CreatinG a SPark
Hands-on experiences inspire future careers
Meet YoUr new nationaL FFa oFFiCerS
Mississippi chapter grows, processes sorghum
FFA news and achievements, reported by FFA members.
8 A Sweet Tradition
26 Personal Growth
Learn about the roles mentors can play in your life.
Mississippi FFA chapter grows, harvests and processes sweet sorghum.
6 FFA Faces
12 Doing to Learn
See fellow members from across the country.
28 Career Success
Discover a career in animal health.
Hands-on education offers preparation for any career you choose.
22 National Officer Q&A
18 Time to Take
Discover ways your FFA chapter can fight hunger in your community.
Meet your new national officer team.
30 Living to Serve
17 Ag 101
Members fought hunger during the National FFA Convention & Expo.
Fast facts about lettuce.
On the Cover FFA members learn welding in a high school agriculture shop. Photo By Brian McCord
24 Premier Leadership
32 All About FFA
Say hello to Louisville, Ky.
Future farmers train at the New Century Farmer Conference.
Volume 60 Number 3
The magazine of the National FFA Organization Editor kiM newSoM hoLMberG Associate Editor jeSSY YanCeY FFA Publications Manager jULie woodard Content Coordinator raCheL bertone Proofreading Manager raVen PettY Creative Services Director ChriStina Carden Graphic Design StaCeY aLLiS, jake ShoreS, LaUra GaLLaGher, kriS SeXton, Vikki wiLLiaMS, eriCa LaMPLeY, kara LeibY, kaCeY PaSSMore Creative Technology Analyst beCCa arY Color Imaging Technician aLiSon hUnter Photography Director jeFFreY S. otto Photography jeFF adkinS, brian MCCord, Martin b. CherrY, MiChaeL Conti Web Creative Director aLLiSon daViS Website Design and Development daVid daY, YaMeL haLL, riChard SteVenS, neLS noSeworthY Ad Production Manager katie MiddendorF Ad Traffic Assistants krYStin LeMMon, PatriCia MoiSan Accounting diana GUzMan, Maria MCFarLand, LiSa owenS State FFA Inserts kriStY dUnCan Controller ChriS dUdLeY Distribution Director GarY SMith Advertising Sales rhonda GrahaM, katie newbern For advertising information, contact Rhonda Graham, (800) 333-8842, ext. 324, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. 2012-13 National FFA Officers President CLaY SaPP, FL Secretary kaLie haLL, Ga Eastern Region Vice President joeneLLe FUtreLL, kY Central Region Vice President brennan CoSteLLo, ne Southern Region Vice President wiLeY baiLeY, aL Western Region Vice President LindSeY anderSon, Ca National FFA Staff National FFA Advisor SteVe brown Chief Executive Officer dwiGht arMStronG Chief Operating Officer joShUa bLedSoe FFA Executive Secretary Sherene donaLdSon National Treasurer Marion FLetCher National FFA Board of Directors – Members Chair, USDE, VA SteVe brown Treasurer, State Supervisor, AR Marion FLetCher State Supervisor, GA ChiP bridGeS Teacher/USDE, LA aLiCe dUboiS Industry Representative/USDE, CA Matthew GonzaLeS State Supervisor, CA bob heUVeL State Supervisor, WI jeFF hiCken State Supervisor, DE karen hUtChiSon Teacher Educator/USDE, FL brian MYerS FFA Executive Secretary/USDE, NJ erin nobLe Subscription Information: FFA New Horizons (ISSN 1069-806X) is published quarterly by the National FFA Organization, 6060 FFA Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46268-0960. Publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited manuscripts, art or any other unsolicited materials. For subscription information contact: FFA New Horizons Subscription Services, (317) 802-4235 or email newhorizons@FFA.org. Periodical postage rate is paid at Indianapolis, Ind., and additional mail offices. Postmaster: Please send address changes to FFA New Horizons, P.O. Box 68960, Indianapolis, IN 46268-0960.
Visit FFA Nation to read past issues of FFA New Horizons, nominate a friend (or yourself) for FFA Faces and talk to other members in the online community!
FFanation.org winter 2012-13
5 Ways to Fight Hunger in Your Community
Food driVeS and More
VettinG their CareerS
kentucky students gain real-world experience during the school day
Want to see past issues of FFA New Horizons? Visit the Digital Magazine page to flip through issues back to 2010.
ConneCt aLL new!
We’ve redesigned the FFA New Horizons website. Go check it out. There, you’ll find: • Stories about FFA members and chapters • Career-planning resources • A page just for your state (and a new way to submit your own story to be posted there!)
FOLLOW uS ON TWiTTEr
Copyright© 2013 by the National FFA Organization and Journal Communications Inc. FFa Mission FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success. the agricultural education Mission Agricultural education prepares students for successful careers and a lifetime of informed choices in the global agriculture, food, fiber and natural resource systems. The National FFA Organization affirms its belief in the value of all human beings and seeks diversity in its membership, leadership and staff as an equal opportunity employer. The National FFA Organization is a resource and support organization that does not select, control, or supervise state association, local chapter or individual member activities. Educational materials are developed by FFA in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education as a service to state and local agricultural education agencies.
enter to win!
Visit the FFA New Horizons website for your chance to win a $100 gift card to the Shop FFA store. To enter, visit FFAnewhorizons.org/winFFAgear.
LikE uS ON FACEbOOk
FFA News From Across the u.S.
A place to celebrate your FFA achievements, chapter successes and good deeds
a $5,000 donation
Dustin Ford, a freshman at Los Banos High School in California, decided to use the proceeds from selling his lamb a little differently than most. He donated the money from the sale of his show lamb to the American Cancer Society, in honor of a close family friend who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2009 and is still undergoing treatment. The 123-pound lamb sold for $46 per pound, which raised around $5,000 for Dustin to donate. He says his local community all pitched in to help raise the price per pound, once they learned about his plans for the proceeds. Dustin is an exceptional example of FFA members across the nation. He set a goal, raised an animal, worked hard and donated to a cause he felt strongly about. Submitted by Kaitlyn Alanis, chapter reporter
Canadian FFa, okLahoMa
Hay, What a business!
Three Oklahoma brothers know the value of hard work and commitment to a goal. Kaleb, Levi and Aaron Stowers have started their own custom baling business, using the skills and resources they’ve gained through their FFA involvement. These three, with their parents’ assistance, purchased a tractor, mower, square baler and rake to launch their baling business. In their first year, they paid off all their equipment with enough left over to invest into more equipment. In 2011, they purchased more used equipment and further expanded the business, even bringing on seasonal help during hay season. Kaleb says that they harvested more than 7,000 square bales and more than 300 round bales. Congratulations, Stowers brothers, and good luck with your business!
blue Jacket bonanza
Farm Bureaus across the country are helping FFA members get their first FFA jackets. Started by the Santa Barbara County Farm Bureau in California, the Blue Jacket Bonanza program was created to purchase blue corduroy jackets for FFA members who might not have the financial means to buy their own. In its first year, the bonanza raised $18,000, and it’s being expanded. Members who otherwise may not be able to own a jacket can apply to the program by submitting an application with a written essay, personal information and community service activities. For more information about how to apply for a jacket or to donate to the program, visit FFA.org.
SoUthinGton FFa, ConneCtiCUt
Feed bags, upcycled
FFA members from Southington, Conn., have found a new use for feed bags that benefits their chapter, the community and the environment. They turn old feed bags into new shopping bags and aprons, then sell them to the local community. The practice of reusing old feed bags for new products began during the Great Depression, when fabric was in short supply, and many families used flour and feed bags to make clothes.
La habra FFa, CaLiFornia
being a Friend
For the past 25 years, the La Habra FFA Chapter in California has hosted a Special Friends Day each year. They welcome special needs students from the Nuffer Elementary School to a day designed just for them, with agriculture arts and crafts activities, hay rides, petting zoos and delicious food. Each student is partnered with an FFA member for the day, and they have a great time exploring the agriculture-related booths and activities together.
Keep us informed! This is your chance to be a part of FFA New Horizons. Send us a short article about your latest chapter activities, awards you’ve received or even your involvement outside FFA. Want an easy way to send your story? Email a photo, your story and contact information to newhorizons@FFA.org. All photos need to be in color and a minimum of 1 MB in size.
Or, mail to: FFA New Horizons P.O. Box 68960 Indianapolis, IN 46268
Meet Six FFA Shining Stars
Wrangler, the sponsor of FFA Faces, will award a great prize to featured members
Mary katherine Pittman
ChaPter: MaLone FFa, FLorida
ChaPter: La habra FFa, CaLiFornia
This high school junior serves as chapter president and participates in many career development events (CDEs), including prepared public speaking. Mary Katherine also shows cattle throughout the Southeast.
Manuel has been a chapter officer for three years, serving as vice president this year. He is also sectional reporter and has participated in the prepared public speaking, job interview and livestock judging CDEs.
ChaPter: FLeMinG CoUntY FFa, kentUCkY
ChaPter: eXeter-weSt GreenwiCh, rhode iSLand
Now a high school senior, Cordell got involved in his FFA chapter during his sophomore year. Today, he serves as chapter vice president and has participated in CDEs, chapter events and the impromptu speech contest.
Cara began showing dairy cows at age 8, and this year achieved her dream of placing Reserve Grand Champion in the junior show at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis. She also plays basketball and three instruments.
ChaPter: herMiSton FFa, oreGon
ChaPter: hoLden FFa, MiSSoUri
Abbye, a high school senior, raises pigs for her supervised agricultural experience (SAE) program. She currently serves as secretary of her FFA chapter and hopes to become an agriculture teacher.
This versatile FFA member is ranked in the top 10 of his high school class, plays football, enjoys hunting and fishing, and helps with farm work on his family’s 1,500-acre diversified farming operation.
Nominate yourself to be considered for FFA Faces by following the steps below. Questions? Email email@example.com. Go onLine Visit www.ffafaces.com and click on nominations. You can nominate yourself or another current FFa member.
deSCribe Fill out the form to tell us about you – your FFa involvement, school activities, future plans and more.
UPLoad Find a great photo of yourself – head and shoulders photos work best – and upload it as part of the nomination form.
Mississippi FFA chapter grows, harvests and processes sweet sorghum
Mantachie students feed the sorghum stalks into the crusher, which extracts a light green juice with a high sugar content.
After crushing the stalks, the juice becomes the product and the stalks are no longer needed.
hen members of Mantachie High School FFA in Mississippi grew sweet sorghum as a chapter fundraiser in 2005, they had no idea it would blossom into an annual project that would become their chapter’s primary source of income. “That first year, our students processed sorghum at a local farmer’s house, but we decided to let them get the full effect by building a big shed joining our ag shop at the school,” says C.W. Franks, Mantachie High School FFA co-advisor with Joe Rogers. “It took about four months for our students to build the shed, a cooking room and a chimney.” Every May since then, Mantachie FFA members have been planting sweet sorghum seeds on three acres of land donated by a local farmer. By September, the crop is ready, and members harvest and crush the 8-foot stalks of cane before cooking it and bottling it to sell to members of the community. “We’ve sold our sorghum in 18 states, and we even sent some to soldiers in Iraq a few years ago,” Franks says. “A soldier in Iraq read a newspaper article online about our sorghum project, and he wrote to say he couldn’t wait to get home to try some. So we sent him a couple gallons, and the soldiers sent us back pictures of them enjoying a treat from home in their mess hall.” For the 52 members of Mantachie FFA, the sorghum project is a labor of love they have the privilege of seeing come full circle. “So often you don’t get to see the whole process in agriculture,” Franks says. “But our kids get to see the
actual planting all the way to harvesting, processing and selling the finished product.” Mantachie FFA President Drew Garrett says the sorghum project teaches students the value of hard work. “It’s a lengthy, tedious process, and there are days when we are really tired of sorghum,” Garrett says. “But in the end, it makes me proud to see the finished product and hear people say how much they enjoy it.” The sorghum is usually ready by Nov. 1. The chapter sells it by the pint ($6) or by the quart ($12), and many customers buy several quarts for family and friends as Christmas gifts. “It tastes really good with butter on biscuits. It has a stronger flavor than maple syrup,” Garrett explains. “I also know people who put it in cakes or in oatmeal.” Mantachie FFA Vice President Sam Kirksey enjoys the sorghum project because it’s so unusual. “You can’t do anything like it in any other class,” Kirksey says. “I enjoy the cooking part of the process most, where we cook the sorghum in a big pan over a fire pit. It has also taught me how to oversee a project from beginning to end.” Word of Mantachie FFA’s sorghum has been farreaching. Several newspapers and magazines have published articles about the project, prompting curious out-of-towners to travel to observe Mantachie FFA members crushing and cooking the sorghum. “Lots of folks have offered to help us, especially senior farmers who are in their 70s and 80s,” Franks says. “They like to watch us cook the sorghum, and they
share with us how they used to do it when they were kids. It carries them back to the good old days.” Mantachie FFA uses money from sorghum sales to run their chapter and fund trips to conventions, summer camps and retreats. They also run a meat processing lab (one of only two in the state) and two greenhouses, both of which raise money for their chapter. “We teach processing of beef, swine, deer and wild game in a two-year program. Our students process about 450 deer per year,” Franks says. “It’s great for our community – our kids take orders from hunters and process meat how they want it. Then they pay us a processing fee. It runs like a little business.” Every spring, members raise vegetable and flower plants in the greenhouses to sell. “We have super good kids who are interested and motivated, which makes our job easy because they want to do these projects. Some FFA chapters have closed or merged because they were unable to get funding,” Franks says. “But we’ve found that a chapter can sustain itself without outside support. Introduce a project like sorghum or a greenhouse to get students involved and raise money. It’s like operating a business.” – Jessica Mozo
The end result of their hard work is this sweet sorghum, which Mantachie FFA members sell as a chapter fundraiser.
Sweet Sorghum 101
From start to finish, the sorghum process takes about six months. Here’s how Mantachie FFA members grow, harvest and process the sweet stuff:
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Stalks of cane are fed through a sorghum crusher, which extracts a light green juice with a high sugar content. The juice is strained and stored in 15-gallon barrels in a walk-in cooler. When members have collected between 250 and 300 gallons of juice, it’s time to cook it. (Ten gallons of juice produces one gallon of sorghum.) The juice is cooked in a large pan in a fire pit with pine slabs. Fans in the cooking room help with the tremendous amount of steam emitted.
In late May, the sorghum crop is planted.
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Throughout the summer months, the crop is monitored for insects and pests, then sprayed as needed.
After cooking, sorghum is strained again to remove any impurities. The sorghum cools and is poured into two stainless steel pots with valves at the bottoms.
In late September, the 8-foot-tall cane stalks are ready for harvest. An old-fashioned corn binder (redesigned for use with a tractor) cuts down 10 to 15 stalks at a time and ties them together. Students pick up the stalks and bring them to the shed to be crushed.
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The cooking process changes the sorghum’s color from light green to golden brown. The juice cooks for about three hours before it’s ready to be removed from heat.
As the sorghum cooks, members “skim” it, or remove a green layer of chlorophyll that rises to the top.
