Local FFA Member Wins Grand Prize at State Convention

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(KNSI) — The Minnesota State FFA Convention in full swing and a local business owner received a great honor.

William Benjamin Bugbee of Paynesville was named Star of Agribusiness for his supervised farming experience involving his pontoon and jet ski rental business, Rentals ready for water. Finalists are chosen based on their outstanding achievement, active participation in the FFA, and entrepreneurial non-production agricultural enterprise.

Bugbee, whose family is part of the Bugbee Hive Resorts on Lake Koronis, started in 2019 after seeing the need for reliable and affordable pontoons. “The opportunity kind of came to me when my dad finally quit the business and said, ‘Well, it’s up to you to take over.’ We had no inventory, so we bought pontoons, well, I took it from there.

Bugbee says the competition was impressive, and “It’s just an absolute honor to be recognized. It’s an honor to compete with them, but then to be awarded the Star of Agribusiness, it’s is just amazing. It’s truly a treat to be here at the State Convention and receive this award. So I want to thank the Minnesota FFA for putting this together and again, c t is truly an honor to have received this award.

Bugbee expressed his gratitude to the local FFA community, and in particular to agricultural teacher and FFA advisor Natalie Utsch for being “instrumental in my FFA career, pushing me to join in general”. He said they spent over 40 hours working on the app. He thanked his parents for helping start the business and his employee Lori Laudenbach for keeping the business running smoothly. He also thanked the community of Paynesville as a whole for “helping me to get involved in all kinds of community organizations and encouraging me as we have said here, as well as with anything in school and with my company”.

Bugbee says he is honored with the honor and encourages others to get involved in their local FFA saying it is a treat and opens new doors for leadership experiences, better public speakers and better members from the community.

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