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WIU School of Agriculture alumnus Ryan Hintzsche
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WIU Agriculture Alumnus Leads Streator Program to National Honors

August 26, 2019

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MACOMB, IL – The Streator High School agriculture department and FFA chapter, advised by Western Illinois University School of Agriculture alumnus Riley Hintzsche, recently received national honors.

The chapter's state-winning Food Science Team will be representing Streator and Illinois FFA at the 2019 National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, IN. Additionally, Lance Moritz was named a National Proficiency Finalist in the area of Diversified Horticulture. Moritz is one of four students in the nation who has been selected for this honor, and he will interview against the other three candidates for the chance to be selected as the National Proficiency Winner. The Streator FFA chapter was also named a three-star program, the highest ranking an FFA chapter can receive from the National FFA Organization.

Hintzsche said the National Chapter Award is awarded based on the judging of a 22-page application that is judged on the qualifications of strengthening agriculture, building communities and growing leaders. Growing Leaders focuses on student development, Strengthening Agriculture focuses on agricultural improvement, education and literacy and Building Communities focuses on community development.

"In each one of those three areas, students must determine five activities that they want to engage in to better students, agriculture and the community," said Hintzsche. "Once they have determined these five events or activities, they must choose three in each of the areas to truly expand on. Basically, they have nine activities that they plan, develop and grow upon to improve our chapter, community and students. Each area is judged by Illinois ag teachers through a competitive judging process. Once this is completed, the top 30 programs in the state are sent to the national level, and we were one of those top 30."

Once the program was judged at the state level, it moves on to the national level, where it faces a strict judging process. The applications are ranked as one, two or three star at that point.

"This makes the Streator Communities Ag Program one of the top programs in America as this is the highest ranking any chapter can receive," Hintzsche added. "We have a phenomenal community that assists in preparing students for premier leadership, personal growth and career success. It takes a village and we have so much more we can accomplish."

For more information about the WIU School of Agriculture, visit

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