Members bottle the sorghum in pints and quarts, top them with a safety seal and label them with custommade FFA tags. Chapter members sell their sorghum to raise money for FFA activities and trips.
inG to do Learn
ence Hands-on experi on for offers preparati choose any career you
earning to Do, Doing to Learn. It’s the first half of the official FFA motto, but have you stopped to think what these phrases really mean to you? Since its beginnings in 1917, agricultural education (or vocational agriculture, as it was then called) has incorporated hands-on experiences into the lessons learned. For the farm boys who were the original ag ed students, they learned about farm chores and management, then put their education into practice through FFA career development events and on-farm experiences. Today, these “learning by doing” opportunities vary from school to school, but can often include a welding shop, greenhouse, farm, computer lab, meats facility, veterinary office, or even a former member’s operation. And regardless of the career you choose, these experiences will continue with you for a lifetime.
LearninG throUGh LiVeStoCk
Students at Paris High School in Arkansas don’t just learn about livestock production and management – they live it. Constructed two years ago, the school’s animal science facility is home to four sows and additional show pigs. Agriculture teacher and FFA advisor Jason Minz says that his ultimate goal is for students to experience the full cycle of raising swine. Under his supervision and the help of local experts, Paris High School students learn to
properly handle reproductive equipment, artificially inseminate the sows, evaluate the gestation cycle, assist with birthing and process the baby pigs. Minz says that the swine operation operates as a real business. The pigs are sold as show animals across the state, with some Paris FFA members purchasing them as well. They house their show pigs in the school facility throughout the year, which helps keep animals there year-round for educational purposes. Even the building of the animal science barn was a learning opportunity. Minz says that his agricultural mechanics classes welded the hog pens together and poured the concrete. He adds that these hands-on experiences reach farther than just the technical skill his students learn. “It expands beyond just agricultural education,” he explains. “We serve as somewhat of a laboratory for the entire school. The students learn geometry and biology in their respective classes, but then they get to see them in action in the ag shop or in our animal science facility.”
SCienCe and Math in aGriCULtUre
Dr. Jay Jackman, executive director of the National Association of Agricultural Educators, says that the lines between agriculture and what are considered the “standard courses” blur more each day. “Ag teachers are just as responsible for teaching math, science and reading as the teachers who focus
raising livestock teaches FFa members in Paris, ark., about animal management, genetics and reproduction.
ag mechanics students learn to use a cutting torch.
hydroponics labs teach students about advanced science principles.
solely on those areas,” Jackman says. “The difference is that these subjects are taught in an applied method.” He adds, “For example, in math class, students learn about the Pythagorean Theorem. Ag ed students put this theory into action when learning how to square a door frame or constructing a gate. With this connection between math and agriculture, students can say, ‘I learned about it in math, but I did it in ag.’ ”
“This year I will be able to take my pack test to join the state wildfire team to go out West and fight fires,” she says. “Also, all the leadership skills I learned in FFA helped to shape me into the person I am. As a firefighter, I am able to communicate and lead my fellow firefighters through trainings.”
enSUrinG itS FUtUre
Telling student success stories like Ashley’s is important to the future of agricultural education, Jackman says. “Advocacy is important, and there’s something for everyone to do,” he says. “These are elective, expensive programs, and there are no requirements that a school system have an ag ed program. So it’s vital that we all continue to show the value of keeping ag ed in our schools – through promoting students who succeed academically, in agriculture and in their careers.”
So what does this mean for you, the student? “Hands-on work shows you what the real world is like,” Minz says. “You won’t learn everything in the real world from a book. It’s a lot of trial and error, and you need to have effective problem-solving skills. That’s what I try to do – teach students how to think and stay ahead in the world. That’s most important for helping them in any future career they choose.” Ashley Anderson from Massachusetts says her ag classes helped launch her career. “I have always been interested in firefighting because my grandfather, uncle and dad were all firefighters,” she says. “I was a horticulture major in high school, and during forestry class, I was able to get comfortable with a saw and drop some trees.” Her past experience has led to some pretty exciting work opportunities.
how has agricultural education impacted you? tell us your success story at FFAnewhorizons.org/DoingtoLearn.
FFa MeMberS SPeak oUt!
We wanted to know how your FFA and agricultural education hands-on experiences have impacted you, so we asked. Here are some of our favorite answers, all generated on the National FFA Facebook page (www.facebook.com/NationalFFA).
Welding and tractor troubleshooting are the two biggest skills I use. Right out of high school, I got a job welding on equipment in a rock quarry. Now I work in the parts department of a John Deere dealer, where tractor trouble shooting always comes in handy to help my customers. My experiences in ag ed are lessons I use everyday. Aaron Faulconer Nothing like a city chick from Queens, New York (John Bowne chapter) knowing how to drive a tractor! Maria Cabrejas-O’Malley I have taken two and a half years of floral classes and can now make many different kinds of arrangements. It has led me to doing my senior project on managing a floral shop. Danielle Petitmermet In my vet skills class, I have learned about the health of animals. In the next few weeks, we will be practicing restraint with the teacher’s dog and will learn how to give shots. We have already castrated two calves and a goat. These skills are very helpful for ranchers, livestock owners and future vets. Raina Kelle Wright Through the help of my ag teacher, I became a really good event planner. It’s not a technical skill that most think of, but my collegiate and professional life ran smoother because of the abilities I learned as an FFA member. Ashley Larkin We have an advanced agricultural mechanics class that has rebuilt a Camaro from the ground up. Our ag mechanics team studies everything from hydraulic operations to energy, electricity and motors. Kaden Milstein My woodshop class is the first hands-on type of class I’ve take in high school, and I’m really enjoying it. I’ve made a cutting board shaped like a sheep (one of a kind), a toolbox and a stepping stool. I have learned a lot of leadership and life skills from my FFA advisors that aren’t taught in other classes. Breana Rodriguez I’ve taken three years of horticulture, and it’s taught me so much about floral arrangement and greenhouse management. I’ve learned that floriculture is my true calling, plus I’ve learned skills that will be useful to me in any career. Emily White I have made many woodworking projects, such as welcome signs, and even metal work, including BBQ pits and shooting targets. I have been thinking about getting my welding certificate so that if I ever need some extra cash, I could go into the oilfields to become a pipeline welder, all thanks to FFA! Jeffrey A. Ramos For my ag communications class, we work on publications in Photoshop and Microsoft Publisher. We write sample press releases and news stories, then review them as a class. Dakota Stanford
Fields of Green
Welcome spring with farm facts about leafy green lettuce.
Sometimes, with all the other colorful vegetables, fruits, meats and toppings that dress a salad, the base ingredient – lettuce – can be easily forgotten. But this crisp, cool vegetable is one important crop for the United States. In fact, in terms of production value, it is the leading vegetable crop in the nation. Learn more about this produce-section staple.
California and Arizona take the lead as the nation’s top lettuce-producing states, churning out about 98 percent of commercial domestic output. Production occurs year-round through a seasonal sequence between Arizona and California, as well as in commercial greenhouse hydroponic facilities. In these facilities, farmers grow lettuce in just water, no soil, using mineral nutrient solutions.
Tear into Lettuce Varieties
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DISCOvEr MOrE ABOuT THE DIFFErENT TyPES OF LETTuCE: Boston/Bibb: This variety is delicate with pale green, soft cup-shaped leaves. Its flavor is mild and sweet. Radicchio: An Italian lettuce, radicchio has dark red leaves and is often used in mixed salads. Romaine: This type of lettuce is very crisp and a little bitter. It is commonly used in Caesar salads. Red and Green Leaf: Leaf lettuce comes with both red and green leaves. The flavor is sweet and mild.
Iceberg: One of the most well-known lettuce varieties, iceberg has crisp, pale green leaves. It has little flavor and almost no nutritional value.
The value of lettuce exports of the united States in 2010 rang in at an impressive $439.3 million. The country shipped 327,628 metric tons of the green vegetable, with the biggest share (86 percent) of exports going to Canada, followed by Taiwan and Mexico. behind Spain, the united States is the second-leading lettuce exporter.
Source: Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, agmrc.org
iMe to t take aCtion
Discover ways your FFA chapter can fight hunger in your community
Grow a garden. Many FFA chapters start community gardens or raised beds, then donate the produce locally.
Launch a canned food drive. Before starting the campaign, talk to your local food bank to find out what types of non-perishable food items are most needed.
Start a backpack program. Gather together each week with other FFA members to help fill backpacks with food items, then make the packs available for students at your school who may be at risk of going hungry on weekends.
y now, you’ve probably heard about the National FFA Organization’s global initiative to fight hunger called Feeding the World–Starting at Home. You may have even taken the FFA Pledge to Fight Hunger online at www.FFA.org/hunger. One in six Americans is experiencing food insecurity, so there’s no time to waste. It’s time to act, and there are countless ways you can incorporate hunger awareness into your chapter activities. The National FFA Organization hunger initiative, Feeding the World– Starting at Home is primarily sponsored by The Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Farmers Feeding the World, Land O’Lakes, Inc., and Tyson Foods, Inc., as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. The three goals of the National FFA hunger initiative are to educate
(understand the issues and effects of hunger), engage (organize hungerfighting efforts) and communicate/ advocate (share what you’ve learned and advocate for the hungry and for agriculture). “We want to make sure FFA members are actively learning about hunger and seeing the face of hunger in their own communities,” says Marilyn Ross, program director for global and hunger initiatives at FFA. “Hunger in the U.S. is real, yet we don’t often understand who is affected by it. It could be that our next-door neighbor is food-insecure – or the student sitting next to us in school.” To be food-insecure doesn’t necessarily mean a person is starving or emaciated. It means they lack access to food at times throughout the year or may be uncertain where or when they will get their next meal.
“There are children who go hungry on weekends, and when they eat their next meal at school, it makes them nauseous,” Ross explains. Consider engaging members of your chapter to interact with people who are food-insecure, whether by sorting food at a food pantry, serving meals at a soup kitchen or delivering meals to the elderly. Many senior citizens living on fixed incomes have to decide between paying their utility bills and buying food every month. “Serving those who are foodinsecure should not cause FFA members to look down on people or pity them,” Ross says. “Instead, it engages our members so they understand the issue of hunger more deeply.” In 2012, 140 FFA chapters in 41 states were awarded FFA: Food For All grants totaling more than $330,000. Chapters used the money
Talk to the media. One voice can make a difference. Reach out to local media to tell your community’s hunger story and inspire other citizens to help.
Deliver meals. Join an existing Meals on Wheels or other similar program. Hot meals and a warm smile can change someone’s day.
Raise chickens. You can provide eggs and meat for people who can’t afford to buy these pricey food products.
Glean farmers’ fields. Ask local vegetable farmers if you can glean what’s left after harvest, then donate it to a local food bank.
FFa: Food For aLL GrantS
FFA: Food For All grants are awarded every February. Chapters may apply for up to $2,500 to support yearlong service-learning projects focused on developing and implementing sustainable hunger programs. Applications are available in October and must be submitted by early December. For specific dates, visit www.FFA.org/ foodforall. FFA: Food For All grants are sponsored by Farmers Feeding the World and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.
Chickens are becoming a popular way for FFA members and chapters to fight hunger, through donating eggs to local food banks. Hosting community workshops can help others learn how to grow some of their own food or to join the cause.
to fund hunger relief efforts in their communities. Together they served nearly 50,000 people and helped form 101 new community groups that will continue fighting hunger. “The more passionate students are about a project, the more powerful its impact will be, so start by taking an interest inventory to see what your members are interested in doing,” says Stefonie Sebastian, an education specialist for the National FFA Organization. “One Florida chapter raised more than 160 tilapia and donated
it to hungry families. They are the smallest school district in Florida, so they proved it doesn’t matter how big or small you are – you can impact your community just the same.” Here are some ideas you can consider, as you develop your hunger-fighting plan.
1. raiSinG Food
Food banks nationwide are in need of sources of fresh meat, eggs and produce, so other chapters are raising hens to donate eggs or starting community gardens to
donate produce. In 2012, chapters donated 780 dozen eggs, nearly 11,000 pounds of meat and fish, and more than 147,000 pounds of produce to the hungry in their communities. “In Idaho, we saw one chapter glean fruit trees that had been left untouched by the owners, who were elderly and could no longer care for the trees,” Sebastian says. “The chapter got permission to care for the trees, and they gave the fruit to an after-school program that in turn provided 300 youth with healthy snacks after school.”
2. GLeaninG FieLdS
Chapters can even establish relationships with local farmers and ask for permission to glean their fields after harvest. “Sometimes a lot of food is left in the field,” Ross says. “It might be a little misshapen or it might not be commercial grade, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.”
3. Food reSCUe
Food rescue involves collecting unserved food from local restaurants or supermarkets (food that would otherwise be thrown away) and redistributing it to the hungry. “In Indianapolis, an organization called Second Helpings goes to restaurants and hotels and rescues food that has been prepared but never served, and they repurpose that food to be distributed to shelters and local feeding programs,” Ross explains. “Look around your community to see where there might be unused food.”
4. More waYS to heLP
Ross says other FFA chapters have seen success through different types of campaigns, including: • Filling backpacks with food and distributing them to students at risk of going hungry on weekends. • Hosting community workshops to teach people about food preservation, canning and container gardening. • Partnering with the Meals On Wheels Association of America to deliver meals to senior citizens. • Recruiting hunters to donate meat through Hunters Helping the Hungry.
If your chapter has the space available or can ask local landowners to donate the use of their land, growing food on a larger scale can make a dramatic difference in providing food for your community.
SeeinG iS beLieVinG
Communicating about hunger issues and advocating for the hungry can even help chapters recruit new members. Consider organizing a service project related to hunger
and inviting students outside your chapter to join your efforts. “Sometimes the best motivation is for students to see and experience what hungry people go through,” Ross says. “Seeing the faces of hunger is very humbling.” – Jessica Mozo
are you already fighting hunger in your community? Submit your story at FFAnewhorizons.org for a chance to be featured in the magazine!
FFa nationaL oFFiCer Q&a
Get to know Your National FFA Officers
How did you first learn about FFA?
brennan: My dad, who was very involved in FFA when in high school, encouraged me to join. Once I saw the opportunities that older FFA members had, I realized that FFA would be a great way to get involved and gain leadership experience. Lindsey: Both of my parents were in FFA, and my older sister got very involved in high school as well, so I always knew I would sport the blue jacket one day. Wiley: My dad has been an agriscience teacher my whole life, and he always
Clay: My dad is the agriculture teacher and FFA advisor at my high school, so I learned about FFA at an early age. From attending career development event (CDE) practices to setting up banquets as a young boy, I knew that when I was old enough to join, I wanted to be an FFA member. kalie: I grew up hearing about my dad and older cousins competing in FFA events, showing livestock, and traveling to state and national conventions. Their experiences sparked a curiosity in me to find out for myself what this organization was all about.
let my brothers and me tag along to FFA events. When I was a young child, I wanted to join the organization so I could have my very own cool FFA jacket. Joenelle: Initially, I joined so I could get a super cool orange FFA chapter T-shirt and through the encouragement of a few close friends. But as I became more involved in the local chapter, my reasons to remain an FFA member multiplied!
