7 tips to make your essays shine

minnesota member is two-time national snocross champion


plus: aguidetOmaking yOurpOst-highschOOl plans 


winter 2011-12

4 scrapbook
FFA news and achievements, reported by you.


8 powder power

28 career success
Get hands on with ag mechanics.


Minnesota FFA member is two-time National Snocross champion.

cover story

6 FFa Faces
Meet members from across the country.

12 what’s next?

29 living to serve
FFA chapters grow food for pantries.

A guide to planning your life after high school.

22 national officer Q&a
A fond farewell to the 2010-11 team.

30 ag 101
12 facts about citrus.

16 a mentor, a teacher, a Friend
Consider a career in agricultural education.

24 premier leadership
Ohio chapter works to stop bullying.

32 all about national FFa
FFA scholarships available now.

26 personal Growth
Make your essays memorable.


on the cover James Johnstad, snocross racer and FFA member from Beltrami, Minn. Photo By Antony Boshier
FFa newhOrizOns

Volume 59 number 2

The magazine of the National FFA Organization Editor kimnewsOmhOlmberg Associate Editor jessyyancey Content Coordinator blairthOmas FFA Publications Manager juliewOOdard FFA Communications kristymeyer,geOffreymiller Proofreading Manager raVenpetty Contributing Writers jessicamOzO,darryalray Media Technology Director christinacarden Lead Designer jessicamanner Senior Graphic Designers lauragallagher, janinemaryland,krisseXtOn,Vikkiwilliams Media Technology Analysts beccaary, chandrabradshaw Photography Director jeffreys.OttO Senior Photographers jeffadkins,brianmccOrd Staff Photographers tOddbennett,antOnybOshier Information Technology Director yanceybOnd Web Designer richardsteVens Web Developer yamelhall Color Imaging Technician alisOnhunter Integrated Media Manager rhOndagraham Controller chrisdudley Executive Secretary kristyduncan Ad Production Manager katiemiddendOrf Ad Traffic Assistants krystinlemmOn,patriciamOisan Accounting dianaguzman,mariamcfarland, shellymiller,lisaOwens Distribution Director garysmith Marketing Creative Director keithharris Executive Vice President raylangen Sr. V.P./Business Development scOtttempletOn Sr. V.P./Operations caseyhester For advertising information, contact Rhonda Graham, (800) 333-8842, ext. 324, or e-mail rgraham@jnlcom.com. 2010-2011 National FFA Officers President rileypagett,Ok Secretary landanschaffert,cO Eastern Region Vice President tiffanyrOgers,mi Central Region Vice President wyattdejOng,sd Southern Region Vice President jamesflatt,tn Western Region Vice President shannOnnOrris,nm National FFA Staff National FFA Advisor steVebrOwn Chief Executive Officer dwightarmstrOng National Treasurer mariOnfletcher Division Directors markcaVell,rObcOOper, dalecrabtree,billfleet,bObwebster, kentschescke,Vickisettle,leeanneshiller, tOnysmall,billstagg National FFA Board of Directors – Members Chair, USDE, VA steVebrOwn Treasurer, State Supervisor, AR mariOnfletcher State Supervisor, NV jimbarbee State Supervisor, MS wilburchancellOr FFA Executive Secretary/USDE, SC keithcOX Business Representative/USDE, LA alicedubOis State Supervisor, WI jeffhicken State Supervisor, KY curtlucas Associate Professor/USDE, FL briane.myers Business Representative/USDE, CO jOhnrakestraw 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 e-mail newhorizons@ffa.org. Periodical postage rate is paid at Indianapolis, Ind., and additional mail offices. Postmaster: Please send address changes to FFA New Horizons, P.O. Box 68960, Indianapolis, IN 46268-0960.

Visit FFA Nation to read past issues of FFA New Horizons, nominate a friend (or yourself) for FFA Faces and talk to other members in the online community!

digital magazine careers
Did you know there are eight career pathways in the field of agriculture? Learn more about each one in our 2011-12 College and Career Guide, hosted online in the careers section of FFA Nation. Want to see past issues of FFA New Horizons? Visit the Digital Magazine page to flip through issues back to 2008.

The FFA New Horizons Scrapbook page tells your FFA stories, so submit yours online.


Jessica hemby

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twitter.com/ nationalffa

Copyright© 2011 by the National FFA Organization and Journal Communications Inc. The National FFA Organization is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
Please recycle this magazine

Jessica’s favorite FFA memory is when a steer escaped from the school farm. She, along with her FFA advisor and fellow members, searched all over town, until they found it at a gas station.

like us on Facebook

facebook.com/ nationalffa


FFa newhOrizOns



FFa news From across the u.s.
A place to celebrate your FFA achievements, chapter successes and good deeds

liVing tOserVe
A poem, written by Matt Boulds from the Columbia-Burbank FFA chapter in Washington I’m trying my hardest, And so can you. I’m not an expert, But I am learning to do. I don’t know now, But I’m not concerned. I am not yet skilled, But I’m doing to learn. I’m working real hard, Trying to earn my keep. Devoting myself, losing my sleep. Using my time to give, and to give, Trying my best, earning to live.


sierra’s shoes
Sierra Coulthard came home from the National FFA Washington Leadership Conference this summer with a purpose. She had been challenged to make a difference, and Sierra took it to a global level. Working with the Soles4Souls program, Sierra has collected more than 915 pairs of gently worn shoes, all of them destined for Haiti, where many children and adults are shoeless. But she isn’t stopping there. Sierra is now raising money for her own trip to Haiti, so that she will deliver the shoes personally.

Working around my neighborhood Setting an example, making it good. Working hard, showing my pride, Helping my community with every stride. Some get what they don’t deserve, But for me, I’m just living to serve.


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a scientific experience
Three FFA members were chosen this year to be 2011 U.S. Department of Agriculture Wallace-Carver interns, one of the most prestigious internship programs in the field of agriculture. Trisha Collins from Iowa State University interned with the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa. Trisha is a member of the Pleasantville FFA chapter and a past state champion in the parliamentary procedure career development event. Kyle Bohrer from Beloit College also interned at the National Animal Disease Center. As an FFA member in Medford, Minn., Kyle was named the state star in agriscience and was a state winner in the emerging agricultural technology proficiency program. Zoe Anderson from Middlebury College interned at the Robert W. Holly Center for Agriculture and Health in Ithaca, New York. Zoe is a member of the New Visions TST BOCES FFA chapter in Ithaca, and she received first place in the New York agriscience exhibition.

FFa chartered 106 new chapters during the past year!


yOur turn
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

submit an essay, win a trip!
Where will you be on March 13? If you keep reading, you might be in Washington, D.C., taking part in the National Ag Day celebration. The Agricultural Council of America (ACA) is hosting an Ag Day Essay Contest, and the winners will receive a trip to our nation’s capital to be recognized during the Celebration of Ag Dinner on National Ag Day. There are two contests – a written essay contest and a video essay one, using the topic “Agriculture Every Day, Every Way.” The contest rules, instructions and application form will be available at www.hpj.com/agdayessay in mid-December.


this year, national FFa reached an all-time high in membership. today, there are 540,379 FFa members in the u.s., puerto rico and the Virgin islands. this represents a jump of more than 17,000 new FFa members in the past year!
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meet six FFa shining stars
Wrangler, the sponsor of FFA Faces, will award a pair of jeans to featured members
katherine bowen

Dakota cowger

This high school senior has served as her chapter’s historian and vice president. Katherine also participates in numerous career development events (CDEs), including FFA Creed, nursery and landscape, and forestry.

This well-rounded high school junior serves as FFA chapter president, grows and sells his own vegetables, and landscapes the high school. Dakota also enjoys parliamentary procedure and dairy foods.

alisha Fregoe


scotty keyser


This high school senior and chapter president has been involved with FFA for seven years. Alisha also promotes FFA through speeches and demonstrations for community groups and organizations.

Scotty currently serves as the Maryland FFA State Reporter. He has completed a technical course in agricultural metals and technology and has been a volunteer firefighter for more than three years.

caitlin clover

isaiah nelson

This high school senior lives on a small hog and crop farm called Clover Acres, and she teaches showmanship clinics for pig exhibitors at her local fair. Caitlin hopes to become a swine veterinarian or animal geneticist.

Upon entering high school last year, Isaiah joined three after-school programs, including aquaculture club, art club and the floriculture club. He has also made honor roll multiple times in his high school.

Nominate yourself to be considered for FFA Faces by following the steps below. Questions? E-mail ffanation@jnlcom.com. gOOnlineVisitwww.ffafaces.com andclickonnominations.youcan nominateyourselforanothercurrentffa member.



describefillouttheformtotellus aboutyou–yourffainvolvement, schoolactivities,futureplansandmore.


uplOadfindagreatphotoof yourself–headandshoulders photosworkbest–anduploaditaspart ofthenominationform.

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wder pO pOwer
minnesota FFa member is tw o-time national snocross champion


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“i have to work hard all summer to get to play in the winter, but it’s totally worth it.”

wanttofollowjames inupcomingraces? checkouthisfacebook page(jamesjohnstad #154),whichheupdates witheachnewrace.

FFa newhOrizOns


brother Andrew, who lifted the sled and gave me a ames Johnstad of Minnesota is used to defying the thumbs up to indicate James was okay,” says Marie odds to reach his goals. The 18-year-old FFA Johnstad, his mother. member is a two-time National Snocross champion, James says his mom and dad, along with Andrew but that title hasn’t come easily. and his older sister Kristina, are his biggest supporters Raised on his family’s 7,000-acre farm near the tiny and fans. town of Beltrami (population 101), James spends his “It was a very proud moment when James won summers working sun-up to sundown helping his father both national championships in snocross,” Marie says. David and older brother Andrew raise wheat, soybeans, “He has earned his way, and it shows as he is signed to sugarbeets and corn. David took over the family farm at race for Polaris with Judnick Motorsports again this the young age of 16 when his father Jim (James’ coming season.” grandfather) was killed in a car accident. But snocross isn’t the only thing that makes James’ David’s strong work ethic, which has helped the farm parents beam with pride. grow from 1,000 acres in 1971 to 7,000 acres today, has “We’re so proud of James in so many ways – we are clearly been passed down to James, who balances his proud of his willingness to help with whatever needs to farm work with snocross, football, FFA and school. And be done on the farm. He drives the combine during grain he still manages to be on the honor roll. harvest and is capable of doing “I have to work hard all any job on the farm,” Marie says. summer to get to play in the “We are proud of his eagerness to winter, but it’s totally worth it,” beltrami, mn learn all about farming. Dave says James, who is signed to race ffamemberjamesjohnstad especially appreciates James’ for Polaris with the Judnick farmswithhisfamilyin knowledge about technology as Motorsports team. ruralminnesota. farming becomes more He started participating in technology dependent.” snocross when he was 10 years After high school, James old, having watched his older plans to attend college at North brother excel in the sport. By age Dakota State University as an 12, James was racing in national agronomy major and then come competitions. At 15, he won two back home to work the family’s national championships in both farm. He says he enjoys farming the 14-15 and 16-17 age classes. because he likes working with “Snocross is a lot like his hands and finds the new motorcross racing, except you’re technology on tractors fascinating. on a snowmobile racing on snow and ice,” James “I’m proud to be from a small town, where everyone’s explains. “There are lots of jumps and tight corners, and a familiar face,” he says. “My graduating class is only 45 there are 12 to 15 racers on the track at one time.” people, but I think you learn a lot more at a young age Race locations vary from outdoor tracks and ski when you grow up in a small town.” hills to indoor domes and soccer stadiums. James During the upcoming 2011-2012 snocross season, competes in several states, including Michigan, New James hopes to qualify for the Winter X Games in York and Wisconsin. Aspen, Colo., which consists of the top 24 snocross “I try to get people to come watch the races if it’s not riders in the world. James’ brother Andrew raced in going to be too cold,” James says, and then laughs. “They the Winter X Games six times before retiring from get kind of scared if it’s 30 below zero outside.” snocross, and last year James missed qualifying by Like any sport, snocross has risks, and James knows only a few places. The event will be televised on ESPN that all too well. He has overcome injuries to his back in late January. and right thumb, and in February 2011, spectators at a “Once you win at nationals, it puts a big target on race in Detroit held their breath as they watched James your back,” says James, with a competitive edge in his get run over by his own sled after a crash. Fortunately, voice. “People really want to beat you.” he was pulled out from beneath the sled unharmed. “The first person to run to the sled was his older – Jessica Mozo



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t’s ha w neXt?
a guide to planning your life

after high school


ou can see the end: final tests taken, last dances danced, caps and gowns adorned, diplomas in hand. What comes next? Life in the real world offers several options to high school graduates: college, technical or trade school, a place in the workforce, service in the military. It is never too early to begin preparing for your future. No matter how close you are to that high school finish line, you can start to consider the options available to you after graduation.

You’re career oriented, focused on the future and know that you want to attend college after you graduate. But how do you prepare for your post-secondary education? Start by deciding which colleges you want to apply to. Consider what you want to major in, if you want to stay close to home or live far away, if you want to be around people who are mostly like you or if you want to

meet a diverse group, and whether extracurricular programs like collegiate FFA, student organizations, Greek life, and athletics are important to your college experience. You can get advice from friends and older siblings, your school counselor, your FFA advisor or one of your teachers, and go to college fairs when they visit your town. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, ask the schools to send you literature and visit the colleges’ websites. When you’ve whittled your list down to a manageable number, plan a visit. Try to schedule your campus visits when school is in session so you can get a good idea of what life is really like on campus. Start preparing for college before your senior year. College admission officers are picking from a large pool of applicants. To make yourself stand out from the crowd, make sure you are well-rounded, you have good grades, and you participate in extracurricular activities. When it comes time to fill out

those college applications, expect to be asked to provide those extracurriculars as well as your grade point average, standardized test scores, class rank, and one or more personal essays. Most schools offer a range of admissions options so you’ll want to research which your selected schools offer so you don’t miss any key dates. Regular admissions means the schools mail the decisions in April. Rolling admissions means that a school processes applications as they come in. You can apply at any time, but it’s best to be early because spots fill up. The earlydecision option is for students who are really sure about the school they want to attend, and who want to know earlier than April if they have been admitted. Be careful with this option because many – but not all – schools require you to promise that you are attending the school if you are accepted through early-decision, which means no backing out. Don’t cross a school off your list just because the tuition is steep. Ask
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If you are planning to join the military, contact a local recruiter and learn about your enlistment options.

your school counselor about possible community scholarships. Ask the school’s financial aid office about scholarships, grants, work-study programs and loans. Your high school guidance counselor should be a good resource for finding these. To apply for U.S. federal student aid, you have to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, although some schools use their own forms. Check with your school counselor to be sure you’ve covered all the bases when it comes to financial aid.

While you may not choose to go to college after high school, there is a different type of schooling that will help you learn a trade or craft so you can excel in your future profession. Technical or trade schools allow you to study in a hands-on classroom setting to become a ticketed journeyman in a trade such as an electrician, plumber, carpenter, master builder, mechanic, auto body technician, mason, drywaller, or heating and refrigeration technician. If you enjoy work that is both physically and mentally demanding

and have a specific interest in a particular skill or trade, technical school can help prepare you to enter your field. These programs have apprenticeships that allow you to work alongside professionals before taking the tests required to certify you as a full professional in the field. A career in a trade can pay well, be mentally stimulating, physically demanding and no one day will ever be the same as the day before. If you are interested in attending a trade or technical school, research those in your area of interest to find the best options for you. Your high school guidance counselor or FFA chapter advisor can help you find a list of programs in your field. While you’re in high school, you can take classes offered by your school that will give you extra experience in your future career. Agricultural education classes that offer training in shop work and mechanics can help you start to develop your skills before you graduate.

or because college just isn’t for you, getting a job is an important task after you have that diploma. For some, you already have a job that you will take on full time after graduation. Others will need to find a job once they’ve finished high school. Consider the differences between a career and a job before you decide to forgo college or technical school and immediately join the workforce. A career offers room to grow and advance, and it has increasing earning potential. A job simply pays the bills. Some will be lucky enough to get on a career path right after high school, while others may want to work a job for a while to save for post-secondary schooling or technical school programs. FFA member Josh Collins graduated from Purvis High School in Purvis, Miss., in 2002 and started working in an oil field not long after. He uses the work ethic he gained in FFA to push his way up the ladder. “My experiences in FFA taught me that hard work pays off to bigger and better things,” Collins says. “I learned to take pride in all my success and failure and turn it into something better.” If you want to join the workforce, opportunities are out there for people who don’t have degrees. Talk to your school guidance counselor, your FFA advisor or a favorite teacher about the job market in your area. Make sure your parents’ friends know you’re looking so they can alert you to any job openings they know about. Scour the classified ads in the newspaper and do some Internet research. Most large companies list their job openings on their websites.


