Detroit Lakes' Blanchard earns FFA Ag Proficiency Award

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Celebrating the academic achievements of area students. (Stock photo)

Detroit Lakes' Robert Blanchard recently received an Agricultural Proficiency Award in ag sales entrepreneurship from the Minnesota FFA Association.

Blanchard was one of 43 FFA members statewide to receive ag proficiency awards during the 2020 Minnesota FFA Convention, which was held virtually during the week of May 18-22.

These awards are given to those FFA members who have developed specialized skills through Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAEs), working with their high school agriculture instructors. The proficiency areas correspond to career pathways related to agriculture.

Award winners were chosen from FFA members who advanced from regional competitions held across the state. Blanchard's award was sponsored by Bremer Bank. For more information visit or .

Three local students graduate from MSU-Mankato

Three lakes area residents were among those graduating from Minnesota State University Mankato at the end of spring semester 2020.


  • Marty Fankhanel, Detroit Lakes, earned his Master of Science (MS) degree in experiential education.
  • Kyra Vagle, Detroit Lakes, earned her Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in civil engineering.
  • Cassidy Nelson, Frazee, earned her BS degree in psychology, and also received magna cum laude academic honors.

The students were officially recognized for earning their degrees via a special online website that launched on Saturday, May 9 — the same day that the university's three traditional graduation ceremonies were scheduled, but cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each graduate also received personalized URL video messages by email that were sent out May 9, and "commencement-in-a-box" packages were shipped to each graduate the week before graduation. More information about the Minnesota State Mankato spring 2020 commencement is available at .

Three local students make spring dean's list at Alexandria Tech

Three lakes area residents were recently recognized by Alexandria Technical & Community College for their academic achievements by being named to the college's dean's list for spring semester 2020.

Richard Borash, Detroit Lakes; Grace Jaroszewski, Frazee; and Alan Lubbers, Lake Park, were honored for achieving a grade point average of 3.5 or higher during the semester.

M State to honor spring graduates with June 25 video celebration

While COVID-19 disrupted the traditional pomp and circumstance of graduation, it won’t deter Minnesota State Community and Technical College from celebrating the 724 graduates in its Class of 2020.

Graduates, family members and friends are invited to “attend” the premier of an online M State graduation celebration at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 25.

In mid-June, graduates will be mailed a “virtual celebration package” with items including their official diploma and a padded diploma cover. An online Class of 2020 Celebration program will be posted on the M State website and can be saved or printed.

More details and a link to the celebration will be available on the college website at , where the video will continue to be available after June 25.

A reporter at Detroit Lakes Newspapers since relocating to the community in October 2000, Vicki was promoted to Community News Lead for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and Perham Focus on Jan. 1, 2022. She has covered pretty much every "beat" that a reporter can be assigned, from county board and city council to entertainment, crime and even sports. Born and raised in Madelia, Minnesota, she is a graduate of Hamline University, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in English literature (writing concentration). You can reach her at
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