Winter 2013-14

The Big E celebrates FFA members from 18 states


Oklahoma member earns high honors for his commitment to community



WINTER 2013-14

4 Scrapbook
FFA news and achievements, reported by FFA members.


8 Doors to Opportunity

24 Living to Serve
Service-minded companies give back to their communities.


Life after high school offers exciting paths for your future.

cover story

6 FFA Faces
Meet members from across the country.

12 A Legacy of Service

26 Personal Growth
Find ways to pay for college and technical training.

Native American Ridge Howell of Oklahoma earns high honors for community service.

16 Premier Leadership
Six tips to make your résumé shine.

28 Career Success
Discover the power of internships.

18 All’s Fair

Eastern States Exposition celebrates FFA members from 18 states.
On the Cover

17 Ag 101
Cultivate your knowledge of wheat.

30 Reconnect
Learn about the global experiences of two former members.


Oklahoma FFA member Ridge Howell celebrates his achievements with his advisor, Jason McPeak. Ridge wears medals that represent his State FFA Degree and academic excellence.
Photo by Michael Conti

22 National Officer Q&A
Learn what’s next for the 2012-13 team.

32 All About FFA
Give the Gift of Blue.



Volume 61 Number 2

For advertising information, contact Katie Newbern, (800) 333-8842, ext. 212, or email knewbern@jnlcom.com. 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, GA CHIP BRIDGES State Supervisor, NH LES PURCELLA State Supervisor, WI JEFF HICKEN State Supervisor, MI RANDY SHOWERMAN Teacher Educator/USDE, MO TRACY KITCHEL 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 New Horizons online to read more great stories, watch videos and download our FREE mobile app!
FFAnewhorizons.org FALL 2013

Want to see past issues of FFA New Horizons? Visit the Digital Magazine page to flip through past issues.

Have you been to the new 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!)

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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 through agricultural education. 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.

Want to win an iPad Mini? Download the FFA New Horizons magazine app to your smartphone or tablet for your chance to win. Get more details at FFAnewhorizons.org/mobile.

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FFA News From Across the U.S.
A place to celebrate your FFA achievements, chapter successes and good deeds

The fashion world has a blossoming new star in Jessica Dastous. This creative young woman designed an artichoke hat that won first place at the Connecticut Floral Association competition. Jessica hopes to use the talents she learned in FFA to someday start her own floral design shop.


Repairing Hope
The State School Trust Lands has enlisted the Westlake FFA Chapter to rebuild a fence in Saratoga Springs, Utah, that was damaged in a mudslide caused by a fire in 2012. The fence was needed to keep people off the land so that it can naturally restore itself. Through building the fence, chapter members have learned to work as a team while also helping their community.

See more photos of Jessica’s floral creations at FFAnewhorizons. org/floraldesign.





Serving a Good Cause
More than 70 FFA members and advisors from 12 different chapters played an integral role in the 2013 Nebraska Cattlemen’s Ball. The FFA members assisted in serving the meal and cleaning tables. The event attracted 4,000 attendees and raised $2.12 million for cancer research. Since its beginnings, the annual event has raised more than $7 million to fight cancer. The Perkins County FFA Chapter decided to go above and beyond, by donating $2,000 to the cause from their own basketball game fundraiser. Learn more about this great event at FFAnewhorizons.org/ Nebraska-Cattlemen.


A Sound Investment
The Crestwood FFA Chapter purchased $20,000 worth of stock in Lime Springs Beef Co., a startup beef plant in their school district. The chapter pushed for state law to allow the venture and introduced the Entrepreneurial Education Funds for Student Organizations and Clubs Act. This was not only an investment in a company but in the community and the education of the members.


FFA Memory Quilt
To Sarah Sprague, a pile of FFA T-shirts represented years of hard work, dedication and memories. T-shirts from chapter events, officer positions and conferences all remind her of good times in FFA. Sarah could not bear to part with these relics, so instead she created a colorful quilt. She says that the quilt has become a symbol of her past and her belief in agriculture.

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 pair of jeans to featured members
Zach Haugen Andrew Graham


Zach has participated in FFA for two years and has competed in the state dairy judging competition. In the future, he would like to raise dairy and beef cattle and someday own his own farm in Texas or Wisconsin.

Andrew is the sentinel of his FFA chapter and has been involved with FFA since his freshman year. He was on a state-winning agricultural mechanics team that received a silver rating in the national event.

Kailey Rae Sawvell

Emily White


Kailey Rae has served as both chapter and district FFA officer for the past three years and is currently the president of her chapter. She has participated in horse judging, job interview and ag broadcasting.

Emily is a third-generation FFA member. She is entering her fourth year of membership as her chapter’s secretary. Emily is currently working as an intern with a nationally recognized florist shop.

Chastity Campbell

Evan Gunter


Chastity has been raising and showing market hogs since she was 9 years old. She has also organized petting zoos and community service activities for the local elementary school and nursing home.

Evan is the secretary of his FFA chapter with aspirations of becoming a state officer in the future. He has been showing Holsteins since he was 8 years old and has started his own dairy herd.

Nominate yourself to be considered for FFA Faces by following the steps below. Questions? Email ffanation@jnlcom.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.


Life after high school offers exciting paths for your future
he end is in sight. High school was filled with experiences you’ll remember forever, from donning your FFA jacket to meeting lifelong friends, but now it’s time to put on your cap and gown. As your graduation date draws near, the daunting thought of life after high school occurs frequently. The real world offers many paths to choose from, and it’s tough to know which is best for you. You may feel pressured from others to attend a certain university or join the military, but it’s important to make the right decision for you. It’s never too early to start planning your future, whether you’re getting ready to accept your diploma or attending your first FFA meeting. Let’s look at some of the options that are available to you in life after high school.


Most high school graduates choose the college or university path, deciding to further their education. How

do you know if that’s the right path? Are you careeroriented? Can you spend the next four years in school? Are you in a good financial position to pursue higher education? College is a huge investment, not only in the financial sense, but also in time and effort. Former FFA member Alyssa Bussell says that researching colleges before you graduate high school is imperative. “College will be your home away from home for at least four years, so it’s crucial to find one that is a good fit,” she says. If you’ve decided college is your path, start by looking at different schools and what they have to offer. “I knew that attending college was the most important thing I could do to help me reach my goals and full potential,” says Bussell. “Earning a college degree is vital to getting me where I want to be.” When looking at schools, think about location, cost, campus life, courses of study and extracurricular activities. Most colleges offer four-year bachelor’s degrees. If you choose, you can continue on for an advanced degree in your field after four years.





Want more on careers?
Then log into the Agricultural Career Network (AgCN) to learn more about careers related to agriculture and natural resources and to help chart your career path. You can also check out FFA Link for networking opportunities. Learn more at FFA.org/AgCN.

If you like working with your hands and hate the idea of sitting behind a desk, technical school may be a better choice for you. Different from a four-year college, technical schooling teaches you a trade in a hands-on setting. This training prepares you for careers such as an electrician, cosmetologist, plumber, mechanic, carpenter and more. Jason Scales, a welding education specialist at The Lincoln Electric Co., says technical programs offer education at a great value that develops employable skills quickly. “You need to make sure that the program you choose teaches skills that are transferable to other programs. The job market changes and you need to be adaptable,” he says. Technical schools are less expensive than colleges or universities, and the programs take less time, allowing you to find employment more quickly. If this sounds like a good option, scope out careers that pique your interest as early as possible. Your FFA advisor and guidance counselor are great resources and can push you in the right direction for appropriate programs.

AgCN is sponsored by RFD-TV, Cargill, TransCanada and AgCareers.com as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

If you have strong pride for your country, you may want to look into joining the military after high school. The U.S.

Decoding the common words and phrases you’ll hear

Learn the Terms
College/ University
Bachelor’s Degree – A degree that involves four years of full-time study. College – Different from a university, a college traditionally only offers undergraduate degrees and programs. There are some exceptions, but usually they don’t offer master’s degree programs. Commencement – a fancy term for college or university graduation.

Dean – Someone who is in charge of a specific area of a college or university. Examples would be a Dean of Students, Dean of Arts and Sciences or Dean of Academic Affairs. Major – The field that a student chooses to study. Room and Board – This term refers to the cost of having a place to sleep and eat while at school. Scholarship – Money that is given to you to use specifically for your education. Scholarships

can come to you from the college or university, organizations and more. Tuition – The cost of your academic classes. University – In contrast to a college, universities usually offer both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. There are some exceptions.

Computer-Based Training (CBT) – Refers to learning that is done on a computer, such as on the Internet or using computer software. Demonstration – Method of showing students how to do a specific task. Piloting – Testing a specific task or product before sending it to the target audience. Simulation – An exercise that creates a real-life atmosphere or situation.

Technical Training
Agenda – A plan or outline of things to be done and taught during the training.

Armed Forces – including the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard – allow men and women to enlist after graduation – anytime after turning 18. You can also join after college, and the military will help pay for your tuition if you join the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). Joining the ROTC means you’ve committed to limited service while in school and full-time service for a determined amount of time after school. “The Army was a great option for me because it allowed me to pursue veterinary school without the burden of paying back expensive student loans,” says CPT Sarah Cudd, D.V.M., U.S. Army. “I also had a guaranteed job right after graduation. I was able to sit back and study for exams knowing that I had a job already lined up.” Joining the military is a big commitment that’s not for everyone, so talk to your family and FFA advisor before making the decision. The military also has fitness requirements and a time commitment that you need to understand before enlisting. Learn more at military.com/join-armed-forces.

Obtaining a job directly after graduation may be a bit harder compared to those with a college degree, and you may make a lower salary. However, you won’t have to deal with student loan debts, and you’ll have time to progress within a company while others are attending school. You also have the opportunity to try out different jobs in different fields to find out which is the best fit for you. Most college students tend to change their minds about their major and what career they want, so it may be helpful to have real-world experience before committing to an area of study. Talk to your guidance counselor, parents and FFA advisor about looking into your area’s job market. Check online job boards and reach out to any previous employers or friends that may be able to help you find something. Regardless of the path you choose – college, technical training, military or workforce – resources are available to help you make the best decision for your future. Find more links and stories about careers in agriculture at FFAnewhorizons.org. – Rachel Bertone

Some graduates enter the workforce immediately after high school. Perhaps you need to save money before continuing your education or you’d rather start getting a paycheck instead of spending time studying.

more on our app
Troops – A collective term for uniformed military personnel.

Check out the interactive version of this story, with lots of digital extras, on our magazine app. Go online to FFAnewhorizons.org/mobile for more details on how to download the app on your phone or tablet.

Trainer – Person or instructor who teaches a group of students. Training Need – A skill that an employee needs to learn in order to do a job effectively. Workshop – A training program where students learn by interacting.

personnel, objects or tactical positions in order to confuse, mislead or evade others. Chain of Command – The succession of commanding officers from superior level to subordinate through which command is exercised. Deployment – The movement of forces within operational areas. Objective – A clearly defined, decisive and attainable goal toward which an operation is directed. Tactics – The employment and ordered arrangement of forces in relation to each other.

Application – The form used to apply for a specific job. Computer Literacy – The ability to use computer software, including programs such as word processors, spreadsheets, databases and more. Foundations – Basic skills, cognitive skills and personal qualities that are necessary for a specific job. Networking – Talking with people you know to help you find a job.

Employee Orientation – In some jobs, this refers to basic training where new employees learn about the company, their work requirements, rules, benefits and more. Occupation – The field or industry in which one works. Example: Education is the occupation for a teacher. Professional Development or Training – The process of obtaining skills and experience that allow you to progress in your career. Résumé – A written description of your education, qualifications, previous employment and skills that can help you obtain a job.

Active Duty – Full-time duty in military services for the United States. Base – The location from which operations are sent. Camouflage – Using natural or artificial material on



Native Amer ican Ridge Howell of Okla hom a ea rns high honors for community service

Along with his FFA chapter, Ridge Howell helped start a community garden at Marshall Elementary School in Checotah, Okla. Photography by Michael Conti



The school’s community garden helped Ridge Howell realize his desire to give back to his community, which he says has given so much to him.

any high school students spend their weekends president and valedictorian of the class of 2013 at at the movies, the mall or cruising town in Checotah High School. He is also a member of the their first car. But Ridge Howell of Checotah, Muscogee Creek Nation, one of five Native American Okla., spent his high tribes that were relocated by school weekends mowing lawns the government from their for senior citizens (for free) and homes in the Mississippi River HIS RURAL HOME working in his FFA chapter’s basin to Oklahoma on the Ridge Howell is proud of his community garden, which also Trail of Tears in the 1830s. upbringing in Checotah, Okla., benefited the elderly. “My Native American heritage population 3,380. “Ridge put in more than 500 is my past, present and future,” hours of community service Ridge says. “My dad’s side of working on our FFA senior the family are Muscogee Creek citizens lawn mowing program Nation, and my grandfather and our FFA community garden, always told me lots of stories which was sponsored by a about my family’s history. grant from the National FFA Checotah High School has one Organization and the Howard of the highest Native American G. Buffet Foundation,” says populations in the state.” Jason McPeak, Checotah FFA Ridge joined FFA in the advisor. “Ridge has outstanding ninth grade, but he was no moral fiber and is one of the most kindhearted stranger to agriculture. He had been showing animals people you will meet.” through 4-H since age 9. “When I joined FFA, I didn’t realize the impact it would have on my life,” he says. “I understood later it NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE wasn’t just about agriculture – it teaches you leadership Now in his freshman year at Oklahoma State skills you will use the rest of your life.” University, Ridge was FFA president, student body


In November 2011, Ridge was invited by the USDA’s Office of Tribal Relations to serve on a board called Native Voices in Washington, D.C. He was one of 10 students invited from different states and tribes. “I got involved with USDA Tribal Relations at the National FFA Convention & Expo, when different Indian tribes across the country presented blankets to the national officers,” he says. “Later, I got a call saying they wanted my advisor Jason and me to come serve on the Native Voices board in D.C. A lot of schools throughout the country, especially on Indian reservations, don’t have FFA or ag programs. We’re trying to get it in more schools, and they asked me to come talk about my FFA experience.” Ridge was there when President Obama met with chiefs of different tribes. “It was surreal. I was very proud and happy,” he says. “I kept thinking, ‘How on earth did I get to do this?’ No one expects to get called to serve in D.C.”