Lindsey: Agricultural sales Wiley: Land evaluation Joenelle: Job interview
what are you most looking forward to during your year as a national officer?
Clay: I am most excited about experiencing ag ed and FFA across the nation. Although we all share a common mission and vision, each state and each classroom accomplishes that mission a little differently. As a future educator, it will be a great opportunity for me to see all of the great FFA programs and classroom ideas that are being used in the different states.
what’s your favorite Cde?
Clay: Prepared public speaking kalie: Livestock evaluation brennan: Parliamentary procedure
officers love the beach; only one (wiley) prefers the mountains.
this team’s got you covered all times of the day. officers are night owls is a morning person say both
no lefties here! all six of your national officers are right-handed.
brennan: I look forward to seeing and interacting with FFA members across the nation. Wherever I go, FFA members stand out as high-caliber, highly capable and just plain awesome people. I look forward to building relationships and engaging the potential that these FFA members hold.
nationaL FFa PreSident
This Florida native played high school baseball and tennis, and he hopes to become an agriculture teacher.
“i am most excited about building relationships with FFA members.”
Lindsey: I am most excited to meet members across the nation, learn about their different cultures, and discover how different chapters contribute to their communities and get involved. Wiley: I am most looking forward to seeing the new perspective on life that I will have at the end of the year. Joenelle: I can’t wait to travel across the United States to better understand what agriculture, FFA members, and day-to-day life looks like for people everywhere! To truly make a difference, I believe that understanding must come before action.
nationaL FFa SeCretarY
Hailing from Georgia, Kalie plays piano and is passionate about animal agriculture.
nationaL FFa CentraL reGion ViCe PreSident
Brennan grew up on a small livestock and sweet corn farm in Nebraska and now majors in agribusiness in college.
if we looked through your airport carry-on bag, what five items would we find?
nationaL FFa eaStern reGion ViCe PreSident
Clay: FFA jacket, computer charger, a pair of jeans, medicine bag and black dress shoes. kalie: Bible, iPod with some new tunes, lip balm, purple tennis shoes and FFA Official Dress. brennan: An extra set of FFA Official Dress; an iPod full of Mumford & Sons, Taylor Swift and Eric Church songs; plenty of snacks; my journal; and a pillow. Lindsey: FFA Official Dress, Mountain Dew, a hot pink neck pillow, Finding Nemo DVD and, at the moment, my baseball glove. Wiley: My Bible, peanuts, underwear, journal and my miniature banjo. Joenelle: A journal and colorful pens, copies of Sports Illustrated and Time magazines, gummy peach rings, my Bible, and a water bottle.
Raised on a row crop farm in Kentucky, Joenelle loves agriculture, policy and community service.
nationaL FFa SoUthern reGion ViCe PreSident
This Alabama native plays the banjo in his family’s band and studies agricultural communications in college.
nationaL FFa weStern reGion ViCe PreSident
Lindsey grew up showing swine and playing sports, but this Californian now loves to study math and science.
Training Future Farmers
Conference prepares FFA members for production agriculture careers
he future of production agriculture is in good hands. Each summer, 50 college students who plan to pursue farming careers come together for the New Century Farmer conference. The conference helps students develop their careers in production agriculture and prepares them for the modern farming industry. These select participants attend a weeklong event in Des Moines, Iowa, during the summer, which includes seminars, field tours and networking in order to explore topics in production agriculture. The topics range from farm financing to consumer trends to risk management. “Today’s farmers need to have a great depth of knowledge in order to survive,” says Lindsey Calhoun, the New Century Farmer conference event coordinator for the National FFA Organization. “The New Century Farmer conference works to prepare students for the changes they will be facing in the future by introducing
them to the latest developments in agricultural technologies and practices.” Participants learn about the future of agriculture, and they also begin to form relationships with top industry professionals and create a vision for their future operations. By beginning this process early in their careers, these future farmers have a clear vision of how they want their operations to function. “I was interested in attending the New Century Farmer conference because I wanted to hear other people’s stories and ideas that could possibly influence my own operation,” says Clint Vance, a senior at The Ohio State University majoring in agribusiness and applied economics. “I also wanted to stay informed about other key issues that many farmers may not be aware of. Starting out as a young farmer brings many challenges, and working to overcome those is a big part in becoming successful!”
Not only do participants learn from their peers who attend the conference, lessons are also learned through some of the leading agricultural businesses in the nation. Pioneer, Case IH, CSX and Farm Credit Services, along with media partner Successful Farming, sponsor the conference at no cost to the students. “With the world population expected to be 9 billion in the year 2050, more and more countries are going to be in a hunger crisis and are going to need to figure out every possible way to make food go further and produce more of it, including the United States,” Vance says. “I would recommend this conference to anyone who is thinking about going into production agriculture after high school or college.” Find more information on the New Century Farmer conference at FFA.org/collegiate. This year’s applications are due March 15 at 5 p.m. EST. – Beverley Kreul
Make room for a Mentor
Career professionals can help you choose your path
ave you ever tried to find something in a completely dark room, or have you taken a walk on a moonless night? Without light to guide your way, finding a path can be overwhelming, confusing and frustrating. The same can be true when trying to navigate through life without the advice or support of a close friend or mentor.
WHAT iS A MENTOr?
According to the National FFA Organization’s LifeKnowledge program, a mentor is an adult who provides a young person with advice, support and friendship, and serves as a constructive example. LifeKnowledge defines a protégé as a young person seeking advice, support,and friendship from an adult other than a parent or guardian. A formal mentor is different from a friend who hangs out with you at the football game, livestock shows or after a long day at a leadership conference. Generally, mentors are sought for their advice on professional-growth issues and can help you choose a career path, plan strategies, encourage engagement in extracurricular activities, and present opportunities to be involved in your community or career areas. Here are some tips to help you find and develop a strong relationship with a mentor.
determining your mentor, it’s good to evaluate your own plans for life. The LifeKnowledge mentoring lesson outlines several steps to developing personal mission and vision statements. A mission statement is the ability to envision and imagine one’s future and establish an ultimate dream. A vision statement is the establishment of one’s ultimate dream for the future and how it will impact others. Consider your likes or dislikes, personal dreams, gifts and talents. Then, match up these with people in your community who could be potential mentors for you.
goals – and will be willing to meet or correspond with you on a regular basis. A great place to start the relationship is by sharing your mission and values statement, then asking your mentor to help you critique, improve or hold fast to these statements or ideas.
STAY iN CONTACT.
You can contact your mentor by phone, email or a personal visit. Always keep safety in mind, and ask a parent or adult family member to make the initial contact with your mentor. Meet your mentor for lunch or coffee, or invite them to visit with you in your agriculture classroom after school. In today’s technology-driven world, email and text conversations are also great ways to communicate with your mentor. Regardless of the communication method, make sure you keep up a regular conversation and continue to develop a positive relationship. – Christy Rogers-Brown
iDENTiFY A MENTOr.
Choose a mentor who you admire and one who has accomplished goals similar to those you have set for yourself. It might be a family friend, a teacher, someone from a local civic organization or even an FFA alumnus from your chapter. The key is to find someone who shares a mutual interest with you – in your personal, career and life
DEVELOP YOur MiSSiON AND ViSiON STATEMENT.
Some of the best-laid plans come with an end in mind. Before
Many people meet their mentors during career fairs or networking events.
opportunities currently available include laboratory research, animal breeding, zoo animal care, nutrition, brand management, livestock transportation, inspection and sales. With the rise of populations across the globe, careers within the animal health industry will be crucial for the future. “The world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion people in the next 40 years, and the demand for food is going to double,” Raymond says. “It’s important for innovative and passionate minds to drive the industry forward to keep up with the demand of the growing world.” She adds that enrollment at agriculture colleges across the nation is at an all-time high and that the future for the animal health industry, and agriculture in general, looks very bright. “Food, fuel and fiber play a very vital role in the lives of every being, regardless of whether it is humans, plants or animals.” Raymond says. “There really has never been a more exciting time to be involved in this industry.” For students thinking of pursuing a career in animal health, Raymond gives advice to put into practice now:
Animal health research will become even more important in the future.
Care for your four-legged friends with a career in animal health
1. CHALLENGE YOurSELF.
Don’t take the easy way out in math and science classes in high school. Taking more challenging courses will build a better foundation for college courses that are required for the major.
2. MEET PEOPLE.
If you know you’re passionate about a specific job in animal health, don’t be afraid to start networking. Ask if you can job-shadow, volunteer to help out, or simply introduce yourself and ask questions about their career. If you’re not sure of what you’re passionate about, don’t be afraid to branch out and try different things. There are many paths in the animal health field that may surprise you.
hether it’s a helpful veterinarian taking care of an under-the-weather pet, or a meat and poultry inspector making sure companies are raising healthy birds, the country relies on those who work in the animal health industry. And if you’re interested in working with animals or animals in agriculture, a career in this field may be right for you. This career choice includes emphasis on management practices involved with selection, feeding, breeding, production, marketing and utilization of domestic animals. Careers also include the production and marketing of animal agribusiness products such as feed and grain, and related agribusiness opportunities in the equine industry and veterinary field. Alli Raymond, admissions coordinator for the Animal Science Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, says most students come into the major wanting to be a veterinarian, but she’s quick to remind them that there is so much more you can do with an animal health degree. She says that many of the
For freshman and sophomores in high school, it’s not too early to be thinking about your future. Do your research so you’re prepared by senior year. – Rachel Bertone
Visit www.FFAnewhorizons.org and click on Careers for more information on the animal health industry.
A NEW HORIZONS READ FF ON yOuR TAblET OR PHONE
iPad • iPhone • Kindle Fire • Android Device
FFanewho rizons.org SPrinG 2013
Hands-on experiences inspire futu re careers
CreatinG a SPark
Meet YoUr new nationaL FFa oFFiCerS
Mississipp i chapt grows, proce er sses sorghum
CreatinG a SPark
Hands-on experiences inspire future careers
Meet YoUr new nationaL FFa oFFiCerS
Mississippi chapter grows, processes sorghum
The Spring edition is available
March 4, 2013.
For more inFormation Visit FFanewhorizons.org/digital-magazine
LiVinG to SerVe
One Million Meals
FFA members focus on world hunger at 2012 National FFA Convention & Expo
FA members who attended the 2012 National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis last October didn’t just talk about world hunger – they did something about it. During the convention and expo, approximately 10,000 FFA members, teachers, alumni and volunteers converged at Lucas Oil Stadium for the FFA Rally to Fight Hunger, where they worked in hour-long shifts to package one million meals.
Go online for more pictures from these national FFa convention and expo hunger-fighting events. FFAnewhorizons. org/2012hunger
“We were thrilled to offer this new service opportunity to close to 10,000 FFA members during their trip to Indianapolis,” says Kelsey Kasting, program manager for the National FFA Organization. “In just 20 hours – over two and a half days – there were 1,005,048 meals packed. Half of the meals went to Gleaners Food Bank in Indianapolis, and the other half of the meals were shipped overseas to Haiti.” Gleaners Food Bank, one of Indiana’s largest and busiest community food banks, distributed the meals they received to hungry families in a 21-county area in central and southeast Indiana. The Rally to Fight Hunger kicked off the National FFA Organization’s global Feeding the World–Starting at
Home initiative, a movement to help students understand the issues and effects of hunger. The FFA Rally to Fight Hunger is a project of the National FFA Organization and is sponsored through the National FFA Foundation with support from many generous sponsors, including The Howard G. Buffett Foundation; Dow AgroSciences; Elanco; Farmers Feeding the World; Land O’Lakes, Inc.; Monsanto; Tyson Foods, Inc.; American Family Insurance; Archer Daniels Midland Company; BKD CPAs and Advisors; Cargill; CSX Transportation; Hormel Foods Corporation and Pacers Sports & Entertainment. Longtime FFA corporate sponsors Hormel Foods and Tyson Foods showed
During the 2012 National FFA Convention and Expo, FFA members helped package meals to be sent to Haiti.
WIN AN FFA GIFT CARD
Visit the brand-new FFAnewhorizons.org website and sign up for your chance to win. We’ll be awarding a $100 gift card to a lucky member to purchase some great FFA gear.
their support by donating 38,000 pounds of chili with beans and 30,800 pounds of fresh chicken, respectively, to Gleaners Food Bank. When the donated food arrived at Gleaners, 80 FFA members were onsite volunteering as part of the organization’s National Days of Service. “One in six Americans are at risk of hunger – that’s too many,” says Sara Lilygren, senior vice president of external relations at Tyson Foods. “People at Tyson have been working with others on this problem for over a decade, but we know we’ll not be able to solve it without a new generation of leadership. That’s why we’re inspired to see these students get involved in the fight against hunger.”
In addition to packing meals at the rally, students learned about hunger issues and food insecurity not only overseas, but locally. They left with information about how to conduct hunger relief efforts in their home communities. “Students learned that hunger could exist right in their own back yards,” Kasting says. “The rally will help jump-start similar hungerrelated events at local levels. Many chapters have inquired about hosting similar events in their communities. If all our local chapters start making an impact on hunger, we hope to help make an impression in the fight against hunger.” – Jessica Mozo
aLL aboUt FFa
FFA News You Can use
n October, the city of Louisville, Ky., will play host to the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo. Louisville will serve as our host city for the next three years – 2013, 2014 and 2015. Many of the convention events will be held at the Kentucky Exposition Center, with more at the Kentucky International Convention Center, the new downtown arena, YUM! Center, and event hotels. Beyond the FFA-related events, attendees can have a ball at the Louisville Slugger Museum, get exotic at the Louisville Zoo, horse around at the Kentucky
Derby Museum and Churchill Downs, or zoom down the world’s only all-underground zip lines at Mega Cavern. Outside the city limits are some of the most beautiful farms and thoroughbred facilities in the world. We’re excited about what’s to come during the 2013 National FFA Convention & Expo! Visit FFAnewhorizons.org/2013conv to tell us what you’re planning to do while in Louisville. And for more information about the convention and expo, visit FFA.org/convention.
NEW HORIZONS READ FFA ON yOuR TAblET OR PHONE
iPad • iPhone • Kindle Fire • Android Device
FFanewho rizons.org SPrinG 2013
Hands-on experiences inspire futu re careers
CreatinG a SPark
Meet YoUr new nationaL FFa oFFiCerS
Mississipp i chapt grows, proce er sses sorghum
CreatinG a SPark
Hands-on experiences inspire future careers
Meet YoUr new nationaL FFa oFFiCerS
Mississippi chapter grows, processes sorghum
The Spring edition is available
March 4, 2013.