Some will join the workforce immediately after graduating from high school. Whether it is because you are eager to launch your career, you need to save money for college,

After high school graduation, you may find your place in the U.S. Armed Forces, which includes the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force or Coast Guard. You can enlist in the military right out of high school – any time after you turn 18 – or you

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can choose to join after college. The Registered Officer Training Program (ROTC) is a tuition program for those interested in joining the military after they get a college degree. The military pays the tuition costs for ROTC members in exchange for limited military service while in school and full-time service after graduation for a predetermined period of time. Before you join the armed forces, ask yourself if it is right for you. The military is not only for those people who want to serve their country; it is for those who thrive in a strict and structured environment, who like helping people, who have a sense of adventure and who want to travel. Kyllian Genzmer was a member of Minico High School’s FFA chapter in Rupert, Idaho, throughout high school. When she graduated, she enlisted in the U.S. Army. “I joined the Army mainly because of FFA. Being in FFA taught me that there is so much more out there and joining the military gives me the opportunity to give back and help the country,” Genzmer says. In the military, you’ll have the opportunity to see the world, help people in some of the most crisis-laden places on earth and learn skills that many will never learn, such as skydiving, scuba diving, piloting an aircraft, driving heavy armored equipment and target shooting. To prepare to join the military, contact a recruitment officer in your region to learn more about the enlisting process, your options and what you should expect. You can find an easy 10-step guide to help you get ready, as well as contact information for recruiting officers at www.military.com/recruiting. Now that you know more about the choices available to you after high school, share your plans with us. Visit ffa.org/ffanation to continue the “Life After High School” discussion with other FFA members. – Blair Thomas

Welding schools offer career training and job placement assistance.

Want more help in deciding a career path? Visit FFA Nation (ffa.org/ffanation) and click on Careers. Our online College and Career Guide has information about jobs in agriculture and lists of businesses that specialize in those areas, as well as colleges and technical schools where you can get the career training you need. Visit ffa.org/ffanation to learn more.

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amentOr, ateacher, afriend
consider a career in agricultural education


ay Nash of Biggersville, Miss., calls them “a special breed.” Erica Whitmore of Odessa, Wash., calls them “a mentor, a teacher, a friend.” And Ken Couture of Killingley, Conn., can’t imagine being anything else. They’re talking, of course, about agriculture teachers – that special kind of teacher who may be teaching students to restore a 50-year-old tractor one minute and leading a lesson on hydroponics the next. “I have been doing this 28 years and every day I enjoy going to work, every day I enjoy seeing my students and every day it’s a challenge, but I would not do anything else,” says Couture. Trouble is, there aren’t enough agriculture teachers to go around, and that’s why the National Association of

Agricultural Educators (NAAE) continues its work to urge today’s high school seniors – that means you – to become tomorrow’s agricultural teachers. Nash, Whitmore and Couture – all agriculture teachers themselves – talked about their love of the profession in a video posted on the NAAE’s TeachAg website at www.naae.org/teachag, a site that also includes everything from games like “Are You Smarter Than Your Ag Teacher?” to “Day In the Life” blogs written by agriculture teachers. “Ag teachers spend a lot of time teaching about careers, but a lot of times they don’t think to talk about their own career,” says Julie Fritsch, NAAE communications and marketing coordinator. “Any ag teacher who has gone into the profession – probably 90 percent of them – will name their own
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Agriculture teachers use hands-on activities to bring classroom lessons to life.

high school agriculture teacher as the major reason why they chose to go into the profession.” Even so, agricultural teaching jobs go unfilled each year due to a lack of qualified teachers. According to the NAAE, there are about 8,200 high school and middle school agricultural education programs in the United States and Puerto Rico. Yet, each year programs close because there aren’t enough teachers. Tracking such shortages has been the aim of the national “Supply and Demand” survey conducted by the National

theaveragestartingsalaryforanagriculture teacheris$42,000peryear.agteachersare oftenalsocontractedduringthesummer monthsforeventslikecountyfair,ffacamps andcurriculumwriting.

thereareapproximately8,200middleand highschoolagriculturaleducationprograms inall50states.manyoftheseschools havemorethanoneagteacher,sothejob opportunitiesareplentiful!

Association of Agricultural Educators. Currently conducted by Dr. Adam Kantrovich of Michigan State University Extension, the most recent survey (published October 2010) estimated there were 30 positions that were available but went unfilled in 2009. Furthermore, the study estimated that 649 newly qualified teachers were prepared to enter the field in the fall of 2009, but only 457 of those would actually enter the classroom to fill about 840 positions. In many cases, those remaining positions were either filled by teachers who received emergency or alternative certification or the program simply failed to exist. “If we don’t have ag programs at the secondary level, where are our agriculturists of tomorrow going to come from?” asks Kantrovich. “The other issue is that we have a number of individuals who walk out with [agricultural education] degrees but take jobs in the ag industry. It’s kind of hard to turn down a better salary, a pickup truck and an expense account and not have to deal with the increasing amount of paperwork that you have to do within the teaching industry.” Larry Gossen, team leader for Local Program Success for the National FFA Organization, agrees. “I think a lot of it is students see how hard ag teachers work, the hours they keep, the time they spend and the weekends they’re working, and they fail to see the benefit side,” Gossen says. “We touch lives, we make a difference and we really do enjoy our work. Even though it is long and does include a lot of weekends, we still have a pretty good time doing that. We need to do a better job of communicating those benefits.” That’s just what the TeachAg campaign continues to do. The TeachAg website points out that a degree in agricultural education can be used in a variety of settings, including: • Ag literacy coordinator • Agricultural education professor • Farm business management instructor • Agricultural instructor at a two-year technical college

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• Adult agricultural education instructor • Young farmer instructor “There are more than 300 jobs related to agriculture, and farming is just one. We need food scientists. We need geneticists,” Gossen says. “We hear from major industries all the time that they’re concerned about where they are going to get their next pipeline of future employees and we need teachers to help create that pipeline.” That pipeline, Kantrovich says, should begin with today’s agriculture teachers in a heart-to-heart talk with high school seniors. “You’ve got to have that heart-toheart,” he says. “Every teacher out there sees those students who would make great ag teachers. They’ve got the personality and they’ve got the skills, and it starts off with that first initial, ‘Hey, wouldn’t you like to do this?’” Gossen agrees. “Students almost need to feel that as a calling. It takes a special student, a special person, to be a teacher because they’ve got to enjoy serving and enjoy touching lives and watching people grow,” Gossen says. “The biggest thing we can do to help get a student to become a teacher is to tell them point blank, ‘I think you would be a good ag teacher.’” – Darryal Ray

dowhatyoulove. lovewhatyoudo.
Do you love FFA so much you don’t want it to end? If that describes you, the National Association of Agricultural Educators wants you to consider a career in agricultural education. Why teach agriculture? Plenty of reasons, including: • Variety. No day is ever the same for agriculture teachers. One day, you may be in the classroom; the next day, you may be on a farm.

• Agriculture teachers teach by doing, not just telling. It is a true applied science. • You’ll get to share your passion for agriculture and reach students who might struggle in a traditional classroom setting. • The topics you’ll teach are limitless. It’s not just cows and plows; it’s satellite mapping, plant and animal science, alternative energy, agribusiness and much more. • A national shortage of agriculture teachers in secondary schools – and hundreds

more nearing retirement – helps ensure that there’ll be a job waiting for you upon graduation. Plus, your agricultural education degree can be useful in a variety of settings. Talk to your agriculture teacher about his or her job to see if it would be a good career fit for you. For more information or to find a list of schools where you can work toward your agricultural education degree, visitwww.naae.org/ teachag.

Many high school ag teachers point to agricultural mechanics or greenhouse management as favorite classes to instruct.


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Get to know your national FFa officers
think back to when you were thinking about joining FFa. what was your first impression of the organization?
riley: I remember wanting to be a real, legit, jacket-wearing, duespaying FFA member so bad that I could almost taste it. I would do anything to be a part of the “cool kids”. shannon: I couldn’t wait to learn more about agricultural career options and meet people from all over the nation. landan: I found myself awe-struck to be part of an organization that not only teaches students about ag, but also prepares them for life in general. wyatt: At first, I just joined because of the livestock evaluation career development event and family members who had been members. But after understanding more about it, my first real impressions were that I was blown away by the professionalism by its leaders and the fun factor. James: I liked the family aspect. I come from a very close family, and it was almost like I was at home. tiffany: Our family has always been very involved with FFA, so I have been


around the organization since I was little. I couldn’t wait until I could get my very own blue jacket!

howdoyouthink ffaispreparing studentsforthereal world?
riley: FFA and agricultural education teach transferable skills to students on all levels. It allows students to become involved in something larger than themselves and focus on leadership, communication, service and knowledge. shannon: FFA members are able to receive hands-on experiences, which help them develop leadership skills, network with industry leaders and other peers, and challenge them to reach new heights.


landan: I think FFA teaches respect, responsibility and resilience – three qualities that are essential for success in the real world. wyatt: I think the coolest thing is that FFA actually is the real world. It doesn’t matter what job or where you are located, you always have to work with people and know how your actions affect all others. James: When I meet FFA members, I can see how they are “go-getters” and ready to tackle anything they encounter, with their leadership and problemsolving skills. tiffany: It prepares students for the real world by teaching them the skills needed in their future careers and giving them the confidence in their abilities.


thenumber offfa jacketseach nationalffa officerwore thisyear

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average numberof stateseach officer visitedthis year.riley andshannontiedforthemost, visiting38stateseach.

theaveragenumber of“daysoff”each officerhadthis year.mostofthem spenttheirdaysoff athomewithfamily, butalsoplanning fortheirnext adventures!

ifyoucouldflyin ahot-airballoon overanycity,whatwould youchoose?
riley: Washington, D.C.


riley: I will spend quality time with my loved ones and in January, will re-enroll at Oklahoma State University. shannon: I will enjoy time with family and friends.

riley pagett

This Oklahoma native raised beef cattle, swine and Boer goats for his SAE program.

i think FFa teaches respect, responsibility and resilience – three qualities that are essential for success in the real world.
shannon: Rome, Italy landan: Washington, D.C. wyatt: I would want to fly over a large rural community so let’s go with… the Northeastern part of Missouri. James: Athens, Greece tiffany: London, England landan: I will return to college and pursue opportunities that involve my passions including inspirational speaking, politics and agriculture. wyatt: I am headed back to South Dakota State University to earn my degree in ag education. James: I’m going back to school at Tennessee Tech, but also hitting up some hiking trails and camping. tiffany: I will be heading back to school at Michigan State University to study agricultural law.

landan schaffert

Landan is a fourth-generation family farmer from Colorado, where he raised beef cattle for his SAE.

tiffany rogers


Tiffany raises Percheron draft horses in Michigan and develops curriculum to teach children about agriculture.

wyatt DeJong


Wyatt grew up on a 7,000-acre cattle ranch in South Dakota and is pursuing a career in ag education.

youryearasa nationalffa officeriscomplete. what’snextforyou?


James Flatt


thenumberoftimesjamesthinkshesaid“ffa”during thepastyear,notcountingthetimeshe'ssaiditinhis sleep(whichhisparentssaywasoften).


This Tennessee native has volunteered more than 1,800 hours for community service projects.

shannon norris


As an FFA member in New Mexico, Shannon focused on helping others develop leadership skills.

FFa newhOrizOns 23


Ridgeway FFA members released balloons to signify the launch of their “stop bullying” campaign.

standing up to bullies
Ohio FFA chapter demonstrates leadership by launching a “stop bullying” campaign


hen a Ridgeway, Ohio FFA member’s little sister was being bullied at school, the Ridgemont High School FFA chapter didn’t just stand back and let it happen. They put their heads together with their principal and guidance counselor to come up with a solution. “We noticed there were bullying problems at both the high school and the elementary, and we believed we had the leadership to stop it,” says Ashton McCullough, historian of the Ridgemont FFA chapter. Collaborating with their local
FFa newhOrizOns

Crossroads Crisis Center, Ridgemont FFA planned a Bullying Awareness Campaign that included a STOP (Students Taking On Prevention) the Violence Week, which was packed with activities designed to create awareness about what bullying is and the staggering effects of it. “Crossroads Crisis Center in Lima is a domestic abuse shelter that provides counseling and assistance to domestic violence victims,” says Stephanie Jolliff, Ridgemont FFA advisor. “We contacted them after reading an article in the Kenton Times that said

they wanted to reach out to schools to assist in breaking the cycle of violence, which usually begins as bullying. Crossroads has served as adult mentors for our FFA members and assisted in planning school-wide assemblies on violence.” Crossroads Crisis Center helped Ridgemont FFA organize a powerful “Please Remember Me” assembly where they told the stories of 25 people who died at the hands of domestic violence, often a long-term repercussion of bullying. At the end of each story, students blew out a candle and said, “Please remember me.”


Because the chapter’s goal was to change behaviors, they ran the Bullying Awareness Campaign throughout the entire school year even after STOP the Violence Week was over. “Several times we did a Mix It Up At Lunch activity, which is a national initiative to get students to sit with others during lunch periods,” says Shawn Smith, Ridgemont FFA president. “We had students pledge not to bully at the beginning of the year and launch off bullying with a balloon launch at the end of the year. During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we passed out informational materials on purple paper, dedicated an antidating violence book for our library and planted a bush to remember abuse victims.” The campaign encompassed the entire school district because FFA members didn’t want to miss the opportunity to change behaviors at the elementary and middle school levels as well. “At the elementary schools, we used the Chicken Little story to create their anti-bullying theme,” McCullough says. “Our high school guidance counselor, Ms. Kroetz, helped us relate the story to the kids and how bullying can impact a person’s self-esteem. We did role-playing with the students, and it really hit home about how their words make others feel. At recess, the kids made their own ‘pledge to not bully’ signs and had everyone sign them.” About 95 percent of Ridgemont High School students participated in the campaign, and school bullying dropped 65 percent during the program. “The response was positive because it was lead by students, for students,” Smith says. “Bullying is an issue in every school, so it is important that the students, who can impact it most, are on the leading edge of stopping it.” Ridgemont FFA members agree

the atmosphere at their school has changed dramatically as a result of the campaign. They plan to expand it during the 2011-2012 school year and hope to share it with schools across Ohio and the entire country. “Now walking down the hallway, I don’t feel the negative vibe I used to feel,” McCullough says. “One idea I am excited about for this year is involving the drama department and music students in the writing and presentation of a play that will demonstrate the impacts of bullying

and what it feels like for students who are bullied.” Ridgemont Guidance Counselor Jessica Kroetz says she loves working with FFA members to brainstorm new ideas and events. “We are planning to begin a peer mediation group for the students to assist each other with bullying issues and other concerns,” Kroetz says. “I see this as a great way for our kids to learn to solve their own problems and work together.” – Jessica Mozo

FFa newhOrizOns 25


on the write track
Make your essays memorable by revealing your personality and character
ike it or not, writing is a big part of life in high school and college. You’ve likely been writing essays for English classes and other subjects for several years, but they will become even more important as you begin applying to colleges and filling out scholarship applications. While writing an interesting, personal essay may sound intimidating, it doesn’t have to be with the right amount of time and thought put into it. You already know the obvious essay-writing tips, such as following directions, using correct grammar and spelling, and proofreading, but a truly excellent essay goes beyond the obvious. To really catch the eye of a teacher, or a scholarship or college admissions committee, take a creative approach. “A great essay is personal, accurate, informative, concise and complete,” says Teri Buchholtz, who manages the National FFA Scholarship program. “For FFA scholarship applications, please remember there is limited space for students to let us know who they are and what they wish to do with their lives. Being wordy or repetitious simply to fill up space contributes little to the impression you are trying to create.” Be descriptive. “For example, instead of saying, ‘We live on a family farm and grow premium corn,’ expanding that statement to include more facts like, ‘The farm has been in our family for generations, and creating an environment to grow


premium corn is more than our way of life – it is our passion,’ provides insight into your life and adds to the length of your essay in a natural way,” Buchholtz explains. Consider these additional suggestions for writing an essay that will create a lasting impression.

4. Draw the reaDer in with a Great openinG sentence.
Think about what will spark your reader’s attention. What gets your attention when you begin reading a book or article?

1. choose a topic that excites you.
Write about something you are passionate about. If you aren’t excited and inspired by your topic, your reader certainly won’t be, either.

5. write From the heart.
Don’t try to impress readers with fancy words or overly technical terms. Show your weaknesses – don’t try to look like Superman. “Essay readers can tell if you’re trying to write for Hollywood or the college board,” Hill says.

2. show, Don’t tell.
Go beyond just stating the facts. Be descriptive, and help the reader see and feel your experiences. “Writing about how you earned three blue ribbons at a county fair for raising the fattest pig is nice and commendable, but what was it about that experience that was a lifechanger?” says Lisa Hill, founder of www.schooltechtalk.com.

6. use transition sentences.
Transition sentences are the glue that holds your paragraphs together and helps your story flow. Avoid changing thoughts abruptly between paragraphs; instead, ease the reader into your next idea so they will want to learn more.

3. unDerstanD the Formula.
Just like in math, there is a formula for writing a good essay. “The first paragraph contains the hook, or topic sentence, and introduces what you are going to write about,” Hill says. “The middle paragraphs provide the story, or meat, of your essay. And the final paragraph is the conclusion, or the ‘So what?’ paragraph, describing why the experience or event was important.”

7. create a Great conclusion.
The last paragraph – the ‘So what?’ – ties your thoughts together. “How did this compelling event really affect your life, your goals or your dreams?” Hill says. “Did you learn something? What would you have done differently? How did this experience prepare you or open your eyes to what the future will offer you?” – Jessica Mozo

FFa newhOrizOns


FFa newhOrizOns 27

1. aG mechanics technician
Agriculture mechanics technicians service and repair farm equipment. Entry level technicians generally perform routine maintenance, such as changing air filters or annual service inspections. More experienced technicians may service hydraulic, braking or electrical systems, or find jobs at machinery production plants. Programs in occupational safety and preventive maintenance will help you prepare for this career, as will hands-on training in service and repair.

