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2020 Keeps Getting Better for Wawasee FFA's Evan Coblentz

by Steve Grinczel

Published: Friday, June 26, 2020

Evan Coblentz's already lengthy resume is going to need another page.

The former two-term Wawasee FFA president and Wawasee High School Class of 2020 valedictorian was last Thursday elected treasurer of the 2020-21 Indiana FFA State Officer Team. The election was conducted virtually during the 91st Indiana FFA State Convention originating from West Lafayette.

The well-traveled Coblentz, of North Webster, will spend the upcoming year carrying out his duties in residence at the Indiana FFA Leadership Center in Trafalgar.

"It was kind of an unreal feeling seeing my name put on that slate," Coblentz said Tuesday over the phone during a break from Base Camp training. "Making that conscious effort and deciding that state office is something I want to pursue, it's nice to have those four years of work I put into it pay off.

"Regardless of whether I would have been slated, those four years still would have been incredible. I'm so excited to serve this year and give back to an organization that has given so much to me and choose to have an impact on the students in the same way previous officers have made the effort to impact myself and other students."

In terms of all Coblentz's numerous achievements, this "is easily at the top of the list," he said.

Coblentz' will manage the officer team's daily finances and participate in statewide functions.

"With the state fair being cancelled, our summer is looking a little bit different than normal," he said. "We normally would spend a month and a half working on the FFA Pavilion, but we're going to look to still engage with members and advocate for agriculture at the shows that are still going to be happening.

"The rest of the year we will put on three different sets of conferences for students that we as state officers plan and facilitate. We will also meet with our corporate sponsors, put on a convention, organize executive committee meetings and do chapter visits all across the state. They say we'll put 30,000 miles on our car over the next year, which is pretty crazy to think about."

The son of Allen and Mindy Coblentz, who are teachers at Wawasee High, has a list of accomplishments that stretches more than a few country miles, starting with being ranked No. 1 academically out of 189 Wawasee seniors.

Coblentz is also the outgoing FFA District II president, and after taking a gap year will head to Purdue University in 2021 to major in animal science with a pre-veterinary medicine concentration.

His goal is to someday open a mixed-animal practice specializing in dairy- and meat-goat reproduction and genetics.

At the chapter level, Coblentz earned Star Greenhand, Star in Agribusiness, Adviser, and Blue and Gold awards. He chaired the Teacher Appreciation Lunch and the Chapter Banquet committees.

Coblentz's state involvement includes participation in Executive Committee meetings and Premier Leadership Training and he attended Agricultural Advocacy Days at the Statehouse. He also served on the Conference Advocacy Committee and played an active role in the Indiana State Fair workdays and set-up days.

His research paper on animal health problems impacting the dairy cattle industry in Uganda earned him a trip with four other Indiana students to the Global Youth Institute in Des Moines, Iowa last October.

Nationally, Coblentz has been involved with the National Day of Service, attended the National Convention for three years and took part in the Washington Leadership Conference.

Coblentz earned a gold emblem at the National Dairy Cattle Evaluation and Management career development event in Harrisburg, Pa., finishing second in oral reasons two years ago, and was first at the state FFA convention in Indianapolis last year. He has also placed in chapter, district and state-level competitions in soils evaluation, extemporaneous public speaking, Quiz Bowl and Creed Speaking.

Although Coblentz didn't grow up on a farm, his Supervised Agricultural Experience is goat production entrepreneurship, which entails the management of 13 Alpine, Toggenburg and crossbred dairy goats. He is in charge of feeding and milking practices, cleaning pens, show training and herd financial management.

"We are just fortunate to live in a semi-rural area and I have always loved animals from a young age," Coblentz said. "I got some goats and some beef and dairy, and from there it all just kind of took off. I have about an acre of pasture and barn, now, that we built. But we don't do any crop farming or large-scale agriculture. It's more just a hobby-farm-type of thing I'm in charge of running."

In his nine years with 4-H, Coblentz served as secretary and senior adviser.

In addition to his FFA and 4-H duties and activities, Coblentz was selected to the National Honor Society, was active in theater, and a member of the International Thespian Society and the Drama Club, student council and the Country Bible Church youth group.

Within the Wawasee Community School Corp., Coblentz worked as a student mentor for at-risk underclassmen.

He was the committee chair for the Wawasee High School student council and helped organize the school's Veteran's Day program. He also just completed his second term as president of the Wawasee International Thespian Society Troupe

in addition to previously serving that group as the secretary/treasurer.

Coblentz even played cello in the school's orchestra for a couple of years until academic and extracurricular demands required him to give it up.

Although he doesn't have much time for conventional "fun" activities, his release has been acting. He has acted in nine theater productions, earning best actor and best supporting actor accolades in school musicals.

"Theater is kind of my fun thing to do," he said. "It takes a lot of time and work is involved, but I don't have much stress in that environment. I also just enjoy being out in the barn. It's kind of relaxing to just sit out there with the goats or even clean out the pen.

"I've really had to utilize those time-management skills I gained in FFA, making sure I'm doing things efficiently and effectively as I work through everything."

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