For more inFormation Visit FFanewhorizons.org/digital-magazine
FFA New Horizons state inserts keep YOU connected to what’s going on in your state or others. • State FFA news and achievements • FFA member profiles • Career information • Meet state FFA officers To learn about creating a state insert for your FFA association, contact Kim Newsom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
flip through our
IllInoIs ffa assocIatIon
Meet Your 2012-2013 state Reporter
Check out our
Table of Contents
Page B – National FFa Convention Review Page C – State CDes Page D – ISBe Hearings/
December State Officer Meeting/212°
Page e – Meet Your State FFa Reporter Page F – alumni – growing Her Legacy Page g – FFa WeeK/Call to Convention Page H – Officers’ Tracks
Illinois – a
national convention Review
The 85th National FFA Convention (October 24-27, 2012) was a great success for Illinois! The theme for the 2012 Convention was “Grow,” which went hand-in-hand with Illinois’ state theme of “Growing Legacies”. Darren, Dalton, Courtney, Joel, Tyson, and eight Section Presidents (Sam Detwiler, Taylor Hardy, August Schetter, Cody Carman, Tyler Kessler, Bradley Braddock, Morgan Doggett and Joel Vancil) served as delegates from Illinois. They departed for convention on October 21 with Mr. Craft, Mr. Dry and Mr. Hepner. The delegates represented Illinois’ view on different aspects of the National FFA Organization including the creation of an Aquaculture CDE, creation of an Agriculture Equipment Operation and Safety CDE, creation of an Agriculture Education CDE, creation of an Agricultural Summit, evaluation of Proficiency areas, and the creation of a discussion meet. When the delegate responsibilities concluded, the delegates along with more than 56,000 FFA members and guests enjoyed the activities of the National FFA Convention and Expo.
aMeRICaN STaR FaRMeR
Clayton Carley, the 2011-2012 Illinois FFA State Treasurer from Milford, Ill., was named the National FFA’s 2012 American Star Farmer on the final day of the 85th National FFA Convention & Expo. Clayton is the son of Kenton and Lisa Carley. His advisor at Cissna Park FFA was Jeff Clifton. The American Star Farmer is one of four American Star Awards available to FFA members annually in four separate areas including agribusiness, agriscience and agricultural placement. These American Star Awards honor FFA members who have developed the organization’s most outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through their supervised agricultural experience; demonstrated excellent management practices; and earned the American FFA Degree. Clayton’s name was called in an on-stage ceremony, and he will receive an award of $4,000. Clayton began farming to earn money to buy his own car and is now the owner and operator of the Sweet Corn Shack, which is located on his family’s farm in eastern Illinois. His first crop was three-tenths of an acre, which was once part of his family’s front yard. Utilizing his experiences from his time with the Cissna Park FFA Chapter, he now raises more than seven acres of sweet corn that he sells to local residents. In addition, Clayton farms more than 400 acres of corn and soybeans. Currently, Clayton is a sophomore at the University of Illinois, where he is pursuing a double major in agronomy and agricultural education. He is considering an advanced degree in agronomy with a long-term goal of mastering research in crop genetics. Congratulations, Clayton!
CDe eveNT SuCCeSS
Agricultural Mechanics: Seventh Place – Prairie Central FFA Agronomy: Tenth Place – Galva FFA Farm Business Management: First Place – Princeville FFA First Place Individual – Dallas Hermann Forestry: Sixth Place – Prairie Central FFA Eighth Place Individual – Kenton Edelman Horse Evaluation: Seventh Place – Central FFA at Burlington
Meats Evaluation & Technology: Tenth Place – Prairie Central FFA Milk Quality & Products: Eighth Place – Prairie Central FFA Novice Parliamentary Procedure: Third Place – Paxton-Buckley-Loda FFA Poultry Evaluation: Sixth Place – Paxton-Buckley-Loda FFA Job Interview: Fifth Place – Jaci Jenkins, Hardin County FFA
agRISCIeNCe FaIR SuCCeSS
Power, Structural & Technical Systems: 1st Place: Daniel Grove & Zachary Hempen (Waterloo FFA Chapter) Food Products & Processing Systems: 2nd Place: Katie Liston (Fairfield FFA Chapter)
NaTIONaL PROFICIeNCY WINNeR!
Congratulations to Nick Briscoe, of the Seneca FFA Chapter, for being recognized as the National Proficiency Winner in the area of Agriculture Services! Nick’s Agriculture Services SAE involved his work at two different companies. He works at Prairie Creek Grain Company where he does a variety of jobs from loading grain to maintenance. He has worked 1,906 hours at the elevator. His second job is at Agri-Tile Inc. where he cleans equipment and helps put in tile. He has worked 227 hours for the tile company. Good luck to Nick in all of his future endeavors!
B – Illinois
Superior Individuals: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Lucas Roberts (Farmington) Blake Uchitjil (Odin) Angela Behrends (Iroquois West) Monte Schaffer (Prairie Central) Cody Conrady (Hartsburg-Emden) Kade Hill (Paxton-Buckley-Loda) Noah Cross (Hartsburg-Emden) Max Redenius (Iroquois West) Joshua Degroot (Princeville) John Finegan (Iroquois West)
STaTe ag SaLeS CDe STaTe FOOD SCIeNCe CDe
The State Food Science CDE was held November 3 at Pleasant Hill High School. Top 10 Chapters: 1st – Pontiac 2nd – Unity 3rd – Somonauk-Leland-Sandwich 4th – Payson 5th – Chicago Ag Science 6th – Amboy 7th – Paris 8th – Liberty 9th – Odin 10th – Midland Top 10 Individuals: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Emily Carroll (Pontiac) Alex Tedrow (Griggsville/Perry) Mark Jansen (Unity) Rachel Schopp (Pontiac) Monte Wietholder (Payson) Tyler Lentz (Liberty) Paige Gascoigne (Amboy) Shantesia Jordan (Chicago Ag Science) Breann McGlaughlin (Unity) Josh Toft (Somonauk-Leland-Sandwich) Elliott Kauffman (Paris) Blake Uchitjil (Odin) The State Ag Sales CDE was held Saturday, November 10 at Parkland College in Champaign, Ill. Superior Teams: 1st – Cissna Park 2nd – Geneseo Superior Individuals: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Jon Tarro (Cissna Park) Benjamin Henrichs (Cissna Park) Ron Marconi (Seneca) Alex Tedrow (Griggsville-Perry) Mitch Holmes (Mahomet-Seymour) Callie Miller (Geneseo) Anna Nofsinger (Midland) Jordon Johns (Pontiac) Nick Samet (Cissna Park)
STaTe DaIRY FOODS CDe
The State Dairy Foods CDE was held December 8 at the University of Illinois in Champaign. There were 37 schools, 31 teams and 156 individuals participating. The Dairy Foods event results were: Superior Teams: 1st – Prairie Central 2nd – Unity-Tolono 3rd – Woodland 4th – Seneca 5th – Cissna Park Superior Individuals: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Wade Fehr (Prairie Central) Taylor Ward (Prairie Central) Rebecca Anderson (Unity-Tolono) Courtney VanDyke (Midland) Taylor Richardson (Unity-Tolono) Arthur Moser (Prairie Central) Thomas North (Woodland) Brianna Vasquez (PBL) Camden Yoder (Prairie Central) Sam DeGraaf (Seneca)
STaTe agRONOMY CDe
In the Agronomy event there were 40 schools, 38 teams and 148 individuals participating. The Agronomy event results were: Superior Teams: 1st – Iroquois West 2nd – Hartsburg-Emden 3rd – Princeville 4th – Prairie Central 5th – Paxton-Buckley-Loda 6th – Cumberland 7th – Farmington 8th – Mattoon 9th – Odin 10th – Seneca
Illinois – c
Thank You, Mr. Frank Dry!
IsBE Hearings/December state
The Illinois Association FFA has been fortunate to have had the influence and leadership of a very special man since 1985. Frank Dry has served FFA, IAVAT and agriculture education. His dedication to our organization is to be commended. A reception in Mr. Dry’s honor was held on February 2, 2013, from 3-6 p.m. at the Illinois FFA Center. The reception followed the FFA Alumni Scholarship Auction, which allowed friends, acquaintances, students and teachers an opportunity to thank Frank for his service and leadership. Please join us in wishing Frank Dry the very best as he leaves the FFA Center to enjoy retirement with his family.
The Illinois State Board of Education Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Hearings were well represented by members, teachers and supporters of agriculture education. At these hearings, attendees presented testimonies for specific line-items. The five majors each attended a hearing and presented a testimony in support of agriculture education with their own experiences and the benefits of agriculture education on all students. At many of these hearings, chapter members and advisors presented as well! Thank you to everyone who actively did their part in support of continued funding for agriculture education!
December State Officer Meeting
The five majors and 25 section presidents attended the December State Officer Meeting at the Northfield Inn and Conference Center in Springfield, Ill., on December 14-15, 2012. At this meeting, the 20122013 state officer team reflected on the first half of their year of service, set goals and expectations for the coming spring activities, learned about February’s FFA Week opportunities, and were informed of their responsibilities in selecting Proficiency Awards and State Degree recipients. The majors also informed the section presidents about some of the coming events at the 85th Illinois State FFA Convention. The officers discussed current agricultural issues with members of the Illinois Pork Producers, RFD Radio, National Pork Board and the Illinois Department of Agriculture during round-table discussions. The team also heard from Mariah Dale-Anderson, with the Illinois Farm Bureau, to review their responsibilities for the Farm Bureau Youth Conference and reminders for the spring semester. The section presidents also had the privilege of hearing about the life of a state officer from the 2008-2009 Illinois FFA State President Clay Zwilling.
Illinois FFA Alumni Meeting and PAS Conference
The five major state officers attended the Alumni Annual Meeting and PAS Conference in Springfield, Ill., at the Northfield Inn & Conference Center on February 1 and 2. The officers delivered a welcome, helped with PAS contests and assisted in the FFA Alumni auction. The majors also presented a program about their International Leadership Seminar for the state officers’ trip to Argentina at the conference. The money raised from the auction will be put towards scholarships for FFA members.
On January 25-26, 2013, the 212° Conference was held at two locations in Illinois. The southern location was in Collinsville, Ill., and the northern location was in Schaumburg, Ill. Both of these conferences were very well attended by freshman and sophomore FFA members! At the 212° Conference, facilitated by National FFA, students were challenged to push past their limits to the boiling point of leadership. The 212° Conference is creatively named because 212 degrees fahrenheit is the temperature at which water boils. At 211°F water is extremely hot, but just one more degree takes up another level and changes its state. The themes that members concentrated on were growth, virtues and collaboration.
D – Illinois
Meet Your state ffa Reporter:
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” Now, if you hadn’t already guessed from the rhyming and clever wording, this quote was from the Dr. Suess book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go. Who would have ever thought this Dr. Suess entertaining children’s book could pertain so much to real life, especially my own? Dr. Suess couldn’t have been more right when he says, “You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” Thinking back on my experiences growing up, I did steer myself in the direction of my choosing (without knowing it at first). When I was younger, my mom would always be at these meetings, and I had no clue where she was going. One night I finally asked her if I could join her at one of these secret, special meetings. I was so excited to go with my mom to see all of these “big kids” she always talked about! Well, as it turned out, I got to attend my first Carlyle FFA Chapter Meeting at age 7. Yes, my mom was, and still is, one of the Carlyle FFA advisors. This first taste of the FFA still sticks with me to this day. I can remember sitting in on chapter meetings, watching the officers go through Opening Ceremonies and being in such awe at all of the responsibilities that they had. Those Carlyle FFA chapter officers became “big brothers” and “big sisters” for me throughout grade school and junior high. That one decision to go to that “strange” meeting with my mom one evening steered my passion for FFA at a very young age. Once I got to high school, of course I knew that I wanted to be in the FFA; I had grown up around it. I was also born and raised on our family’s corn, soybean and horseradish farm, which instilled a passion in my heart for agriculture! Yes, horseradish is grown in Illinois! It is actually the horseradish capital of the world, and of course, it did have something to do with one of my SAE projects along with raising Indian corn and soybeans and turfgrass management. I worked for my dad and the Horseradish Growers of Illinois as a horseradish crop scout. I can remember walking up and down horseradish rows (listening to some good ole’ country music on my iPod) during those hot summer days in southern Illinois. No matter how long and hot those days got though, I loved what I was doing. My brother and I are the third generation in our family to work with horseradish. My family’s farm holds a huge spot in my heart and is very important to me. Since the moment I was born, I have been surrounded by the most incredible family I could have ever asked for. Throughout my FFA journey, I have been guided by many role-models, including my advisors (Mom and Mr. Jacobs), and a group of amazing women, known as my FFA Mamas. I have come to know them as a part of my family, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! They support me in all of my decisions and give me some of the best advice and encouragement that has helped me grow into the young woman I am today. Some days it felt like I spent every waking moment with at least one of my parents and my little brother, Ryan. Ryan is currently a sophomore at Carlyle High School. When I was a senior, he was a freshman, so we spent quite a bit of time together last year because we were in most of the same clubs and organizations. Throughout my junior high and high school years, I spent every summer working for my dad on the farm and scouting horseradish, along with many weekends throughout the year on our church youth group events as he was one of the leaders. I also spent almost 24 hours/seven days a week with my mom! From being at home with my mom (as my mom) to seeing her eight hours a day at school (as Mrs. G., my agriculture teacher) to all of the evening FFA events and contests (as Mrs. G., my FFA advisor), she has become my best friend in the whole world. Both of my parents are some of the greatest role models I could ever ask for. From a young age, they have instilled a strong work ethic and passion for agriculture and a faith in God that I am more than thankful for! Without faith, family, farming and FFA, I wouldn’t have the foundation, focus or passion in my life that I have grown with! I ran across a quote the other day that I feel strongly resembles my life, but I also feel that it should encompass every single one of our lives. It is, “It’s faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes life
worth living,” by Oliver Wendell Holmes. For me, my passion is centered around my faith and agriculture. Having been given the opportunity to serve as your Illinois FFA State Reporter this year has been such a blessing! My love of helping and serving others has been one of the greatest things I have had the privilege of doing this year, serving more than 16,500 Illinois FFA members! I have looked back on this year and am grateful to have met so many wonderful people, who have all different personalities and passions, within this FFA organization. Whatever your interests may be, have faith in that and direct your energy towards it because your passion and enthusiasm for those things gives life purpose! In the words of Dr. Suess, “Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So … get on your way!” God’s Blessings! Living to Serve, Courtney Gerstenecker
Illinois – E
Growing Her legacy:
Ann Larson – 2008-2009 Illinois FFA Treasurer
GROWMARK annual meeting, 2013 AFBF Young Farmer and Rancher conference and the 2013 Young Leader state conference. “The Young Leaders really are a fun group of people who, for lack of a better way to say it, just get stuff done,” Larson says. “And, the competitions are fun, too. I enjoy the discussion meet because I actually enjoy talking to the other contestants on stage. There’s really great information exchanged during the competition. Ideas are formulated that, when you end the discussion meet, you’re able to take away and know they’ll be great programs, even though it wasn’t a real panel that discussed it.” The IFB discussion meet judges a contestant’s ability to manage a small group discussion. Each contestant gives an opening statement. Participants exchange facts and insights on a pre-determined topic. Judges award points based on how well participants work with one another, how well they express themselves, and on their knowledge of the topic. Ann recognizes FFA as a huge part of her accomplishments. She says, “FFA has been extremely influential in my ability to speak clearly and carry myself professionally. This has not only aided me in the discussion meet, but in college and now my career. Being able to communicate and having a background in agriculture has helped me obtain internships and now my full-time position in agricultural marketing. By taking advantage of the public speaking CDE, chapter offices, conferences, state office and other opportunities, FFA laid the foundation and built my confidence to be a better advocate for agriculture. I may not wear the blue jacket any longer, but through my skills, attitude, and knowledge, my peers and employers acknowledge the lasting impact of my time in the blue jacket.” Congratulations to Ann on all of her accomplishments, and good luck in all of her future endeavors! Ann’s success story has truly inspired so many to achieve their goals and follow their dreams!
