SALEM — The McCook Central FFA chapter took first place in the ag sales division at the recent state FFA leadership development event that took place in a virtual format this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

South Dakota FFA members from across South Dakota traded their normal travel to Pierre for virtual events for this year’s gathering, which was held in December and January. Members of each chapter qualified through district competitions, with the top two teams and top three individuals from each of the seven FFA districts in the state advancing to the state competition.

Though held in a virtual format, students still had the opportunity to interact with agriculture industry leaders, who also serve as South Dakota FFA Star Partners, with a Career Carnival in a Box. Chapters that were selected received a box filled with materials from the Star Partners.

FFA chapters were recognized for their successes in three of the 11 leadership areas at a special live awards announcement, which was conducted over Zoom. Each state-qualifying participant will receive a portable charger sponsored by the South Dakota Midwest Dairy Association and various South Dakota FFA Star Partners, including ADM Grain Tulare, Agtegra, BankWest, CHS Foundation, Bayer, Butler Machinery Company and Twin City Regional Northland Ford Dealers.

State-winning teams will now advance to the National FFA Development Events in Indianapolis, Indiana next fall.

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Ag sales

Ag sales team members work together to develop a strategy for selling pre-determined products to specific customer scenarios. Participants also practice their individual sales skills by selling an agricultural product to a customer. This event is sponsored by Wilbur Ellis. The state travel scholarships are sponsored by Wilbur Ellis, Dackotah Diamond Auction and Kevin and Amber Blagg.

The finishing order for the event are as follows:

  • McCook Central

  • Wolsey-Wessington

  • Beresford

  • Hot Springs

  • Sanborn Central/Woonsocket

Ag issues

In the ag issues event, a team of three to seven students discuss the pros and cons of a major agricultural issue facing their area. The sponsor is South Dakota Farmers Union and the state winning team travel scholarship is sponsored by South Dakota Farmers Union, Farm Forum and Dakota Risk Management.

The finishing order was as follows:

  • Iroquois

  • Lennox-Sundstrom

  • West Central

  • Miller

  • Howard