In October 2012, Ridge returned to D.C. after being named a White House Champion of Change. He spoke on a panel with 11 other Champions of Change chosen from across the nation about current issues, including diversity, education and agriculture. “We spoke in front of about 100 people with moderators asking us questions, and it streamed live online,” Ridge says. “My whole FFA chapter was involved and was watching. It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I met so many influential people, including a member of the president’s cabinet.” Ridge was nominated for the honor by his agriculture teachers, including McPeak, who went with him to D.C. He was selected for his outstanding community service efforts. “As a freshman, Ridge helped with our FFA senior citizens lawn mowing program, and by the time he was a senior, he was running that program,” McPeak says. “Ridge was also on the ground level of a vital fruit and vegetable nutrition program made possible through our FFA community garden. Both programs are still successfully operating today.” Ridge says even though he worked hard, he gained much more than he gave by helping the elderly. “There are stereotypes between teenagers and seniors – the two groups don’t really associate with one another,” he says. “I wanted to break down those barriers, because there are no better people to learn from than the elders of your community.” After mowing, Ridge says many seniors would sit and talk with him over lemonade and cookies. He also enjoyed delivering produce from his chapter’s community garden to the Checotah Senior Center each week. “That’s where the real fun began. I never thought I’d

see two 90-year-old women fight over the last zucchini, but I did,” he says, laughing. “One lady would always meet us outside in the parking lot so she could get first pick of the watermelons. It really bridged the gap between seniors and teens.” Ridge is majoring in English at OSU and hopes to go to law school before returning to Checotah to serve his neighbors. “Small towns often get a bad rap, but it was extremely beneficial to grow up in Checotah,” he says. “I want my future family to have the privilege of living there as well. There is a network of people who will be there for you in a second if you need them.” Ridge’s dedication to service helped him become a Coca-Cola Scholar, which is helping him pay for college. He was one of 50 recipients selected nationwide. Ridge plans to visit his senior citizen friends back at home on his college breaks. “There’s Betty and Dora ... I can name them all,” he says, chuckling. “I learned a lot from serving them, and I’m much happier because of it. I’m very blessed.” – Jessica Mozo

Ridge Howell picks vegetables grown in the community garden. He says he enjoys delivering the produce to a local senior center.


Writing Your Résumé
Learn the right way to record your accomplishments


hether you’re applying to your dream college or just looking for a parttime job, a well-polished résumé is more influential than you may think. Your résumé may be just one piece of paper, but it’s a marketing tool selling a very important product – you. Résumés are often an employer or college admissions officer’s first introduction to you, and many times, it’s the deciding factor on whether you get an interview. So what can you do to spice up your résumé? Dr. K. Virginia Hemby, a professor at Middle Tennessee State University, shares her tips.

the types employers desire to see.” If you’re unsure about your email address, set up a new, professionally named email account through free hosting sites like Gmail or Yahoo Mail.

Hemby says education is just as important as experience. If you don’t have a degree yet, say something such as, “High school diploma anticipated in May 2015.” Also remember to include any high school or college courses that relate to the specific job.

Don’t forget your job objective, which tells employers what type of position you’re looking for as well as your qualifications and career goals. Be as specific as possible: If you’re applying for different jobs with different responsibilities, tweak your objective to fit each position. Use the job description the employer provided to help you build a résumé that matches what they are looking for.

Proofread. Hemby suggests reading your résumé backward from the last word on the bottom line, right to left: “When you use this technique, you are reading one word at a time and not groups of words,” says Hemby. “Therefore, you are much less likely to ‘read into’ what you believe the résumé says.” Also, have a parent, teacher or friend look for mistakes you might have missed. “Spelling errors or grammatical mistakes would cause me to immediately discard a résumé,” Hemby says. “Employers expect a résumé to be perfect.” Log on to the Agricultural Career Network to learn more about résumé building and online portfolios. – Jessy Yancey

Begin with a blank document; do not use a template provided by your word processing software. “When applicants use a template and fill in the necessary information, they are conveying to the prospective employer that they lack initiative,” Hemby says. Also, hold off on the flashy colors and fancy fonts, and stick to easy-toread fonts such as Times New Roman or Arial.

Prospective employers and colleges like to see experience, and a summary of your pre-professional experience can help improve your résumé even if you haven’t had many (or any) formal jobs. Use reverse chronological order with your most recent experience listed first, and note any internships, organizations, volunteer work or other involvement related to the industry to which you are applying. In fact, FFA experience – such as public speaking, career development events, workshops, and chapter offices or committee positions – can help get your foot in the door. When referencing FFA, write out – and explain – your involvement, in case the reader isn’t familiar with the organization. For example, you might say “wrote and presented an agriculture-related speech for the FFA Prepared Public Speaking Career Development Event.”

Always place your contact information at the top of your résumé, including your name, address, phone number(s) and email address, which is more important than you might think. “Students often list email addresses that would be considered inappropriate or unprofessional,” she says. “Email addresses such as sheepgirl12@yahoo.com or footballfanatic@hotmail.com are not


AG 101

Grains of Truth
Cultivate your knowledge of U.S. wheat production
Wheat is one of the world’s oldest cultivated crops, first planted in the United States in 1777 as a hobby crop. Wheat is the primary grain used in U.S. grain products. A member of the grass family, wheat produces a small, one-seeded fruit, called the kernel.

Top Wheat Producing States
Wheat is grown in 42 states, making it one of the most versatile crops grown in the U.S. In 2012, U.S. farmers harvested 2.26 billion bushels of wheat on almost 49 million acres. The top states for U.S. wheat production are Kansas, North Dakota, Montana, Washington and Oklahoma.

How is wheat used?

1 2 3 4 5 6

THERE ARE SIX MAJOR CLASSES OF WHEAT GROWN IN THE U.S., EACH WITH A DIFFERENT END USE. The most dominant class of wheat grown, Hard Red Winter Wheat is mostly used to produce bread and rolls. It’s also the most-exported class of wheat. Hard Red Spring Wheat has the highest protein percentages, making it good for baking. Mostly grown east of the Mississippi River, Soft Red Winter is used for flat breads, cakes and crackers.

Soft White Wheat is grown mostly in the Pacific Northwest and used as a flour for baking cakes, crackers, cookies, pastries, muffins and snack foods. Hard White Wheat has a milder, sweeter flavor and is used in tortillas and oriental noodles. Durum Wheat grows mostly in North Dakota and is used to make semolina flour for pasta production.

42 lbs of flour
Wheat yields are measured in bushels, which weigh about 60 pounds each. One bushel of wheat makes approximately 42 pounds of white flour or 60 pounds of whole-wheat flour.
Sources: National Association of Wheat Growers, Wheat Foods Council



Eastern States Exposition celebrates FFA members from 18 states

FFA members participate in the parade during FFA Day at the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, Mass. Photography by Frank Ordoñez

wenty-one career development events, an FFA Stars program, a landscape display competition, a floral design event and many more opportunities were held over a recent two-day period. Are we talking about the National FFA Convention & Expo? Not quite. It’s the Eastern States Exposition, more commonly known as The Big E. In September, more than 2,000 FFA members traveled to Springfield, Mass., to compete, network and refine their leadership skills at The Big E. The 17-day exposition is like a state fair for the six New England states – Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont – but FFA members from the entire 18-state Eastern Region of the National FFA Organization are invited to participate. Agriculture has been at the heart of the exposition since its earliest days in the 1930s, and that tradition continues today.


From entertainment to education, The Big E has it. As visitors step into the 22,000-square-foot Farm-A-Rama building, which is devoted to promoting agricultural literacy, they can experience agriculture at many levels. People of all ages can watch chicks hatch, view landscape and floral design displays, learn about edible plants, milk a model cow, watch a sow take care of her young piglets, and get a close look at Clydesdale horses.

Milton Natusch, Connecticut FFA executive secretary and the FFA coordinator for The Big E, says the FFA organization has been a prominent focus of the event since the very beginning. “The Big E prides itself in its support of FFA and the promotion of student leadership and career development for young people,” Natusch says.



FFA members participate in the regional dairy foods career development event, held during The Big E.

Elaborate landscape displays are created by FFA chapters as part of the event.

A member leads a dairy cow during the FFA career development events.



An FFA member is all smiles during FFA Day at The Big E.

The FFA Planning Committee came into being as the exposition commenced, and the planning meetings developed into an annual meeting to assess the strengths and weakness of the FFA program and propose new additions or deletions, Nautsch shares. “Sometime prior to 1950, the state supervisors convinced Neville Hunsicker of the Agricultural Branch of the then Federal Security Agency that The Big E was the place to hold an Eastern Regional FFA Public Speaking Contest,” he says. “Thus the beginnings of the regional participation in all of the FFA events offered by the planning committee.” During the two-day event focused on FFA, members can participate in 22 CDEs, march in a parade and enjoy the fair activities. It’s a wellorchestrated event that’s made possible through the organization of superintendents, local advisors and community volunteers. “Success is measured not only by how many students participate, but also by the quality of the programs and activities for the students – we try to develop CDEs that contain the same essentials as national CDEs,” Natusch says.

building and gaining experience managing events and people.

Anthony Brooks, the Delaware FFA president, has attended The Big E for four years, participating and helping in different events, but this year he served in the State FFA President Internship Program. “I chose to apply to become an intern this year in order to gain experience in what goes on behind the scenes of a larger fair to make it successful,” he says. “It was really cool to be a part of the hard work making the competitions and awards banquet run smoothly.” Brooks, a Delaware State University student majoring in agricultural education, admits that he enjoys trying all the different fair foods, but his second favorite part of The Big E is getting to meet and network with other FFA members and state officers from the region. This helps him gain knowledge and ideas to take back to his home state. The Big E also provides a showcase for the state FFA president interns and the national FFA officer in attendance, inviting them to attend VIP receptions with dignitaries and media to tell their story. To celebrate the two-day marathon of FFA events, a banquet for 700 members, advisors and stakeholders is held. But the fun isn’t over. When the FFA wraps up their events, The Big E has really just begun its 17-day show that will continue to entertain and educate more than 1 million people. – Katy Mumaw

Beyond the opportunities to compete, “FFA Day” is held the first Saturday of the event each year, where FFA members are celebrated, and the general public can learn more about the organization. “The FFA students are seen throughout the fairgrounds with their FFA Official Dress from the 18 Eastern Region states,” Natusch says. “This provides a great showcase for FFA to the general public who may not know what FFA is or what it represents.” Another major initiative Natusch leads is the State FFA President Internship Program. FFA state presidents throughout the region can serve as interns, coordinating aspects of the Farm-A-Rama

Watch a photo slideshow and read more about The Big E at FFAnewhorizons.org/ BigE.



Get to Know Your National FFA Officers
Can you share a few lines from your National FFA Officer retiring address?
Clay: This life is about far more than achieving titles and accumulating material things. We were given talents and passions so that we can serve others. We just have to choose to get out of our own little world. Lindsey: Take pride in who you are and where you come from! And when we show that pride, use more heart than your mouth. Brennan: We don’t need a cape to be a hero; we just need a reason to be a hero for someone else. Joenelle: I hope students will be confident to let their light shine brightly before others. Wiley: So many times we are in the field plowing straight lines and we get distracted. We need to keep our eyes on the row and hold tight to the plow! Kalie: There are moments of grace we experience that change the mood of our day or our perspective on a situation, and then there are moments of grace that open our eyes to the truest gift, bring our hearts to life, and change us forever. Grace isn’t just a prayer you say before a meal, it’s a way to live.


What celebrity or historical person do you wish you could invite to your family’s holiday events this year?
Clay: I would invite Bobby Bowden, the former coach of the Florida State Seminoles. He has been successful in his career, yet still held true to his faith and his love of family. Lindsey: Babe Ruth. I just bet he has some awesome stories to tell about baseball. Or I would invite one of the 33 farm boys who started FFA to see what they think of it now. Brennan: Ashton Kutcher. Everyone says I look like him. Joenelle: Will Ferrell, Steve Carell or some other hilarious person. I love a good laugh!


Wiley: I would invite Southern comedian Jerry Clower. He traveled the country telling down-home stories that were hilarious and values-rooted. Kalie: Si Robertson. I can only imagine the stories we would get to hear!

What travel tips have you learned this year while you’ve been on the road?
Clay: If you are taking a suitcase, roll your shirts and undergarments and lay your jeans flat at the bottom of your suitcase. You’ll be amazed how much more you can fit in one suitcase when you pack carefully! Lindsey: Always pack snacks – a lesson learned from my mom.




officers prefer gloves rather than mittens. All except Brennan, who declares that he is a true man and needs neither!


3 6
officers prefer a real tree to an artificial one.

officers love ham on their holiday plate. The others prefer turkey.


are football fans… at least, when compared to another winter favorite, hockey.

Brennan: Pack light, roll your underwear, always smile to those who are helping you and bring a good book. Joenelle: Stay hydrated. Pack for all weather. Sing loud and often. Take lots of pictures. Always factor in enough time for a random adventure or two. Wiley: Make sure your toothpaste and shampoo are closed tight and put somewhere by themselves! Trust me. Kalie: Radio singalongs make every road trip more enjoyable! Gummy bears and Sweet Tarts are the longest-lasting travel snacks. Always pack sunglasses.

complete my degree in agricultural education. Lindsey: I have some internships planned as well as going to Spain to visit a friend. Then back to school at Modesto Junior College. Brennan: I’m looking forward to completing college at the University of Nebraska. Go Huskers! Joenelle: I’ll be working on my agricultural education degree, running a halfmarathon and more! Wiley: I will be going to Nepal for three weeks on a mission trip and then back to Auburn University. Kalie: First, I’ll be traveling to Liberia to help build ag education programs. This spring, I’ll return to the University of Georgia.

Clay Sapp


This Florida native played high school baseball and tennis, and he hopes to become an agriculture teacher.

Kalie Hall


Hailing from Georgia, Kalie plays piano and is passionate about animal agriculture.

Brennan Costello


Brennan grew up on a small livestock and sweet corn farm in Nebraska and now majors in agribusiness in college.

What’s next for you, now that your national officer year is complete?
Clay: I plan to return to University of Florida and


Joenelle Futrell


Raised on a row crop farm in Kentucky, Joenelle loves agriculture, policy and community service.

“Take pride in who you are and where you come from! And when we show that pride, use more heart than your mouth.”