Ann Larson has certainly been “Growing Her Legacy” since her year of service to the Illinois FFA as a State Officer in 2008-2009. Ann was born and raised on a small grain farm where they raised corn, soybeans and wheat in Shabbona, Ill. Throughout school, showing sheep and hogs through 4-H and FFA kept her busy. After her year of service to the Illinois FFA, she attended the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and graduated this past December with a degree in agribusiness with emphases in communications and marketing and a minor in public relations. Ann was involved with the sorority Sigma Alpha, which is a professional sorority for women pursuing careers in agriculture. Upon graduating, Larson began working for ANIMART Inc. in their marking department. Ann had the opportunity to work for the Cook County Farm Bureau as a Public Affairs Intern, which exposed her to urban agriculture and the inner workings of a county farm bureau. Along with her internship, Ann has been very successful with the Illinois Farm Bureau! She also served on the Youth Education Committee during her term as an Illinois FFA State Officer. Her most recent honor? She was named the Young Leader Discussion Meet winner at the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Chicago, Dec. 1-4, 2012! Larson has been a member of the IFB Young Leaders for two years. In addition to receiving a trophy, she received an allexpense-paid trip to the 2013 American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn., and the opportunity to represent Illinois at the national discussion meet where she was named runner-up in the national competition! She also received $2,500 from the Illinois Farm Bureau; use of a Massey-Ferguson tractor, courtesy of AGCO; and all-expense-paid trips to the 2013
f – Illinois
ffa Week/ call to convention
FFA Week 2013 was a very busy week for Illinois FFA. Chapters were busy with activities such as Ag Olympics, dress-up days, school-wide competitions, community service activities, labor auctions, teacher breakfasts, cookouts, and assemblies. Darren, Dalton, Courtney, Joel and Tyson were very busy during FFA Week as well with numerous interviews and chapter events. The week came to a close at the Illinois FFA night with the Peoria Rivermen Hockey team!
Call to the 85th Illinois FFA Convention
Illinois FFA Members, It is once again time to load up the vans and buses because your destination is the Prairie Capital Convention Center, Springfield, Ill., where you will be attending the greatest event of the summer, the 85th Annual Illinois Association FFA State Convention! The convention will be held June 11-13, 2013. Dalton, Courtney, Joel, Tyson and I have been working very hard planning this great event, and it is sure to be a phenomenal time as usual. We are very excited for the return of the Day of Service with some new sites where we can truly “live to serve.” In addition, we are privileged to announce that we have the distinct pleasure of having our National FFA Central Region Vice President, Mr. Brennan Costello in attendance at our convention! As if that isn’t enough, the election of the 2013-2014 State FFA Officers is sure to get everyone fired up! You have a great opportunity to meet some new friends, receive recognition for you and your chapters at one of the six sessions, listen to some amazing talent along with the FFA Band and Chorus, and hear the retiring addresses of the 2012-2013 State FFA Officers. But wait! There’s more! The fun doesn’t end when the convention hall closes; join us at the Illinois State Fairgrounds for the annual FFA dance where you can bust a move and show off some of your best ag swag! For 85 years, the Illinois Association FFA has been striving to and succeeding at growing the legacy of our members all across our great state! Your commitment to “Growing Legacies” will be seen all across Springfield where our national blue and corn gold jackets will flood the streets. Our presence will electrify the city and show everyone what our organization is all about! So get ready to dust off your jeans and trade in those shorts and flip flops for those corduroy jackets, and prepare for the 85th State FFA Convention! In Blue & Gold, Darren Riskedal 2012-2013 State FFA President
Illinois – G
December State Officer Meeting
Darren, Dalton, Courtney, Joel and Tyson held the fourth Illinois Association FFA State Officer Meeting on December 14-15 at the Northfield Inn & Conference Center in Springfield. The five majors along with the 25 section presidents attended the meeting as they prepared for the second stretch of their term serving the Illinois Association FFA this year!
National FFA Convention
The five majors attended the 85th National FFA Convention & Expo while serving as delegates along with eight section presidents. The convention was held in Indianapolis, Ind., on October 24-27, but the officers departed a few days early for delegate business. While at convention, members in attendance had the opportunity to attend sessions, listen to keynote speakers, attend workshops and visit the career fair.
ILSSO (International Leadership Seminar for State Officers)
As 2013 began, the five majors decided it was time to get on a big “bird” and fly to a new country for a new adventure to start off their year! Yes, this means that the International Leadership Seminar for State Officers was once again underway! Darren, Dalton, Courtney, Joel and Tyson embarked on an incredible team experience to Argentina! While in Argentina, they toured numerous agribusinesses, visited with locals, and did some site-seeing with more than 60 other state officers from around the nation! Pictures and more details will be coming in the next edition!
Farm Bureau Youth Ed Meeting
On November 1, the five majors along with the two 4-H representatives attended the Farm Bureau Youth Education Meeting in Bloomington, Ill., at the Farm Bureau headquarters. They discussed new activities for the Farm Bureau Youth Conference that will be held in April for FFA members throughout the state!
Illinois State Board of Education Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Hearings were held periodically throughout the month of November. The majors were very busy traveling around, giving testimonies in support of the agriculture education line-item showcasing how agriculture education has benefitted them and how it currently benefits more than 16,500 FFA members throughout Illinois!
Illinois Pork Expo
While attending the Illinois Pork Expo on February 5-6 in Peoria, Darren and Tyson had the opportunity to host the Illinois Foundation FFA display. While at the display, they visited with people about FFA and helped promote the foundation and all of their activities.
Grain & Feed Association of Illinois Annual Meeting
To kick off FFA Week, Courtney and Joel attended the Grain & Feed Association of Illinois Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Mo. While at the conference, Courtney and Joel staffed the Illinois Foundation FFA display, promoted the foundation and visited with people about the Illinois Association FFA.
National FFA Week 2013 was February 16-23! This sure was a very busy week for Darren, Dalton, Courtney, Joel and Tyson as they did interviews with many radio stations and other media sources. They also attended various chapter’s activities and events! We hope that everyone had a wonderful FFA Week continuing to “Grow Legacies”!
Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting
December kicked off with a very busy weekend for Darren, Dalton, Courtney, Joel and Tyson as they ventured to Chicago for the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting on December 1-3. The team was privileged to present the colors in the opening session of the conference. Darren also gave remarks on behalf of the Illinois FFA. The team even got the chance to participate in the Trivia Night to support Ag in the Classroom!
H – Illinois
The Michigan FFA
Agricultural Education Edition
Michigan FFA Association
108 Natural Resources - East Lansing, MI - 48824 www.michiganffa.org - email@example.com Phone: (517) 353-9221 - Fax: (517) 432-5632
Managing Editor: Advising Editor: Jasper Cunningham Michelle Sidel
D Motto In Motion
Check out one agriscience teacher and how he makes a positive difference in students’ lives
State Officer Stats
Learn more about three of the 2012-2013 State Officers
A Legacy In Ag
See what it takes to become an agricultural educator
Discover the legacy Dr. O. Donald Meaders left on agricultural education
H Editor’s Choice
Read one agricultural education student’s testimony
N Fun Page
Get crafty with crayon art
2012-2013 State Officers
L to R: Jaime Curth, Region I State Vice President; Samantha Engelhardt, State Reporter; Darcy Lipskey, Region III State Vice President; Morgan Stuart, State Secretary; Nathan Krohn, State Treasurer; Abby Spickerman, State President; Max Kempf, Region V State Vice President; Juliana Forbush, State Vice President; Emily Calderone, Region IV State Vice President; Hannah Fallowfield, Region VI State Vice President; Levi Voorhies, State Sentinel
The Michigan FFA will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, age, gender, marital status, weight, sexual orientation or disability. Any student requiring an accommodation as a result of a disability should contact the chapter advisor to arrange such accommodation.
State Officer Excursions
As a state officer, I am blessed being able to travel to many different places around the state and country. It has been wonderful traveling around the mitten and learning so many new things from each visit. One visit I will never forget was the Golightly FFA chapter. The Golightly FFA chapter is located on Belle Isle, which I had never heard of before. I quickly learned that Belle Isle is an island off of Detroit that is absolutely gorgeous. It was so serene that you almost forget it is close to a huge city. The tech center is near the middle of the island and is impossible to miss for one reason: the greenhouses. On Belle Isle there are a total of twenty greenhouses, that’s right I said twenty. Five of those 20 are used by the Golightly Tech Center. These greenhouses are a vital component of the Golightly FFA chapter. Since they are located in an urban area, it is difficult to teach traditional production agriculture. That is what made my visit to the Golightly chapter so memorable – their phenomenal way of teaching urban agriculture to students who come to the tech center from schools all over Detroit. The agriculture teacher, Ellen Moro, is very passionate about spreading agriculture through urban areas and it was easy to tell how much she enjoyed her job during my visit.
By: Morgan Stuart
learning a recipe using it, and actually cook it. The students told me how they loved the salsa they made from tomatoes but didn’t like anything made with eggplant. The chapter reserved some of the vegetable plants for a community event they planned. For this event they invited Detroit community members to visit Belle Isle where the students put on workshops about how to plant and care for vegetable plants. After the presentations, vegetable plants were given to the community members so that they could create their own garden and cook healthy meals. Then about a month after these vegetable plants were given away, the students at Golightly went to go visit the community members who took them to see how their gardens were progressing.
Visiting the Golightly FFA chapter was an amazing experience; the students had so much energy and excitement for agriculture. Their excitement shocked and inspired me. There was so much passion for agriculture from students living in the tenth largest city in the United States. Urban agriculture is an important and rapidly expanding part of the FFA. The Golightly FFA chapter is an outstanding As mentioned earlier, the example of an urban Golightly chapter utilizes five agriculture program and greenhouses, and do they how it can benefit and ever put those greenhouses inspire urban students. to good work. The students Visiting the Golightly plant flowers and vegetables in the greenhouses FFA chapter opened my eyes to all of the and are in charge of taking care of them. Then they possibilities that urban agriculture offers and sell the flowers and a portion of the vegetables to all of the benefits it provides students. I now generate money for their chapter. Another portion have a different interpretation of agriculture of the vegetables is used to teach the students how and am determined to be an advocate for to prepare healthy meals from scratch. Once a week, urban agriculture not only during my year a vegetable is chosen, the students spend the day as a state officer, but for the rest of my life.
Living to Serve:
Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve. A motto that we all recite time after time, but have we really taken the time to think about the meaning behind those words. And how we, as committed FFA members, are supposed to be fulfilling that standard? To me, "Living to Serve" can be the trickiest one to get a good understanding on so I have taken a deeper look. According to Webster; 'Serveto exert one's self continuously or statedly for the benefit of'. So... we should be giving ourselves for the benefit of others. Giving up our time to help those in need – using our talents to make a difference. As FFA members, each and every one of us should be learning how to live to serve effectively and make a difference in our communities in as many ways as possible. The best way to learn how to accomplish something would be to have a mentor, or role model who does this daily. We as members, have a distinct advantage in learning how to live to serve by looking up to our advisors and taking advice from those who are champions at living to serve. Growing up as the ag teacher’s daughter, it was a little easier for me to see just what our advisors put in day after day for us to make sure we receive the best experience from this organization. My dad was an FFA member in high school and has now been the advisor at Byron High School for 15 years teaching grades 6-12 about agriculture and FFA. He certainly did not plan on becoming "Mr. Forbush" to hundreds of different high school students when he graduated. When he went off to college and came across kids living down the hall from him who had no clue how to wire a light socket or build a loft for their beds, he decided that more kids needed this education while still in high school and he made the decision to serve as a teacher. Being the one sitting at the dinner table while he is still at contest practices, or staying at
Educating the Future
the school until way past dark waiting for a ride home, it was plain to see that he really cares about the students and their experiences. Coming across teachers like this are few and far between but when our parents meet our ag teachers for the first time, I believe they can really see the effort our advisors put in and how much they care about members. My dad has coached hundreds of leadership and skills teams, taught over ten different agriculture education classes throughout the years, and attended way more conferences than I could ever imagine. He would never hesitate to add more to his plate if it meant providing better experiences for the members of his chapter. You can count the success rate by how many state winning teams a school has had, or how many state officers have come from one chapter, but in the eyes of a true ag teacher the success rate has nothing to do with those numbers. To a true ag teacher, the most important numbers are the lives of those who they have touched by teaching them about the importance of agriculture and the hands-on education those members receive from being in a career and technical education class.
By: Juliana Forbush
level. Having the opportunity to be a part of a team that runs a chapter or having the skill to recite a speech you wrote in 30 minutes to an audience and judges has a serious impact on each and every member of this organization. Being able to watch hundreds of kids gain those experiences and knowing it is because of what you do for a living is why ag teachers become who they are.
Ag teachers are the ones you can go to for anything. Ag teachers are the ones who let you chill in the shop during lunch or after school. Ag teachers are the ones who Even though basic, required classes in high you stay in contact with after high school school provide students with helpful, useful and leave the most important impact. Ag information, being enrolled in an agriculture teachers are the ones who live the definition class and becoming a member of the FFA of serving. My dad is one of those teachers benefits the students to a much higher and I wouldn't trade it for the world.
A Day In The Life
By: Melanie Block
You’re in high school now, and it’s time to start thinking about your future. You’ve probably heard lots of advice about where to look for ideas on career pathways, from your counselor’s office to the local college. How about looking closer to home? Start in your agriscience classroom. When I was in high school, I had plans to become a florist. My agriculture teacher, Mr. Patrick, supported this idea and helped me find a job at a flower shop. I loved working there, but after a few years, decided that being a florist wasn’t for me. I started thinking about agricultural communications, since I loved to write. Again, Mr. Patrick was there with suggestions for how to improve my writing. He even helped me enter and win a state agricultural communications competition. Then, I started to sway from that career idea, and Mr. Patrick finally sat me down and said, “Have you ever thought about being an agricultural teacher?” In a word, no. “Think about it,” was all he said.
The #1 best part of my job as an agriscience teacher is working with students. I love that I get to know kids while they are in middle school and then I get to be a part of their life as they grow up. Most teachers have students for a year or maybe two. I have most of my students for five or six. I really get to know them and they become a part of my life.
