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Reed selected as National FFA award winner

PULASKI – The National FFA Organization recently announced Kayla Reed was selected as the national winner for the National FFA Proficiency Award in Wildlife Production and Management.

Reed, a member of the Pulaski FFA Chapter, became eligible for the national award after being named the state winner in June and then selected as one of four national finalists during the 2019 National FFA National Finalist Selection Process.

She was one of only four people chosen to compete for this award.

“My work in this area began when I was at the young age of 8 when I began to aid my dad in water chemistry monitoring as a Citizen Scientist for the Citizens Lake Monitoring Network,” Reed said. “At this time, I also began to take care of the Farmer’s Bay loon nest; however, it was not until my eighth-grade year when my passion for this area was really sparked and ignited.”

Reed then became the Loon Ranger for Lake Metonga through the LoonWatch Program run through Northland College, and also wrote a position paper regarding the stocking of a fish species into Lake Metonga.

This caught the eye of Forest and Florence county Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist, Gregory Matzke, who began to mentor Reed.

“Through my work with this professional, I aided in fyke netting and electroshocking population surveys and created a contour vegetation map of Lake Metonga by myself,” she said. “Within the next few years I also was mentored and shadowed Tami Paoli, the Oconto County fisheries biologist.”

Some of the studies Reed has conducted include: diet of the black bullhead, growth of phytoplankton, pH effect on trout hatching and a juvenile walleye growth study.

She also manages 10 bluebird houses on the Pulaski High School campus for a bluebird restoration project, has a small food plot in her backyard, and has had an internship with the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Aquatic Ecology and Fisheries Laboratory.

Reed plans to attend UW-Stevens Point starting in the fall of 2020 in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in fisheries and aquatic sciences.

She is supported by her parents, Kim and Grant Reed (Sobieski) and her three FFA Advisors, Terry Erdmann, Kaleb Sandy and Cedric Pettis.

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 Wildlife Production and Management award is one of 47 proficiency program areas FFA members can participate in to develop experience and leadership skills at the local, state and national levels.

In recognition of being a national finalist and national winner, Reed received a national finalist gold medallion and $1,000 during the special ceremony at the Fifth General Session at the 92nd National FFA Convention & Expo.

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