Wiley Bailey


This Alabama native plays the banjo in his family’s band and studies agricultural communications in college.

more on our app

We asked the officers for ideas on how your chapter can serve your community over the holidays. Download our magazine app to see their responses. More details at FFAnewhorizons.org/mobile.

Lindsey Anderson


Lindsey grew up showing swine and playing sports, but this Californian now loves to study math and science.



Toyota sponsors an event called National Public Lands Day where local operations work to improve parks like the Big Bone Lick State Park in Union, Ky.

Giving Back at Work
Service-minded companies prove success isn’t just about business
o you have a heart for serving others? You’ll be glad to know service opportunities don’t end after your FFA years are through. Many companies and organizations incorporate service as a core value for their business, so you’ll likely come across ways to serve in your future career.


Headquartered in Erlanger, Ky., Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America (TEMA) partners with philanthropic organizations across the country with a focus on education, safety and the environment. The highly successful automaker is engaged in a huge number of annual community

service projects, including the March of Dimes March for Babies, River Sweep (an Ohio River cleanup project), and Prepare Affair, a program that helps elderly homeowners prepare their homes for winter. “National Public Lands Day is a program Toyota sponsors nationally where all local operations plan a park or public lands cleanup day,” says Helen Carroll, manager of community relations for TEMA. “We’re also involved with One to One Reading. We have 15 team members who are now trained reading coaches for struggling readers in one of our local partner elementary schools.” Toyota employs more than 37,000 people in the United States, and Carroll says they tend to be service-minded people.

“We have very engaged team members who are not only willing to volunteer their time in community efforts, but we have a number of folks who step up to lead those volunteer activities,” she says. “Our culture is one of ‘Give back.’ ”

CSX Transportation in Jacksonville, Fla., also incorporates service as part of its corporate culture. CSX is a Fortune 500 railway company that employs 30,000 people and provides freight and intermodal transportation across 23 states. “The company delivers around 20 major community service projects each year focusing on tree plantings, park renovations, environmental cleanups and

Toyota employees and volunteers restore a sign at the Big Bone Lick State Park in Kentucky during National Public Lands Day.

enhancements to schools, recreation centers and charities like the Boys and Girls Clubs,” says John Kitchens, corporate citizenship director for CSX Transportation. “We do our best to make service easy and fun. Service of this nature has become very popular, and we have waiting lists for some of our projects.”

In post-project evaluations for 2012, 92 percent of CSX employees indicated they would recommend the service experience to a friend. “Our service is guided by a CSX core value to ‘Be a positive influence on communities and the environment,’ ” Kitchens says. At TEMA, Carroll says Toyota began partnering with the National

FFA Foundation because Toyota and FFA are like-minded. “We both believe in service to others, specifically in our communities,” she says. “And because of the professional and leadership development FFA members experience, we see great potential for future employees from this talented and impressive group of students.” – Jessica Mozo

Want to find out if a potential employer focuses on corporate citizenship? Here are three easy ways to learn about their service efforts:

1. Check the corporate website. Look into the company’s values, which are usually listed on the corporate website. There might also be details about their specific ways they give back and how employees are involved. 2. Seek social clues.
Many companies post updates about their efforts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the company blog.

Does your chapter partner with local businesses for service projects? Tell us at FFAnewhorizons.org/ CorporateService.


3. Ask them! During a job interview, ask how the company gives back to the community. It shows that you are focused on serving others in your own career.



Money Matters
Learn how to pay your way for life after high school
s your graduation day looms on the horizon, two big questions are probably on your mind: What kind of career do I want, and which path is right for me? But don’t forget another important question: How am I going to pay for it? No doubt about it, attending college or a technical school is expensive and getting more costly each year. Average tuition and fees at four-year public colleges are up 5 percent from last year and housing costs increased by 4 percent, according to the nonprofit College Board, which administers the SAT exam. Over the past five years, tuition at a four-year university has increased 27 percent beyond overall inflation, and two-year schools have also seen vast increases of 24 percent above inflation. At the same time, federal aid for needy students has gone down, the College Board reports, and more students are borrowing money to cover their educational costs. So what does it mean for you? It’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to pay the bills. But don’t panic. The good news is that there are many different ways you can cover the costs.


save now will make your college experience easier to fund.

This is borrowed money that you have to repay (with interest) upon graduation. Most students have to get some kind of loan to cover their tuition. Because federal education loans offer lower interest rates and more flexible payment plans, this is usually the best way to go. Visit www.fafsa.ed.gov for more information.

This is free money; you don’t have to pay it back. Start looking for scholarship opportunities when you’re a junior. Scholarships are usually given to students with certain qualifications – academic, artistic or athletic talent – or those interested in a certain field of study. You can find out about scholarships by going to the library, or checking with your guidance counselor or college financial aid offices. And don’t forget about your FFA activities. More than $2 million in scholarships are available through the National FFA Scholarship Program, and the application period begins on Nov. 15. Visit FFA.org/scholarships for details. You can also search for scholarships through several free databases online. Visit FFAnewhorizons.org for links.

Military student aid, such as the Montgomery GI Bill, is one reason many people join the armed forces. Visit www.military.com/ recruiting and click on “Education Benefits” for more information. – Rebecca Denton

Visit FFAnewhorizons. org/financialaid for more links and information about how to seek money for college.


The sooner you start saving for college, the more time your money will have to grow. Even if college is just a year or two away, it’s not too late to start saving. There are tax benefits to putting money in a 529 College Savings Plan or a prepaid tuition plan, offered by many states. Any money you can


Working Toward Success
Internships are essential to landing your dream job


f you’ve ever applied for a job, you’re probably aware you need to keep your grade-point average in check, know how to write a great cover letter and put your best foot forward in an interview. But did you know your chances of landing your dream job will multiply exponentially if you get hands-on experience in your desired field during college?

Internships are more important than ever in today’s highly competitive economy. In fact, many companies won’t even consider hiring you if you don’t have at least one internship on your resume. “Our new employees are required to have an internship with us or at least three to six months experience in our industry,” says Tom Bradford, manager of recruiting and training

for Crop Production Services (CPS), a premier agricultural retail supplier that serves 48 states. “We try to ensure people know something about the way we do business before they ever enter our training program. Studies show the success rate of employees in first jobs is not that great. We’re trying to better select people for full-time employment by utilizing internships.”

Wilbur-Ellis Co.’s Agribusiness Division recruits new employees through its Professional Leaders of Tomorrow internship program. Photo Courtesy of Wilbur-Ellis Co.



Most internships are held during summer breaks, but other semester-long or distance opportunities are sometimes available. Internships are a winwin for both companies and job seekers, because they give both the employee and the employer a look at each other without a longterm commitment. Bradford says CPS actively recruits interns from at least 45 colleges and universities nationwide. “If someone comes to CPS and wants to work for us, we can see how they interview for a paid internship, which allows them to learn about the company and maybe do a summer project,” Bradford explains. “It lets us see if they’re truly interested and if they can follow through on what we ask them to do, and they can decide if this is where they really want to be or somewhere else.” Jim Loar, senior vice president of sales and marketing for WilburEllis Co.’s Agribusiness Division in Walnut Creek, Calif., says that his company has as many as 10 new interns each year, and every year the company hires two or three new employees primarily chosen from their interns. “Internships allow us to get to know an individual’s work ethic and integrity and to make sure they are a great fit for our team,” Loar says. “If an internship or any opportunity is important to you, work to get it.”

Students can learn about internship opportunities through company websites, from teachers and college professors, at college Career Services offices, and at job fairs. Internship opportunities are also listed on the Agricultural Career Network; log in at FFA.org/AgCN to find out more about this great new resource. Or, you can take the initiative to contact a company directly to learn more about their internship and

future career opportunities. “Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call a company you are really interested in,” Loar says. “They may have a local opportunity that doesn’t appear on their website. Also many companies post job opportunities on their social media pages, such as LinkedIn. And don’t forget to check various trade organizations for a listing of opportunities.” Visit FFAnewhorizons.org/ internships for more tips on how to pursue one in your career field. – Jessica Mozo



Agriculture Abroad
Former FFA members reflect on their agricultural experiences overseas
culture, Fraley says the experience helped mold his work ethic and cemented his passion for agriculture. “When I came home, I had a renewed focus on making my living through agriculture,” he says. Both Fraley and Temple have kept in touch with their host families over the years, sending them Christmas cards, emails and even some handwritten letters. The men recently took a trip back overseas for a European Market Tour, and each had the chance to reconnect with the families that made such significant impacts on their agricultural futures. “It was quite a treat to return to England this past summer and return to the Davis farm,” says Temple. “I was as anxious as a 5 year old on Christmas morning to get to see the family again.” Fraley adds that his host parents have really improved Austrian agriculture, leading an effort to consolidate farmland in their area to increase efficiency, and his host father has even been elected to the office of president of their agricultural association. “Some things have changed, like many facets of agriculture, but in the two times I have visited my Austrian family, it has brought back so many pleasant memories,” Fraley says. “It was experience I was so fortunate to have!” – Rachel Bertone

Brad Temple, center, and Jim Fraley, right, visit with a host family during their recent trip to Europe.


f you had the opportunity to chop grass silage in Scotland or load hay in Northern England, would you take it? That's exactly what former FFA members Brad Temple and Jim Fraley did. While in high school, both men participated in the WEA program, or Work Experience Abroad, which was previously available through FFA as a way to experience global engagement. The program allowed members to travel abroad for three, six or 12 months to work with a host family and participate in their agricultural culture. Brad Temple, now a district director for the Illinois Farm Bureau, participated in the program in 1982. “I spent three months on a Young Farmer/WEA exchange in Scotland,” Temple says. “WEA was an awesome experience that I wish everyone had the opportunity to take part in. It truly changed my life and the way I view agriculture around the world.” Temple stayed with seven different host families during his three month stay – three in

Scotland and four in England. Throughout his time there, he herded sheep in the Scottish Highlands, spent a day with a large animal vet, collected grain samples at elevators, went on a fox hunt near the Welsh border and more. “It's quite an adventure when you're 18 years old. I had terrific host families that wanted me to learn all I could about life and farming in the UK,” Temple says. “As a result of those experiences I gained a huge insight to world agriculture and world politics.” Jim Fraley, who also works at the Illinois Farm Bureau, spent his WEA experience in Austria. “I chose to work on an Austrian farm for three months. It was the best summer of my life,” he says. While in Austria, Fraley hoed sugar beets on his host family's farm. They also grew wheat, cucumbers and grapes. Fraley says the Austrians are very proud of their fine wines, and the country's warm, dry summers are perfect for grape production. More than making lifelong friends and experiencing a foreign

Visit FFAnewhorizons. org/WEA for photos from their experiences abroad.




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FFA News You Can Use
For most current and former members, the official FFA jacket is more than an article of clothing. It’s an article of faith, honor, pride and tradition. Faith in the land that rests beneath our feet. Honor in the values we uphold. Pride in the American farm, and those who feed the world. And a tradition that extends through generations and families. But not everyone can wear the FFA jacket – not because they don’t deserve to, but because they can’t afford to. A new campaign, called Give the Gift of Blue, gives current FFA members a chance to experience the pride of wearing their own blue corduroy jacket. Deserving FFA members can apply directly to the National FFA Organization, by submitting an essay on why owning a jacket is important to them and identifying their chapter, community and work experiences. Applications must be approved by the student’s advisor. The campaign is funded by the National FFA Foundation, corporate and individual donors, and Shop FFA donations. To learn more or make a donation, visit FFA.org/GiveBlue.

(Required by 39 U.S.C. 3685)
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Title of publication: FFA New Horizons Publication number: 1069-806X Date of filing: Sept. 2013 Frequency of issue: 4 times/year Number of issues published annually: 4 Annual subscription rate: $12.00 for non-FFA members; $2.25 for FFA members (as part of their $7.00 total national membership dues) 7. Complete mailing address of known office of publication: FFA New Horizons, National FFA Organization, 6060 FFA Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46268-0960 8. Complete mailing address of the head­ quarters of general business offices of the publishers: same 9. Full names and complete mailing address of publisher, editor and managing editor: Publisher, Julie Woodard, National FFA Organization, 6060 FFA Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46268-0960; Executive Editor, Kim Newsom Holmberg and Managing Editor Jessy Yancey, 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 400, Franklin, TN 37067. 10. Owner: (If owned by a corporation, its name and address must be stated and also immediately thereunder the names and addresses of stockholders owning or holding 1 percent or more of total amount of stock. If not owned by a corporation, the names and addresses of the individual owners must be given. If owned by a partnership or other unincorporated firm, its name and address as well as that of each individual must be given. If the publication is published by a nonprofit organization, its name and address must be stated.) National FFA Organization, 6060 FFA Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46268-0960 11. Known bondholders, mortgages, and other security holders owning or holding 1 percent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages, or other securities: None 12. Not applicable 13. Publication title: FFA New Horizons 14. Fall 2013 15. Extent and nature of circulation Average no. of copies each issue during preceding 12 months Actual no. of copies of single issue published nearest to filing date


Jumpstart your career through the Agricultural Career Network (AgCN). AgCN is a new, nationwide system designed to help you achieve the FFA mission of premier leadership, personal growth and career success. AgCN allows you to manage your member information, record your achievements, and build an online portfolio and resume. You can apply for scholarships and internships, and there is so much more. Don’t miss out – if you have not received an AgCN invitation, ask your advisor for one. If you have accepted your invitation – good for you! Keep on the success track and stay active with AgCN!

FFA members: are you ready for WLC? Each year, hundreds of FFA members travel to Washington, D.C., to attend the Washington Leadership Conference, and 2014 will be no exception. You will spend five days becoming effective leaders by exploring your purpose, learning to value people and serving others – all while making new friends and touring our nation’s capital. And great news for 2014 – WLC is moving to The Omni Shoreham Hotel in downtown D.C. You’ll be in the heart of all of the action with metro access! Talk to your advisor soon since weeks sell out quickly. Visit FFA.org/WLC for more details.

A. Total number of copies (net press run) 599,981 675,464 B. Paid circulation 1. Mail subscriptions (paid and/or requested) 498,304 583,486 3. Sales through other non-USPS paid distribution 70,317 82,298 C. Total paid and/or requested circulation 568,621 665,784 E. Total free distribution (sum of 15D) 7,599 7,640 F. Total distribution (sum of 15C and 15E) 576,220 673,424 G. Copies not distributed 2,239 2,040 H. Total (sum of 15F and G) 578,459 675,464 I. Percent paid 99% 99% 16. This statement of ownership will be printed in the Winter 2013 issue of this publication. 17. I certify that the statements made by me above are correct and complete.