The second best part of my job is working with the FFA. FFA is truly a life-changing organization. I love the equality that the blue I left my high school that day and thought jacket brings about. When you are in official about what Mr. Patrick had said. Why dress, no one can tell if you are poor or rich; if hadn’t I ever thought about being an ag you’re from the country or the city. The jacket teacher? I loved my ag classes. I loved the puts everyone on the same level, and gets FFA. The more I thought about it, the more you working toward a common goal. Seeing the idea appealed to me, and here I am, 13 kids challenge themselves to overcome their years into my agriscience teaching career. fear, push themselves to compete and grow Have you ever thought about being an ag teacher? If your answer is no, why not? Is it because no one has asked you? Because here is your invitation to think about it: I’m asking you if you have ever thought about becoming an agriscience teacher. I’ll talk to you about the pros and cons of my job and I want you to think about whether it appeals to you.
into confident young adults is very rewarding. The third thing that I really enjoy about my job is being a part of the community. The agriscience program is very reliant on volunteers and parents to keep running smoothly. When I began teaching, I was new to town. Through our agriscience program, I have gotten to know my community and appreciate them in a way that a traditional teacher might not make a fortune or get summers off. There is a misconception that teachers become teachers because they can’t do anything else or are “too lazy” to work all year. You have lots of other options. You choose this career and you will be passionate about your work, and mine, speaks for itself. The third thing you may struggle with as a teacher might be staying on top of paperwork. I find that the easiest way to deal with this is to do one day at a time. Don’t let paperwork pile up for weeks at time, and then go on a correcting spree. Try to finish correcting each day.
Well, I’ve asked you. Have you ever thought about being an agriscience teacher? Go home and think about it. When you’re ready to talk about it, go to your own ag teacher, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or look up information about MSU Agriscience major at see. I’m truly amazed at how many people http://www.carrs.msu.edu/. Do what you care and invest in agricultural education. love, and love what you do, by teaching ag! Now, to be honest with you, there are challenges to being an Agriscience teacher. The first thing you will struggle with is time management. It is easy to become consumed with all the things that need to be done and forget that you need a life outside your job. You need to utilize the talents of the people in your community in order to get them to invest in the program and save your sanity. A second challenge you will face will be fighting the negative image that the public has about teachers. When you become a teacher, you do so because you love your subject and your students, not because you
Melanie Block Agriscience Teacher & FFA Advisor Ravenna Public Schools
Growing up in a small, rural town of around 1,200 I quickly learned that you must jump on every opportunity that you are offered. Whether it was the fact that FFA was a family tradition, or that one-third of our high school population is an FFA member, I found it natural to join the FFA. Little did I know that 15 dollars for dues would change my life forever. As high school progressed I found that visual, kinesthetic learning was my style. Combined with the rural agricultural roots of my hometown, the three core model of an agricultural education program was a perfect fit. My first day of class, freshman year, I walked into my botany class and
By: A region II FFA member
Another great opportunity I was offered was the development of my supervised agricultural experience. My main motivation was to develop my business skills in the production agriculture setting. I continually applied the information that I learned in the classroom to my farming enterprise. This took experiential learning to the next level. Developing crop rotation strategies, using integrated pest management programs along with planting high yielding seeds is irreplaceable information that I would have never learned as a high school student if it wasn’t for my SAE. Now, I could take my classroom experience and my SAE and apply it to the FFA component. When I joined the FFA I became part of something larger. I joined a community of over 557,318 members working to better themselves and the world. While participating in skill and leadership career development events I found my true passion – agriculture, education and a strong work ethic. The National FFA Organization truly developed my ability to achieve “premier leadership, personal growth, and career success.” Public speaking, interviewing and hands-on skills are just a few traits that the FFA instilled in me. My involvement in an agricultural education program and FFA chapter has been the most instrumental piece in my growth and development as a student, leader and community member. I have learned the importance of youth advocacy, higher education and continual growth. I wholeheartedly believe in FFA, agricultural education and career and technical education.
knew that I found my place. The smile on my Ag teacher’s face and that blue corduroy jacket hanging up reaffirmed that this was right for me. As the first week of school passed we dove deeper into our agricultural education curriculum. The technical and hands-on element my classes offered had perfected the learning process. From that day on I took an ag class every year – botany, zoology, agricultural finance and natural resources. These classes took the hardest concepts of commodities and futures, ecology, mathematics, biology and business management and applied them to practical, everyday situations. No other course that I have been in has taken institutional information and transformed it into a constructive, tactile curriculum.
State Officer Stats
Hannah Fallowfield Region VI State VP
Chapter: College: SAE: Benzie Central Michigan State Diversified Livestock
Sport: FFA event: T.V. show: Book: Candy: Soccer Leadership Contests Say Yes To The Dress
Harry Potter Series
Theme song: “Don’t Stop Believin’”
Morgan Stuart State Secretary
Chapter: College: SAE: Dundee Michigan State Equine Production
T.V. show: Hobby: Glee Horseback Riding
Sports team: Red Wings Movie: Food: Remember the Titans Spaghetti
Theme song: “Pumped Up Kicks”
Nathan Krohn State Treasurer
Chapter: College: SAE: Laker Michigan State Diversified Crop Production
Candy: Musician: Hobby: Sport: Book: Peach Rings Jake Owen Snowmobiling Football
Theme song: “When The Sand Runs Out”
The Hunger Games
Thank you, Dr. Meaders
Michigan and the world lost an advocate for agricultural education in December. Dr. O. Donald Meaders, 89, passed away peacefully in Lansing, leaving behind a wife of 60 years, two children, two grandchildren and a legacy that transcends generations and continents.
By: Dustin Petty
A son of Nebraska and a veteran of the Second World War, Meaders was educated on the G.I. Bill. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in his home state before making his way to Michigan State University where he received his doctorate in agricultural education. anymore.’ He listened to us and researched the issue and came back with new lessons. It was here, from 1958 to 1990, that he made an indelible impact. As a professor, advisor “He wasn’t a temple of knowledge and he didn’t and researcher, he earned respect from his pretend to be. But he cared about his students colleagues and the ability to educate several and wanted us to have the best tools available generations of Michigan’s agriculture teachers. when we entered our own classrooms.” The list of Meaders’ awards, accomplishments and memberships is awesome yet not surprising. He was presented with several Outstanding International Agricultural awards, service awards and numerous invitations to serve on committees and boards driving agricultural development throughout the world. In addition to his work at MSU, Meaders worked to ensure that agriculture was a component of educational policy around the globe. It was not uncommon for him to travel to Taiwan, Latvia, Nepal, Cameroon or anyplace in between to spread the gospel of agriculture education and how it can benefit a society.
But having your name on a plaque or Even in retirement, Meaders continued internationally, hosting roster isn’t a true measure of one’s merits. volunteering seminars and building relationships and Dave Wyrick, Executive Secretary of the mentorships with younger educators. Michigan FFA Association and former agriscience teacher in Byron, was a graduate The man could not slow down. student pursuing his master’s degree when he encountered Meaders as a professor. And now, facing a future of Michigan agriculture education without him, we must “He was a polished, kind teacher who trust that the lessons he taught us and the responded to the needs of his students. I’ll give passion he passed down will find their ways you an example. In one class, he was teaching into tomorrow’s generation of educators. us things they would have taught the boys coming home from war in 1947. So we said, We can believe that Dr. Meaders has heard the ‘Dr. Meaders, this isn’t how it’s necessarily done words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
National Convention Results
Evan Medvec - Saline FFA - Bronze Bethany Meyers - Branch Area Career Center FFA - National Finalist Nicholas Verbanic - Montague FFA - Participant Alexia Birdsell - Waldron FFA - Bronze Darcy Lipskey - Ubly FFA - Gold Carmen Zwemmer - Laker FFA - Silver Nick Hagen - Ubly FFA - Silver Nathan Krohn - Laker FFA - Bronze Samantha Sikkenga - Montague FFA - Bronze William Zonker - Jackson Area Career Center FFA - Bronze Matthew Fisher - Lapeer County FFA - Gold Nick Wellman - Hopkins FFA - Silver
Renee Souva - Branch Area Career Center Courtney Souva - Branch Area Career Center Cailyn Hines - Branch Area Career Center Bethany Meyers - Branch Area Career Center Lucas Wielfaert - Lenawee Vo Tech Center PM
Career Development Events
Agricultural Communications - Laker FFA - Bronze Agronomy - Laker FFA - Silver Agricultural Issues - Cassopolis/Ross Beatty FFA - Silver Agricultural Sales - Branch Area Career Center FFA - Gold Agricultural Mechanics - Durand FFA - Silver Creed Speaking - Rebecca Maurer - Hastings FFA - Bronze Dairy Cattle Evaluation - Olivet FFA - Bronze Dairy Cattle Handlers- Shelby Berens - Hopkins FFA - Gold Environmental - Branch Area Career Center - Bronze Extemporaneous Public Speaking - Jaime Curth - Maple Valley FFA - Bronze Farm Business Management - Corunna FFA - Bronze Floriculture - Lapeer County FFA - Silver Food Science - Durand FFA - Bronze Forestry - Lenawee FFA - Silver Horse Evaluation - Ovid-Elsie FFA - Silver Job Interview - Ryan Hall - Olivet FFA - Silver Livestock Evaluation - Branch Area Career Center FFA - Silver Marketing Plan - Springport FFA - Bronze Meats Evaluation - Sanilac FFA - Silver Milk Quality - Charlotte FFA - Silver Nursery/Landscape - Kent Career Center FFA - Silver Poultry - Laker FFA - Gold Prepared Public Speaking - Rebecca Whalen - Corunna FFA - Bronze
Melted Crayon Art
Canvas (any size) Crayons (depends on size of canvas) Hot Glue Gun Hair Dryer Old Sheet or Plastic bags Black Paper (optional) Photo (optional) Paint & Paint Brush (optional)
By: Samantha Engelhardt
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Get a canvas of desired size. Paint background if desired. If you want find a picture of a good silhouette. Tape the picture onto a piece of black paper and cut around the edges. Glue the silhouette onto the canvas. Glue the crayons along the top of the canvas with a hot glue gun. Its easier if the paper is still on the crayons, but if it isn’t it just takes more patience to glue them on without them falling off. Once all the crayons are glued on and the glue is dry, lay down an old sheet or plastic bags and also tape some against the wall. Prop the canvas against the wall with about a 45 degree angle with the crayons at the top. Use the hair dryer to melt the crayons. Keep it about an inch or two away from the crayons. Be careful because sometimes it likes to splatter all over. It takes about 20 seconds to melt the darker colored crayons and about a minute to melt the lighter colored crayons. Keep melting the crayons until the desired drip length. Let dry and then you have a lovely piece of art!
6. 7. 8.
MISSOURI FFA TODAY
Value the Past, Embrace Your Future
85th Annual Missouri FFA Convention April 18-19
COnTESTS, AwARDS, MORE
BY JOAnn PIPKIn, EDITOR
he Kansas farm boys who made the video of the parody song “I’m Farming and I Grow It” go viral last summer are bound for the 85th Missouri FFA Convention, April 18-19, in Columbia. The Peterson Farm Brothers —Greg, Nathan and Kendall —will sing and deliver remarks during the afternoon session on Friday, April 19 at the University of Missouri’s Hearnes Center. In addition to their appearance at the Friday afternoon session, the trio will have a booth in the FFA career show. From Assaria, Kan., and a student at Kansas State University, Greg told AgriTalk farm radio last summer, “We wanted to promote agriculture for what it really is. People need to know where their food comes from. CONTINUED ON PAGE H
Greg, Nathan and Kendal Peterson, the Kansas farm boys whose parody song “I’m Farming and I Grow It” went viral last summer, will perform on Friday afternoon April 19 at the Missouri FFA Convention. —Photo submitted by Peterson Family
Table of Contents
The President’s Position
Joplin FFA Recovers
In their Words
State Officer Q&A
HYMAX Applications Sought
Apply Now for LeAD, Public Speaking Academy
Livestock Judging from Abroad
THE PRESIDEnT’S POSITIOn
Hard Work, Perseverence Pay
2011-2012 State FFA Officers Area Officer
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 2 Ryan Messner Stanberry Samantha Gibson Norborne Rhian Beldon South Shelby Jaelyn Bergmann - President Paris Sonja Perry - Secretary Bowling green Kenneth Swope Boonville Allyson Smith Crest Ridge Katie Gibson Nichols Career Ctr Sarah Bastin Carthage Cody Stewart Ash grove Courtney Spencer - 1st V.P. Aurora Ashlee Jones Sparta Mallary Burris Bakersfield Cody Shoop Linn Anna Eftink Bloomfield Sam Turner Bernie Brady James - Past President Knox County
BY JAELYn BERGMAnn STATE FFA PRESIDEnT
or the past four years when spring arrived, I started looking forward to the State FFA Convention. In my chapter, you had to earn your way to convention by qualifying in a CDE (Career Development Event) or LDE (Leadership Development Event). It was my junior year, spring was around the corner and it was time to decide contest teams. Three FFA friends and I decided it would be fun to form a team and try our hand at the Poultry Evaluation CDE. Our team consisted of four girls that had NEVER touched a chicken before. This CDE consists of identifying cuts of meat, candling eggs, taking a 50 question test, handling live birds for placing and giving reasons. Wow! This contest would be challenging, but with determination and perseverance we thought we could get to the state level. We started studying, practiced candling eggs and spent countless hours in the ag building handling birds and talking reasons. Finally, the big day was here, we loaded the bus and headed to the district contest that would determine if we had prepared enough to earn our way to the state convention.
Department of elem. & Sec. education P.O. Box 480, Jefferson City, MO 65102 Phone: (573) 751-3544. District Supervisors: Nancy Alford, Leon Busdieker, Oscar Carter, Keith Dietzschold, Lisa evans & Steven Rogers Missouri FFA Today • Joann Pipkin, Editor 3674 S. State Hwy N • Republic, MO 65738 email: email@example.com Phone: (417) 732-8552
We were ready for whatever was inside the doors of the poultry competition. I carefully answered each question and double checked my placings. I turned in my score card and our team anxiously waited for the scores to be posted. After what seemed like hours, the scores were up and we would find out if our hard work had paid off. There it was, we had placed 4th and were headed to the State FFA Convention! Even though we reached our goal, we did not stop there. We set a new goal to get on stage, as one of the top three teams in the state. After a long and grueling state contest, it was again time to wait for the scores to be posted. We had done it! We placed 2nd in the State Poultry Evaluation CDE. We realized our hard work and perseverance had paid off when we stood on the stage and accepted our plaque. State FFA Convention has always been a thrilling and rewarding time for me. I not only
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, or disability in its programs and activities. Inquiries related to Department programs and to the location of services, activities, and facilities that are accessible by persons with disabilities may be directed to the Jefferson State Office Building, Office of the General Counsel, Coordinator – Civil Rights Compliance (Title VI/Title IX/504/ADA/Age Act), 6th Floor, 205 Jefferson Street, P.O. Box 480, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0480; telephone number 573-526-4757 or TTY 800-735-2966; fax number 573-522-4883; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
President’s Position Continued from Page B achieved contest goals, but also gained friendships, agricultural knowledge and work ethics. Just as my team saw an opportunity, we stepped out of our comfort zones and accepted the challenge. My hope is that you realize what FFA has in store for you if you are dedicated and determined to accomplish your goals. I anticipate each of you is willing to invest time and hard work into contest teams and have the ability to compete at the state level. See you at the State FFA Convention!
hapter officers and advisors will come together May 28-31 as the LEAD Conference kicks off at seven locations across the state. Sponsored by the FFA Leadership Fund the Learn, Educate, Advance, Develop conference brings officers and their advisors together as they start off a new year as a new officer team. The teams will set goals, officer codes of conduct/expectations, develop a program of activities and calendar of activities, and explore how to work with the different personalities on their team. Sessions will be held May 28 at College of Ozarks and Shelbina; May 29 at Springfield and Trenton; May 30 at Richmond and Rolla; and May 31 at Cape Girardeau and Sedalia. In addition to LEAD, FFA members are encouraged to take part in this year’s Public Speaking Academy. If you would like to learn more about how to put together and present a speech, this unique opportunity is for you. The Public Speaking Academy is set for June 4-6 at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. Registration is due by May 15. Contact your chapter advisor for more information.