2. aG machinery salesperson
Salespeople market agricultural equipment. Many travel to see prospective customers in order to make sales or call lists of potential clients to generate leads. Then, they schedule meetings or product demonstration in order to solicit a sale. If a product is sold, they may also train the farmer on equipment functions. Individuals in this field are product savvy and know the technical side of farm equipment and how it operates.

3. aGricultural enGineer
Agricultural engineers design and construct agriculture equipment and structures, ranging from tillers to storage facilities. They assess technological needs with farming requirements in order to create efficient machinery. These engineers may also be responsible for writing agricultural machinery guidelines or manuals. Agricultural engineers must complete a four-year bachelor’s degree program in agricultural engineering that has been approved by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

mechanically minded
Get hands-on with a career in Agricultural Mechanics
nterested in a career in the mechanics of agriculture? Want to work in a field that develops, repairs and operates technology and machinery that helps increase agriculture outputs? If so, a career in agriculture mechanics may be for you. Today’s American farmers are efficient and productive, thanks to innovations in mechanics. As further advances are made and farming output increases, the role of agriculture mechanics in farm machinery, engineering, sales and service continue to grow. Learn about four careers in this industry where you can help agriculture continue to advance and prosper.

4. GolF course turF manaGer
Agriculture mechanics careers are typically thought of as jobs around farming, but there is a need for skilled mechanics in more urban settings as well. Golf courses need people with skills in landscaping and equipment repair. Those who design and install the field, turf, landscape and golf course drainage and irrigation systems also have training in agricultural mechanics. Additional urban jobs in this field include mechanics and equipment operators at parks, air conditioning specialists and hardware store employees. – Blair Thomas


Visitwww.ffa.org/ffanationandclickoncareersformore informationontheagriculturalmechanicsindustry.

FFa newhOrizOns


help for the hungry
FFA chapters partner with Land O’Lakes to grow food for local food pantries


f you’ve ever wanted to do something to help others, now is your chance. In 2011, the Land O’Lakes Foundation partnered with six FFA chapters in five states to create community gardens where members grew, harvested and donated fresh produce to local food pantries. Together, they harvested more than 25,000 servings of produce to help families in need, and the Land O’Lakes Foundation hopes to at least double the number of gardens and the amount harvested in 2012. “FFA involvement in our project has been fantastic,” says Lydia Botham, director of the Land O’Lakes Foundation. “The leaders and students are who really make the garden program happen. Despite weather challenges that included drought, hurricanes and floods, the students have worked extremely

hard and persevered.” The six community gardens were located in Arden Hills, Minn.; Bangor, Wis.; Houston, Miss.; Imperial, Neb.; Pana, Ill.; and Ulen, Minn. The Bangor, Wis., garden was grown by six members of the Bangor FFA chapter and their local cooperative. They grew more than 5,000 pounds of potatoes, cucumbers, leaf lettuce, onions, radishes, tomatoes, small pumpkins and sweet corn, and donated it to a local food pantry. “This project was extremely successful, thanks to the students’ hard work and dedication,” says Jenelle Thorman, FFA advisor at Bangor High School. “They worked hard to keep the weeds down and strategically planned their planting schedule so the vegetable crops would be ready for harvest at various times. – Jessica Mozo


FFa newhOrizOns 29


it’s citrus season!
Welcome winter with a delicious orange or grapefruit
You may associate the holidays with receiving fruit baskets overflowing with oranges, tangelos and grapefruit, but did you know that citrus is in season? Yes; while much of the U.S. is blanketed in snow, the citrus groves come alive with vibrant colors of green and orange. Most orange and grapefruit varieties reach maturity between December and April, and are primarily sold as fresh fruit or processed into juice. Citrus is big business for the United States; the total U.S. citrus industry is valued at $2.9 billion dollars.

From the Grove to your Glass

top citrus states
Most citrus trees will freeze below 28 degrees Fahrenheit, so a warm climate is essential. The vast majority of U.S. citrus is grown in California, Arizona, Texas and Florida. The state of Florida grows about 70 percent of the total U.S. citrus production.

Citrus only ripens while on the tree, so grove managers test the fruit while it's still hanging. Samples of juice are tested for brix and acid, which determine the flavor. Once the oranges pass the test, the fruit is picked, either with mechanical harvesters or by hand. The fruit is then sold, tested, washed and graded for bad or damaged fruit. At the processing plant, the oranges are separated by size, and the juice is extracted. A finisher screen removes the pulp and seeds, which are used for by-products like cattle feed.

1 2 3 4 5

Most Florida oranges reach maturity between December and April, depending on the variety.

After evaporating most of the water content out, the remaining juice is called concentrate, which is later combined with filtered water to produce the orange juice seen in the grocery store.

$753 million

in 2009, total u.s. citrus exports were valued at $753 million. Fresh oranges and orange juice were the major export items, followed by fresh grapefruit, lemons and limes, and grapefruit juice. major overseas markets for u.s. citrus include canada, Japan and Source: Agricultural Marketing Resource Center www.agmrc.org the united kingdom.

FFa newhOrizOns


/ com d ok. -E ebo SU-Ag c w.fa s/T ww page

us o


Case affiliated

College of AgriCulture, HumAn And nAturAl SCienCeS
• Nashville’s Land-Grant University • Small Class Sizes, Big Opportunities • Active Collegiate FFA • Leaders in - Job Placement - Financial Support - Diversity - Agriscience Education

Learn more: www.tnstate.edu/agriculture
3500 John A. Merritt Blvd. • Nashville, TN 37209 • (615) 963-7620 • tsuaged@gmail.com


FFa newhOrizOns 31

(Required by 39 U.S.C. 3685)
Title of publication: FFA New Horizons Publication number: 1069-806X Date of filing: Sept. 26, 2011 Frequency of issue: Quarterly 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 headquarters 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 2011 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 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.


FFa news you can use
apply For FFa scholarships
It's time to put your FFA leadership positions, supervised agricultural experiences and community service projects to use! Those experiences can help you win cash for college through the National FFA scholarship program, which awards $2 million each year in scholarships to FFA members and other eligible students. Scholarships are sponsored by businesses and individuals through the National FFA Foundation and are given for a wide variety of experiences, career goals and higher education plans. They are available to high school seniors and students already in college, and the application is completely online! The online application process starts Nov. 15 and is available on ffa.org. To be the first to know, “like” FFA on Facebook! All
FFa newhOrizOns

Start your FFA Scholarship applications and download resources for National FFA Week
scholarship applications will be due by 5 p.m. EST on Feb. 15, 2012.

prepare, plan, enJoy
Preparing for the 2012 National FFA Week can be easy; just follow these tips to ensure a fun, successful experience for you and your chapter. First, as a group, decide which activities you’d like to host. Plant a community garden, work with a collegiate FFA chapter to plan an event or hold a clothing drive. Next, decide how you’ll get nonFFA members involved in the fun. Consider inviting friends to participate, or pique their interest by giving away FFA pens or mints. Lastly, don’t forget to spread the word about this special week before February rolls around. To accomplish this, hang posters around your school, and ask your town’s mayor or other official to announce the upcoming events. Learn more at ffa.org.

A. Total number of copies (net press run) 554,547 563,333 B. Paid circulation 1. Mail subscriptions (paid and/or requested) 474,011 482,268 3. Sales through other non-USPS paid distribution 69,399 70,720 C. Total paid and/or requested circulation 543,410 552,988 E. Total free distribution (sum of 15D) 11,136 10,345 F. Total distribution (sum of 15C and 15E) 554,546 563,333 G. Copies not distributed 5,377 7,187 H. Total (sum of 15F and G) 559,923 570,520 I. Percent paid 97.99% 98.16% 16.This statement of ownership will be printed in the Winter 2011-12 issue of this publication. 17. I certify that the statements made by me above are correct and complete.

Julie Woodard, National FFA Organization



FFA New Horizons state inserts keep YOU connected to what’s going on in your state or others. • State FFA news and achievements • FFA member profiles • Career information • Meet state FFA officers To learn about creating a state insert for your FFA association, contact Kim Newsom at knewsom@jnlcom.com.

flip through our


california ffa
Winter 2011

Check out our



TaBle of conTenTs
Page B-C State Officers on the go Page D-e Outstanding Chapter: Bakersfield-Frontier FFa Page F-g american Degree Recipients

Page F-g State Officers Special Feature Page H-I Public Speaking Champions’ Tips Page J agriculture in India Page K greenhand Leadership Conference

Page L-M Regional Updates Page N National FFa gold Winners Page N Future Dates Page O-P Chapter Scoops


state officers on the Go
Dear California FFA, Our team has had an amazing start to the year, and so far, it has flown by! We started out the year with Blast-Off training where we spent a few days in San Luis Mary, Kenna and Clay with the Yolo Section Officer Team Obispo getting to know ourselves and our sporting their Cal Ag License Plate T-Shirts team. A few weeks later, the team headed to the National Leadership Conference for State Officers held in Bryce Canyon, Utah. We spent a week with the officer teams from five other state associations, discovering how to work as a team and utilize each other’s strengths. Since then, we have attended trainings put on by UC Davis, Cal Poly Pomona, Chico State, Fresno State and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. During the month of August, our team focused on gaining a deeper understanding of California agriculture through industry tours. We visited Bolthouse Farms, Harris Ranch, the E.A.T. Foundation, Full Belly Farms and more! We had an awesome time expanding our knowledge base and spending time with industry professionals. One of the highlights of our year so far has been conferences! During the summer, we held the Regional Officer Leadership Conference at Bass Lake. It was great to see the talent of the regional leaders who will be guiding our association this year. Also, our team attended Sectional Officer Leadership Conferences where we were able to meet sectional officers from across the state and assist them as they prepared for their year of service. We are now beginning to attend Chapter Officer Leadership Conferences. During these conferences, we present our theme skit and put on workshops. So far, these conferences have been amazing! We love seeing the uniqueness of each chapter and its members, as well as getting to travel to the different regions of California. Additionally, we have begun a much anticipated part of our year: chapter visits! We can already tell that these visits are going to be a major highlight of our year. It constantly amazes us how willing families are to open their homes to us and how supportive schools and communities have been. Members of the California FFA Association, we can’t thank you enough for making these last several months so incredible. You consistently astonish us with your sincerity and willingness to share your story. We look forward to seeing how each of you embodies our theme this year, “California FFA … A Story of Excellence. Define Your Role.” Thank you for inspiring us, teaching us and allowing us to share a fantastic year with you. We look forward to the rest of the year! See you soon! Love, Nicole, Kenna, Mary, Jacob, Clay, Chris


Jacob with the North Coast Region Officers during cabin time at ROLC

Mary Steves, Nicole Billington, Gage Wiley, Jordan Johnson, Marleigh Ostrom and Seanna Griffs at the Superior Region COLC dance

Nicole with the Santa Rosa FFA Officer Team during the North Coast COLC lip sync contest

The State Officers with the Chapter Officers of Atwater High School during the chapter-wide barn dance

Lauren Huffaker, Leah Gibson, Hunter Scroggins, Tyler Menane, Kenna Lewis and Mary Steves having a whip-cream war at the South Coast Region Sectional Officer Leadership Conference dance


outstanding chapter
Bakersfield-Frontier FFa
Biology, Veterinary Science, Agriculture Economics and Agriculture Government through the Frontier FFA program. In addition, those who want to develop exceptional leadership skills can enroll in Agriculture Leadership. One major goal of the Frontier FFA Chapter is to inspire members to step up as leaders in their community. Each year students are given the opportunity to plan and participate in one of the largest community service projects, Food for America. This program allows chapter members to increase the agricultural literacy of more than 500 elementary students who visit our campus for an entire day in May. It is here that real-world education combined with hands-on learning allows for us to discover in ourselves the power of agriculture education. During the holiday season the Frontier Chapter has created “Christmas Caroling for Canned Goods.” In this event a float is decorated and driven to nearby neighborhoods where students sing carols in exchange for canned foods, which are donated to the local homeless shelter. Students also host an annual Staff Ranch Breakfast during National FFA Week showing off their unique

The Frontier FFA Chapter is located in Bakersfield, California in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley. Of the 2,400 students at Frontier High School, 20 percent are enrolled in the agriculture education program. Whether it is SAE Projects, FFA activities or classroom instruction, our chapter strives to incorporate all three circles of agriculture education throughout the year. Advisors teach a variety of classes that allow students to receive UC science, social science and A-G elective credits. It is possible for members to take courses including Agriculture Resources, Agriculture

More than 55 Frontier FFA Members participate in Food for America each year


culinary skills while attempting to make “made-to-order” omelets for our staff. Our emphasis on SAE Projects starts when members are freshmen in the Agriculture Resource class. This teaches our members responsibility and helps to develop a good work ethic. Over 90 percent of our members hold a major SAE project throughout the year. This includes growing crops, working in the agriculture industry and raising livestock. Each year nearly 120 members participate in the Kern County Fair with market and breeding animals. This has become a major tradition for Frontier, and

the hard work of these students is rewarded when they receive more than $197,000 in combined market animal sales. The Frontier Chapter also incorporates the classroom by guiding all students on a four-year pathway in agriculture education. Students completing year four of their agriculture education focus on careers in the field of agriculture. This includes their participation in Frontier’s annual “Making the Connection Ag Business Luncheon,” where each student must connect with an owner, operator, manager or CEO of an agriculture production company; conduct a career-focused

interview; and bring their Ag Business partner to a professional, business, networking luncheon hosted on campus. The Frontier Chapter is proud to have so many passionate and dedicated members. Their hard work is the reason why our chapter placed third in state for Natural Resources, third in state for Advance Parliamentary Procedure, fifth in state for Novice Parliamentary Procedure, and first in state for Extemporaneous Public Speaking. Some of Frontier’s most recent accomplishments include two regional officers, two sectional officers and two national delegates.

Frontier FFA Officers retreat annually during the summer to work on team-building activities and plan events for the year

Leadership students teach elementary children the importance of agriculture practices in their daily lives

Members proudly display competition awards


american Degree recipients
arBucKle Joan Cain Jacob gwerder arroyo GranDe Marissa Mankins Zach Nichols Michael Pankey alex Ramirez aTwaTerBuhach colony Loren Migliazzo BaKersfielD analiese Scrivano BaKersfielDfooThill Jessica Cardon Jacquelynne garcia Joe Madrid Chelsea Ryea BaKersfielD-norTh Kelsey Sears BreT harTe Trevor arirola Breanna Benton amie French calexico Hugo aguilar Rudy Carbajal camarillo Lori Sanborn campBell Frances Negranza carpinTeria Natalie allen ceres Bastiaan Weststeyn chino Memorie aguerre allison andrews Brittani green Matt Lusby chowchilla ariel Barcelos Kaleb eye Karly Nieuwkoop clovis emily Cehrs Cole Rinehart colusa Morgan Bressler Hayden Meyers corcoran Joseph Conley Jake Figueroa Javier Flores Chelsea Vanepps coTTonwooDwesT valley Jessica Vazquez Del norTe Christian alexandre DelTa Holly Chesnut Justin Dorris austin Hill Sam Merwin Tim Montzingo Denair Brittany Pinney Dixon Keylee Jacobs austin Knapp Dos palos Sydney Westbrook easT nicolaus Josina Conant Matt Conant el cenTro allison Cameron elK Grove Jordan albiani Chelsea Molina Lauren Moss elK GrovepleasanT Grove John Quinn escalon Lindsey anderson Rosebud Brumley eureKa Stephanie Bonomini Sara Hylton Hannah Lovfald exeTer garrett Baker John Crum Jason gagnon Jonathan Rodriguez Kayla Sandoval Tamara Tollison fallBrooK Melissa Maultsby Taylor Zumstein fireBauGh amy Crockett Dillon Knight Quinton Parker florin Hugo Cruz Nickolas Moran fowler Victoria Bowman amy Hansen Jarod Smith fullerTonsunny hills Marlisa Nordstrom Cody Wallace GalT Ryan Denier Vincent Pellegri alexis Silva GolDen wesT Robert Walther GusTine Monica Jorge Sylvia Medeiros alexa Nunes hamilTon ciTy Colby anderson Miguel Carrillo Daniel Jones Drew Knight Lauren McCorkle hanforD Tyler Beck Olivia Caetano Seth Dewey l. Dias Val evans Chad Hanse Mak Hays Dale Henry Brandon Lee Phillip Nunes Breanne Pacheco Shae Paulo ellis Sheldon Kristyn Torres Lee Wisecarver hayforK Colby Brown David Vandervoort hilmar Devin Baptista hollisTer erica Bianchi Dustin Franco huGhson Michael Berner Ryan garcia inDio Jacob Lauritzen Kerman Savannah Volkoff Kern valley adriana Chaffin KinG ciTy Kaitlyn Beach Christopher Harless alejandro Huitzil Napoleon Miranda David Salazar KinGsBurG Nicole Billington allexandra Brandon Chad Carter Joshua Fridlund Kierston gardner Matthew Henriksen Shelbi Kautz Mancini Mancini laKe isaBellaKern valley Shaunna edwards laKesiDeel capiTan emily Cary Matthew Mellott Kate-lynn Wagner laTon Miguel Jimenez James Myers Maninder Singh Jacob Thomas le GranD Justin gonzales leBec-frazier mounTian grace Thomas Shelby Thomas lemoore Jessica Coelho ashley Correia Lauren Droogh Meagan evangelho Janessa guerrero Lizandro Lopez Kalena Mellott Kelsey Morrell Jared Overmyer ethan Silva linDsay ashley Benitez liTTlerocK Juan garcia livermore Bronte Phillips

special feaTure


clay: The willingness of people to not only take us into their homes, but truly make us feel welcome.

mary: Feeling so appreciated by the members we visit and the houses we stay at. It’s been so humbling.

nicole: How open and willing members have been in sharing their stories and letting us get to know them.

chris: The opportunity to travel and deepen my understanding of agriculture, and how much the industry leaders support this organization.