Julie Woodard, National FFA Organization

Washington Leadership Conference


Winter 2013

Planting Your Potential



Meet Your 2013-2014 State FFA Vice President


Check out our


www.illinoisffa.org Table of Contents
PAGE B – Farm Progress Show
Illinois State Fair

PAGE D – Meet Your State Vice President PAGE E – Planting Your Potential PAGE f – Chapter Visits PAGE G – Voices from the Field

PAGE C – Illinois National
Proficiency Finalists


Illinois – A

Illinois State Fair
Sale of Champions

Farm Progress Show
From Chicago to Maroa-Forsyth, FFA members across the state were involved in the 2013 Farm Progress Show held in Decatur, IL. Chicago High School for Agricultural Science FFA This year, five students who placed in the Agricultural Finance and Economics pathway had the opportunity to attend and work at the Farm Progress Show. The students and teacher Mr. William Collins took a three-day trip, so they could travel to the show, and market, research and advertise for the 176-year-old John Deere Brand. John Deere’s latest technology was showcased for visitors. Some students worked in the theater and encouraged visitors to view a multimedia presentation that highlighted some of Deere’s new products, improvements soon to come, and the economic benefits of buying their products. Other students managed the front desk, which included distributing John Deere hats, bags and wristbands. Maroa-Forsyth FFA Maroa-Forsyth FFA assisted with an annual food drive to help support local food pantries. This year, Maroa-Forsyth FFA gave more than 288 cans of food and more than 400 pounds of food, and were able to donate even more service hours. Monsanto generously offered a $250 prize for the top three FFA chapters. Maroa-Forsyth was among the top three. That money has been earmarked for the food drive at Christmastime entitled, “The Great American Teacher Lockout”.  MF FFA also had the opportunity to work in the GSP Booth and hand out slushies. We had 18 different students working and handed out more than 500 slushies for the day. We were part of three different chapters who worked including Taylorville and Central A&M. Not to forget our very first commitment, which was to Pioneer. We popped more than 1,000 pounds of popcorn seed and handed it out over the three days. This organization donated $1,000 for the development of student activities in the MF FFA Chapter.  Lastly, we added the Monsanto display to our workload. All in all, Maroa Forsyth FFA worked more than 200 hours at the different booths.  Illinois Association FFA at Farm Progress Show The Farm Progress Show has become a biannual tradition for many FFA chapters throughout our great state. On August 28 and 29, the Titan Tire Company held an auction to benefit the Illinois and Indiana FFAs. Auction items included a semitrailer full of Titan Tires as well as merchandise from numerous vendors. Joe and August worked all three days of the show including the two days of the auction. Numerous buyers and Central Illinois Auctioneers were able to help us raise more than $51,000.00 for the Illinois FFA.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013, Illinois FFA officers joined together with members of the Illinois 4-H Youth Leadership Team to assist in the 2013 Sale of Champions, as 10 percent of the money raised from the sale is donated to Illinois FFA and Illinois 4-H foundations. We assisted by helping display items that were being sold, as well as properly thanking those buyers who were bidding on items. We were so proud that many of the Champions’ owners were our very own Illinois FFA members. This year at the sale, there were many records broken, including the Grand Champion Steer, which went for $62,000. The sale was extremely successful for buyers, sellers, bidders and friends. We wish to express our thanks to the Illinois State Fair Sale of Champions committee and, of course, everyone who purchased a Champion at the sale. Excellence in Teaching Congratulations to Mr. Gary Blakenship from the Hinckley-Big Rock High School, the 2013 Excellence in Teaching State Winner.

The Excellence in Teaching Award is one of greatest honors and prestige amongst Illinois agriculture teachers, as the teachers are nominated by fellow teachers or administrators, and then selected by a group of agriculture education leaders and peers. District I – Darin Blunier, Midland High School

District II – Gary Blakenship, Hinckley-Big Rock High School District III – Jody Heavner, Pittsfield High School Charlie Sappington, Cumberland High School

District IV –

District V – Curt Robbins, Fairfield High School

B – Illinois

Illinois FFA at the 2013 National FFA Convention
Star Farmer of America The American FFA Degree is the highest degree the organization can bestow on a member. Among the 3,578 American FFA degree recipients, there is only one Star Farmer of America, and that title belongs to Tyler Loschen of the Tri-Point FFA Chapter. He is the son of Gary and Diana Loschen of rural Kempton, Ill. His agriculture teacher and FFA advisor is Diana Loschen. Tyler has been very involved with his Supervised Agricultural Experience in the areas of Beef, Swine, Grain, Fiber & Oil, and Forage Crop Production. Tyler has also worked as a plant health intern for Beck’s Hybrids. Tyler was a State Proficiency Winner in 2008, 2009 and 2010, as well as the national winner in 2009 and 2010. Tyler owns a swine breeding business partnership with his sister, a Simmental breeding business, and numerous farming practices including growing corn, soybeans, alfalfa hay and grass hay. Tyler is planning to graduate from the University of Illinois with a major in Farm Management and a minor in Animal Sciences in 2014. Tyler hopes to grow his operation large enough to the point where he is a full-time farmer. National FFA Officer Candidate Jacob Meisner, son of John and Donna Meisner of Piasa, was selected as Illinois’ representative for National FFA President. Meisner, a member of the Southwestern FFA Chapter, is studying agriculture education at the University of Illinois ACES. He served as the 2011-2012 State FFA Secretary. Jacob conducted countless workshops and presented many speeches at Leadership Training Schools, greenhand workshops and officer meetings. Jacob was a highlight of the September State FFA Officer meeting. ILLINOIS FFA NATIONAL WINNERS Model of Excellence – Pontiac FFA – First Place in Nation Creed Speaking – Kira Eidson, Payson FFA – First Place in Nation Ag Mechanics CDE – Trevor Edelman, Prairie Central FFA – First Place Individual in the Nation

Congratulations to all of the FFA members who represented Illinois FFA in the National Proficiency Awards selection this summer. Three Illinois FFA members were selected as National Finalists and competed at the National FFA Convention.
Amy Loschen, a member of the TriPoint FFA Chapter, is the 2013 Swine Production – ER Entrepreneurship INN W AL Award State Winner N O TI NA and a 2013 National FFA Finalist. She is the daughter of Gary and Diana Loschen of Kempton, Ill. Her agriculture teacher and FFA advisor is Diana Loschen. Amy started her swine SAE in 2009 as a partnership with her brother, owning 25 percent of the herd. She had 37 litters, weaning 284 head. Amy raises purebred Duroc, Yorkshire and Hampshire pigs, as well as some crossbreds. She sells the pigs as show pigs to 4-Hers and other swine enthusiasts; the remaining market hogs are sold on yield and grade basis. She expanded her ownership of the swine herd to 50 percent, in 2012, farrowing 23 litters, weaning 178 pigs. Mikayla Massie, a member of the Cisne FFA Chapter is the 2013 Turf Grass Management Award State Winner and a 2013 National FFA Finalist. She is the daughter of Clayton and Sheila Massie of Mt. Erie, Ill. Her agriculture teacher and FFA advisor is Jennifer Timm. Mikayla owns a mowing business, MMC mowing. She mows yards, cemeteries and commercial businesses. Her first year, she mowed for the local township, eight cemeteries and two yards. Over the year, she has grown her business to include eight cemeteries, three businesses and three yards. Mikayla says, “I have learned a lot financially, as I had to take out a loan to buy my trailer. I have also learned how to figure up bids for lawns. It’s been a great learning experience for me.” Lucretia Mills, a member of the Cisne FFA Chapter, is the 2013 Veterinary Medicine Award State Winner and a 2013 National FFA Finalist. She is the daughter of Aric and Terry Mills of Cisne, Ill. Her agriculture teacher and FFA advisor is Jennifer Timm. Lucretia works at Crestview Veterinary Hospital. She has worked her way up through the veterinary clinics responsibilities. She started as the kennel person, caring for the animals on weekends and holidays, she progressed to cleaning, filing and holding animals for examinations. Now, Lucretia is filling prescriptions, administering puppy shots and training new employees.

Illinois – C

Meet Your Vice President
Rachel Hawk
Birthday: November 29, 1994 Parents: Mark and Shelly Hawk Siblings: Nicholas Hometown: Aledo, IL FFA Chapter: Mercer County FFA Advisors: Michael Chausse and Aaron Heartt Favorite Food: Ice Cream Favorite Sport: Volleyball Favorite Movie: The Lion King Favorite Color: Purple Favorite Music: Country Favorite Activities: Showing sheep, twirling baton and playing the piano Future Plans: Attend University of Illinois and major in Animal Science with an emphasis on Pre-vet Favorite quotes: 1) People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. ~ John C. Maxwell 2) To be kind is more important than to be right. Many times, what people need is not a brilliant mind that speaks but a special heart that listens. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald 3) Two things define you: Your patience when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything. ~ Unknown By her fellow officers, Sam, August, Cody and Joe … “Rachel is most likely to have enough animals in her backyard to open a zoo.” Jokes that Rachel loves to tell … 1) What animal has more lives than a cat? A frog, it croaks every night. 2) What did the finger say to the thumb? I’m in glove with you! 3) What happens when frogs park illegally? They get toad.

Rachel Hawk’s FFA Timeline
9th Grade Greenhand Secretary Lost Section Creed Speaking 10th Grade Chapter Secretary Top Student in Basic Ag Science Lost Parliamentary Procedure CDE Lost Crops CDE 11th Grade Chapter Vice President and Section Sentinel District Winner in Proficiency Area Lost Proficiency Area at State 12th Grade Chapter President and Section President Lost District Prepared Public Speaking

D – Illinois

PLANTiNg YOUr POTeNTiAL Wherever We Go …
As we travel the state representing Illinois FFA, our purpose is always rooted in the 2013 theme, “Planting Your Potential.” In every opportunity that we are fortunate enough to attend, we hope our actions result in greater opportunities for fellow FFA members to “Plant Your Potential.”

August-September 2013
August 1 Communications Summit A total of 140 agricultural communicators came to the Ag Communications Summit at the University of Illinois. This summit provided a chance for members to plant their potential in agriculture communications. If you want to be the best, you have to le arn from the professionals. This conference allowed participants to learn from industry-leading reporters in the great state of Illinois. Several hands- on learning opportunities included: writing press releases, photography, social media and interviewing skills. August 29-31 ICCCTSO Conference Joe and Rachel, along with several section presidents, had the opportunity to attend the ICCCTSO (Illinois Coordinating Council for Career and Technical Student Organizations) conference. The conference was held in Springfield, and developed the leadership of student representatives from all the career and technical student organizations in Illinois. Conference attendees also took a tour of the state capitol, enjoyed a lunch in the governor’s mansion and even had the opportunity to debate issues on the Senate floor. August 31 Cornbelter’s Salute to FFA night at the Cornbelter’s game hosted by the Illinois Corn Growers Association, we were all able to toss out a first pitch. All the FFA members and fans in the stadium saw their Illinois FFA State Vice President, Rachel Hawk, throw arguably the best fast ball of the night from the officer team. The Illinois FFA is thankful for the Cornbelter’s and the Illinois Corn Growers Association’s support. We look forward to more Salute to FFA nights in the seasons to come. Go Cornbelters! September 3-5, 9-10 – STAR Conferences The 2013 STAR Conferences were held in early September. Officer teams from all 25 sections joined state officers for a day of leadership training. The section officers enthusiastically participated in a variety of activities and workshops. The phrase “Living to Serve” can definitely be used to describe these officer teams. September 7 – Salute to Ag Day We were able to attend Salute to Agriculture Day at the University of Illinois. The event started with a tailgate breakfast and auction emceed by agricultural communications great, Orion Samuelson. The Illinois Association of Auctioneers auctioned off processed meat packages donated from the Governor’s Sale of Champions. All proceeds of the sale will be used for scholarships for ACES students. September 17 – It Can Wait We have all done it. We are driving down the road and our notification tone goes off. It is second nature to grab our phone and read the message. As fast as we pick up our phone, we could lose our life. AT&T has realized the dangers Americans put themselves into while texting and driving. In an attempt to stop this horrible habit, they created the It Can Wait campaign. The Illinois FFA is supporting this campaign. We have taken the online pledge and implore other FFA members to join the initiative. “We hope FFA members spread the word about this in their community. Together, we all can stop the texting and driving fatalities,” August Schetter explains. The pledge can be found at the It Can Wait website: www.itcanwait.com. September 20 September State Officer Meeting The major state officers and the 25 section presidents all met in Mahomet, IL. The meeting started with lunch provided by Farm Credit Services. The afternoon was filled with presentations from Mariah Dale-Anderson with the Illinois Farm Bureau and Rod Stoll with Farm Credit Services. A few of the topics discussed between presentations were chapter visits, leadership training schools and other activities coming up. The team headed to the University of Illinois College of ACES Library for a wonderful presentation by Illinois’ National Officer Candidate, Mr. Jacob Meisner. Meisner was one of the highlights of the weekend with his energetic and fun-filled presentation. The evening concluded with reflections. The team was back to business early Saturday morning with more items of business to discuss, including National Convention and the December State Officer Meeting. Finally, the team was given an awesome presentation about the opportunities at the University of Illinois College of ACES.

August 23 Duquoin State Fair
As the month of August was drawing to a close, the Illinois State Fair in DuQuoin was just getting started. The officers were accompanied by nearly 40 FFA members from southern Illinois who walked with them in the parade. A few short days later, Joe and August returned to the fairgrounds for the FFA farmyard follies. There were 22 schools and hundreds of FFA members present that participated in the 10 competitive events. August 27 GROWMARK The GROWMARK Annual Meeting provided the opportunity to meet with GROWMARK representatives from across Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Ontario, and we even got a tour of the historic Hilton Hotel. Along with state FFA officers from Iowa, Wisconsin and Cooperative Young Leaders from Ontario, we represented FFA and the Illinois FFA during the entrance of the flags, and Sam presented remarks on how the values of agriculturalists will always stay true to their ideals.

Illinois – E

Chapter Visits

The majors started the six weeks of chapter visits the week of September 9. Each major spent a week with a section president and visited almost every school in each section. This is a great time for them to meet members in their classrooms. This year, the majors played leadership games and explained the opportunities FFA holds for members. Chapter visits allow greenhand members the opportunity to plant their potential in the FFA. What goals did you set during your last chapter visit?

