By Lilah Heinz and Stella Largent | ACGC FFA Chapter Reporter

The 96th Annual Iowa FFA State Convention was held April 14-16 in Ames. The ACGC Chapter had 32 members attend and participate in multiple events and competitions throughout the convention.

This year, the chapter had three members who qualified to compete in the Leadership Development Events. Two members, Nora Langgaard and Calleigh Wolfe, competed in the Greenhand Quiz contest, receiving a silver and bronze rating, respectively. Gavin Sloss qualified his Treasurer’s Book to be judged, and he also received a silver rating.

The chapter had six Career Development Events compete at the 96th Conference as well. The ACGC Chapter Exhibit received a Gold rating. Members that competed in this contest were Shay Lemke, Belle Fagan and Camdyn Richter.

The Marketing Plan team, which consisted of Rylee Robson, Irelyn Wirt and Ava Sneller, received eighth place as a team and a silver rating.

The ACGC Team Ag Sales received a silver rating as well. The members on that team were Tucker Carroll, Bo Arrasmith, Gavin Sloss and Tyler Thomas.

Chase Slaybaugh, Xander Harwood and Jack Sheeder participated in the Poultry Evaluation contest, receiving a bronze rating.

The Agricultural Communications team of Lilah Heinz, Stella Largent, Caydence Boals and Lucy Knutter received a bronze rating.

Team of Carley Fagan, Casey Young and Gracie Hodges participated in the Farm Business Management CDE and received a bronze rating as well.

There were three members who received awards on behalf of the chapter and for their individual accomplishments this year. Carley Fagan received the ambassador award for our chapter, which was a Gold rating, while Tucker Carroll received the Supreme National Chapter Award and the ACGC FFA received a silver rating. Jarrett McClain was recognized for winning the State Proficiency category of Agriscience – Plant Systems.

To round out the awards given at the State Conference, the chapter had four members receive their pins for their Iowa FFA degrees. These members included Belle Fagan, Shay Lemke, Jarrett McClain and Gavin Sloss.

Members also toured the career fair and listened to visiting state officers from around the country. Isabelle Rouse and Laurin Davis also got to participate in the State FFA Band, and Emmarae Ellis, Allison Drake and Montana Douglas participated in the State FFA Chorus. Camdyn and Carter Richter also served as delegates for the chapter. On Sunday, all members got the chance to listen to the keynote speaker of the convention, Nick “Sunshine” Tokman.



By Max Sills | Black and Gold Staff Writer

Being a senior in high school is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but ACGC senior Kelsey Carlson also eagerly awaits for the next chapter of her life.

Carlson is a bubbly, determined young lady who enjoys hanging out and doing things with her family. One of her favorite hobbies that she’s had since she was younger is baking with her mom.

Carlson looks back on when she was younger, and one of her memories is a time when she, her siblings and her cousins went to their grandma’s house and she had to chase the neighbor’s goats out of the yard with a broom.

Carlson’s favorite classes have been psychology and physics. “Physics was a fun class that I learned in and laughed every single day. Psychology was a very interesting class in which I learned so much about the brain. This class solidified my desire to major in psychology,” she said.

Carlson has been interested in sports her whole life. Some sports she’s been in are soccer, basketball and cross country.

Carlson plans to go to Dordt University so she can major in psychology and biology on the pre-med route and play basketball.

“I plan to either attend medical school to become a pediatric psychiatrist or attend graduate school to become a clinical/counseling psychologist in pediatrics,” she said.

Carlson stayed busy during her high school career by being involved in many clubs and activities including basketball, AAU basketball, soccer, cross country, large-group speech, choir, musical theater, student council, academic team, neuroscience club, National Honor Society, Leo’s Club, 4-H, Phi Theta Kappa, FCA and FCCLA.

The thing that has impacted Carlson the most has been staying busy, as she has learned time management and many other important life skills.

“Being involved made me a well-rounded individual and opened my eyes to the diverse world around me. In addition, it brought me to the most influential and amazing people,” Carlson said.

Carlson is incredibly thankful for all of the people who made her high school years memorable and supported her through her endeavors.

“Although I’ll be sad to leave, I’m super excited for what lies ahead,” she said.



By Jeslyn Ortega | Black and Gold Staff Writer

Natalie Kent is a senior at ACGC High School who participated in Expository Address for Individual Speech. Kent has been in speech for quite a while and has performed amazingly in every competition.

The all-state qualifier for individual speech was Monday, March 25. Kent presented her speech that was called “Death with Dignity,” which was based on her experience with her grandma when she was going through a hard time with her health. Kent’s grandmother had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as ALS, which could not be fought off, and she soon after passed away. This made Kent’s speech touch a lot of people as her story had a meaningful background about her grandmother.

Kent made it to All-State along with her head coach, Jessica Fridley, who was by her side for this huge accomplishment. Over the years, Ms. Fridley has been coaching individual speech. This was one of her proudest moments for her student and her career overall.

When asked how she felt about going to All-State, Kent stated, “I wasn’t super nervous, I don’t think. I felt pretty confident in what I had to present. I knew my stuff, but it was overwhelming because I had never been there before. I had no idea what to expect. It was kind of like, ‘Oh, wow this is kind of a lot and a lot is going on,’ but it was super-cool and I was super-grateful to be there. It was awesome.” 

Overall, Kent’s last year was a success in getting to all-state, and she wants to continue to participate in speech in college. 



By Bryan Beer | Black and Gold staff writer

ACGC’s Large Group Radio Group, KWST, participated in the All-State competition on Feb. 17. The group performed well at the competition but fell short of the top award.

Participants of KWST radio group were Carter Neff, Lance Bunde, Ashton Zekucia, Noah Kading, Bo Arrasmith and Producer Andrew Mahaffey.

“The boys and their broadcast were given a great review by our judge. Unfortunately, we were not able to bring back the award for best of the day, but we did very well for a 1A school going up against 4A schools,” Coach Colin Shawgo said.

ACGC was a 1A school competing against larger schools in Ames. Unlike in sporting events, large group speech teams can compete against any sized school in a competition.

“What makes radio so great as a category is we do everything pre-recorded, and so all we really had to do was show up and press play on the computer,” Shawgo said.

ACGC’s radio group pre-recorded their voice lines before they performed, Shawgo said.

“This also meant that we were able to dress up for our performance without having to worry about acting anything out, and so it was with that in mind that we put on some cowboy attire for the actual performance itself.”

The radio group’s theme was wild west, so the group dressed up as cowboys and performed.

Though ACGC was an underdog in the competition, they still placed well and enjoyed the competition.

“Overall, the boys had a good day and were happy with how we did,” Shawgo said.