JacoB: How much people are willing to sacrifice both inside and outside of the FFa in order to see our team succeed.

Kenna: How thoughtful and generous members have been in opening up and welcoming us into their homes. The students have made us feel so comfortable!


livinGsTon alexander Waite loDi erica greenmyer Hannah greenmyer Makenzie Humphrey loomis-Del oro Mathew Sinclair los Banos Kara Orr maDera Dominic Bettini Brittany Cavaletto Sierra Meyers gabriel Sanchez marysville Margery Magill moDesTo Kyle Mendes moDesTo-enochs Cory arlt Jerry avila Michael Baker alyssa Perez morGan hill ashley Budde alejandra Dimas morGan hillsoBraTo Kathleen Bello Christina Cefalu Sarah Martin Briana Wallash nevaDa union Kateyln Bielen Kendal Butterfield Ben granholm emilee Smith nipomo Breanna Baker Steven Cox Ryan Kasson Brittany Lasalle Brooke Phillips

norco Jessica Crawford oaKhursTyosemiTe amanda Bagwell Cody gambril Clayton guillemin Steven Zimmerman orlanD Loretta Howard parlier elizabeth Farias Silvestre gonzales paso roBles afton Sawyer peTaluma Mandy Brazil Samuel Cheda Ralph Cunningham erin Monahan pine valleymounTian empire Katelin garbani Madison Maximo pioneer valley Kelee Harding porTerville Jade Bell Matt Bonds Maddy Chaney Tre Davis Casey erickson Nicole ervin Brent Hosfeldt Jared Hughes Robert Konda Kaitlyn Lane Tiffany Mekeel Blake Shannon Sonnie Shew poway alexandrer Mandrusiak Sarah Morris Desiree Nihart

reeDley Daniel egleston Sean Miller rio visTa Kenda esperson ripon Kyle esisenga John esteves Matthew Fields Kaitlyn Milam Megan Ratto Joel Talbot riverDale Cassie Miner salinas Matthew Doughty Ilana Pickard sanGer Katherine Spendlove ashlee White sanTa maria Juan Bedolla Manuel Miranda Patricio Orozco Ramon Orozco sanTa maria-riGheTTi Kevy Souza Caroline adam Vincent Flores alexandrea guerra Jonathan Velazquez sanTa rosa ashleigh Dunn eric Parsons sanTa ynez Connor Wolford selma James Clawson shafTer Matthew Whitbey elizabeth Wilson

sierra Cheyenne Hefley Briana Kehn soleDaD Dariela Sanchez sonora Kendra Brennan sonora-la haBra Nathan Kuester Timothy Mullion sT. helena James Regusci Rachel White TempleTon Blake ginder Nolan Hildebrand Devon Pitts garrett Roth Nicole Sonne Matt Vierra Tomales Lianne Nunes Tracy Stephen Miller Tulare Christa Cardoza Landon Fernandes Jacob gomez Manny gonzalez Jared gregory ethan Junio Clint McClure amanda Meneses addison Nunes Hannah Pacheco Morgan Sousa TulelaKe andrew Huffman german Marquez TurlocK Dominic agresti-assali Robert Jansen Dylan Linhares Monica Soares

TurlocK-piTman ethan alvares aubree atwood austin Day Jonathan Rodriguez Brittney Thomas visTa Daniel Rivas wasco David almaraz Juana Doroteo Jayson edgerle erik Figueroa Oscar Raya wheaTlanD Joseph Bishop willows Staci Bettencourt winTers Catherine anstead wooDlanD Cameron Delsol Dusty Dyer wooDlanD-pioneer Paige Nafzinger

naTional ffa convenTion winners*
naTional career DevelopmenT evenT champions Ag Mechanics – Visalia-golden West Job Interview – amika Osumi, arroyo grande Marketing Plan – galt Parliamentary Procedure – grass ValleyNevada Union naTional proficiency awarDs winners

*More detailed updates on winners to come in the next issue! naTional aGriscience fair winner Zoology Division III – Marlen Diaz and Carina Partida, Ceres-Central Valley naTional aGriscience sTuDenT of The year Mary Steves, escalon naTional aGriscience Teacher of The year Beth Knapp, atwater

Ag Processing – William Brewster, Hanford Diversified Crop Production Placement – Kurt Parsons, Porterville Environmental Science – alexandria Macedo, Tulare Equine Placement – Brittani green, Chino Sheep Production – Nolan Hildebrand, Templeton Specialty Animal Production – Damon Pombo, Tracy


public speaking champions’ Tips


after your speecH, tHe judges will ask you questions. How do you prepare for tHe questions before tHe contest? Read. The more information you read the more information you retain. By reading as much as you can, you expand your knowledge and are more equipped to answer questions.

wHat are tHe “dos and don’ts” of filling out a job application at tHe actual contest? Always look at the format of the job application first! It is very easy to put information on top of a line when you were supposed to put it below a line, so make sure you understand where you should be printing before you begin. Do not try to put too much information, you will run out of time. Lastly, make sure your writing is neat and that your spelling is accurate; these aspects are what will make or break your score compared to other competitors. wHat advice do you Have on answering questions? Listen to the question that is being asked! If you don’t understand or didn’t hear the question asked because you are so nervous you think the judge is speaking another language, then do not be ashamed to ask for it to be repeated. In my experience I have learned that in order for an individual to be able to successfully answer questions, one’s answers must be from the heart. Do not try to memorize statistics and big vocabulary if that is not normally how you speak. Answer with passion, insight and experience, not with robotic unemotional answers. How important is your personal appearance at a public speaking contest? I have always taken my personal appearance very seriously; the way you present yourself says a lot about you. For job interview a potential employer wants a mature and responsible employee, which can be reflected by your appearance. Girls, public speaking is about looking polished not stylish; that means simple or no jewelry, natural makeup and nails, hair out of the eyes and pulled back in some way, and professional skirt and heels. Guys, professional black shoes are a must, not black vans or boots. A lint roller is a must! Also, try to eat breakfast without your uniform on and other meals with napkins covering your jacket and skirt/pants. Have you ever made a mistake in a contest? wHat do you do to recover? During the final round of my national creed speaking contest I still remember saying a long “uhhhh” in one of my answers. It is very important to not ponder on mistakes while competing; once they have been made there is no going back, so make up for it in the rest of your performance. A mistake may seem like the end of your world for a moment, but a

Tino rossi
Bakersfield Frontier FFA Chapter

How do you complete Hand and facial gestures tHat look natural? Congruency is one of the most important parts of giving an effective speech. By congruency I mean what you’re saying should match how you’re saying it, your facial expression while you’re saying it, and the hand gestures you make while saying it. Jurisdiction and belief in what I am saying often creates natural congruency. If you are excited and passionate about what you are saying, it will come natural. since you only Have 30 minutes to develop your speecH, wHat strategies do you recommend on organizing your speecH? Never spend too much time on specific details, sentences or words. I always chunked it into three parts: background, current status, and possible outcomes. Also, I became as familiar with my topic as possible in the 30 minutes, so I could create the rough skeleton of ideas and fill in the meat as I said it in front of the judges. wHat advice do you Have on organizing your binder before a contest? First off, make sure all your materials have a source listed. I always organized based on topic – never on a scenario. I grouped things together that were applicable to the other. For example, a lot of the time my technology related speeches included bio tech, so I put those two topics next to each other. How do you keep track of time? I wore a watch my last year of extemp (best decision I ever made). My coach always told me you don’t have 30 minutes to write your speech, you have 15 to write it and 15 to practice it. During those 15 minutes of practice you can get a real idea of how to pace your speech so you can manage your time.


amiKa osumi
Arroyo Grande FFA Chapter

do you get nervous wHen you speak in public? if so, How do you deal witH nerves? No matter how many times I have been in front of a crowd speaking I will always get nervous, but I have come to realize that it’s a good thing. A professor of mine shared this simile, “Public speaking is like riding a motorcycle; the day you don’t feel any fear of riding is probably the day you should stop riding.” Being nervous is a given in public speaking for me, and I have found that it helps me perform better; it gives me some adrenalin and energy to work with. How do you prepare for a job interview contest? One of the ways I prepare for job interview is by setting up as many interviews as possible, not just through FFA resources but through high school resources, local university resources, businesses, family, etc. Your high school should have a career counselor who will be able to help give advice. When preparing for states I interviewed with my principle and counselor – this helps to practice under stress. wHat items sHould you bring witH you to tHe actual contest? For all competitions the items allowed at the contest differ; for the creed competition you shouldn’t bring anything with you, but lip gloss, water and Kleenex etc. can be given to your advisor/parent to hold while you are competing. It’s a good idea to leave your cellphone in the car or at home; cellphones are absolutely not acceptable when competing. For job interview, pens are must to have in your pocket. Make sure to read the rules of each competition to make sure you are following the guidelines.


great overall performance will fade away the mistake, so try your hardest to forget about the error you made. Secondly, don’t apologize if you mess up unless it was offensive; apologizing can sound very unprofessional.


or uncomfortable, I would try new ones until I felt that it seemed natural. While everyone’s expressions will be different, I think it is a must to smile when delivering the creed. There are many serious parts of the creed, but it is important to find the portions with a happier tone to show your enjoyment of the creed and the joy in agricultural lifestyles. wHen do you raise and lower voice and put more empHases on certain words? Like hand gestures, this was something that kind of just felt right. After trying a lot of different versions with no success, my ag teacher said the creed the way he wanted me to fluctuate my voice, and this set me on the right path towards a powerful, commanding presentation of the creed. For each speaker, I think it depends on how you deliver the creed. I always used a powerful tone of voice and chose to emphasize words based on my tone. sometimes it may be very difficult to present tHe ffa creed in front of your peers at scHool; How did you overcome tHat? I just focused on my presentation and tried to show my peers my best performance yet. While it was tough to present the creed in front of them, I was proud of my accomplishments and wanted to show them the product of my hard work.

wHat is tHe best ‘outline’ to use wHen developing your speecH? Your speech should be set up as an intro that states your issue and solution. Then go into a background discussion on your topic. After you’ve covered this, you need to state your solution and the information to back up your solution being effective. Finally, the conclusion should wrap up the whole speech. How do you keep tHe audience’s interest? The most important thing in keeping the audience’s attention is having an effective speech, combined with a natural and pleasant voice fluctuation. Being too up and down, loud or quiet deters from what you’re saying, while a choppy speech can also limit your ability to sound pleasant. Having intriguing or hard-tobelieve facts in your speech also helps to grab the audience’s attention. wHat are Helpful ways tHat you recommend on memorizing your speecH? Memorize the speech one step at a time – don’t try to do it all at once. Get your speech done early so you can memorize a paragraph a night. Also, it helps to put what you’re memorizing up in places you go often. To help me memorize, I used to put my speech up in my shower and on the mirror in my bathroom, so when I was getting ready, I would look at my speech.

Tony lopes
Gustine FFA Chapter
wHat advice do you Have for a first-time ffa speaker?

Practice. I think all the afternoons and morning practices I had with my instructor helped me do as well as I did. Every morning we would practice saying the Creed and then we would go over questions, and this gave me a better comprehension of the Creed. By saying the creed over and over again, I was able to feel confident that I wouldn’t make any mistakes and that I could answer all of my questions with an understanding of the creed. It is also very important to have fun. If you aren’t enjoying what you are doing, why would you want to continue doing it? If I didn’t have fun with the Creed or enjoy working at it, I would not have made the commitment I did and ultimately, would not have won. wHat are Helpful ways of memorizing tHe ffa creed? I had a lot of trouble memorizing the creed correctly. While early on I was able to say the entire creed, I would switch around or change words in my head. It took a lot of repetition to break this habit. I took the FFA creed paragraph by paragraph until I had it perfect. When I learned paragraph one I would say paragraph one and two together, when I learned that, I would say one, two and three together until I had the entire creed memorized. How do you ignore distractions wHile presenting tHe ffa creed? I would always try to focus on what I was doing and not allowing others to get to me or effect my presentation. It is important to ignore all distractions when presenting a speech because you don’t want all of your hard work to be wasted because of a simple distraction. How do you complete Hand and facial gestures tHat look natural? It was just something that “came” to me when we were practicing. I think that for every speaker it is different depending on what feels comfortable to them. When I first started I would try new gestures, and if they felt robotic


ashley JuDGe
San Luis Obispo FFA Chapter

wHat advice do you Have on cHoosing a topic? Choose a topic you are passionate about. You will enjoy working on your topic and researching so much more if your topic is something you really care about or even better, have a direct tie to. You will give your speech and answer questions better as well because you possess the passion behind that issue. wHere do you go for resources? The most reliable sources are always the .edu or .gov sites. Government and educational sites, combined with sites put forth by industry organizations are the best for retaining facts and opinions. Other agricultural publications like magazines and newspapers can also be reliable sources. When going through resources though, it is important to read through everything and throw out any bias opinions or facts.


agriculture in india
SLO FFa Reporter Shares Her Story …

Namaste from India! Did you know that India ranks second worldwide in farm output? And out of more than 1 billion people in India, 234 million of them have agriculture related jobs! According to the Indian Department of Agriculture, every year India produces 436.62 million tons of rice, 356.46 million tons of wheat and 54.19 million tons of cotton, and they export these products all over the world. It is probable that the rice you eat is imported from India because agriculture exports makes up 11 percent of all Indian exports. India’s environment is very prolific during the months from June to September as these are the Monsoon Months where there is a lot of rainfall. Because of this, India is able to produce many fruits and vegetables in this fertile environment. In fact, 10.9 percent of the overall vegetable and fruit production in the world correspondingly is produced by India, and the most papayas, mangoes and bananas in the world are grown there. Over the past three months of summer, I had an extremely incredible adventure in India! While visiting family and traveling all over, I experienced, first hand, life in a non-industrialized, agricultural area. Every morning I would wake up to have a cow herder deliver milk to my house, and a “vegetable walla” or farmer would come and bring a fresh daily supply of vegetables. Driving down the street, there would be cows blocking traffic and cow dung pies were scattered in the roads. This

natural smell surrounded me everywhere I went. Livestock is a very important part of India. There are 191 million cattle in India. In India, the cow is a very important part of Hinduism, and it is a holy animal that can’t be harmed. This reverence for cows can be traced back to Lord Krishna, or Govinda, (meaning “one who brings satisfaction to the cows”) an important figure in Hindu religion. According to the religion’s major texts, he appeared 5,000 years ago as a cow herd thus milk is important in daily life and in religious rituals. In honor of Govinda, or Lord Krishna, the cows are allowed to roam free and are not branded or bred. Because there is no system to distinguish cows, there are many instances where cows are swapped and it goes unnoticed. The cow herders don’t mind either. I became friends with a 60-year-old, retired, cow herder named Ghandabhai. While interviewing him, he said, “I used to let the cows roam on their own and collect them to milk at the end of the day. I have sold all of my cows, and now I only have one cow left. Its name is Gordi, and she gives me milk every morning.” Active cow herders go from door to door selling fresh milk from the cows. To purchase a good cow that is larger, it is 1,000 dollars maximum, but there aren’t many large cows because they are very skinny and their ribs can be seen through the skin. Cow herders are very poor and don’t receive government funds,

therefore cows are fed from donations of the public. During the weekend, people go to where the cows stay and feed them hay, but sometimes grazing cows rip open garbage bags and eat trash. It is illegal to kill cows for meat and citizens are sent to jail. Some men on the streets of Ahmedabad were spotted stealing cows to kill for meat, and they were jailed. Even in McDonald’s, beef isn’t sold. The only available burgers are made of Paneer (Indian cheese) or made of vegetables. Being in India has really made me more conscious of the environment and agricultural pursuits, and I appreciate America even more. Being Agriculture literate in America, I was very curious to compare the differences between products of the United States and India. India produces many fruits and rice; although there are many cows present, none are killed for meat due to cultural reasons. Traveling to India enlightened me in so many ways, and I hope to return soon!