LEAD, Speaking Academy Opportunities
Ripped to Shreds
Joplin FFA Still Rebuilding after 2011 Tornado
CHAPTER FInDS wAYS TO GIVE BACK
BY SAMAnTHA wARnER
he EF5 tornado that ripped through the town of Joplin on May 22, 2011 forever changed the community and its people. The Joplin FFA chapter was no exception. Six FFA members lost their homes and one student was seriously injured according to Jason Cutler, the Joplin FFA Advisor. Yet, those students did not feel the tornado’s fury alone; it left the entire chapter reeling in its aftermath.
The storm itself not only destroyed Joplin High School, but also its FFA program. The tornado destroyed the high school and in turn the FFA program. The only item salvaged from the program was a ripped Joplin FFA jacket. “I found the torn up FFA jacket wrapped around a metal I-beam that used to be part of the roof of our ag building. That I-beam was probably 300 feet away from where the building used to be,” Cutler said. The jacket served as a beacon of hope for the chapter in the
months following the tragedy. It traveled with the chapter to its first event after the tornado (LEAD Conference in Springfield) and to the 2011 National FFA Convention.
A year and a half after the tornado, life is still not back to normal. Today, the Joplin High School is housed on two campuses until a new school can be built. The 9th and 10th grades are in an old school building in downtown Joplin, while the 11th and 12th grades are in a renovated portion of Joplin’s Northpark Mall. Joplin FFA President, junior Mariah Howerton said, “It’s weird going to school in a place where you usually just go on the weekends to buy clothes and stuff.” Cutler who was finishing his first year of teaching when the tornado blew through town has also felt the abnormality of the situation. Until the new school is finished Cutler is using a FEMA trailer and sharing a classroom with a biology teacher. “I already felt like I was in over my head before the tornado hit. Truthfully, I had a terrible first year; I wasn’t even sure I wanted to be a teacher at least half of the time, and contemplated quitting,” Cutler admitted. “I really felt like
(left) Until the new Joplin High School is completed, the 11th and 12th grade campus is located in a renovated portion of Northpark Mall in Joplin. (above) An iconic Joplin FFA Chapter jacket was all that was salvaged from the program after the May 2011 tornado ripped through the town.
the survival or death of our FFA chapter was up to me. That is a burden nobody should have to bear alone.” Cutler went on to say that feeling subsides when he sees his students committed to making a difference in the community and rebuilding their FFA chapter.
Struggles to Inspiration
Junior Billy Stone is one of those students committed to making a difference in his community. Stone and his family were originally from Texas, but became Joplin residents after the tornado. “My dad was medically retired from the military and my grandparents were hit by the tornado so we decided to come on down and help everything out and we ended up staying here,” Stone said. Now Stone is an FFA member continuing to give back to his community. He is not the only example of support the community and FFA chapter has received amid the tragedy. “We got checks, notes of encouragement, official dress items and more from all over the state and country. I can think of about 30 FFA chapters from Missouri that sent us something,” Cutler notes. “We had people from Maine and Massachusetts send us money and notes of encouragement. Ravenswood, W.Va., and Palatka, Fla., came to Joplin (to help).” Cutler said members of the Barbers Hill, Tex., FFA gathered donations from other Texas
FFA chapters during their state convention and sent them to Joplin. Other supporters included MFA Charitable Foundation, MFA Oil, Missouri Farm Bureau, North Dakota FFA and Florida FFA. “We saw people come from all over the state, country, even world and lend a helping hand. They didn’t know us, really didn’t know anything about us, but they were still there to help whoever needed help. It didn’t matter if you were rich or poor. It didn’t matter what color your skin was, what kind of background you came from, if you went to college or not,” Howerton said.
Rebuilding, Giving Back
The rebuilding process is not an easy one. Cutler said the biggest surprise has been how unprepared he was for the process of rebuilding an entire agriculture program and FFA chapter, but he is hopeful for the future of the program. He would like to have a two-teacher program with an enrollment of 225 to 250 students per year and
would like to focus more on areas of agriculture that are the most prevalent in the Joplin area. “My short-term vision is for a thriving ag program and FFA chapter here in Joplin,” Cutler said. As the chapter continues to regain its strength, it is focusing more and more attention to giving back. One of the chapter’s main efforts will be on tree planting, maintenance and education. “It’s still hard sometimes not to have all of the things our program had before the tornado, but I have made a bigger effort to get to know students and let them know I am there to help them in life, school, work and FFA,” Cutler said. “I just want to be able to take a step back and say, ‘Am I impacting students for the better?’ and if I can say yes to that question, then I need to smile and realize that I am becoming a successful teacher and our chapter is becoming a successful chapter.”
Joplin FFA Advisor Jason Cutler doesn’t have the most ideal teaching situation. His main classroom is a renovated FEMA trailer and the greenhouse was built on top of old tennis courts located next to a power station.
State Officer Q&A
Who’s that underneath the blue corduroy?
FFA Chapter: Carthage FFA Hometown: Golden City College/Major: Agriculture Business & Agriculture Comm. SAE: I work on my family farm and raise 10 acres of soybeans and wheat. I also raise and show commercial and registered Hereford cattle. What motivated you to want to become a Missouri FFA Officer? FFA has always been a big part of my life. I had seen how the past state officers had motivated me to be the best that I could and they had such a great
influence in my life. I wanted to give back to the FFA and what it has done for me. Becoming a state officer helped me to give back and become an influencer for those around me. Who is your hero and why? My grandma has always been my greatest hero. She is a person who has stuck to her moral compass no matter what may interfere in her path. She had a vision for herself and her children and followed through. Although her goals of having a strong family with great moral values and faith might seem small, for her it was all she wanted. To this day she continues to be one of the hardest working people I know. She isn’t afraid to
State Vice President Sarah Bastin’s hero is her grandmother because of her inspiring vision, work ethic and way with people.
to a an
Internet Near You www.missouriffa.org Watch for our booth at Hearnes Center During the State FFA Convention.
Learn what’s in store for you when Missouri FFA hits the world wide web—APRIL 2013!
speak her mind, but will always leave you with a smile on your face. She is my hero because of her inspiring vision, work ethic, and way with people. I only hope to become half the kind of person she is one day. What are your plans for the future? I plan to continue my SAE of raising crops and cattle while also attending Missouri State University to pursue a degree in Agriculture Business and Agriculture Communications. What is something unique or interesting that few people know about you? I have a twin sister. Her name is Jenny, and yes we do look alike, but not that much. We aren’t exactly identical but we aren’t really fraternal either.
FFA Chapter: Nichols Career Ctr Hometown: Holts Summit College/Major: University of Missouri- Columbia/ Animal Science SAE: I raise Angus cattle and chickens that I use for pullet production, and to sell eggs. Also, I prepare and serve food at Cameron’s Country Café. What motivated you to want to become a Missouri FFA Officer? Throughout my four years in FFA, I watched many state officers and admired them. They took the time to get to know members and that really inspired me. I wanted my chance to reach out to younger FFA members and help them grow. Who is your hero and why? My hero would have to be my mom. She has shown me that no matter what obstacles life throws at you, if you keep your head up, you can make it through. What are your plans for the future? After I graduate from Mizzou, I plan to get my DVM and start my own veterinary clinic while continuing my farm at home. What is something unique or interesting that few people know about you? I love fireworks. My family runs a fireworks tent during the summer and has a big celebration with them every year.
Advice to FFA Members: Do your best. Give 110% in everything that you do. If you do that, when you look back, you won’t have any regrets, and there aren’t any “what if’s”.
State FFA Vice President Katie Gibson learned from her mom that no matter what obstacles life throws at you, you can make it through if you keep your head up.
85th Annual State FFA Convention
Continued from Page A
People need to know who farmers are. We’re not bad people. We’re just trying to do our jobs and feed the world.” Themed, “Value the Past, Embrace Your Future,” this year’s convention also features career development events, workshops, the FFA Career Show and awards presentations. Headlining the convention will be Harriet Turk, who for more than 20 years has challenged her audiences to think seriously about their life choices. In a world peppered with indifference, complacency, and difficult decisions, Turk offers a unique and fresh perspective regarding leadership, loyalty and living fully. Powerful, engaging and insightful, you are sure to leave her
Harriet Turk will challenge FFA members to think seriously about their life choices as she headlines this year’s State FFA Convention, April 18-19 in Columbia.
program with a clear, practical, message about healthy lifestyles—a believe in yourself and the value of your life! Turk promises to “tell it like it is.” As inspiring as her message is, Turk won’t give you unrealistic hope. By reinforcing the concept that we all possess
personal power, you will learn that while you might be in charge of your choices, you don’t always get to choose the consequences. Learning how to cope with failure and trying again are essential and Harriet Turk will show you how to “Just Deal With It!” Missouri FFA also welcomes to the convention stage this year National FFA Secretary Kalie Hall. The Georgia native credits a mentor for offering a simple piece of advice that has defined her approach to life. “I was told, ‘Remember where you’ve come from and meet people where they are,’” she said. “That’s something I’ll never forget.” As a national FFA officer, Hall hopes to further agricultural education in the lives of students by investing in everyone who is in its sphere of influence, she said. “Agricultural education has taught me to listen and given me experiences through which to understand,” Hall explained. “People need hope. Agricultural education has given me an avenue Continued on Next Page
FFA members will have fun and learn leadership skills when they take part in the workshops offered during the annual State FFA Convention, which convenes April 18-19 in Columbia.
Cont’d from Previous Page
(left) Poultry Evaluation is just one of the Career Development Events FFA members will take part in during the annual State FFA Convention. (right) National FFA Secretary Kalie Hall will be a featured speaker during the annual event.
through which to provide it.” In addition to these special guest speakers, the 85th Annual Missouri FFA Convention will feature workshops for members to enhance their leadership potential. The annual FFA Career Show promises excitement for FFA members and guests alike. The Star State Farmer, State Star in Agribusiness and State Star in Placement awards will be presented and more than 7000 state FFA degree recipients will also be recognized during the convention. More than 7,000 FFA members, parents and guests are expected to converge in Columbia for the state’s premier FFA event.
Raise your hand
The future of agriculture and rural places depends on the competence and confidence of today’s students. You have a part to play, and we want to help. The MFA Foundation helps students achieve their academic goals through scholarships awarded by MFA Incorporated and MFA Oil agencies. Visit http://www.mfafoundation.com/.
“I Placed this Class...”
Career Development event Sends FFA Members Abroad
TEAM COMPETES In SCOTLAnD
BY COURTnEY SPEnCER
nce winter break comes to an end, high school students find themselves falling back into their normal routines. That is unless you are an eager FFA member looking to take part in a Career Development Event. Returning back to school means spending countless hours in the agriculture education department, setting team goals and bonding with your teammates! My junior year I could hardly contain my eagerness to begin working on the Livestock Evaluation Career Development Event. My teammates and I continually worked to better us and push each other to reach his/her full potential. As State Convention approached we began to experience those ever-evident nerves. This could be the last time we would ever
Courtney Spencer handles a Border Leicester sheep to evaluate for muscle during the Royal Highlands Livestock Contest in Edinburgh, Scotland.
judge together as a team and we were determined to leave all we had on that arena floor. After much anticipation, we learned that we had been rewarded for our hard work and had won first place in the State! Judging at a national contest is no small task and we wanted to make Missouri proud and represent the state well in Indianapolis. After completing the two days of judging at the national contest, my teammates and I believed that we had made the most of the opportunity in which we had
been presented. We soon learned that we had finished fourth overall! A fourth place finish meant one more thing—we were invited to travel internationally and compete in the Royal Highlands Livestock Contest in Edinburgh, Scotland! On June 17, 2012 we boarded a plane bound for London, England
Jon Bellis works alongside the Scottish competitors to place a class of Border Leicester sheep. Jon and fellow team members Sami Johnson, Hannah Isaacson and Courtney Spencer as well as Aurora FFA Chapter Advisor Jim Spencer attended the Royal Highlands Livestock Contest in Edinburgh, Scotland.
to begin our agricultural tour across Europe. Upon arriving in London, we were given a few days to view the historic sites and explore the city. Our adventures in London ended as we traveled on into Scotland. Our first item on the list in Scotland was to tour a traditional Scottish cattle and sheep operation. The next two days we attended the Royal Highlands Show in Edinburgh, Scotland. The first day was reserved for us to view the livestock and get accustomed to the differences in phenotype. Our second day at the Royal Highlands Show was judging day where my teammates and I competed along side the Scottish teams. The contest was slightly different than what we had been used to, but our Scottish friends were eager to help us adapt. Later that day, my teammates and I were honored to find out that we had won the sheep division of the judging competition. The conclusion of the competition was also the end of our time in Scotland as it was time to board the ferry for Ireland. Over the next week, we visited various cattle and sheep farms all across Ireland, each one detailing its operation and giving us an insight to agriculture in their country. A highlight of the trip came when we got to stay on a farm with a host family for two nights. While staying with our host family, we were able to experience first hand how their farming operation worked and were blessed with home-cooked, Irish meals. Our trip to London, Scotland, and Ireland allowed us to gain an insight to a new culture,
international agriculture, and allowed us to broaden our horizons through this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Looking back, it all began when I took the first step to participate in the Livestock Evaluation Career Development Event. Following that decision
was the choice to stay committed to my teammates, and continually work towards our goal. Career Development Events offer multitudes of opportunities, if only you take the initial step and take advantage of them.
In Their words
Up close with your Missouri State FFA Officers
thought I was safe! Later that night there was a knock on our door and it was my advisor. He had come to my house to make sure I was ready for the contest the next day. I soon realized, there was no getting out of it. I grudgingly competed. Afterward I realized how much I had enjoyed the competition and how I almost missed out on a great opportunity because I was too scared and thought that I wasn’t good enough. One of my favorite quotes from the movie A
Zoo is, “You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just literally 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” Sometimes FFA members, all you need is that 20 seconds of insane courage and you never know what all you can accomplish and do. I challenge you to take every opportunity that comes your way. You got this!
