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Wednesday, October 19th, 2011 -- 9:09 AM

A little red berry is taking one local FFA member a long way.

Trenton Bemis, 20, of Humbird is a 3rd generation cranberry grower at Edlen Cranberry Company near Humbird.

He left Wednesday morning for the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis where he is one of four finalists for a big award.

"I was the state winner for the Fruit Production Proficiency, which was a great honor," he says. "I've been selected as one of the national finalists. I could be anywhere from first place to fourth place."

The trip comes right in the middle of the cranberry harvest.

"We have 72 acres of actual cranberries. We are one of only several fresh fruit packing facilities that Ocean Spray has in the state of Wisconsin," he explains.

Edlen grows, harvests and packs the berries into 12 oz. bags, which are marketed through Ocean Spray.

While Bemis is excited about the opportunity, there is a ?frustrating? angle to the story.

He was an FFA member at Alma Center/Humbird/Merillan High School. The school recently cut its ag program to save money.

Bemis says those cuts mean other kids might not get the same opportunities he did.

"It's disappointing and sad. A lot of the kids are going to get cut out of the opportunity I had."

"It's beyond frustrating."

Each national proficiency award finalist receives $500 cash award and a plaque. National winners receive an additional $500 award and a plaque.

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