Cows run loose in local urban area, knocking over trees and getting into garbage and trash bins

A cow walks down the main highway of an urban city. Everyone goes on with their daily lives, not thinking anything different

SLO FFA Chapter Reporter, Kaesha Freyaldenhoven and two local cow herders


an inside look at the Greenhand leadership conference
Written by Kaitlin Wanner, East Nicolaus Reporter (From the perspective of East Nicolaus FFA) Lights! Camera! Action! There are several Greenhand Leadership Conferences that happened in the 2011-2012 school year! East Nicolaus High School was fortunate enough to be able to host one of the Greenhand Leadership Conferences this year with the theme of Hollywood. It took place on Wednesday, September 14. One hundred and eighty freshmen attended; they received a free T-shirt, lunch, and gained loads of information about FFA and what it can offer them. The presenters who taught the kids were college students who were past FFA members and State Officers. They started off their day by dancing and cheering into the meeting room. All of the greenhands broke off in color teams, and they competed to see who could win the most points by having enthusiasm and knowledge of the FFA. The presenters split off into separate groups with their kids. The freshmen learned skills such as the three keys to success, the five Cs to teamwork: commitment, collaboration, confidence, communication, competence and many more helpful tips in becoming a good leader. East Nicolaus freshman Tanner Gamble said, “I learned teamwork and learned how to make the next step in my life.” After learning how to work together, the students were able to test their skills in teambuilding activities; they had to apply skills like working together and trusting one another. The Greenhands had a fun-filled day of FFA. It was their first real introduction into all of the opportunities they have within FFA. When asked if they would recommend this conference to the incoming freshman next year, Ty Stevenson stated, “Yes, because you have fun and learn skills for your future.” The presenters told us that East Nicolaus is their favorite venue for hosting this conference. Our chapter did not only supply the facilities, but also prepared the food and helped in any way we were needed. We are so grateful for having been able to have this opportunity and can’t wait until next year. Hopefully, we get to host again.


regional updates

souTh coasT reGion
Written by Lauren Huffaker, South Coast Region FFA Reporter 2011 sectional officer leadership conference, september 10-11, best western colony inn, atascadero, california – Around 30 Sectional FFA leaders gathered at the Best Western Colony Inn in Atascadero to take valuable skills taught by South Coast Region, State Leaders and California’s National Officer Candidate Sam Doty, as well as other Sectional advisors, at the 2011 Sectional Officer Leadership Conference. With the theme being “South Coast Region the Happiest Place on Earth,” members were able to celebrate and learn in the creative and innovative atmosphere that Disneyland has to offer. Getting the opportunity to explore leadership abilities with fun Disney characters, the Sectional Officers experienced first-hand how to conduct a meeting, learned about the process to putting on a Sectional event or contest, as well as public speaking tips throughout the conference. The South Coast Regional Officers all look forward to seeing how they take these abilities back to their sections in order to better the FFA programs around their counties.

officers lead their chapter to its fullest potential. We accomplished this by workshops held by state officers and regional and sectional officers. After all the hard work of the day we would celebrate by hilarious skits, groovy dances and laughter filled lip syncs. The Superior Region believes our chapters are ready to achieve greatness with their newly acquired skills. Each member can contribute and get motivated because in the end it is the Power of You!

norTh coasT reGion
Written by Else Stuart, North Coast Regional Secretary Crescent City to Half Moon Bay North Coast Region all the way! Though we may be spread far and wide, we all agree that this year we’ve gotta Believe to Achieve! With that theme in mind, the NCR has been busy as ever. As COLC quickly passed, the regional officer team worked tremendously hard in preparing a conference full of leadership skills and exciting times. Chapter Officers gathered at the College of the Redwoods to spend two full days packed with fun, leadership training and a great lip-sync contest! In addition to the Chapter Officers, other FFA members did their fair share of traveling, too. Bright-eyed and curious Greenhands piled into white vans and were carted off to their very first conference, the Greenhand Leadership Conference. The Greenhand Leadership Conference is truly preparing the leaders of tomorrow. The NCR is proud to announce that we sent four voting delegates to the National FFA

superior reGion
Written by Alanna Smith, Superior Region Reporter Our story of excellence started off in a cold, green, cute little camping resort. The Superior Region held its annual Chapter Officer Leadership Conference September 15-19 at Camp Tehama, made possible by Mr. Greg and Mrs. BJ Growley, the caretakers of Camp Tehama. Our COLC is split up into two sessions, with a whopping total of 52 chapters coming in those four days! It is designed to help chapter


Convention as they helped to represent the great state of California. As we move forward in our year, the NCR reminds you that all you’ve gotta do is Believe to Achieve!

san Joaquin reGion
Submitted by Kelcie Jones, San Joaquin Regional Reporter This year, the San Joaquin Regional officer team wanted to portray the idea to their fellow members that each of us are in control of the path we choose to take in the journey of life. During our summer retreat we decided on the theme “Your Life, Your Journey, Your Risks.” We felt as if every member in the San Joaquin Region, no matter what level of involvement, could relate to this theme. At the San Joaquin Sectional Officer Leadership Conference our team was able to continue to promote and uphold our theme through State Officer workshops, team-building exercises and leadership activities. We hope that each and every Sectional Officer took with them the idea that they are truly in charge of the path they choose to take in life. From there, the Sectional Officers took what they learned at this leadership conference and applied it to conducting a Chapter Officer Leadership Conference within their section. It is through conferences like these that the San Joaquin Region is able to continue to develop and train the leaders of tomorrow who will carry and sustain the future of agriculture.

Inspire.” Our officers want the members of the Southern Region to inspire compassion, diversity, courage, strength, service and humility. When your actions inspire others, you are a true leader. In August, Southern Region held our Section Officer leadership conference. Our five sections met together for two days to learn, bond and prepare for the upcoming year. We were also presented our Ag promotional video that demonstrates that Southern Region isn’t all just beaches and babes. This 2011-2012 year, the Southern Region officers are ready to inspire the members of the FFA.

cenTral reGion
Submitted by Austin Weatherby Central Region Chapter Reporter Central Region FFA, as we like to say, is in the Heart of California. We consist of six sections and 64 chapters! Recently we held the Sectional Officer Leadership Summit 1 (SOLS). This is a one-day conference where the Regional Officers are able to meet with the Sectional Officers and discuss our plans for COLC. We enjoy workshops, mixers and lots of pictures taken by Mrs. Landeen! Soon the Regional Officers along with help from the State Officers will be hosting our Chapter Officer Leadership Conference (COLC). This is our favorite event of the year because we witness theme presentations, lip syncs, and take part in fun-filled activities that help chapters grow together and strive for a better future! This years’ Regional theme is Leadership in Motion. This represents the fact that the journey to become a great leader is constant. Everyone has skills and flaws that they can work on. It is through programs like FFA that students will learn to utilize their strengths and better develop their weaknesses!

souThern reGion
Written by Abby Adam, Southern Region Vice President To start the year off, our Southern Region team was able to go on a retreat to bond and have some fun. Whether it was getting Saran wrapped together or dying of laughter while watching our region advisor Mr. Havens get a bucket of water dumped on him, the retreat was a blast! At the retreat, our team chose our theme for the year, which is “You Can


national ffa Gold winners

Agricultural Mechanics Repair and Maintenance Entrepreneurship – Sam Van Vuren, Ripon FFA Sam is from Ripon FFA. He has worked for several local farms repairing and maintaining equipment. Sam hopes to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to major in Ag. Business. Beef Production Entrepreneurship – Erica Bianchi, Hollister FFA Erica is a graduate from San Benito High School. She has more than 70 head of Horned and Polled, Hereford, Charolais, Red Angus and Pinzgauers, in addition to some crossbred cattle. Erica is currently attending Modesto Junior College, and she plans to transfer to a four-year university to continue in the beef industry. Diversified Horticulture Entrepreneurship/Placement – Ben Jacques, Fallbrook FFA Ben Jacques is a senior at Fallbrook High School. He manages the Fallbrook Agriculture program’s nursery. After high school, Ben plans to attend college and work in the nursery or landscape industry. Nursery Operations Entrepreneurship/Placement – Hannah Johnson, Sierra FFA Hannah Johnson is a member of the Sierra FFA. She works at Western Color Growers. She plans to attend college and obtain a job in forestry and wild land management. Poultry Production Entrepreneurship/Placement – Katelyn Bielen, Nevada Union FFA Katelyn is a member of the Nevada Union FFA chapter. She raises meat birds and sells the eggs from the hens. She hopes to one day be an agriculture lobbyist. Swine Production Entrepreneurship – Shelby Meyer, El Capitan FFA Shelby is a senior at El Capitan High School in Lakeside where she is from. She currently has four sows that produced 53 offspring last year. Her future plans consist of attending college to major in Ag Communications. Vegetable Production Entrepreneurship/Placement – Alfredo Cervantes Alfredo graduated from Lompoc High School. He works at Baroda Farms, a large artichoke producer. He aspires to pursue a degree in crop science or Ag Communications. Wildlife Production and Management Entrepreneurship/ Placement – Jordan Madrid, Firebaugh FFA Jordan is currently a senior at Firebaugh High School. He buys day-old pheasant chicks and raises them to be released in the local area for hunting. He aspires to work as a mechanical engineer.

exTRa! exTRa!
Materials Due by 11:59 p.m. (time magazine is published) Tue., December 27, 2011 for Spring 2011 issue mon., march 19, 2012 for Summer 2011 issue wed., september 19, 2012 for Winter 2012 issue


1) Submit an article about your chapter’s recent activity. a. article should be 100-150 words. (If article exceeds 150 words, it will be adjusted at the editor’s discretion) b. Please do not include members or advisors names within the article. c. The “Chapter Scoop” should be about an interesting and/or unique type of FFa activity. 2) attach a gReaT quality digital photo. a. ensure the photo is in color and showcases a picture to help further explain the submitted article. b. Photos that are acceptable include members in appropriate clothing and displaying appropriate behavior. 3) email the above information to Michelle Jimenez at caffainsert@ yahoo.com. a. The Subject of the email must include your chapter’s name. b. In the email, please include the author of the chapter scoop. * If the Chapter Scoop does not meet the above qualifications, it may not be included in the publication. Materials sent after the respective due date will not be included.


chapter scoops

huGhson ffa
ffa and 4-H celebrates county fair achievements
Submitted by Brad Borges, Chapter Reporter

Kids involved in 4-H and FFA in the city of Hughson are celebrating their success at the most recent Stanislaus County Fair. The two groups not only had an incredibly strong showing in the livestock categories, but both also won the coveted Thurman Award, a title that honors outstanding 4-H and FFA exhibitors at the fair annually.

established. Now, 54 years later, in 2011, La Habra FFA is beginning the new year with a face lift. Brand-new renovations took place over summer to upgrade the existing facility. With a state grant given to the Fullerton Joint Union High School District, the chapter was able to renovate the classrooms, add a 600-squarefoot floral/science lab, extend the pasture fence line, purchase state-of-the-art shop equipment, livestock supplies and add fresh, new landscaping to the front of the farm. With the new economic improvements, energy and irrigation costs will stay at a minimum and help the farm run more smoothly and efficiently.

arvin ffa
Submitted by Alma Rubio, Chapter Reporter

The Arvin FFA Chapter kicked off the year with a Back to School BBQ/Water Wars Olympics and had more than 75 members in attendance. The activities’ purpose served to welcome our current FFA members back to the new school year, getting them pumped for a

Winners of the Thurman Award are considered to be the most complete club’s at the fair. Winners are chosen based on their accomplishments in chapters and clubs. It is said that “The winner of the Thurman Award, is basically the most diverse group at the fair.” Hughson 4-H and FFA had students participating in areas like landscaping, horticulture and ag mechanics, among others, with a total of more than 100 exhibits entered in the fair.

la haBra ffa
Submitted by Manuel Magdaleno, Chapter Vice President

On January 4, 1957 the La Habra FFA chapter was

year of fun and success. Members participated in several fun water-related activities to help cool off from the warm summer temperatures in the San Joaquin Valley. The activities included a tug-of-war hovering over a 30-foot slip-n-slide, a water balloon war of officers vs. the members, and a fun relay race including a whip cream pie-eating contest. The chapter officers and members created a sense of team work and competition as they raced to see who could become victorious in each of these fun activities. The Arvin FFA Officers and members are extremely motivated for a year filled with fun adventures and chapter success!

ToKay ffa
Submitted by Emily Schneider, Chapter Reporter

The Tokay FFA has recently been working on assembling a grape mural and commodity mural for the 74th annual Lodi Grape Festival. This year’s


chapter scoops

aTwaTer ffa
Horticulture expansion underway at atwater High school
Submitted by Trazarra Manuel, Atwater FFA Reporter

grape mural is 8'x12’ and made entirely of several types of grapes grown on the school farm. The 4’x4’ commodity mural was made with various commodities such as rice, beans, corn, alfalfa, almonds, lima beans and chili peppers. Numerous chapter members worked day in and day out, and even gave up their weekend to make sure both murals were complete. All of the hard work paid off when the grape mural won best of show and the commodity mural received first place. Tokay FFA also submitted about 150 boxes and plates of grapes for judging. The chapter won many first and second places for their grapes. The Tokay school farm is home to more than 47 different varieties of grapes. On behalf of the Tokay FFA, we would like to thank all of the community members for their time and support with all the grape festival entries.

The Atwater High School Agriculture Department continues to grow with the current expansion of a new horticulture facility. A new 80’x50’ outdoor nursery is being constructed that will hold various student tree and shrub horticulture projects. In addition, the facility will have a mini grapevine vineyard to serve as a viticulture laboratory and garden plots for the county special education students to get hands-on horticulture and garden experience. Over the past several years, the floriculture and horticulture classes have continued to expand with more and more students gaining hands-on experience in horticulture science. The various horticulture projects are grown, maintained, and sold to the community every October and May through the Atwater FFA Plant Sale. All funds go directly back into the horticulture program and reinvested in new supplies, equipment and facility expansion. For more information on Atwater FFA, log onto www.AtwaterFFA.org or look them up on Facebook.

hilmar ffa

Submitted by Anton Fernandes, Chapter Reporter

To show community support, on August 24 Hilmar FFA held a kid zone daycare center for the children of the adults attending Hilmar High School’s back to school night. Hilmar FFA Officers and other FFA members were responsible for different activities for the children such as chalk drawing, face painting and the ever famous bounce house. The success of the event was evident in the 15 children who attended and the good times and memories shared by all. In addition to their hard work, the FFA officers and members who participated in this event received community service hours for their efforts in this successful evening.

sanTa ynez ffa

Submitted by Anna Ramirez, Chapter Reporter

At the Santa Ynez FFA Chapter, we try to keep it easy for as many students to be involved as possible. That’s why the Santa Barbara County Farm Bureau teamed up with FFA to create a program called the Blue Jacket Bonanza, which purchases new jackets for members. To qualify for an FFA jacket, members must submit a written application, perform at least 10 hours of community service and interview with the Farm Bureau Board. The members who receive jackets are recognized at the end of the year Farm Bureau Banquet and also at our Chapter Banquet. In the first year of the program, the Blue Jacket Bonanza has helped sponsor four Santa Ynez FFA members.



rgia FFA News
December 2011

Official Publication of the Georgia FFA Association

FFA Members Shine at the Georgia National Fair (pg 7)
State Officers hit the road to visit local FFA chapters. (pg 6)


IllInoIs ffa assocIatIon
Winter 2011

Check out our



Page D
Farm Progress Show

Page g
Meet Your State Vice President

Table of Contents
Page B
Illinois State Fair

Page e
Chapter Visits

Page H
Officers’ Tracks

Page C
DuQuoin State Fair gROWMaRK Meeting

Page F
National Convention

Illinois – a

Illinois state fair

Every year the Illinois FFA hosts an informational petting barn next to the grand stand at the state

Section Six President Kye Wytek tells visitors about the Mini Rex rabbit he is holding at the petting barn.

fair. Over the ten-day span of the state fair, the FFA barnyard saw guests from all fifty states, as well as visitors from ten countries outside the United States. During the state fair, the major state officers along with section presidents took care of the animals and fielded questions from fairgoers. This year the petting barn held dairy calves, ducks, chicks, rabbits, goats, sheep and pigs.

From left, Section 15 President Caleb Behme and State Vice President Jim Tobin tend to the sheep during their time at the state fair.

B – Illinois

DuQuoin state fair & GRoWMaRK Meeting
After the Illinois State Fair, Chris and Jacob traveled south to the DuQuoin State Fair to drive in the annual parade with section presidents and FFA members. After nearly two weeks of the Illinois State Fair, the DuQuoin State Fair provided a relaxed atmosphere with some great fair food. While Chris and Jacob were in DuQuoin, Mike, Jim, and Clayton went to the GROWMARK annual meeting. The meeting, held in Chicago was an opportunity for some of the Majors to meet members of the GROWMARK family. They learned more about cooperative business, and 2012 was named the “year of the cooperative.” Mike gave remarks about the importance of leadership, and a performance by The Band Perry provided a great time for those in attendance!

Illinois – c

farm Progress show

This year’s Farm Progress Show was hosted in Decatur, where agricultural companies from around the world came to showcase their newest, biggest and most advanced machinery and products. The major state officers met up with Indiana’s state officer team to help out at the Titan Tire Auction. Titan Tire donated more than $79,000 worth of agricultural tires to raise money for the FFA Foundation. Although the weather was hot, spirits were high as the auction raised huge profits for the Illinois and Indiana FFA foundations.

State Farm presents Illinois FFA with a $2,000 check to help fund projects and promote agriculture and the FFA throughout the year.

D – Illinois

chapter Visits

Every fall the major state officers split up for chapter visits. Chapter visits give every chapter in Illinois the opportunity to visit with state officers and learn more about the Miles of Opportunity in FFA. This year, the focus was on the problems facing agriculturists with a growing population and the difficulties that an increase in population presents. Becoming involved in FFA is one of the

first steps toward being a solution to this problem. At the end of every chapter visit, members are asked to set some goals as a way to track their progress in high school and beyond. Mike, Jim, Chris, Jacob, and Clayton had a great time meeting FFA members and preparing them for their journey with the FFA.