RHIAN BELDON State Vice President, Area 3
ublic speaking. Hearing those two words coming from my advisor who said them a little too cheerfully had me trembling in my seat. I had joined FFA, excited about being able to show my market lambs and that was all I really wanted to do. But my advisor had other plans, and he wanted me to give fall public speaking a try. He wanted me to speak in front of a group of people who I didn’t even know. He had to be crazy. I could barely say my name in front of my classmates without stuttering and turning red. There was no way I was going to give a speech. So I came up with a plan. I was going to be “sick” on the day of the contest and my advisor would simply understand that I wouldn’t be able to deliver my speech. It was the perfect plan. The day before the contest there was a snow storm and I
You’re not going to make it.” How many people have heard this statement? As an individual, it hurts to know someone doesn’t have faith in you. Growing up in a small town of just 2,000 people, everyone knew everyone. We were blessed with a tight-knit community where we all loved one thing—basketball. Having played in two state championships, my two buddies and I were supposed to take us back to the final four for the third year in a row. Unfortunately, though, that didn’t happen. We lost and I was forced with a decision that would change my life. I could either run for state FFA office or play another year of basketball. Two of my goals in life were to be a state FFA officer and to win a state championship in basketball. I talked to my two friends and they backed my decision regardless. They knew how bad I wanted to
SAM TURNER State Vice President, Area 16
become a state FFA officer, so I set out to achieve that goal. A day later in the locker room, I was heading to class when I overheard my “best” friends talking about me. They said, “It’s not like he’s going to get it.” As I sat there and thought about what was just said it only motivated me to become a state officer even more. Two interviews later, I was standing on stage at the State FFA Convention being announced as the Area 16 State FFA Officer.
FFA members—others are going to doubt you, tell you that you can’t do something and not have faith in you. Fortunately, it’s not up to them. It’s up to you. You make your own decisions and it’s your choice whether you succeed or fail. Never let anyone get you down. You can do anything you set your mind to.
attempted to take my first true bike ride. “Put your hands on the handle bar, look up, put your feet on the pedals and just go”. I looked at him, smiled and did just that. I thought I was doing well so attempted the ramp at the end of the driveway. Needless to say, I wrecked and spent the night in the hospital. I didn’t want to get back on my bike. In a sense, I gave up and sold it, too afraid to get back up and try again. “Put your hands on the handle bar, look up, put your feet on the pedals and just go”. FFA members, this organization has many opportunities and roads you can travel down. When
we start our journey many of us have no idea where to start or where we even want to end up. That’s the joy of the FFA. We have no road map. I hope that each of you have many successes in this organization, but I think actor and comedian Bill Cosby said it best, “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” FFA members, you will have failures but will you really let them get you down? You have to continue to accomplish your goals and remember, “When you ride a bike and fall all you can do is get up, get back on, put your feet on the pedals, hands on the handle bars, and go”.
KENNY SWOPE State Vice President, Area 6
When you ride a bike and fall all you can do is get up, get back on, put your feet on the petals, hands on the handle bars and go”. I love being outside. With a twin brother and three male cousins, we always found some kind of trouble to get ourselves into. Growing up on the family farm we always had some means of transportation. From crawling to pedal tractor to bicycle with training wheels, I ultimately moved on to the bike without the training wheels. I remember the words my cousin DJ told me like it was yesterday as I
HYMAX Academy for High School Freshmen
The second annual HYMAX Academy for Outstanding High School Freshmen has been set for June 28-30 at State FFA Camp Rising Sun, Lake of the Ozarks, Kaiser, Mo. Focus for this year’s leadership conference will be on agricultural advocacy, career and personal development, leadership development opportunities in FFA and taking it home challenge. HYMAX, Helping Youth Maximize their Agricultural eXperiences, is designed to prepare outstanding FFA Greenhands for continued success in their FFA experiences. A variety of workshops, hands-on experiences, industry presenters and tours will be part of the weekend event. Conference participants are nominated by their FFA Advisors and students must submit applications for the conference.
The HYMAX Academy for outstanding high school freshmen aims to enhance a participant’s FFA experiences, career exploration and provide training in agriculture advocacy. This year’s conference is set for June 28-30 at Camp Rising Sun, Lake of the Ozarks.
Missouri FFA is on the move
2 7 7 9 14 21 21 25 26 26 College of the Ozarks FFA Workshop Point Lookout Mineral Area College CDE’s Park Hills MU Southwest Center CDE’s Mount Vernon Mo. Youth Livestock Grading/Judging Contest Columbia NCMC Ag Club CDE’s Trenton Crowder College CDE’s Neosho TRCC Contests Three Rivers Northwest District FFA/Ag Sales CDE’s Monroe City Northwest District FFA CDE’s Cameron Southeast District Horse CDE’s Advance
6 8-9 18-19 27
Southwest District FFA CDE’s MSU, Springfield Southwest District Ag CDE’s MSU, Springfield Missouri State FFA Convention Columbia Missouri Trapshooters Assoc. State Tourney Linn Creek American Royal Market Steer DNA Validation DUE MU Interscholastic Events CDE Scholarship Application DUE Orscheln Scholarship Application DUE LEAD Conference Registration DUE South Central Regional Farm Fest Cabool MU Invitational Agri-Science Fair Columbia Public Speaking Academy Registration DUE State Fair Swine DNA Sample Submission DUE LEAD Conference for Chapter Officers
1 1 1 6 10-11 15 15 15 28-31
2-3 2 2 3 4 4 5 6 Northwest District Ag CDE’s NWMSU, Maryville Central District Ag CDE’s UCM, Warrensburg South Central District FFA CDE’s Rolla Northeast District Ag CDE’s Columbia Central District FFA & Ag Sales CDE’s UCM, Warrensburg Southeast District Ag CDE’s SEMO, Cape Girardeau South Central District Ag CDE’s Rolla Southeast District Ag & FFA CDE’s CTCC, Cape Girardeau
3-7 Missouri AgriBusiness Academy Tour Springfield Area 3-July 12 Missouri FFA Camp Rising Sun Lake of the Ozarks, Kaiser 4-6 Public Speaking Academy UCM, Warrensburg 21-22 Area Officer Institute FFA Camp Rising Sun, Kaiser 28-30 HYMAX Academy FFA Camp Rising Sun, Kaiser
Missouri FFA Today welcomes your comments, chapter notes and story ideas. Send them to us at: email@example.com or call: 417.732.8552
Don’t miss your opportunity!
Apply for an FCS Financial scholarship or grant today.
Each year, FCS Financial honors the dedicated young men and women continuing their studies. We award up to thirty-five $1,000 scholarships to Missouri high school seniors whose parents or grandparents are current FCS Financial customers. Over the past seven years, nearly $265,000 has been provided to help our next generation with their education. The 2013 application is due March 1, 2013.*
The Shaping Rural Missouri grant program offered by FCS Financial provides local 4-H and FFA organizations $250 grants to implement projects that will benefit their rural communities. Funds are awarded to assist club or chapter members in bringing positive change by establishing projects that make their local communities better places to live. Applications are due by April 15, 2013.**
Visit myfcsfinancial.com to learn more and apply for the 2013 FCS Financial Scholarship or Shaping Rural Missouri Grant.
*Scholarship applicants must meet all qualifications in application to be eligible **Grant applicants must be a 4-H club or FFA chapter located in one of the 102 Missouri counties served by FCS Financial. Growing Relationships. Creating Opportunities. is a trademark of FCS Financial, ACA.
Preserving a Cherokee tradition
At Fort Gibson High School, a Native American craftsman teaches FFA members to build Cherokee long bows as part of a Natural Resources unit in their Ag Ed class. Oklahoma Outlook interviewed Brian Craig, one of the Ag teachers at Fort Gibson and Victor Wildcat, the Cherokee long bow resource person. We also spoke with four of the students who had participated in the program.
Here’s how Mr. Craig describes the purpose of the program: To have a project (the students) can work with their hands, get them out of the classroom every now and then, and teach them how to start and finish something. That’s really important in life. This is a great project to teach them how to start and finish because when they’re done with it, they actually have something they can take home.
They start with just raw wood. Mr. Wildcat: It was cut during the new moon and I always get it on a high hill. Why is that? Mr. Wildcat: Well, for the drainage, so the grains are going to be tighter. The tighter the grains, the faster the cast. Mr. Craig: The better your bow is. Those two things, the moon and the high hill, that’s something that Cherokees have known for hundreds of years, just from being in nature. Mr. Wildcat: As Native Americans, we do everything according to the new moon. It will last a lifetime.
Getting the right wood at the right time is just the first step in the procedure. Students are given logs, out of which they will cut their own bow. It’s a complicated process that involves understanding the grain of the wood and then shaving off just a little at a time until the bow begins to take shape.
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Read more about the long bow project on our website, www.okffa.org.
oklahoma Wins Eight 2012
Oklahoma had 21 national finalists, third highest of all the states.
National Proficiency awards!
Pond Creek-hunter FFa
Environmental Science and Natural Resources
Emerging agricultural technology
We won eight divisions, second highest in the nation.
Community Service is one of the most important functions of an FFA chapter. An excellent example of service to the community is the Cents Make Sense project recently carried out by the Porter FFA chapter. We got the details from Caleb Eutsler, chapter vice-president and Hallie Barnes, chapter reporter.
people who are buying it understand what you’re doing with that money? Do you emphasize to them that you’re adding a little extra so that you can help somebody else? Hallie: We have, and it actually makes some people buy more because they want to donate.
How is it that you guys were involved in this project? Caleb: Every year we do a fundraiser to help our chapter earn money so we can do more events in the year. We sell Blue and Gold sausage, bacon and chicken, and they all sell for a certain amount of money. We decided to add on twenty-five cents (to each item) so we could raise money to better help our community and feed the needy. Hallie: From that twenty-five cents, as it adds up, we can buy more Blue and Gold sausage and donate it to the food bank. We told Blue and Gold about it, and they thought they’d put in some meat as well because they wanted to help out. Then the Pork Council heard about it, and they added some more. It all added up to 3,500 pounds.
When you sell your Blue and Gold sausage and you’re tacking on an extra twenty-five cents per package, do
The sausage was donated to the Eastern Oklahoma Food Bank in Tulsa, which serves about 40 percent of the state. What was it like when you made that donation to the food bank? Caleb: It was very touching. They were excited to see us. Just going there and getting to meet the people who run the place and getting to talk to them about what they do … it really inspired us to do this every year. So this is going to be an ongoing thing, then, that you’ll continue to do? Caleb: I think it will be. Hallie: Every year. What do you know about the people who ultimately receive the sausage? Did you learn anything about who those people are? Hallie: They’re just people in the community who don’t have enough money to buy the food they need or are in hard times and just need a little help. The food bank can deliver it to the people, and also the people can come to the food bank. So you went over to Tulsa and made that presentation at the food bank. You learned about the food bank and what it does. Then you did something at the Doubletree Hotel, right? What was that all about? Caleb: At the Doubletree Hotel, we ate lunch with the governor. She had a “Helping Heroes” luncheon to con-
Oklahoma ranks among the top five states in the number of people who are hungry.
gratulate everybody who has helped with Oklahoma’s food shortage. She invited us because of what we’ve done with the food bank and Blue and Gold Sausage. So we were recognized for what we did, and we got to meet the governor. That’s great. What was that like, meeting the governor? Hallie: It was pretty neat because we got to meet someone really high up in Oklahoma and because she was so appreciative of what we have done. A lot of people don’t realize that there are people right here in this country, right here in this state, probably right here in this county, who don’t have enough to eat all the time. Do you guys think about that kind of thing very much? Caleb: I do a lot. You might not be able to see them walking through the halls, but one out of every five (Oklahomans) needs food and sometimes even a place to stay. That’s why I feel so good about helping our community because it brings that warm heart feeling to you, but it also helps them. Hallie: Also, it’s kind of surprising, but Oklahoma is the fourth hungriest state in the United States. Let’s talk about how we might encourage other chapters to do what you did. You guys have any thoughts about that? Hallie: Well, we have connections with people in other chapters. So we can tell them about it, and they can tell their chapters about it, and maybe they can do the same thing or something similar. Do you think that what you guys did is unique, or have other chapters done something similar to this? Caleb: When we first came up with this idea, I thought it would just be a small thing, and we were just going to give some money to the food bank. It really became a big deal, and what I want other chapters to know is that they can do the same thing and we can reach all across the United States. By us doing this, I want other chapters to see what we’ve done and to strive to do the same thing. Having done it one time, is there anything that you’ll do differently when you come back to this next year? Or do you think it’s perfect the way you did it? Hallie: I think it’s perfect the way it is. Caleb: (Laughter) Right now, I have no idea, honestly, where this is taking us because it’s already taken us so far. Next year, I don’t know what it is yet, but maybe we can do something even bigger and better. You can help fight hunger, too. To find out how, contact the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma (Tulsa) or the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma (Oklahoma City).
Let’s talk a little more about community service. Why do you think that’s important? Caleb: Well, I think that FFA is all about bettering our community and showing the world what FFA is. When most people think of FFA, they’ll think cows or pigs, but FFA is more than that. Students in FFA participate in leadership conferences and things all around the United States. So when we do community service it gives us life traits that we can use in the future, and it also makes us become better leaders. It also benefits the people who we do community service for, so they feel welcome and have warm hearts for what we accomplish. Why is it important for FFA chapters and FFA members to be aware of the needs of other people and try to help meet those needs? Caleb: Just helping them in any way we can will better our country and make better leaders of the next generation. Hallie: The people who need it can’t provide for themselves. So we help out as FFA members. Also, for the FFA members, it builds leadership and a warm heart. Learning at a young age to help others, so when you get older, you can keep helping people and teach your kids to do that as well.
More than 675,000 Oklahomans will go to bed hungry tonight.
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Cherokee long Bows
Continued from page A
The students who build the long bows learn a lot of valuable lessons, including persistence and attention to detail and doing it right. Some students will be more successful than others, of course, but it’s hard to predict who that will be. Mr. Craig: You will never be able to pick out the kid in the class who will be the best at making these. They may not work very hard in the classroom or the shop or vice versa, and then for some reason, this just clicks with them. Mr. Wildcat: Some of their bows right now are just gorgeous. They are $500 bows. As they get older, they cost more. They become more valuable. A lot of our Native American stuff, I tell the people to hang onto it and give it to your children, those items will be priceless.
One of our favorite student comments: I learned that it’s pretty easy to hurt myself with tools trying to make a bow. I caught a few splinters—well, a lot of splinters. (This project) helped me grow up a little bit. Helped me feel in touch with my Cherokee side because I’m part Cherokee. Feel closer, you know. -- Thomas
There are so many different aspects of this lesson: the natural resources, the history and the math—the list goes on and on. Not to mention the whole ‘stick-to-it’ aspect and the pride of completion at the end of it. Another important aspect of this project is the preservation of the Cherokee tradition. Mr. Craig: We’re trying to help preserve it. That’s (Mr. Wildcat’s) ultimate goal. He works at it hard, and if we can show it to anybody and everybody, you’d be surprised the kids that go out and say, “Here’s what I did.” Some people think, “Why would they even be doing that in an Ag class?” You know, that’s kind of silly. If you see what we’re really presenting to the kids and what the kids get out of it, it’s a dang good lesson. It’s hands-on.
Mr. Craig with a finished bow and Mr. Wildcat with a black locust staff from which the bows are made.
Coming up in our next issue: Oklahoma’s Champion of Change.