F – Illinois

Voices from the Field
Voices from the Field is where you share with everyone how your FFA chapter is “Planting Your Potential.” Please send news, events or stories to us at the FFA Center to: august@illinoisffa.org.
Princeville FFA The annual Laura Truck and Tractor Pulls were held on Saturday, August 24, 2013. The Princeville FFA students were asked to assist at the pulls. The students arrived at 10:30 in the morning to assist with the kiddy tractor pulls, serve food and sell T-shirts. This was a great opportunity for many of our new, freshmen members to earn some FFA points and get one of their first FFA experiences. There was great student attendance, and everyone did a great job with their tasks. West Carroll FFA A total of 110 West Carroll FFA freshmen and sophomore agriculture students attended the Fall Harvest Safety Days camp on September 12 at the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) on the campus of Northeast Iowa Community College, Peosta, Iowa. The students were divided into groups and trained on the topics of Skid Steer Loader Safe Operation, Safe Operation of Farm Combines, Prevention of Grain Entrapment and Suffocation, and Tractor Safety and Rural Roadway Safety. Presenters at the camp included Paul Mausser and Ric Jones on Safe Operation of Farm Combines; Ron Shanahan and Thatcher Block on Prevention of Grain Entrapment and Suffocation; and Dan Neenan and Mike Peterson on Tractor Safety & Rural Roadway Safety. The session on Skid Steer Loader Safe Operation was presented by Dan Neenan and Bill Klein to all groups first thing in the morning. As agriculture continues to rank as one of the most dangerous occupations in North America and across the globe, the National Safety Council will put the spotlight on farming, ranching, and the related health and safety issues. National Farm Safety Week was September 15-21, 2013. Rushville-Industry FFA The Rushville-Industry FFA Chapter, in conjunction with the Schuyler County Farm Bureau, held their annual used oil drive in Rushville. The chapter collected 2,000 quarts of oil, with proceeds being split between the chapter and the farm bureau.  Williamsfield FFA This year’s Ag Festival was on Sunday, September 18, 2013, and was a great success with so many different events for so many different age groups. It was hosted by the Williamsfield FFA and 4-H group plus the alumni. We started with a free pancake breakfast and then a church service hosted by the Williamsfield United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church. At 10:30, the antique tractor parade started, and people were able to view the tractors afterwards. There were kid’s pedal tractor races, duck races, a pie contest and rides in the GPS guidance tractor. The kid’s chore course was another big hit where kids were able to drive battery powered vehicles around and do “chores” such as milking the cow, feeding pigs, collecting eggs, digging for potatoes, and watering the ducks. They had demonstrations going on throughout the day, such as a farrier shoeing a horse, robotics and dog obedience. People could guess the weight of the FFA, which was 6660 lbs. Students participated in the Ag Olympics. They did things such as an egg toss, walking on “skis”, quiz bowl and the three-legged race. The Ag Festival was a huge success and will continue to be in years to come. Maroa-Forsyth FFA In mid-July, the Maroa-Forsyth FFA worked with the Gardening Club of Decatur and the Forsyth Public Library to teach youth about watershed. Five FFA members, JT Grider, Samantha Dale, Abbey Turner, Angel Hines and Alyssa Garner, worked with four library volunteers, 12 gardening club members, and approximately 50 different local youth to educate about the effects of stormwater runoff and watershed. At the event, many small projects were used to demonstrate watershed. One of these projects included the use of sprinkles, water and cocoa powder to show how contaminants can get into the water used daily. Horticulture was also promoted when volunteers helped youth plant new flowers at the front of the Forsyth library. This opportunity spread knowledge of watershed and let FFA members display their knowledge of horticulture.

Illinois – G

The Michigan FFA
2013: Year of the Farmer

Winter 2013

108 Natural Resources - East Lansing, MI - 48824 www.michiganffa.org - association@michiganffa.org Phone: (517) 353-9221 - Fax: (517) 432-5632

Michigan FFA Association

Creed Staff
Managing Editor: Advising Editor: Jasper Cunningham Michelle Sidel


Sticky Hands, Sweet Results


State Officer Stats

Check out how the Alcona FFA Chapter makes maple syrup

Learn more about three of the 2013-2014 State Officers

F Year of the Farmer
See why 2013 is the Year of the Farmer

J School at the Zoo
Read about one of Michigan’s newest FFA chapters - it’s at a zoo

H The Value of Diversity N Pumpkin Pie
Hear about opportunities in ag from MSU Professor, Julie Cotton Discover our State Reporter’s secret pumpkin pie recipe

L to R: Alan Green, State President; Abigail Schreur, Region I State Vice President; Chris Presley, Region II State Vice President; Sarah Crosby, State Vice President; Richard Southward, Region V State Vice President; Laryssa Bates, State Sentinel; Nathan Frahm, State Reporter; Alyssa Tyrrell, Region III State Vice President; Nick Webster, Region IV State Vice President; Devin Irion, State Treasurer; Dani Heisler, State Secretary; Amber Eagling, Region VI State Vice President


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
Summer is a time for finding a job, visiting the beach or taking a vacation. The state officer team had a pretty similar experience while learning new things, meeting new people and exploring new places. One of the first events we participated in was the National Leadership Conference for State Officers. During the week we were able to build mission and vision statements as a team. After developing our new-found skills, we were ready to show off some of the things that we had learned by hosting the State Leadership Conference for Chapter Officers. Two days prior to SLCCO we were assisted

By: Richard Southward

for their role in communicating with those both within and without the FFA. Our last major event this summer was a business and industry blitz co-sponsored by Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) and Michigan Potato Industry Commission. We had the privilege to be accompanied by Mr. Jason Jaekel, manager of the Young Farmer Department at MFB and Mike Wenkel, executive director of the Michigan Potato Industry Commission. Michigan is the second most agriculturally diverse state behind California. These visits helped illustrate how diverse we truly are. We visited Advanced Farm Equipment in

by past state officer, Haley Schulz in order to develop the most effective workshops for members. This year we focused more on the technical side of FFA including: filling out applications, using AET, and developing your SAE. Our goal was to help chapter officers realize their capacity for leadership and to help lessen the load on their advisors. During mid-July Alan and Sarah had the opportunity to attend the State Presidents Conference in Washington D.C. Both were challenged to “Suit Up”

Vestaburg, Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay, Gratiot County Farm Bureau, Kitchen Farms, Michigan Farm Bureau, Pioneer Hi-Bred Research Center, Shooks Farm, Sklarczyk Seed Farm, and Sietsema Farms Feeds. This summer was an exciting and memorable way to begin our year of service with the Michigan FFA. We are excited about what lies ahead as we travel throughout Michigan and meet new people.


Sticky Hands,
One of the most important aspects of FFA is “Doing to Learn.” Many members love the idea of hands-on learning and everything that “Doing to Learn” encompasses. One chapter here in Michigan has taken true to that line in the motto, even if their hands-on experience is a little sticky. In 2005, the Alcona FFA started a maple syrup operation. It all started when they collected sap and made 12 gallons of maple syrup as a simple class project. Those 12 gallons sparked a two year long effort to obtain their very own maple syrup processing plant. The Alcona FFA Sugar Shack was dedicated in 2007. The original log cabin was donated to Alcona Community Schools in the late part of 1990. During the ‘90s, the log cabin was used for several community events. The chapter started renovation of the cabin in the fall of 2005 when they replaced the roof, added trim and built an 856 square foot addition. The renovation took $42,000 and was paid for by grants. To complete the building, numerous hours of labor and planning were donated by community volunteers – the first gallon of syrup in the new facility was made on March 15, 2007. Since then, Alcona FFA members have been responsible for the collection and processing of the sap. Collection of the sap starts in early February, when temperatures are freezing at night and warm during the day. This temperature fluctuation allows the sap to flow. They use several ways to collect sap. Generally, bucket or bag collection for single trees or a gravity fed hose system that feeds into a 55 gallon drum for multiple trees in a single area. Once the sap is collected, it is placed in the bulk tank in the evaporating room. From the bulk tank, the sap is fed into the evaporator as needed. The evaporator is responsible for removing the water out of the sap. It burns off 125 gallons of water every hour. When the sap reaches 219 degrees, they transfer it into the finishing pan. The members then use a hydrometer (a tool to measure the density


Sweet Results


Devin Irion

relative to water) to see if the sap a virtual tour has turned into pure maple syrup, of their facility. or if it contains at least 66% sugar. The members of the Alcona and From the finishing pan, the syrup is pumped FFA Alcona into the filter press. The filter press consists the of three different chambers. The syrup is C o m m u n i t y first filtered through filter paper where all School forestry impurities are taken out. Once through the science class paper, the syrup is pumped into the canning in 2010 wrote, and unit. When bottling, the syrup has to be at filmed, a least 180 degrees to kill bacteria and ensure produced that the syrup is food grade. The bottled video tour of syrup is then labeled and ready to sell. their processing plant. The video On average, the chapter produces 200 shows an ingallons of syrup each year. Last spring depth view of the building and the process it though, the chapter produced their took to acquire this top-of-the-line facility. record high of 278 gallons. To show how truly impressive this is, it takes 40 Before the project started the members gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. could only read and study about how This means that they have repeatedly maple syrup is processed. Now, they learn collected about 8,000 gallons of sap. as they go. They get to experience the hard work and sweat that goes into making pure In 2010, they stepped up and produced Michigan maple syrup. The members were responsible for everything, from bottling to marketing, selling to giving tours. Maple syrup making is usually a process that students can learn about by reading, but they challenged that idea and now is home to one of the few classrooms where you learn about maple syrup, by making it.


The Year of
It’s the year of the farmer. It all started with the two minute ‘Farmer’ ad during the Super Bowl. The commercial was aimed at bringing national attention to the significance of the American farmer and was launched by Chrysler Group’s Ram Truck brand. The spot featured the telling of Paul Harvey’s iconic ‘So God Made a Farmer’ poem. With immense success, the Ram Truck brand declared 2013 the “Year of the Farmer.” The year-long initiative was designed to generate $1 million for the National FFA Organization (FFA) in collaboration with Case IH Agriculture, Farms.com and other partners. With record FFA membership rocketing to 579,678, it didn’t take long to reach the philanthropic goal. In less than one week, the ‘Farmer’ video had ten million views, equating to the $1 million dollar donation. The support for FFA didn’t stop there. Mercury Nashville recording artist Easton Corbin, a former Florida FFA member, partnered with the Ram Truck brand to thank the hardworking and dedicated FFA members for all they do to further the notion that there’s a “farmer


the Farmer

By: Jasper Cunningham

in all of us,” and that all of us have a role in reducing hunger issues in America. On September 28, 2013, Corbin traveled to Durand High School in Michigan. The venue was a high school gymnasium crowded with more than 600 FFA members, alumni, sponsors and supporters. Members from across the state were in attendance – from Wexford-Missaukee to Springport. To say the group of people After the concert, the state FFA was excited is an understatement. officers had a chance to meet Easton. To express gratification, the Michigan Corbin performed a multitude of his FFA Association presented Easton songs including the chart toppers “A with the Honorary State FFA Degree. Little More Country Than That” and “Roll With It”. Not only did Easton perform for It’s the year of the farmer – the group, he shared a few words with and what a year it has been. them expressing the importance of education and the agriculture industry. In a question and answer portion, three members were offered a chance to meet Easton and learn more about his background. After a short trivia portion, Easton presented Christian Voorhies, a Region IV FFA member, with tickets to the Blake Shelton and Easton Corbin concert in Detroit that evening.


The Value of Diversity
If I were to declare a unifying theory for sustaining agriculture and food systems, it would be diversity. From the diversity of microbes in the soil, to the diversity of crops and rotation systems, to the diversity of microclimates, to a diversity of retail opportunities, nothing describes a healthy and productive food environment better than diversity. Interest in maintaining biodiversity brought me to graduate school to study agroecology; much of the literature on agroecology focuses on biodiversity loss in the tropics, biological “hot spots” for species diversity negatively impacted by agricultural development. For me, urban agriculture and tropical agroecology are two sides of the same coin: when intensely industrialized cities begin to rust, and green spaces reemerge in the landscape, does biodiversity reemerge? In studying Detroit, I realized diversity of the food system is as essential as biodiversity for a healthy environment. When convenience stores are the dominant source of food, and cigarettes are more common than healthy meal components, the unsurprising result is increased morbidity. In response to the socio-economic difficulties and food insecurity of Detroit, residents are coaxing fresh vegetables and fresh eggs from formerly disowned parcels. Numbering in the thousands, Detroit urban agriculturalists are restoring a sense of place, a greener environment and community bonds, albeit of a different character than the former Motown. Small businesses and service organizations fill in missing food system pieces with community and market gardens and local direct markets. Even supermarkets have taken note and are returning to the city. Detroit might be a concentrated metaphor for rural America, which has long suffered from outmigration, economic decline, and food insecurity. Be it automobiles or agricultural products, consolidation and overdependence on a single industry makes a community vulnerable. As fewer farmers require fewer workers and services, rural residents either moved or fell into economic hardship. While surviving farmers age and rural

By: Julie Cotton, M.S.

Here’s a pocket garden in Lansing, Mich.

youth find other callings, a new generation of potential farmers is breaking ground in abandoned urban soils. The emerging diversity of localized production is promising for rural and urban communities alike. Small, diversified vegetable and animal farmers are making a go of direct sales and specialty markets. Place-based products require new small-batch processors and distributors to maintain value. Creative business models like food hubs and community kitchens make serving larger markets possible. More Michigan–grown foods are reaching Michigan store shelves and school lunch trays, and our diversified food system is becoming a source of community pride and economic resilience.

Julie Cotton is an Academic Specialist in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems at Michigan State University.