Illinois – E

National Convention

The Illinois FFA traveled to Indianapolis as they do every year for the National FFA Convention. The national convention is an opportunity to see the huge variety in agriculture and within FFA. Business sessions are held at the national convention as a way to have each state’s voice heard at the national level. This year some topics discussed were the Floriculture CDE, increased middle school opportunities with FFA, creation of competitive events for collegiate FFA and more. After an exciting day in sessions, members attended concerts, rodeos, and had the opportunity to socialize with over 50,000 FFA members. The national convention was a great time for all those in attendance. For more information on national convention and National FFA, visit ffa.org.

F – Illinois

Meet Your state Vice President
Jim Tobin

Until a few years ago, I had no idea that agriculture held so many opportunities. I didn’t know what an FFA jacket looked like, let alone the doors it would open for me. I grew up in rural Bellflower with my parents, Paul and Peggy Tobin, and sister, Katie. Although we lived in the country, my family and I were never involved with production agriculture. The closest we ever came to livestock was a few cats and a dog or two. While I was growing up, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, Fred and Cobina Reynolds and Jim and Eunice Tobin. On any given day, I could be found playing Scrabble with Grandpa, cooking with Grandma, or helping out with Grandma’s flowers or Grandpa’s vegetables. Throughout elementary and middle school I received good grades and spent some time with my close friends but it wasn’t until junior high that I really started to come out of my shell and become who I am today. When I was in the 8th grade, I wrote a paper for the VFW’s Patriotic Pen essay contest. Little did I know I would be the state winner and need to read my speech in front of around 500 people. I endured my new public speaking career but was relieved when the speech was over. A few months later, I sat in my first introduction to agriculture class with my teacher, Adam Swigart. My classmates and I were required to memorize the FFA Creed and present it for the class. I was selected as the chapter winner and began to practice for the next competition. With the help of Mr. Swigart and my English teacher, Don Anton, I won at the section and district level and was able to compete in the top ten at the state competition. My freshmen year, I not only competed in the creed but attended National FFA Convention and several other FFA activities, but I never could have guessed that the best experience was yet to come. That summer, I attended Illinois FFA Leadership Camp. I honestly wasn’t very excited about camp. However, only a few hours in, I realized that it would be a great time. I’ll never forget the state officers, section presidents, camp staff, and other members that helped me get the most out of my time there. When I left camp, I not only had the skills and knowledge to be successful in the FFA, but I had the drive to be a part of this organization. I wanted to be involved in FFA to help better myself and those around me. The following school year, I started to take advantage of all of

the opportunities FFA had to offer. I became a chapter officer, competed in every contest I could, won our section and district extemporaneous public speaking events, and received a third place ribbon at the National FFA Agriscience Fair. My FFA career continued to thrive over the next few years, and I became a section reporter and then a section president where I had the opportunity to serve Section 16 and all of its members. Over the years, my FFA resume has grown but the skills I’ve obtained in my jacket don’t go away when I change outfits. Before graduating, I had held the office of president in every student organization at Blue Ridge High School, including National Honor Society, student council, and my class. During my junior year, I also helped to found the Blue Ridge Key Club chapter and acted as charter president. I took part in several other activities such as the local Monsanto production facilities community advisory council. During the summer, I spent time working on my Supervised Agricultural Experiences where I mowed lawns and helped to organize a plant sale. I also participated in the GAST internship through Lakeland Community College with Mr. Swigart. I graduated from Blue Ridge High School as the valedictorian of the Class of 2011 and shortly after was elected as your State FFA Vice President. I am honored to serve every single member of the Illinois Association FFA in my term as an officer. I not only know about the opportunities in FFA for every student no matter what background they may come from, but I truly believe that every student has the potential to find success in this great organization. I know this to be true because I lived it. My passion for FFA and agricultural education is no accident. It has developed throughout the years, growing with every new friend, experience and lesson, and it will continue to grow and serve me well as I enter college and a career. I will be attending the University of Illinois majoring in agricultural education. Although I am unsure what my main career path will be, I do wish to start my own leadership training and professional development business. If it were not for FFA, I never would have made it where I am today. Thank you so much to everyone who has helped this organization make such an impact in my life!

Illinois – G

officers’ tracks

The Band Perry

GROWMARK Annual Meeting While Chris and Jacob were at the DuQuoin State Fair, Mike, Jim, and Clayton attended the GROWMARK Annual Meeting. The major state officers sat in on meetings and had the opportunity to meet some awesome new people. Among these new faces was The Band Perry, who performed during the annual meeting. Normal Cornbelter’s Salute to Ag Day After the Farm Progress show, FFA members were invited to the Normal Cornbelters Salute to Ag Day baseball game. Mike threw out an honorary first pitch, and while it may have been a ball, the game was a grand slam. An evening of baseball under the stars was a great way to wrap up after the Farm Progress Show.

Section Team Activities and Responsibilities (STAR) Conference After a weekend off, Mike, Chris, and Clayton headed to districts four and five while Jim and Jacob went north to districts one, two and three for STAR conferences. Throughout the one-day conferences, the officers brainstormed ideas for Leadership Training School, built team skills, and discussed challenges as members of officer teams. September State Officer Meeting The third state officer meeting was held at the Northfield Inn and Suites in Springfield. Here the section presidents and majors decided how Illinois would stand on issues at the national convention. While a lot of planning was done, it was still a great time for the team to catch up before chapter visits. Reporter Workshops Throughout the month of September, Chris was busy presenting seven reporter’s workshops around the state for chapter and section reporters. Reporters learned about photography, methods of contacting the media, and learned their duties as reporters. Reporters went away with a full tank to promote the miles of opportunity that FFA has to offer.

State Officer Meeting

Reporter Workshop

H – Illinois

Michigan FFa creed
Winter 2011

photo identifier

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


i Believe in...


Michigan’s ag industry

Read about the beliefs of your State President

Check out what Michigan’s Agricultural Industry has to offer


Member highlight


Fun Page

Find out what six members across the state are up to

Test your knowledge about agriculture and the state officers

. F

Our Motto in Motion


The rest of the Story

Learn about what sponsors, chapters, members and individuals are doing to make the motto part of the their life

Learn more about three of your state officers

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.

Creed Staff

State Officers
President: Addie Spoylar Vice President: Caitlin Pell Secretary: Casie Forbush Treasurer: Katie Jo Genter Reporter: Lindsey Garner Sentinel: Mallory Weber Region I VP: Bethany Schruer Region II VP: Brittny Bommarito Region III VP: Rebecca Gulliver Region IV VP: Jennifer DeClerg Region V VP: Sara Fosburg Region VI VP: Connor Hubbard

Managing Editor: Assistant Editor: Advising Editor:

Marie Hruby Jasper Cunningham Michelle Sidel

Addie Spolyar


i Believe in...
I BELIEVE IN … not taking things for granted. I believe in appreciating what you have and not being afraid to show it. Far too often people overlook the small details of everyday life. Think back to the last time someone held a door open for you or the last time someone paid you a compliment. Did you thank them? Did you show them that they matter to you? Many people do not realize the influence that others have on them. You would not be the person that you are today without the influence of others. Be bold, go outside of the expected and do the unexpected. Say thank you to those who matter or have made a difference in your life. I BELIEVE IN … seizing the moment and living life to the fullest. I believe in never giving up and always trying your best. When presented with a challenge, face it head on. Do not show signs of doubt or uncertainty. Fear is something that can be overcome. Never let it keep you from pressing forward or trying new things. Live without fear, live without regrets! I BELIEVE IN … success, as well as failure. There will be times in life when you will try your hardest to achieve a goal and you will fail. In their lyrics for “Mountains,” Lonestar has shown the importance of facing challenges. “There are times in life when you gotta crawl, lose your grip, trip and fall. When you can’t lean on no one else, that’s when you find yourself…” Through trial and hardship, good will shine through. The good

Lord will not give you anything you cannot handle. I BELIEVE IN … helping others. Pay it forward. When someone does something nice for you, do not be afraid to pass it on to others. The world would be a much better place if everyone in it strived to help at least one other person every day. Helping others not only benefits those around you, but also yourself. The next time you see someone in need, do not be afraid to lend a helping hand! I BELIEVE IN … YOU! FFA members CAN and WILL change the world. It is through the actions of dedicated members and true, authentic leaders that the world will be impacted. Always remember to appreciate what you have, seize the moment, try your best, and most importantly … help those around you! FeBruAry (ConT’D)
1-2: DisTriCT leADership ConTesTs 9: sTATe FFA oFFiCer inTerviews regionAl level 15-16: regionAl leADership ConTesTs 17: sTATe ConvenTion regisTrATions Are Due 17-19: sTATe FFA oFFiCer inTerviews - sTATe level

daTeS TO reMeMBer …
1: regionAl grAnT AppliCATions AnD sTAr CAnDiDATe AppliCATions (inCluDes sTAr BATTery AnD sTATe Degree AppliCATion) Are Due. 6: FFA BoArD oF DireCTors MeeTing Msu 5-8 p.M.

5: sTAr CAnDiDATe inTerviews 4-7: regionAl upDATe 20: DisTriCT leADership ConTesT enTries Due To ChAirs 23: nATionAl ChApTer AwArD AppliCATions ForM i & ii AnD ChApTer progrAM oF ACTiviTies

1: FFA ACADeMiC exCellenCe AppliCATions, FooD For AMeriCA AppliCATions, AnD BoMC AppliCATions Are Due.


MeMBer highLighT
region 1
rebekah Flynn-Marshall FFA
A senior at Marshall High School, Rebekah Flynn, is actively involved in FFA. She has been her chapter secretary and is currently serving as the chapter president. She has attended the Fall Leadership Conference multiple times and has competed in both leadership and skills contests. Rebekah’s supervised agricultural experience (SAE) is beef cattle production where she raises steers to show and sell at the Calhoun County Fair. She also shows at other various shows including the Michigan Beef Expo and Winter Classic.

region 2

Josh sanders-Jonesville FFA
Josh Sanders is a member of the Jonesville FFA chapter. He started a tilapia fish farm in his own barn. It consists of four 250 gallon tanks for the fish to grow to full size in, a breeding tank as well as the nursery tank. He has all the smaller components that can make a small aquarium operate smoothly! Josh plans to breed his fish, grow them to full size, and finally market them. He also plans on selling the baby fish. Josh’s Favorite FFA activity is competing in the various FFA competitions throughout the year.

region 3

nathan Krohn-laker FFA
Nathan Krohn is the Laker FFA Chapter’s 20112012 vice president and is currently serving as the 2011-2012 Region III treasurer. His FFA career started in 8th grade competing in the Junior High Conducts of Meetings team and from there he has grown tremendously as a person and a leader. This past March, Nathan’s demonstration team was named the state winner at the Michigan FFA State Convention. His future plans are to attend Michigan State University and study Agribusiness Management.


region 4

emily Calderone-Dansville FFA
Emily Calderone is a hard working junior at Dansville High School. She is a dedicated member who participates in many FFA activities including extemporaneous public speaking, demonstration, floriculture and crops. Also, she has taken part in the state-wide broiler contest through her zoology class and received the Star Agribusiness award at the chapter level. Emily’s supervised agricultural experience (SAE) includes planting and maintaining pumpkins on her family’s farm.

region 5

emma roderick-lowell FFA
Emma Roderick is a senior at Lowell High School and is a six year member of the Lowell FFA Chapter. Emma is a very active member and is the current chapter president and Region V District III Vice President. Throughout her years in FFA, Emma has participated in many activities ranging from Jr. High Conduct of Meetings, Greenhand Public Speaking and Job Interview. Emma has participated in the Fallsburg Fall festival parking, Adopt-a-Road clean up days and spring skills contests.

region 6

Jill Castle-standish sterling FFA
A senior at Standish-Sterling High School, Jill Castle, is an active member participating in leadership contests, coaching middle school teams, being active in her school’s perennial sale, and many other events. She is also currently serving as chapter president and is serving her second term as a regional officer. Some of her favorite FFA activities are state convention and donkey basketball where her community gets involved in the fun!


Our Motto in Motion
Learning to do
At a time when Michigan has a poor economy and morale is low in the community, it is important to remember that the younger generation is today’s future. The Ravenna FFA Chapter has seized the opportunity to reach out and build that younger generation in their program. Though they have had middle school agriscience classes since 2003, this is the first time in four years that they have held an 8th grade class. When the idea of an 8th grade program was brought to the attention of advisor Melanie Block, like any great advisor, she jumped at the chance and asked if they could work an exploratory class back into the schedule. Mrs. Block knew that if she can make their twelve week exposure to agriscience fun and exciting, they are more likely to enroll as a freshman. During their twelve weeks in class, the 8th graders were introduced to a broad range of topics in agriculture, including plant science in which they performed an eight week experiment. Then the focus turned to animal science, wildlife and natural resource management, presentation and leadership skills. For the Ravenna FFA chapter, this class has been the greatest recruitment tool, by allowing them to seek out students that were excited about agriculture, allowing their chapter to be strengthened. Instead of typical classroom methods of “let’s talk about it” Mrs. Block brings in live animals to inspect, plants to propagate, eggs to examine, a class pet, or food to make and eat. This created student interest in learning more about agriculture or natural resources. With the 8th grade program, nearly fifty of eightyfive students were recruited into this year’s freshman class. Plans for a Jr. High Chapter are still underway but it is hoped to be achieved with the continued success of the new addition in agriculture education in the school. By reaching out and teaching every single 8th grader in the Ravenna Public Schools, the impact on the

community could be astronomical. Students can be exposed to what Ravenna FFA is all about and hopefully increase their desire to carry on all the traditions of FFA while building memories of their own. Yet, being that younger generation, they can bring energy and new ideas to the forefront of agriculture and natural resources and strengthen their community emotionally and financially. The Ravenna FFA chapter has already seen many successes. In the 2008-2009 school year, they were the National Association of Agriculture Educators (NAAE) Outstanding Secondary Program. They have had four state officers, three state champions, one national champion, and they have the current national officer candidate. Their advisor Melanie Block has been the agriscience teacher of the year for both Farm Bureau and the Michigan Association of Agriculture Educators. Mrs. Block said, “I tell the kids, even if you never win a single award, it’s about the experience, overcoming fears and doing your best. We are a family here and we grow together.” With the past successes of the Ravenna FFA chapter, there is no doubt that their new program will continue to succeed and will assist not only students from the school but the whole community. Congratulations to the Ravenna FFA Chapter for all the accomplishments and good luck with all of your future endeavors.


Doing to learn

“Motivation is the key to success.” That is something that Coy Hansen, a 16 year old Lapeer County FFA Chapter member states every day. “My SAE project has been a dream of mine since I was young, I have always been interested in competition,” states Coy. Hansen works very hard progressing his Swine Production SAE. Agriculture is far from a first generation interest in the Hansen family. Coy’s mom and dad were involved in agriculture and also held an interest in the swine industry. “My dad grew up on a pig farm that was production based and my parents also showed hogs in 4-H fairs”, explained Coy. “There was no way I was going to miss out on the chance of starting something that I would be interested in for a long time.” Coy was introduced into agriculture at a young age, with riding horses and soon he progressed from walking to trotting around the barrels on a horse. After seeing his progress at age five, his parents bought him a horse that would get him just what he needed—speed. Working as a team with Ellie, taught Coy the importance of team work, but also hard work and determination, which prepared him for the success he has found with his swine production SAE. At the age of nine, Coy was able to show his first pen of pigs at the Eastern Michigan Fair. Not only was it his first pen of pigs, but Coy also picked out the hogs himself. Together they placed in both showmanship and market class. “I knew this wasn’t going to be a hobby for me, I wanted the chance to breed and raise my own hogs,” explained Coy. The following year, Coy bred his gilt and used some of its piglets for fair. Those same piglets made it to the overall market drive. That was when Coy decided to buy some breeding stock. When he choose to buy his next gilt he decided to get her from a show pig sale instead of a market sale. Coy would later find out that this was a very good choice, as he won overall market hog that year. This however, was also the year he lost his best friend, his paint horse, Ellie. Because she was gone, Coy would no longer ride at the competitive level and instead, decided to invest and develop a solid genetic

line of show pigs. Putting his sale money together with his brother’s, they bought three high quality gilts. At first, they were just raising them for the family but Coy decided he wanted to expand even more. Coy and his family now breed between eight and ten sows annually, averaging between 60-80 piglets a year. He has taken out a youth loan, along with his brother Wyatt, in hopes of growing their operation even further. “I am planning on growing at least 15 to 20 head in the next five years and just recently purchased three new gilts for the 2011 breeding season,” says Coy. “My family plays a big part in what I do. Without their support I could not be as successful as I am,” said Coy. Mrs. Tammy Hyatt, the Lapeer County FFA Advisor, has also played a big role in Coy’s SAE. Mrs. Hyatt has encouraged him to plan ahead, set goals for himself, and helps him to see what he wants to get out of his SAE. Through his Swine Production SAE, Coy says there is also a lot of family time involved not only during shows, but also during the breeding and farrowing seasons, too. Family time is just one of the many advantages that Coy Hansen and his family have encountered through his SAE. Traveling to many shows across the state and the nation has brought many new friendships. Coy’s dedication to his Supervised Agricultural Experience shows that he truly is “Doing to Learn.”


earning to Live
It takes a great person to be able to touch someone’s life by impacting, influencing or inspiring them. It takes a truly amazing person to be able to say that they have done all three. Megan Merrill, an agriscience educator, has been doing just that for the past nine years at Springport High School. She has continually made a difference in the lives of her students, past and present. Merrill grew up in the small town of Montague, on the west side of Michigan. Growing up in a nonproduction agriculture background, she knew that she had to take advantage of every opportunity that was offered to her. All throughout high school, she knew that agriculture was going to be an important part of her life. During her time in high school she had the opportunity to coach freshman leadership contest teams and she began to see her love for teaching evolve. Her ag teachers, John Schut and Clarence Rudat inspired her to continue following her passion for agriculture and teaching into college, where she majored in agriculture education. She knew that she wanted to inspire her future students,

just as her ag teachers had inspired her. This has driven her to continually push each and every one of her students to believe that they can become whatever they set their mind to. No matter how high the goal, Megan shows her students that they can achieve anything. She makes a positive impact on every student, coworker and community member that she meets. Upon arriving at Springport High School, everyone could instantly see her passion for agriculture and her students. That is what makes Merrill such an amazing role model for everyone. No matter what the situation, she always puts her best foot forward and is there to help. She enjoys teaching students the benefits of being agriculturally aware; whether that is nutrition education or leadership skills such as job interview or public speaking. “My goal is to IMPACT students by teaching them the importance of being informed, because I know that I am an informed consumer and I would like nothing more than all of my students to be lifelong learners,” Merrill said. Her positive and hard working attitude has proved that just one person can make a lasting impact on someone’s life. For the past nine years, she has worked tirelessly to build a strong alumni chapter within the community. This has gained her a much respected position within her small community. Her relentlessness and driven attitude have influenced countless community members to get involved and ensure that the Springport FFA has all the support that it could possibly need. Merrill’s passion for her students, community and agriculture have truly shown that she is an amazing person who has all the qualities of an amazing leader, to Do More; Influence, Impact and Inspire.


