale business selling all-natural/free-range turkey products and eggs.  He has clients throughout the Chicagoland area and is currently a freshman at Joliet Junior College.

Haberkorn is the son of Michael and Gena Haberkorn of rural Cullom.  His project consisted of wheat, corn, soybeans and a Mycogen corn research plot. He is currently a freshman at Joliet Junior College.

Haag is the daughter of Mike and Trisha Haag of rural Emington. Her environmental project consisted of conducting research to track nitrate levels in water and soil in fields, and determining the necessary nutrient needs based on fertility test results. She is currently a freshman at Lake Land Community College.

The proficiency awards recognize outstanding student achievement in agribusiness gained through establishment of a new business, working for an existing company or otherwise gaining hands-on career experience. The Tri-Point FFA members in the different award areas make up three of 47 proficiency program areas FFA members can participate in to develop valuable experience and leadership skills at the local, state and national levels.

Each national finalist will receive a plaque and $500. The national winner of each proficiency area will also receive an additional $500 during a special ceremony at the National FFA Convention & Expo.

The agricultural sales-entrepreneurship award is sponsored by Crop Production Services as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. The environmental science and natural resources and diversified crop production-entrepreneurship awards are sponsored by CHS as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 629,367 student members who belong to one of 7,757 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

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