State Officer Stats
Alan Green State President
Chapter: Hopkins College: SAE: Song: Michigan State Vegetable Production “Where the Green Grass Grows”

Movie: FFA event: Musician: Food: The Blind Side Contests Reba McEntire Beef & Noodles

Hobby: Gardening

Chris Presley Region II State VP
Chapter: JACC College: SAE: Song: Michigan State Beef Production “How I Got to be This Way”

Candy: Hobby: Rock Candy Working w/ Steers

Sports team: Colts Movie: Food: Semi-Pro Ribs

Nick Webster Region IV State VP
Chapter: Webberville College: Calvin SAE: Swine Production

FFA Event: Musician: Hobby: Candy: Book: Agstraviganza Casting Crowns Playing Piano Reese’s Fastbreak ‘Left Behind’ series

Theme song: “Courageous”


School at
Imagine your agriscience course taking place in a classroom surrounded by more than 600 animals of more than 160 species. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, that’s exactly what you’ll find at the Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, Mich. In conjunction with the Eaton Intermediate School District (ISD), the zoo offers facilities and an educational experience like no other. In the summer of 2008, the Eaton ISD wanted to expand their horizons and develop a program focused on animals. Dennis Laidler, Education Curator at the Potter Park Zoo stated “I was convinced the idea had merit.” Just ten days before the first class, the staff was rushing in furniture and preparing for the first class of 22 students. For the first three years, the Michigan Department of Education categorized the program as new and emerging. It is now a vocationally and career and technical certified vet science and animal health program. The rigorous curriculum focuses on anatomy, physiology, animal nutrition, animal behavior and environmental conservation. The educational component features guest speakers, subject matter experts and the opportunity to interact with animals and employees at the zoo. Rebecca Morningstar is the zoo and aquarium science instructor at the facility. She explains that “I like to focus the excitement on exploring careers in animal science.


the Zoo

By: Jasper Cunningham

Students may like animals but aren’t sure what career path they would like to take. I get the chance to help them explore career opportunities.” The career focus is evident in the development of student portfolios and resumes. Along with the core scientific base, Rebecca focuses on the diversity in the zoology and animal science industry – specifically zoo administration, history, architecture & design, hospitality and event planning. The daily two hour class allows students to earn high school credit The program has experienced while gaining practical, real-world dramatic growth over the past skills in the veterinarian science few years. Since its inception, the field. Laidler further explains “the student body has doubled in size. The program meets the educational increase in size is also attributed to mission of the zoo and fits logistically an expanse in territory. The program to fulfill important niches in handshas pupils from twelve schools in on learning. It provides an impactful Eaton, Ingham and Clinton counties. experience for students by combining lecture and multisensory learning.” The Eaton ISD and Potter Park Zoo hope to keep growing. Expanding course offerings and creating a focus on urban and community supported agriculture is an angle they would like to focus on. Recently, the two entities chartered an FFA chapter. We’re looking forward to the growth, results and success in the future.


Parli Pro Quiz
1) If thirty members at a meeting cast a vote on the privileged motion to fix the time to which to adjourn, what would be the minimum number that would have to vote in the affirmative to adopt it? 2) Can the privileged motion to adjourn be applied to any other motions? 3) How many classes of motions exist? 4) Is the subsidiary motion to lay on the table debatable? 5) Is the previous question out of order when another member has the floor? 6) What class of motions does the motion to suspend the rules belong to? 7) Is a second required for a division of the assembly? 8) What vote is required to adopt a motion to reconsider? 9) Is the motion to rescind amendable? 10) How many subclasses of main motions are there? 11) What class of motions does an appeal belong to? 12) If a member is uncertain as to whether there is a breach of order, what action can they rise to? 13) Name one subsidiary motion that the subsidiary motion to amend takes precedence over? 14) What vote is required to adopt the subsidiary motion to amend?


1) 16; 2) No; 3) 5; 4) No; 5) Yes; 6) Incidental; 7) No; 8) Majority; 9) Yes; 10) Two; 11) Incidental; 12) Parliamentary Inquiry; 13) Postpone Indefinitely; 14) Majority


Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie

By: Nathan Frahm

In honor of fall, I decided to share with you a fall favorite of everyone’s, pumpkin pie. This is a simple, yet delicious recipe for pumpkin pie that my family has been making for as long as I can remember. Hopefully you enjoy making this pie and find it delicious as my family does!

What You’ll Need
1 1/4th cups of pumpkin puree 3/4th cup of sugar 1/2 teaspoon of salt 1/4th teaspoon ground ginger A pinch of nutmeg 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 cup evaporated milk 2 tablespoons of water 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Combine the Pumpkin, Sugar, Salt, Spices, and Flour into a medium mixing bowl. Add the Eggs and mix well Add the Evaporated Milk, Water, and Vanilla; mix well Pour into a pie pan Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees

7. After 15 minutes reduce the heat to 350 degrees 8. 9. Cook at 350 degrees for another 35 minutes or until the center is set Let cook, then serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar


Winter 2013-14

Time capsule celebrates success of Missouri FFA
2028 MarKs 100tH YEar
future members with the simple, but moving words. FFA traditions do not stop with the Creed, especially in Missouri. Several decades ago, former Missouri FFA Executive Secretary, Mr. Raymond Hagan, recognized the need to connect FFA members across the span of time. Seeing this need, Mr. Hagan developed the idea of a Missouri FFA Time Capsule. “History and traditions are building blocks for the future. Without a deliberate approach to acknowledge and mark our past we are left to imagine how things were in the ‘good old days’,” said Dr. Terry Heiman, former Missouri FFA state advisor. “The FFA Time Capsule celebrates the success of the Missouri FFA and its members.” The first time capsule was buried in 1978 in Sanborn Field in Columbia, Mo. It was unearthed 25 years later in 2003, celebrating the 75th anniversary CONT’D ON PAGE D

Building Blocks for the Future


believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds—achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturalists… There is nothing quite as profound and moving to FFA members, past and present, than the FFA Creed. The five short paragraphs are a major part of the foundation of the organization. The Creed has stood the test of time, uniting past, present and

In 2003 Missouri State FFA officers unearthed the FFA Time Capsule buried in 1978 in Sanborn Field, Columbia. Former FFA Executive Secretary Raymond Hagan first developed the idea for the Missouri FFA Time Capsule.

Table of Contents
The President’s Position

Students Build Firm Foundation

State Officer Q&A

Agribusiness Academy Wants You

Keeping it Safe on the Farm

Skyline FFA Gets a Head Start

In Their Words

FFA Calendar


Is your FFA jacket too big?

2013-14 State FFA Officers Area Officer
1 Tanner Adkins West Nodaway


2 Taylor Washurn - Secretary North Harrison 3 Miriam Martin Meadville 4 Tessa Chambers Fayette 5 Mason Browning Monroe City 6 Abrea Mizer - President Marshall


ith the beginning of the school year, there are new goals and new heights to reach. During the fall of my freshman year it came time for my advisor to hand out our FFA jackets. I was so excited to get my jacket. He placed the jacket into my hands and taught everyone how to fold the jacket correctly. He then told all of us to try the jacket on to see how it fit. So I unfolded the jacket, put it on and zipped it up the front. The jacket was way too big for me; I was swimming in it. My advisor looked at me and insisted that I would grow into it by the time I was a senior, even though I told him I hadn’t grown since sixth grade. Even though it was way too big, I was so excited to wear the jacket because it had my name on the front, and more importantly on the back it had “Marshall” written on the bottom and “Missouri” on the top. I realized then that I was part of an organization much larger than myself. By the end of my senior year, my FFA jacket still did not fit and was entirely too big. My advisor

7 Alex Haun Holden 8 Dan Haynes Nichols Career Ctr 9 Connor Scott Miller

was correct in the fact that I had grown. It just wasn’t in size. Instead, I grew as a person because of the experiences I had, the goals I strived to reach and the many people I learned from along the way. I challenge you to set new goals this year and push yourself to grow, whether it’s applying for an office, trying a new contest team and making it to state, enhancing your SAE project or doing something in FFA that you haven’t done before. By doing this, you will grow your passion for agriculture and FFA. Once you have grown your passion and set those goals, go out and take advantage of new experiences that will enable you to unearth your purpose.

10 Mitchell Blehm - 1st V.P. Morrisville 11 Jonathan Bellis Aurora 12 Morgan Coday Seymour 13 Grant Talburt Dora 14 Jeremy Mathis Potosi 15 Rylyn Small East Prairie 16 Carlee Buckner Alton


Jaelyn Bergmann - Past Pres. Paris

Department of Elem. & Sec. Education P.O. Box 480, Jefferson City, MO 65102 Phone: (573) 751-3544. District Supervisors: Leon Busdieker, Oscar Carter, Keith Dietzschold, Lisa Evans, David Higgins & Steven Rogers Missouri FFA Today • Joann Pipkin, Editor 3674 S. State Hwy N • Republic, MO 65738 Email: joann.pipkin@att.net Phone: (417) 732-8552

EmaiL your story idEas to:
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 civilrights@dese.mo.gov.


Head-start Learning

Hands-on curriculum gives students jump on CDEs

praCtiCE maKEs pErfECt


ands-on learning. It’s something Skyline High School agriculture education students know personally. “Our students like the handson nature of the curriculum rather than just reading something out of a textbook,” explains Jason Blair, Skyline ag education instructor and FFA advisor. The hands-on learning approach Blair and fellow ag education instructor Carl Button have instituted carries over into training FFA members for career development events. In fact, the Skyline FFA Chapter qualified two teams for the 2013 National FFA Convention career development event competition. Button’s agricultural mechanics team and Blair’s nursery landscape team both competed in October in Louisville, Ky. Button explains that Skyline’s program is geared so that once students reach their sophomore year in high school, they essentially choose either a horticulture or mechanics career path within the ag ed department. In both instances, much of the material included in the career development event is already an integral part of the class curriculum. “That gives the students a CONTINUED ON PAGE I

Skyline ag education students Delpha Miller and Krista Gideon work on the drip irrigation system in the school’s greenhouse. Instructors Carl Button and Jason Blair say hands-on learning in class carries over into training FFA members for career development events.


Building Blocks for the Future
Continued from Page A
organization has been and pay respect to our heritage.” The success of the time capsule would not have been possible without the help of many individuals and organizations, Heiman said. The University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and Dr. Randy Miles, director of Sanborn Field, are two examples of key supporters. Another influential leader of the project is Willie Harlow of Campbell-Lewis Funeral Home in Marshall, Mo., and the 1994-95 Missouri state FFA president. “I was interested in what the original time capsule held because I wanted to know what they thought was “time capsule worthy” at the time in the 70s,” Harlow said. “It was neat to see the different things that people and chapters gave to be unearthed a quarter of a century later.” Harlow recalled items taken out of the 1978 time capsule included old calendars, hats and newspaper clippings. Like the 1978 capsule, FFA chapters from across the state submitted items, which were buried in 2003. Harlow was instrumental in unearthing the first time capsule, securing the vault for the second capsule, and most recently a marker signifying the capsule’s location. Harlow said, “The vault was graciously donated by Larry and Kelly Zimmerschied of Saline Vault Company in Sweet Springs, Mo., and the marker, designating the location of the time capsule was donated by Scott Fuemmeler of Audsley Monument Company in Glasgow, Mo.” He went on to say, “I wanted to be able to be a part of this historical moment, knowing that in another quarter century, people would have the same questions I had, and hopefully I’ll be able to be there at that time and share CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

of the National FFA Organization and Missouri FFA. That same day in 2003, another time capsule was filled and buried with plans to be opened in 2028, which will mark the 100th anniversary of the National FFA Organization and Missouri FFA. “The time capsule signifies the proud and successful history of the Missouri FFA Association,” Keith Dietzschold, Missouri FFA executive secretary and northwest district supervisor-agriculture, food and natural resources, said. “In our 85 year history many individuals and members have contributed to and reaped the benefits of this organization. This capsule is a way to remember those contributions, where our

The first Missouri FFA Time Capsule, buried in 1978, included old calendars, hats and newspaper clippings. A second time capsule, which was buried in 2003, will be unearthed in 2028 to mark Missouri FFA’s 100th anniversary.


CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE with them what we were thinking on that hot summer day when we buried this time capsule.” Like many former members, Harlow said FFA has played an important part in his life.  The organization gave him numerous opportunities not only as a young adult, but also as an adult and business leader in our community. “I want to do all I can to help continue the great role that the FFA plays in the lives of young people today,” Harlow said. …in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to use from the struggles of former years.

Former Missouri FFA State Advisor Dr. Terry Heiman and Dr. Randy Miles remove contents of the 50th anniversary time capsule. Here, they reveal the FFA jacket of 1978-79 Missouri State FFA President David Pearce. Now a state senator, Pearce’s jacket was placed in the capsule in 1978.


Learning to Do

CWC teaching model comes to life at Marshall

Foundation buiLt in aG Ed

Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.” The first line of the FFA creed, “learning to do,” takes on special meaning for students with learning disabilities. The Saline County Career Center and the Marshall FFA Chapter have made it their mission to ensure that all students are able to “learn to do”, and can reap the benefits of agriculture education and FFA. In their Agriculture Science I course, Marshall is taking part in what is known as a Class Within a Class (CWC). A CWC is a teaching model often used within special education. This model pairs up a special education teacher with a general education teacher. Through the CWC model, special education students attend

regular classes, while still having a special education teacher available to provide them assistance if needed. Agriculture instructor Paige Brock, and special education instructor Jana Locke are the two instructors that co-teach the CWC at Marshall. Brock, the daughter of an agriculture education instructor, is a first year teacher, and Locke, a veteran special educator, has a background in agriculture and FFA. The CWC model is nothing new for Marshall Public Schools and the Saline County Career Center (SCCC). The SCCC has several other CWC models in use in other career oriented classes, such as nursing and auto mechanics. Locke, and several other special education teachers at Marshall saw the need for a CWC in agricultural education, and after gathering input from students, decided to implement the model in an Agriculture Science I course. Locke was selected to serve as the

special education instructor for the class because of her experience in the area. On the outside, the class seems to run as any other agriculture class would. Special education students are not singled out from their classmates, and both instructors help all students. Both instructors said that the goal of the CWC is not to make either group of students seem like outcasts, but instead, to give all students the proper foundation in agriculture education. When asked about the success of the model, both instructors spoke highly of the model and the impact it has had on students and their FFA chapter. In the past, many of the special education students that had been enrolled in agriculture education at Marshall had trouble with some integral parts of agriculture science courses, including learning the FFA Creed and keeping record books for their SAE projects.

Marshall special education teacher Jana Locke assists a student in the school’s ag science I class. Locke was chosen to help carry out the class within a class (CWC) teaching model at the school because of her background in agriculture and FFA.


Locke said that the idea behind the CWC is to give students a good understanding of agriculture education and FFA before they move on to upper level courses in agriculture education. Both instructors see the necessity of the model because of the handson experience it gives special education students. CONTINUED ON PAGE I
Marshall agriculture education instructor Paige Brock works with special education students in her ag science I course as part of the class within a class teaching model.