Living to Serve
Amber Eagling has a true passion for cattle. “When I was eight years old my parents bought me my first registered Angus heifer from the Michigan Beef Expo. Her name was Jesse and I was so excited! It all took off from there.” Amber, a 16 year old junior at Alpena High School, manages her own cattle herd for her supervised agricultural experience (SAE). Her herd includes both registered and unregistered cattle which she will raise as show and butcher cattle. Over the years, Amber has saved money to purchase more breeding stock by selling calves she has raised to the local public. The money from these sales is invested in feed, new breeding stock, and other expenses. Cattle always seemed to be a natural fit for Amber. While watching her sister in competitions all around the country, she was eager to join in on the action. With support from her parents, sister, and advisor, and an increasing knowledge of the cattle business, Amber has discovered the perks to showing cattle. She credits her family as being the inspiration to pursue her projects. Now she wants to go a step further. Her goal is to start a farm for troubled youth. At this farm, teenagers could learn responsibility, trust, and hard work by raising their own animal. “My SAE has taught me hard work but also the rewards of that hard work. I hope to be able to share a strong work ethic with students and the kids who attend my farm,” stated Amber. Additionally, Amber has two other SAEs to keep busy with. For her outdoor recreation SAE, Amber races a team of sled dogs around the state. She fulfills her diversified livestock SAE with horses, pigs and cattle. Also, she is a member of her church youth group, 4-H, and the MUSH (Mid Union Sled Haulers). She was the first runner-up Miss Alpena County Fair Queen last year and served as the 2011 Alpena County Fair Queen. With so much variety, she has

found her favorite part of it all to be her cows, claiming they make all of the work worthwhile. Through her cattle based SAE, Amber has received proficiency awards at the chapter and state levels. This year she earned a Silver Proficiency in Beef Production at State Convention. She has also received her home chapter’s Star Greenhand and Star Chapter Farmer awards. Amber has competed in Greenhand Conduct of Meetings and Ag Issues. While she is passionate about her own SAE, Amber says one of the best parts of FFA and having an SAE is the chance to meet other people and learn about their projects. That has made her FFA experience fun and exciting. She also believes that being able to help younger members will help them to appreciate the experience like she has. “I remember all those who helped me and how much I appreciated them.” Amber has served her chapter as the Junior Officer President and the Chapter Treasurer and is serving as Chapter President this year. She also has served as Regional Sentinel and will serve as this year’s Regional Vice President. In the future Amber would like to run for State Office and she plans to attend Michigan State University to major in Ag Education with a minor in Interior Design.


Michigan’s ag. industry
Did you know that Michigan is the second most agriculturally diverse state in the country? Our great state of Michigan is home to a large variety of agriculturally related businesses and on August 23rd and 24th the Michigan FFA State Officer team took a tour of many different business and operations in the central Michigan area. The first stop on our tour was at an ethanol plant called Carbon Green Bioenergy in Lake Odessa. This ethanol plant is in operation 24/7 and nearly every day of the year. As we began our tour of the facility we learned that all of the corn that was used to produce the ethanol was grown within in a thirty-mile radius. It was great to see that this business supports farmers in their area through buying locally grown corn. The process of making ethanol is extremely complex and takes a team of highly trained professionals to complete the process correctly. When the corn arrives it is placed into a storage bin that is capable of holding up to one million bushels of corn. It’s huge! Carbon Green Bioenergy produces four finished products: Carbon Dioxide, fuel ethanol, wet distillers grain, and dried distillers grains. While many people may not like ethanol production because they believe it will raise the price of food, in reality the corn used to produce ethanol is No. 2 yellow feed grade corn. This type of corn is not edible for humans, it actually creates livestock feed that is high in protein and is used all around the world. The grain ethanol that is produced at plants like Carbon Green Bioenergy is 59% cheaper than gas refined from oil and it is currently taking the place of millions of barrels of imported petroleum. After our lunch break at a tasty small town diner, we made our next stop at a large dairy farm by the name of Double Eagle Dairy in Middletown, Michigan. There are approximately 2,000 dairy operations in Michigan and the average milking herd has about 150 cows. Double Eagle Dairy is currently owned by John and Karen Weller, however the farm has been in their family for three generations. There are currently 3,200 cows on their farm and the farm takes great pride in the excellent care and conditions they provide for their herd.

In order to make sure their cows are able to produce the highest quality milk, their comfort is made a top priority. The cows are housed in what is called a free stall barn. In a free stall barn the cows are able to move around freely in a large open area, which allows them to eat, sleep, and move when they please. Each cow on the farm has a small device on their back foot that tracks how many steps they take a day. This is very useful for the herdsmen and other caretakers of the animals because it notifies them when a cow has had a significant decrease in activity, which could be a sign of illness. Double Eagle Dairy has a unique type of parlor called a rotary milking parlor. It can hold a large number of cows at once and they learn to get onto the carousel. As the carousel rotates their udders are sanitized and they are milked. The cows repeat this process three times a day. After the cows are milked, the milk machines deliver milk directly from the cows to a refrigerated holding tank to preserve the freshness and after that it is transported to processing plants. The average Michigan dairy cow produces approximately 22,445 pounds of milk each year. This means that they are making eight gallons of milk every day! Next we traveled over to Breckenridge, home of your 2011-2012 Region III State Vice President, Rebecca Gulliver! Breckenridge is home to a business called Michigan Agricultural Commodities, also known as MAC. Michigan Agricultural Commodities was


established in 1992 with only a dry shed and four spreaders. Now this business has a liquid plant, a custom application division, a one million gallon 28% tank and a fertilizer outlet. MAC offers a variety of services to farmers including GPS soil sampling, gridding, scouting, precision chemical application, and offers premium plant food. A large part of MAC’s business is dry bean processing. They process Navy Beans, Black Beans, Small Red Beans, Light Red Beans, Pinto Beans, and Cranberry Red Beans. Michigan has 270,000 acres of land that is in great condition for growing dry beans. The moderate daytime weather and the cool evenings are ideal for dry bean production, making Michigan number two in the U.S. for dry bean production. Once the beans are delivered, they go through an extensive line of processing. MAC is then able to keep the farmer informed of what is going on in the economy and help them make the best decision to take advantage of contracting opportunities they have available. Breckenridge is also the site of an innovative project with a company named Invenergy. Invenergy is the nation’s largest independent wind power generation company and they have selected Breckenridge to have up to 150 wind turbines. Thanks to the cooperation of local farmers and landowners, Invenergy has been able to start construction and already has a few turbines up. Invenergy tries to focus on developing long-term ownership and operation of wind projects ranging in size from 25 to 500 MW. As the first day of tours came to a close, we made one last stop at a greenhouse called Bonnie Plants. We were very happy to see that two past state officers were managing the greenhouse! Bonnie greenhouses have been shipping garden plants since 1918. In 1983 they were shipping these plants to 13 states, but due to the increase in interest in home gardening they now ship plants to 48 states and Canada! In an effort to interest youth in gardening, Bonnie Plant’s donates cabbages to third grade classrooms across the country and the students are each given a cabbage to care for and grow. The student who grows the largest cabbage will win a $1000 scholarship.

The next morning we made a quick stop at Bronner’s Christmas store and after we were in the Christmas spirit we made our way to Saginaw to tour the Hausbeck Pickle Company. Hausbeck was established back in 1923 as a small family owned business and is still owned and operated by the Hausbeck family today. This business produces banana peppers, pickles, and jalapeno peppers and distributes them to businesses such Sonic, Papa John’s, and Subway. The pickle making process is extremely interesting and there are several ways the pickles can be cut depending on what they will be used for. The Hausbeck Pickle Company takes food safety very seriously and it is their top priority that their food is safe for the consumer. They have an electronic device that can detect even the smallest foreign object in a package of pickles or peppers and the machine will reject the package. This is a great tool for food packing plants to utilize. Our final destination was a horse race track called Sports Creek Raceway located in Swartz Creek, Michigan. This was a very informative visit and we learned a lot about the horse racing industry in Michigan. For example, we learned that there are a few different breeds of race horses in Michigan; Thoroughbreds, Arabians, Quarter horses, and American Paints. Wagering funds the Michigan bred horse racing programs. Part of the money made by people wagering on simulcast horse racing goes into an agriculture equine industry development fund which provides for Michigan bred breeder and owner awards among other things. Sports Creek Raceway has a special event where the horses race on New Year’s Eve. This is their most popular event of the year and it is well attended by people from all over the state. The Michigan Agricultural Industry is alive and thriving and it is one of the few industries that has stood through the test of time. The many opportunities within this field make it a great career choice of any FFA member!



guess Who
Can you guess the answer?
1. This individual loves to secretly sing in the car when no one is listening, who are they? 2. This young lady is afraid of chipmunks, and her vehicle is named Olivia, who is she? 3. This individual has been a member of G-6 Farms since birth, who are they? 4. This State Officer has never broken a bone and walked away from a horse kicking incident not injured, who are they? 5. This young lady loves equine and shows at two county fairs, who is she? 6. This State Officer is one of nine children and has been speaking Spanish since the age of nine, who are they? 7. This individual’s family use to have 10,000 laying hens, who are they? 8. This young lady has been playing softball since the age of 5, who is she? 9. This State Officer has a herd of Milking Goats and enjoys a good dose of Political Science, who are they? 10. This individual has a 3 legged dog and a 3 legged cat, who are they? 11. This young lady loves a good run and works at a Mexican restaurant, who is she? 12. This State Officer loves learning and enjoys a heaping portion of homemade stuffing, who are they? 13. This species includes over 914 breeds, what type of animal is it? 14. There are almost 4 million of these in Michigan, what is it? 15. Most of this type of produce belongs to the Capsicum annuum species, what species is it? 16. It takes this piece of machinery 9 seconds to harvest enough wheat for 70 loaves of bread, what is it? 17. This species will double its birth weight within 7 days of birth, what is it? 18. Crayons can be made out of this cash crop, what is it? 19. It takes an American 40 days to earn enough money to pay for this, what is it? 20. Farmers provide this to 156 people, what is it? For the correct answers go to: www.michiganffa.org/association/creed


rest of the Story
Caitlin Pell Brittny Bommarito Addie SPolyar
State President Chapter: Jonesville FFA SAE: Swine Production College: Michigan State University Major: Nursing Favorite thing to do with friends: Go out to eat Favorite Musician: Taylor Swift Favorite book: Harry Potter High School Activities: National Honors Society, 4-H and Soccer Theme Song: “Change” by Taylor Swift Favorite thing to do with friends: Go to the beach Personal Hobby: Riding Horses Person looked to for strength and guidance: My parents Favorite Athletic Team: Michigan State Spartans Personal Hobby: Listening to Music Favorite FFA Activity: National Convention Favorite Movie: Sweet Home Alabama Favorite thing to do with friends: Anything and Everything Theme Song: “Don’t Blink” Kenny Chesney Word used to describe self: Enthusiastic People looked to for strength and guidance: My parents Favorite Athletic Team: Michigan State Spartans Personal Hobby: Showing horses

State Vice President Chapter: Fremont FFA SAE: Dairy Placement and Veterinary Science College: Michigan State University Major: Animal Science Pre-Vet Favorite Sport: Soccer Favorite Homemade Meal: Lasagna

Region II State VP Chapter: Springport FFA SAE: Swine Production College: Jackson Community College Major: Agricultural Education Favorite Book: “Oh the Places you Go” by Dr. Suess Word used to describe self: Bubbly



Food Science Feeds Student’s Minds
Miller FFA Meats Lab Provides Take-Home Experiences
ReAl TIMe gATe TO plATe
to balance a busy schedule of classes, clubs and homework. On top of all this, Samantha works at the Mizzou Meats Lab; a passion she developed while in high school through the Miller FFA Chapter. “I took our food science class my junior year of high school,” Whittaker says. “All students in our agricultural program have the opportunity to work in the meats lab and it is truly a high school experience like none other. Most people in my rural community know where their meat comes from and generally how it got to their plate, but very few kids have actually gotten to have the hands-on experience of producing the meat that ends up on their table. ” CONTINUED ON PAGE D
Miller High School is home to the state’s only school-run, safetyinspected food science lab through the Missouri Department of Agriculture Meat Inspection Program. Pictured (l-r) Clay Gulick, Jessi Hill and Dillon Demster.

Winter 2011


amantha Whittaker rushes from her morning economics class across campus. As a freshman double majoring in agricultural education and food science at the University of Missouri, she has

Table of Contents
The President’s Position

Farm Boy Finds Society

FFA Video Contest

Doing to Learn

FFA Calendar

Missouri Agribusinss Academy

In their Words


This Little Light of Mine

2011-2012 State FFA Officers Area Officer
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Evan Grusenmeyer - 1st V.P. Smithville Zach grossman Tina-Avalon Brady James - President Knox County Cody Jones Fulton Corey Hudson Silex Kelsey Forqueran - Secretary Malta Bend Kollen Chapman Osceola Jill Blankenship Eldon Samantha Whittaker Miller Megan Mayfield Fair grove John Littlefield Diamond Meagan green Branson Lane Howard Salem Trina Stumpe Sullivan Adam Birk Jackson Sarah Davis Poplar Bluff Jon Black - Past Pres. Chillicothe Department of Elem. & Sec. Education P.O. Box 480, Jefferson City, MO 65102 Phone: (573) 751-3544. District Supervisors: Nancy Alford, Leon Busdieker, Keith Dietzschold, Lisa Evans & 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

very school year I anxiously awaited the month of December because it meant that I would finally have a break from the rushing here and running there busy lifestyle that had become my daily routine. From the very start of school there were always things that had to be done— sports practices, daily chores, club meetings, homework and more. But, December meant a time to stop and take a breath, a time to spend with family and celebrate the giving season. One of my favorite family traditions is the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. At this service there would be Christmas songs and meaningful reading, but my favorite part was the very end. As members of the congregation entered the church they were handed a candle to be lit at the end of the service. Once all of the entertainment had finished the congregation would form a giant circle around the pews and the lights were turned down. One candle would be lit then that flame would be passed person to person until everyone’s candle was burning bright. The light that the candles put off reflected on the face that surrounded me. Together our candles illuminated the room.


As I stood there watching the flames flicker, I thought of how much light a single candle can produce and the immense glow that resulted in unity of our candles. With the glowing reflections of my family and friends, I began to realize how much their light had impacted my life. This candle represented more than a light. People are similar to candles; one spark can illuminate an entire room. Whether you are exchanging a smile with a complete stranger or practicing acts of kindness you can use the light of your own life to positively impact those around you. FFA members, we can start a wildfire and change the world around us!

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in its programs or activities. Inquiries related to Department programs and to the location of Department services, activities, and facilities that are accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities may be directed to the Jefferson State Office Building, Civil Rights Compliance (Title VI/Title IX/504/ADA/Age Act), 5th Floor, 205 Jefferson Street, Jefferson City, Missouri 65102-0480; telephone number 573-526-4757 or Relay Missouri (800) 735-2966.


Missouri Agribusiness Academy
2012 Class Seeks New Members

Applications Online Now


he Missouri Department of Agriculture is giving 30 high school students from throughout Missouri the opportunity to explore careers in agriculture through

the 2012 Missouri Agribusiness Academy – a competitive membership for sophomores interested in pursuing agriculturerelated college degrees and careers. The Agribusiness Academy is an opportunity for bright young folks in our state to sit down with top leaders in agriculture, government and education to explore the many diverse opportunities ahead of them,” said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. “Agriculture impacts every

sector of our economy and every community in our great state, and it is important to attract the next generation of agricultural leaders. There is a bright future for young people in agriculture.” In 2012, students selected for the Academy will have the chance to learn about the many unique opportunities for careers in agriculture as they visit St. Louis. Since 1988, the Missouri Agribusiness Academy has awarded more than 700 academy memberships through a competitive application and interview process. To be eligible for the Agribusiness Academy, students must come from a farming family or be an active member of the National FFA Organization or 4-H. Applications are available online at mda.mo.gov. Deadline to apply is Feb. 1, 2012.