In Their Words
Up close with your Missouri State FFA Officers


I’ve met a million people, been a million places. Shook a million hands, seen a million faces. Had a million lows, but a million more highs. No I haven’t made a million, but I’ve touched a million lives.” – Jake Miller These words from Jake Miller’s song have a very deep meaning. Imagine the differences that could be made in the world if we set out to touch a million lives. There are so many wonderful possibilities presented to us every day to touch a life. Sometimes we may not even realize it. I have made it a goal to fulfill the standards set by these lyrics. And I believe it is a meaningful goal for any of you to have as well. The

fact is, we all impact people every day, but the choice is whether it will be a positive or negative impact. Choosing to make a good impact on a person could make all the difference in a way we will never know. You never know whom your actions are affecting. Many of us may think we have to be placed by something we

cannot control into a position to “touch a million lives.” But the truth is we place ourselves. We need to make the choice to touch the lives of those around us. Simply joining the FFA, as you have done, gives you many amazing opportunities to make lives in our world better. You are not alone! Start a new chapter service project, or improve an existing project. Help out an underclassmen struggling with his or her first speech. Participate in FFA’s Rally to Fight Hunger! There are no limits on the opportunities. FFA members, I challenge you to live out these lyrics as well and take the last line of the FFA motto to heart. “Living to Serve.” You ALL can make a difference and serve our world. Go out and “touch a million lives!”

Missouri AGribusinEss ACadEmy appLiCations aVaiLabLE


re you interested in becoming a future leader in agriculture and your community? The Missouri Agribusiness Academy is for you! Each year, the Missouri Department of Agriculture gives 30 high school students from throughout Missouri the opportunity to explore careers in agriculture through the Missouri Agribusiness Academy – a competitive membership for sophomores interested in pursuing agriculture-related college degrees and careers. MAbA is a youth leadership program focused on career exploration in the fields of agribusiness, government and production agriculture. Applications are available online at www.mda.mo.gov and are due by Feb. 1, 2014.


HEAD-START LEARNING CONTINUED FROM PAGE C good head-start on the (career development event) itself,” Button notes. He and Blair try to match the student with the CDE that he or she is most interested in and then meld together a team based on student personalities. Button says about 75% of the classroom curriculum overlaps with the mechanics CDE. Agricultural machinery, he says, is the only portion of the CDE not currently being taught in class. Successful students in the ag mechanics CDE must be problem solvers and able to work and think quickly, Button says, as students in the contest have just 25 minutes to complete a skill set. Blair says there are four components to the nursery landscape CDE, all of which are learned through the nursery landscape curriculum. “Then, when contest season arrives, we can work extra hours on the contest specifically,” he says. Work ethic is essential for success in career development events, Blair notes. “Students have got to be willing to put in extra time, at after school practices and on their own.” Nursery landscape and ag mechanics both focus on concepts that will benefit students later in life, regardless of their life-long career, Blair says. “Anything that gives a student practice at what they are learning makes it more likely for them to retain the information.”

LEARNING TO DO CONTINUED FROM PAGE G According to Brock, her father inspired her to be an agriculture educator and his teaching philosophy still influences her today, especially in the CWC. “My dad told students, ‘Hey, let me walk you through this. I know you can do this. Let me give you the tools, and you can do this in real life.’ That’s what we’re doing in our CWC,” Brock explained. Locke also knows how invaluable agriculture education can be for many special education students. “Many of our students, upon graduation, will go straight into the work force, whether

it be working on a hog farm, managing one, or taking on the family business,” Locke said. “With Marshall being such an ag community, we knew this was needed.” Through the CWC model, Marshall is able to impact more students than before. By giving students a good foundation in agriculture education, teaching them leadership skills, and letting them take part in career development opportunities, they open doors for them to be successful in all areas of their life. They truly embody the first line of the FFA Creed, providing the opportunity for everyone to learn by doing.


How to be Safe on the Farm
FFA members take part in farm safety workshop
depend on the mechanical safeties on the gun.” Always point guns in a safe direction, loaded or not, Canovi said. He also recommends storing guns and ammunition in separate locked containers. Melissa Hudson, MSU associate professor of animal science, presented a large animal safety demonstration. It is important to keep your emotions in check when working with animals, Hudson said. When handlers get frustrated, they tend to make movements that can panic animals and create danger for the handler as well as the animals in the area. She recommends taking your time when working with animals. “My SAE is working with calves, and after this presentation, I think learning about moving and working

he William H. Darr School of Agriculture at Missouri State University hosted 350 Missouri FFA members for a farm safety workshop Sept 20. The event was a part of National Farm Safety Week and featured experts on safety with firearms, large animals, all-terrain vehicles, small engines, electricity and statistics surrounding farm accidents. Beth Walker, MSU associate professor of animal science, worked with Keith Stevens, president of the Polk County


Cattlemen’s Association to coordinate the event. “Safe shooting is no accident,” said firearms expert Matthew Canovi. A feature at one of six different stations, Canovi has worked as an instructor for military and police, and currently facilitates conceal and carry courses in Springfield. Canovi stressed maintenance, safety and storage in his presentation on firearm responsibility. He recommends cleaning guns each time they are taken outdoors, even if they are not used. “Safety begins with you. How you behave and your mental attitude with guns is what makes a gun safe,” Canovi said. “Don’t

Clancy Harper Morrisville FFA

Becky McGoon, Show-Me Power, Marshfield, Mo., demonstrates the effectiveness of safety precautions with electricity and farm equipment. Above ground wires are not coated with plastic and are a highrisk for electrocution.


A properly fitted helmet and good boots are the best safety tools when it comes to ATVs. University of Missouri Extension Specialist Jim Thompson addresses FFA members during a farm safety workshop at Missouri State University.

cows, and being more gentle with them is important,” said Clancy Harper of the Morrisville FFA Chapter. It is also important to know how the animals you work with have been treated in the past, Hudson said. Animals that have CONTINUED ON PAGE M


State Officer Q&A
Who’s that underneath the blue corduroy?

FFA Chapter: Morrisville FFA Hometown: Morrisville, Mo. College/Major: University of Missouri – Columbia / Animal Science Supervised Agricultural Experience: Agriculture Sales –specializing in equine-related products Who is your hero and why? Paul from the Bible is my hero. He completely turned his life around and lived his life for God until he died. What is something unique or interesting that few people know about you? During the winter months I spend over 50

hours a week, often at night, running a trap line and preparing furs to be sold at auction. I am not a mountain man, but I spend a lot of time in the woods and on the rivers checking and setting traps. Advice to FFA members: Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” When it comes to everything in life, failure is not missing; failure is when you don’t try. Try new things, set new goals and believe in yourself!

FFA Chapter: Nichols Career Ctr Hometown: Jefferson City College/Major: I plan to attend the University of Missouri to study agribusiness. I want to help develop and market the technology that producers will need to remain competitive in the future. Supervised Agricultural Experience: I began my SAE project with a USDA Rural Youth Loan and purchased five breeding beef cows. I have expanded my project to 30 cow-calf pairs. I currently work as a landscaping intern at the Missouri Farm Bureau. Who is your hero and why? My uncle, the late Gene Haynes, is my hero. Gene supported the Missouri beef industry for

family farms and serving the local agriculture industry to the best of my ability. I hope to one day pass on to my children the knowledge and traditions that run deep in my family. What is something unique or interesting that few people know about you? Though I am committed to a lifetime of support for production agriculture and am involved on a daily basis with the care and management of livestock, I have never entered a show animal in a fair or exhibition. Advice to FFA Members: Make the most of your opportunities. The FFA, high school, and life in general will give back to you whatever you put into it, and then some. Leave no stone unturned.

a lifetime and took pride in his trade as a rancher. Gene was very influential on my childhood, instilling in me the value of hard work and tradition. Today, my parents and I farm the family homestead that Uncle Gene took pride in for so many years. It is my honor to uphold his legacy on the Haynes Ranch. What are your plans for the future? I plan to put down roots in mid Missouri, tending to the


How to be Safe on the Farm
Continued from Page K
High-powered electricity can also present safety hazards. Becky McGoon from Show-Me Power in Marshfield demonstrated the effectiveness of safety precautions concerning electricity and farm equipment. Some farm implements include tall components that could interfere with electrical lines. Electricity takes the simplest and shortest path to the ground, and aboveground wires – to remain effective – are not coated with plastic and represent a high risk according to McGoon. “Farming has the highest rate of fatal injury of any occupation,” Walker said. “As many as 300

been worked with hot shots will behave much differently than those that have been worked with a more hands-on method even if the handler treats the animals identically. “I think my farm does a good job, but I think I can apply what I learned in the livestock safety session to do a better job in my dairy production SAE,” said Ellie Wantland of the Niangua FFA Chapter. Extension specialists from the University of Missouri also covered safety with tools such as all-terrain vehicles and chainsaws in the workshop. The presentations focused on using proper equipment to remain safe when working with the tools. For ATVs, a properly fitted helmet and good boots are the best safety tools, according to MU extension specialist Jim Thompson. Chainsaw safety includes familiarity with the safety mechanisms built into the tool as well as careful attention to possible problems. “I thought the chaps that actually get caught up in the blades of a chainsaw to keep you from getting hurt in case of an accident Hunter Berry were an interesting Sarcoxie FFA tool,” said Hunter Berry, president of the Sarcoxie FFA Chapter.

people under the age of 18 die each year in farm accidents.” Walker said the reasons behind the alarming statistics include the long hours many farmers work, the age of workers, slower medical access that comes with working in rural areas and education levels. She recommends training in first aid and CPR and using protective equipment properly and consistently. “Slow down and always be aware of your surroundings” Walker said. “Any of these things could happen to you, even if you don’t believe it.”


FFA Calendar
Missouri FFA is on the move

1 University of Missouri Scholarship Apps. Due 1 Building Our American Communities Grant Apps. Due 4-7 6-7 NYFEA National Institute—San Antonio, Texas Missouri Livestock Symposium—Kirksville

18 25

2-4 Mo. Cattlemen’s Assoc. Annual Convention Tan-Tar-A, Osage Beach Public Speaking Institute—Columbia Public Speaking Institute—Springfield


8 Missouri Farm Bureau FFA Speaking Finals Tan-Tar-A, Osage Beach 8 Missouri Sheep Producers Speaking Contest Finals, Tan-Tar-A, Osage Beach 8-10 Missouri Farm Bureau Annual Meeting Tan-Tar-A, Osage Beach 13 2014 Youth Pork Ambassador Program Applications Due

Missouri Agribusiness Academy Apps. Due

1 Missouri State Fair Youth in Ag Scholarship Application Deadline 7 Mo. Youth Livestock Grading & Judging Contest Workshop Registration deadline 12 Missouri Pork Assoc. FFA Speaking Contest Finals, Columbia 12-13 Missouri Pork Assoc. Pork Expo—Columbia 15 CAFNR Unlimited Banquet & Auction Columbia 15-22 21-23 28 National FFA Week Western Farm Show—Kansas City MSU Horse Judging Clinic—Springfield

7 7 7 7 7 8 8 8 8 8 9 9 9 9 9 9 10

8:30 a.m. Area 8—LU, Jefferson City 9:00 a.m. Area 6—UCM, Warrensburg 12:00 p.m. Area 7—UCM, Warrensburg 9:00 a.m. Area 5—MU, Columbia 4:00 p.m. Area 4—Bowling Green 8:30 a.m. Area 13—MSU, West Plains 9:00 a.m. Area 10—MSU, Springfield 10:00 a.m. Area 3—TSU, Kirksville 12:00 p.m. Area 9—MSU, Springfield 2:30 p.m. Area 16—TRCC, Poplar Bluff 8:00 a.m. Area 2—NCMC, Trenton 9:00 a.m. Area 12—MSU, Springfield 9:00 a.m. Area 15—SEMO, Cape Girardeau 12:00 p.m. Area 2—NCMC, Trenton 12:00 p.m. Area 11—MSU, Springfield 4:00 p.m. Area 14—Sullivan 9:00 a.m. Area 1—MWSU, St. Joseph


1 College of the Ozarks FFA Workshop Point Lookout 5 Mizzou Ag Ed Society Invitational Leadership CDE’s—Columbia 8 Mo. Youth Livestock Grading & Judging Contest/Workshop—Columbia 11 Lincoln University FFA Judging Day Jefferson City 20 NCMC Ag Club CDE’s—Trenton 24 Northeast District FFA LDE’s/Ag Sales CDE Monroe City 24 25 27 Crowder College LDE’s—Neosho Northwest District FFA LDE’s—Cameron Crowder College Aggie Day—Neosho



Winter 2013

The Truth About Ag Teachers

is an ag teacher/FFA advisor in Oolagah, Oklahoma. One day in January of 2012, he asked his teacher’s aide to make some copies for him. While his aide was at the copier, another teacher came in and told her to get off the copier because she (the other teacher) needed it and she’s a real teacher and Mr. Blair is not. Needless to say, that did not sit very well with Mr. Blair. He went home that night and wrote a six-page letter in response to the teacher’s comments, but then decided to condense his thoughts and post them on Facebook instead. Here’s what he wrote: Ag teachers aren’t “real” teachers… I have heard these words many times in my 2.5 years of teaching Agricultural Education. Upon hearing these words, I will admit I became aggravated, disgusted and enraged that another teacher could ever say these words about a colleague. Then I remembered receiving a note from a student while I was student teaching. This note simply stated, “Thank you for showing me that someone cares about me.” I keep that note in my desk, along with many other notes and cards I have received over the years; some from former students, some from fellow ag teachers, and some from former FFA members. These words I read when I question why I became an ag teacher. As it says in the Ag Teachers Creed, “I became an agricultural educator by choice and not by chance.” I choose to give back to an organization that took me from a quiet, shy student at the back of the room in the 8th grade, to stand in front of 12,000 people at state convention my senior year and introduce myself as a candidate for Northeast District

Joshua Blair

Vice President of the Oklahoma FFA Association. It kept me off drugs and off the streets in high school, and it gave me something to look forward to every day. It gave me something to be proud of every time I zipped up that blue and gold jacket. I have realized something: no, we are not normal teachers. Normal teachers don’t give up many nights, weekends, or holidays to be with their students. Normal teachers don’t expect phone calls at 3 a.m. the first week of March, to be told, “Mr. Blair, my pig is struggling to have her babies, can you come help us?” We didn’t become normal teachers, we became ag teachers. We get up early, we get home late, we drive many miles sometimes just to look at one lamb, and then turn around and drive back empty handed. We want our kids to succeed, not just in our classroom, the show ring, the speech room or that judging contest; we want our kids to succeed in life. We support our kids and encourage them to be involved in other activities. We strive to give our students as many opportunities as we can, no matter what time we have to leave or get home. So here is my answer to my colleague: You are right, we are not “real” teachers. I don’t need your quotation marks around me to know that I am a teacher. I see it every day when I look at my students and see what they are becoming: productive citizens who have an understanding of the importance of agriculture. I see it when they overcome their fear of public speaking and get excited for the next speech contest. I see it when they have worked hard all summer, getting up early, feeding and washing that lamb, steer or pig, and then they receive that first place-ribbon at the county fair. So keep being a “real” teacher, I am an AG TEACHER!
(Continued on Page H)


Check out our website: www.okffa.org.

The World’s Youngest

Garrett Yerigan is an Oklahoma FFA member who recently graduated from Pryor High School. He is unique in many ways, not the least of which is this: he is the world’s youngest rodeo announcer. When we caught up with Garrett at the Better Barrel Races World Finals in Oklahoma City on April 25, he told us how he got his start in the rodeo business when he was only 6 years old.
I was in the right place at the right time, doing the slack in rodeo, which is the excess of contestants, other than the paid performances. When I was 12, I was asked to do my first professionally sanctioned rodeo up in Butler, Missouri. I got in that way and it has just snowballed ever since. Did people think it was cool to have a young kid doing it? I have had people use that as a marketing tool. “Come out and listen to 12-year-old rodeo announcer, world’s youngest rodeo announcer,” that kind of thing. So it has helped me. But eventually, if you don’t know what you’re talking about—people are going to know that. So you have to get past being the novelty of a young kid and become an announcer who people respect. Absolutely. The thing about announcers is, especially with rodeos being televised and webcasts and radio broadcasts, we have to paint a picture for somebody driving down the road listening to the rodeo on the radio, and we have to be able to paint that picture of what is going on in the arena. So what is a typical day like for a rodeo announcer? Or is there a typical day? There really is not. Every day is kind of a mystery because you don’t know what phone calls you’re going to get and who is going to call and that kind of thing. For me, it’s high school Monday through Friday, and occasionally I have to miss a Thursday or Friday here and there. We’ll do a performance, finish the weekend, go back home and it starts over again on Monday morning. How many events do you do? I will work about 40 weekends a year, and in the neighborhood of 45 events. Sometimes I can hit two events in a weekend if it is a long weekend. You’re in a rodeo family. Let’s talk about your mom and dad. My dad is an 11-time world champion steer wrestler in the International Pro Rodeo Association. He now serves as the general manager for the IPRA. That keeps him busy 24-7. My mom is an active barrel racer. Still competes when she can. So you got into the rodeo universe because of your folks. But I’m guessing by now you’ve proven yourself to people and you have a reputation of your own. Yeah, and that’s great for me that I have gone out there in the big-boy world and made a name for myself. That’s a great feeling for me. Let’s talk about why FFA is important to you. I can’t begin to describe what it has done for me. From public speaking to all the different contests, the friends I’ve made and the opportunities I’ve had … there is no better organization in the world. It is such a life-changing experience. There is a girl I go to school with who is a prime example. First day of eighth grade, you could not get her to say two words. You could barely get her to say, “I’m good, how are you?” Now, when she got to her senior year, she was doing public speaking, she was judging, she was our


Rodeo Announcer

chapter president, she was leading the organization. That tells you how much they can break that bubble, get you out of your shell and make you into an outstanding human being. And when you say, “they,” you’re referring, I assume, to your FFA advisers. Let’s talk about the importance of those people. They do not get paid enough, I can tell you that right now. (Laughter) What kind of relationship do you see between the FFA speech contests you’ve done and what you do now as an announcer? In rodeo you have two-and-a-half hours to paint that picture that I was talking about. As a speech giver you have four to eight minutes to paint that picture of what your speech is about. You have that much time to explain what is going on, paint a picture of what is happening. That does relate a lot to what we do as announcers. We are informing people of something they might not be aware of. Let’s talk about your future. You’re going to graduate in 20 days. What happens then? For the summer, I will work in Canada for seven weeks. Then I’ll come back home in the middle of August and start college. I’m looking to pursue an Ag-Business degree. I’ll get that and then it will be just rodeo 24-7. Apart from announcing, what other services does your company provide? Lightning G Productions does announcing, sound and music, lighting, video, special effects (like lasers and pyro) and that kind of thing. We do event production and groundwork. Tell me about your role as a business owner and manager. It is a very interesting balance. You have to know when to spend money, when to hold back on things. You have to weigh your income and expenses. Back to the FFA thing, the SAE record book was pretty much my lifeline on keeping track of all that stuff. That record book has kept me on top of things and it has got me in the routine now where I can continue that for years to come. Of the various rodeo events that you’ve announced for, have you ever competed in any of them yourself? No, no, no. When I was growing up, everybody kind of teased me about if I was going to follow in my dad’s footsteps as a bull-dogger. If this was a TV interview, you could see that I’m not really built for steer wrestling. (Laughter) Announcing was always something that caught my eye, and the for-sure paycheck really makes it nice. A lot less likely to break your leg. You’re exactly right. And I’m not gambling my money when I leave the house, so I’m happy right where I’m at. You can read more of our interview with Garrett on our website, www.okffa.org. The best way to keep up with Garrett is his website, which is www.lightningG.weebly.com. You can become a Facebook fan of Lightning G Productions or follow him on Twitter @GarrettYerigan.


Meet Your 2013
Desiree Masterson
SE District VP

“You can chase a dream that seems so out of reach and you know it might never come your way. Dream it anyway.” – Martina McBride
We all have dreams. Big dreams, scary dreams, dreams you think you won’t ever accomplish. I’m here to tell you, you can accomplish them. Yes, you have the ability and drive to make your dreams come true. Oklahoma FFA members, if there was one single thing I could do over in my life, I would never have doubted myself. Doubt has killed more of my dreams than failure ever thought about. If I had it to do over, I wouldn’t let those special moments and opportunities pass because I was scared or just didn’t think I was good enough. I was good enough, and so are you. FFA members, you are incredible and remarkable. You can do and be whatever you want. There is a world to win out there. Go win it. There is greatness to be achieved. Go achieve it. And there is a difference to be made, and today is your day. Go make that difference. Don’t be your own worst enemy. If you decide you can’t, then I promise you won’t. If you decide you can, you’ll be right. But if you decide you will, nothing is ever going to stop you from reaching your dream. It won’t be easy. You will want to give up, you will want to quit and apathy will creep in. But don’t back down that easily. Dig deep. Give the extra effort. That’s what sets apart ordinary people from extraordinary people. Extraordinary people push a little harder, work a little bit longer and dream a little larger. Be extraordinary in everything you do. Always remember, you must not be afraid to dream a little bit bigger. If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t nearly big enough. Keep your head up, stay strong and just breathe. Most importantly, believe in yourself, just as I believe in you.


Desiree is one quarter Choctaw. Her biggest fear is grasshoppers.

2014 State Officers
Joshua Haven State Reporter

“Don’t make excuses for yourself. Be the best.” – Jason Witten, former Dallas Cowboy tight end
When I was a young boy, NFL football was an every Sunday event. As soon as the church service was over, I’d race home to catch the end of the morning game and watch games the rest of the afternoon. What gets you so excited that you can’t wait to get there or to be a part of a team, organization or event? Whether it is a sports team, an extracurricular activity or an organization like FFA, what is it that you never find an excuse to miss or to be a part of? Growing up, I was involved in everything I could be. Many times I had no idea what some of the organizations had to offer, what they expected of me or even what they were about. I just always took advantage of every opportunity to try something new. What about you? What opportunities are you missing because of an excuse you’ve made that is preventing you from stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new or challenging? After I made the decision to join FFA in the eighth grade, my agricultural education teacher challenged me to write and give a speech. Many excuses ran through my head that day – none that I voiced to my instructor. But I had thoughts like, “I can’t speak in front of a group,” or, “I can’t write a speech. I can’t memorize that. I just can’t!” But I didn’t let any of those excuses stop me. Many times over the last six years, I wrote, memorized and presented various FFA speeches. Yes, there were numerous opportunities to use one of those excuses, or to let the disappointment of not ever making it to state contest stop me from continuing to pursue the goals I had set in FFA. If I had let one of those excuses or disappointments stop me, I would not have the great opportunity to serve you as this year’s state FFA reporter. And yes, I am presenting numerous speeches, workshops and presentations to thousands of FFA members all across this state. What excuse will you use as a stepping stone to reach that goal you have set for yourself, whether in sports, FFA or life? Whatever it is, be the best!

When Joshua was 14, he caught a fish that weighed more than he did (155 lbs.).


Meet Your 2013
Lawson Thompson
NW District VP

Growing up in a small town, I had multiple opportunities to get involved and be active.
Throughout my grade school and junior high years, however, my one and only love was sports. As a coach’s kid, I had been around sports my whole life and naturally made them my priority. My priorities shifted my freshman year of high school when I enrolled in agricultural education and became a member of FFA. Suddenly, I was torn between loving sports and loving FFA. I struggled with that for a while, but then I realized it wasn’t a problem; it was an opportunity. You see, I didn’t have to choose one or the other. I could be in both, and not only be in them, but be very active in them. Being in a small school, fortunately, allowed this possibility. I know that students in larger schools sometimes may not have this luxury. If at all possible, however, I encourage you to pursue all of your passions. Don’t just choose one. In the end, becoming a wellrounded individual is worth it. Toward the end of my high school career, I did have to make a choice between the two. It had to do with my future. Would I pursue an athletic path in college or pursue an extended FFA path serving as a state FFA officer? The choice was simple. I knew if I wanted to truly be a leader and impact others’ lives, I needed to pursue my FFA passion. That was the best decision I’ve ever made, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. FFA members, your future will be whatever you choose to make it, and it all starts right now. Get active in your high school, become a well-rounded leader, find what you are passionate about and use every opportunity you have to serve others. Your high school years will be over before you know it. Don’t look back and say, “I wish I had.” Say, “I’m glad I did!


Lawson, who was nick-named “Saucy” as a child, attended 5 different schools growing up.

2014 State Officers
Steven Vekony
State President

An 11-year-old girl asked her father, “Dad, what are you going to get me for my 15th birthday?”
The father replied, “Daughter, there’s much time left.” When the girl was 14, she fainted and was rushed to the hospital. The doctor came out and told the father that his daughter had a bad heart. While lying in the hospital bed, she asked her father, “Daddy, am I going to die?” The father left, weeping. The girl recovered and got to go home from the hospital on her 15th birthday. On her bed was a letter from her father. The letter said, “My Dearest Daughter: If you’re reading this it’s because all went well as I was told. One day you asked me what I was going to give you on your 15th birthday and I didn’t have an answer. Today, I present my heart.” The girl’s father had donated his heart. There is one thing that everyone reading this has in common. You have a heart that is passionate for something. It might be sports, family, God or FFA. Isn’t it time to donate your heart to that something you love? You see, when we donate our heart to something we love, it gives us a chance to make an impact. When we love others and have the desire to make a profound, positive impact upon the world, then we will have accomplished the true meaning of life itself. Every day, the heart creates enough energy to drive a truck 20 miles. In a lifetime, that is equivalent to driving to the moon and back. Think about how many ag truck trips you have taken in your FFA career. Alumni Camp, Made for Excellence, Oklahoma Youth Expo and the state and national conventions (to name just a few) put quite a few miles on that dual-wheel, double-cab truck. Everywhere you go your heart is physically with you, but it might not always be evident that it’s there. Are you using the energy your heart creates every day to go that extra 20 miles? It’s time to start fueling your heart in everything you do.

Steven’s big loves (besides FFA) are competitive bicycle riding and listening to music.


“Real” Teachers
(Continued from Page A)

Here are a few of the many comments to Mr. Blair’s post: Paige Scott The teacher who impacted my life the most was, by far, my ag teacher! There are no words and there is no price to determine the value of a good ag teacher. Justin Eubanks My ag teacher was like my second father. He taught me about life and to be responsible. He even got me into college! I am proud to say I was an FFA member. Keep rocking on, ag teachers! Clark Stout I would like to say thank you for being an amazing Ag teacher. FFA will always be the best organization in the country and the world because of teachers like you. Joshua Joe Conaway You are doing much more than being a teacher and educating students. What you are doing is changing lives. Clay Drake Very well said, Mr. Blair. It’s sad that your fellow teacher doesn’t understand that we ag teachers spend more time with our school kids than our own kids or that we buy clothes, food, or whatever our students need out of our pockets, never asking to be reimbursed. I agree whole-heartedly: we are not just normal teachers, we go beyond and above without hesitation or delay. Great job on that post, buddy. Kim Allen I am so proud to have you as our Ag teacher and mentor for my girls. They love and respect you, and because of you, our Oologah kids are getting a real Ag and FFA experience. I appreciate your hard work and dedication and am proud to have you as our teacher, and friend.

And Mr. Blair’s response to the comments: I would like to say thank you to you all. I love my job. I love that I get to share my love of agriculture and its importance with my kids. I celebrate with them when they win, and I stumble with them when they fall. I am very thankful that I had some of the best ag teachers anyone could have. If it wasn’t for them pushing me to be better and being there when I needed someone to talk to, I wouldn’t be where I am today. By no means am I trying to take anything away from other teachers, because there are many, many great teachers who do their job and get little or no credit for the job they do. We are all in the same boat. The monetary incentive we receive may not be the best, but to me, when you watch a child have that “aha! moment,” its worth more than any value you could place on it. So looking back at that evening when you wrote that post and put it out there, are you glad you did it? Would you have done anything differently if you had more time to think about it? No, I wouldn’t change it. I think it opened some eyes a little bit. I tell everybody, “The reason I do what I do, they’re my kids.” They are my kids. I spend just as much time with them as some of them do with their own parents. They get to see me on a different level. I get to see them on a different level. You make that connection. The parents, the grandparents, the community members see that you care about the kids and they’re the reason you do what you do, it all falls in line after that. I tell my kids every year, “You are my kids and I will protect and defend you to the highest of my ability.”


Coming up in our next issue: 2014 State Convention Preview

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