The Missouri Agribusiness Academy begins its session with 30 strangers. But it doesn’t take long for friendships to begin, as members learn more and more about one another.


CONTINUED FROM PAGE A Miller high school is home to the state’s only school-run, safety-inspected food science lab through the Missouri Department of Agriculture Meat Inspection Program. This unique facility allows the FFA chapter to gross about $12,000 of meat product annually. But aside from the income it provides, the food science lab presents a unique learning opportunity for its students. “The students do everything,” says Jay Shepherd, Miller FFA advisor and agriculture education instructor. “We will buy a whole loin and the students will learn to smoke it, cut it, cure it, grind it, measure it, package it and label it. They learn every aspect of the meat processing procedure.” The meat is then sold during the chapter’s annual fruit and meat fundraiser every fall. Everything from t-bone steaks to cheddar and

jalapeno sausages are processed by the students during the year and sold to the community. This event has been so successful that the most difficult part of the fundraiser is keeping up with demand. “We have to take pre-orders of our meat fundraiser and usually meet our quota before everyone has had time to place their orders,” Shepherd says. “Our students get a lot of hands-on experience during this time of year just so we can meet all the demand.” This real world experience has lead to much success for the Miller FFA Chapter. Lyle Whittaker, the food science instructor at Miller High School and FFA advisor,

has trained multiple districtwinning meat’s evaluation career development event teams as well as advised many supervised agricultural experience projects in food science, including that of Samantha Whittaker. “The experiences I have gained through our meats lab has carried all of our students far,” Samantha Whittaker says. “It helped me excel in the meats evaluation career development event in high school, it led me to a job at Mizzou, it encouraged me to major in food science and it has blessed me by winning my state proficiency award in Food Science and Technology and continued to bless me by receiving a gold ranking on the national level.”

Miller agriculture education students Chase Webb, Dillon Demster, Jacob Lundquist and Clay Gulick get real world experience in the school’s meat science lab. Former Miller FFA member and now University of Missouri student Samantha Whittaker says the expeience encouraged her to major in food science.


All of this success has come about in just seven years. In the summer of 2004, Shepherd and Whittaker set out to convert an old wood shop into an award-winning food science lab. After attending workshops put on by universities across the Midwest, the two advisors created a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Plan (HACCP) and began the process of becoming state licensed. Since the lab officially opened, the program has continued to improve the facilities by constructing a drainage system in the floor and purchasing a topof-the-line smoker. “We saw this as a way to provide some authentic education to our students,” Shepherd says. “Mr. Whittaker has extensive training in this field, so we knew a lot of technical information before beginning the project. But, for the most part we had to jump right in and learn things for ourselves.” According to Whittaker, the success of the program and the growth of the facilities are not the greatest part of the Miller FFA food science lab. It is the reward of seeing students learn and understand. “When students leave our program, they have skills that normal high school students don’t have,” Whittaker says. “They know about safety, they know about regulations, they have hands on experience with every step in the process. We are so proud that our students are ready for the work force once they complete our food science program.”

greenhand Conferences to be Held
See FFA Calendar on Page O for dates, times and locations.

William H. Darr School of Agriculture

Life Changing Opportunities

Jourdan Springston Animal Science

417.836.5638 http://ag.missouristate.edu


Farm Boy Finds Society
Eagleville’s Zach Kinne Lands in D.C.


For a farm boy, you function surprisingly well in society.” After being told this by a young man at a summer conference his junior year of high school, Zach Kinne made a life altering decision. “That was a defining moment for me,” Kinne says. “I realized how important it was to not be ashamed of the agricultural story and how important it is to have people out there telling that story.” Kinne, the 2008-2009 National FFA President and former Eagleville FFA member, hopes to always tell the story of agriculture in some way for the rest of his life. He grew up in northwest Missouri working on his family’s feedlot and at the local livestock auction. Kinne was an active member in his FFA chapter and first visited the nation’s capitol for the Washington Leadership Conference. “I got a small taste for how policy really impacts what we do on the grassroots level of the farm,” Kinne says. “I knew at that point I had some interest in the area and wanted to get more involved.”

After returning home from the conference, Kinne became more involved in FFA and went on to serve as the Missouri State FFA President. During that time, he also enrolled at the University of Missouri and studied agricultural economics with an emphasis in policy. In 2009, Kinne retired from his position with the National FFA Organization and went on to an assortment of internships before graduation. “I took a variety of internships from the Missouri Beef Industry Council to the Policy Research Institute,” Kinne says. “I tried to get a solid understanding and background in agriculture and policy and all of the people who are involved in it.” Kinne accepted a position right out of college that led him back to Washington D.C. Kinne works in the United States Senate as a legislative assistant and policy advisor. Staying true to his word, he has continued to tell the story of agriculture through working on policy involving food safety,
Former National and Missouri FFA President Zach Kinne (l) encourages FFA members to get as involved as possible in the organization. “People really underestimate the relationships that you build through FFA,” he says. Kinne works as a policy advisor and legislative assistant for U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (r).


environmental issues and anything within the agriculture realm. He often finds himself drawing on the skills he developed through the FFA while on the job. As communication is a major part of his day-to-day job, Kinne is extremely thankful for his participation in the livestock evaluation career development event. “I feel like the first few times briefing the senator was a little nerve-racking,” Kinne says. “You can equate it to the first time of giving a set of oral livestock reasons. You learn to develop an opinion and stand behind and give a recommendation to your boss. The two are remarkably similar.” “FFA is really the time in your life when you can just not be afraid to challenge yourself. It is a safe environment to really try things,” Kinne says. “You really just have to get as involved as you can and take advantage of as many opportunities as you can to really figure out what your strengths are and how

you can use those to contribute to your career or your community or wherever you may head.” Kinne also hopes to reinforce the importance of connections with other FFA members. “People really underestimate the relationships that you build through FFA,” Kinne says. “Here are some of the greatest people and they are people who will be there to support you through the rest of your life. You never know how life is going to take shape in the future, but there are really great people in this organization to meet whether it is at a conference or a contest or state convention.” Kinne has come a long way since that summer conference in high school more than seven years ago. However, one thing hasn’t changed. He is still the farm boy from Eagleville, Mo. who is proud of his roots and his participation in FFA. “I will always be telling the story of agriculture,” Kinne says. “It is something of which I am proud.”

is all social now.
www.todaysfarmermagazine.com www.facebook.com/todaysfarmer todays_farmer


Doing to learn
Princeton’s School Farm gets Students Involved

Learning to do, Doing to learn, Earning to live, Living to serve.

he FFA motto is known by thousands of FFA members nationwide. It is one of the first things greenhands are required to memorize in class, but at the Princeton FFA Chapter the motto is more than a common phrase. These members live each line of the motto every day on their school farm.


“The FFA motto is really what it comes down to,” says Bryan Williams, Princeton FFA advisor. “That is essentially what we are trying to do with the school farm and to try and build on a foundation of what we are and who we are FFA-wise and utilize that farm however we can.” The Princeton FFA school farm was purchased by a group of community members during the 1980s farm crisis. The 134acre plot of land is controlled by a board of rotating members and is divided up among hay field, timber stands and crop ground. Most importantly, it is a place for FFA members at Princeton High School to gain hands-on experience in production agriculture.

“Our main mission is to provide a place where students will always have opportunities to see and be involved in traditional production agriculture,” Williams says. The agricultural education department at Princeton High School boasts approximately 60 members. Roughly a third of those students use the farm as part of their supervised agricultural experience projects. These projects range from mowing and landscaping the lot, growing and harvesting the hay field and crop ground and raising a variety of
Princeton FFA members learn beyond facts and methods at the school’s farm, which was purchased by community members.


show pigs and lambs. There are currently 36 different show hogs being raised by 23 students in the chapter. “I live on a farm, but I chose to have part of my SAE project be on the school farm,” says Braden Donelson, a junior at Princeton High School. “Our advisor is always there when we need help and it is great to learn things with your friends instead of always on your own.” While not every student is directly tied to the farm through their SAE project, every student does further his/her education through this unique amenity. “Doing to learn” is evident in this chapter because of student access to the school farm. “Every student who comes through our program goes out and learns how to ear notch pigs or

identify the parts of the plants on the physical plants and animals,” Williams says. “Every student is exposed to the farm to utilize it as an education opportunity during his/her time here. There is some learning that can’t be read in a book or looked up on the Internet. You have to go out and physically put your knowledge in action.” Williams believes this is especially helpful in preparing students for the workforce. One of the largest employers in the area is Premium Standard Farm, a leading swine operation in the country. The Princeton school farm provides students with the unique opportunity to learn job skills before graduating from high school. “They have already had exposure to how to process pigs, how to breed gilts, what proper

nutrition is,” Williams says. “It is those kinds of things you learn from having a hands-on educational basis.” This hands-on education opportunity benefits both instructor and student. Kimberly Meinke, chapter president and senior at Princeton High School, says the school farm has helped her take her knowledge and pass it on to others. “Our farm is a great service to community,” Meinke says. “It is (not only) a place for kids who don’t have farm opportunities, but also it is a great learning environment that helps us serve future generations of FFA members.” However, agricultural education goes beyond learning facts and methods. Members of the Princeton FFA Chapter have the opportunity to develop relationships because of the school farm. Williams says, “This farm and all we do on it promotes group learning and relationships beyond the classroom. That is what we are the proudest of.”

Princeton FFA members practice hands-on learning at the school’s farm. Advisor Bryan Williams says the farm helps prepare students for the workforce and learn unique skills before graduating from high school.


In Their Words
up close with your Missouri State FFA Officers

DORY: “Hey, Mr. Grumpy Gills. When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do?” MARLIN: “I don’t wanna know what you gotta do when life gets you down.” DORY: “[singing] Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.”


n life you will encounter many difficulties but when obstacles present themselves, take advice from Dory and “Just Keep Swimming.” Last year during chapter officer interviews, my goal was

to become vice president. After I interviewed the waiting process seemed to be in slow motion. After what seemed like years, my advisors came out and announced the new officers. President! (Not me) Vice president! (Not me) Secretary! (Not me) Treasurer! Me! Even though I didn’t reach the goal of becoming vice president, I knew I would do my best to fulfill my duties as an officer. Throughout the year I worked my hardest to become a better FFA member, because I had decided that this was the year I wanted to be a state officer! I realized that I’d have to work extra hard to become a state officer due to the fact that I was only a junior in high school and I had never been an area officer. However, I never gave up and just kept swimming over life’s obstacles. Today, look at where I am! FFA members, remember the words of my good friend Dory and “Just keep swimming” throughout life regardless of the obstacles you may face!

Is Agronomy Your Thing? Missouri Corn Programs offer $750 scholarships
to Missouri high school seniors planning to study agronomy or a related subject at a Missouri 2- or 4-year institution.

FFA Video Contest _
Popular I Most Viewed I HD I

Featured Videos



Trenton FFA
Our voice for agriculture is more important now than ever ...
by MO_FFAStudent I 5,274 views

Missouri’s major agriculture organizations are teaming up to sponsor the 2011-2012 video contest encouraging FFA chapters to create a positive message about the value of Missouri agriculture.

ave you ever dreamed of something for so long that it seemed impossible to obtain? Well, I had it happen to me when I was on the Parliamentary Procedure career development event team. We had practiced so hard for eight months and we were ready for national competition. I have never been

March 23, 2012

For more information online go to www.mofb.org
(click on FFA video contest)


www.mofb.org / 573-893-1467
Check Out
Missouri Corn online at

for an application


work and determination will take you as far as you want to go. That is what is so great about the FFA— the possibilities are endless. So I ask you, what are your dreams?

“The only real failure in life is the failure to try.” -Anonymous

so nervous in my life. As we went into the first round, I knew I had to be confident and calm for my teammates. I started going over some key points with them, and we got our confidence back! After we performed we were a little disappointed. We started picking at each other instead of being a team. I was so upset with myself and I was taking it out on my team! When we found out we had made it to the next round I knew we had to start being a team again, and stop worrying about the competition. We played some games, told stories, and just had fun while we were waiting for finals. Before going on stage, I told all my friends how proud I was of them, and no matter what happened we would always be teammates. From that day and the eight months of practice beforehand, I learned what being a teammate really meant. I learned that hard

hen I was a freshman, I began competing in the prepared public speaking contests

in the FFA. That same year, before I went to area competition, I set a goal for myself: I wanted to win a public speaking contest at state before I graduated high school. So I set out that year wanting to win state. Even though I gave it my all in the final round, that year I placed second. Over the next three years, I kept competing in speaking contests, making it to state in each one I participated in, but never getting first place. I felt like a failure because I had not accomplished the goal I set. However, I began to think about the skills I gained from CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

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We are an open enrollment College that accepts A+ students!

417-447-7500 . www.otc.edu


In Their Words
up close with your Missouri State FFA Officers


competing in those contests, and that’s when I realized that winning really didn’t matter. The most important thing was that I had fun, made a lot of friends and memories, learned a valuable life skill, and had even found a love for speaking about agriculture that led me to a career choice. FFA members, we may not always reach the goals we set, but remember that there is success in what you may think is failure. Don’t be so focused on the end result that you forget to stop and notice the things you’ve learned on your journey. Those things will mean more to you than you could ever imagine.



Proud Supporters of

Missouri’s FFA program!

t the age of nine, I started riding horses in local horse shows. All I have ever wanted was to win a belt buckle. To me that was the ultimate goal I could ever reach with my horse. So every year I worked as hard as I possibly could. I practiced at the arena the Thursdays before the horse shows as well as other times. I started out on my riding teacher’s little pony, Cocoa. Then, when I turned 13, my mom bought me my very own horse, Jake. Over the years Jake and I have gone to over 80 horse shows. And, we’ve never won a belt buckle. In fact, we barely ever even placed first. It was a pretty sad time for me every year when the award ceremonies came around. Even though we didn’t get a buckle, I thought we were winners CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

For delicious pork recipes, visit PorkBeInspired.com. Be sure to attend the Missouri Pork Expo, February 8-9, 2012. For more information on this and MPA’s youth activities, visit www.mopork.com.


CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE because every year, we placed in more events than the year before. Finally last year, Jake and I didn’t just win one belt buckle, but we won two! It was the happiest day of my life when I found out! The moral of this story is to not give up! FFA members when you set a goal, keep going for it— no matter what. Never stop trying to reach your goal, even if it takes you eight years to reach it like it did me. If you try hard enough you will reach your goal and beyond.

events while in FFA. I have my parents, sisters, and advisors to thank for encouraging me to participate in this activity. They helped me strengthen my weaknesses and exhibit my strengths, which in the end help us all succeed. The three sectors of the FFA organization have numerous activities, contests, and educational experiences to offer. Do not hesitate to dive head first into this organization and see what you can learn from or teach other members and individuals in your community. After all we are the future of agriculture.

rom the moment I could pronounce my name I was introducing myself to everyone! To describe myself as a talkative child was a true understatement. It was not until I reached high school that I found my true path I would travel for the rest of my high school career. I began my FFA speech contest journey with the Sheep Producers speaking competition in the fall of my freshman year, 2007. Since I had been raising sheep since birth I felt it was a fitting topic. After writing my speech, I practiced delivering it in front of my parents, grandparents, siblings and anyone else who had a spare six to eight minutes. My hard work paid off as I placed second in the state competition. Since then, I have participated in six other competitive speaking



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FFA Workshop March 3, 2012 agriculture@cofo.edu www.cofo.edu
Education plus experience... Setting the trend!


Missouri’s major agriculture organizations are teaming up to sponsor the 2011-2012 video contest encouraging FFA chapters to create a video or auto-play slide show with audio that conveys a positive message about the value of Missouri agriculture. Earn up to $2,000 for your FFA Chapter
CONTEST GUIDELINES • Entries should clearly show FFA student involvement and participation. • The target audience should be consumers with limited knowledge of today’s agriculture. • Three positive messages to keep in mind are: (1) farmers create safe, wholesome food for everyone to enjoy; (2) farmers work hard to care for their animals; and (3) farmers are good stewards of the environment. However, not all three themes need to be addressed in your entry. • Each FFA district will have one winner who will receive $500. • The district winners will compete for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place overall and will be announced at the 2012 FFA state convention. • Prizes include: 1st = $1,500; 2nd = $1,000; 3rd = $500 • Length of each entry must be a minimum of three minutes and a maximum of five minutes. • Copy onto a DVD or CD as a movie file using such formats as WMV, MOV, AVI, MPEG & MP4. • All participants in the video are required to sign a release form which must be included with the submitted entry. • Entries must be postmarked by March 23, 2012. • One entry per FFA chapter. • Supporting materials and release forms can be found at www.mofb.org (click on FFA Video Contest). • The sponsoring organizations claim the rights to all videos submitted (the right to publish, televise, and retain all broadcasts.)**
** By submitting an entry, each entrant agrees to release and hold harmless the sponsoring organizations from and against any claim, expense or liability arising from or related to submission, participation in the contest, and appearance on the program and/or acceptance of any prize.

For more information, contact Estil Fretwell at 573-893-1467 or efretwell@mofb.com

Sponsoring Organizations:
FCS Financial Midwest Dairy Association Missouri Beef Industry Council Missouri Corn Merchandising Council

Missouri Farm Bureau Missouri Pork Association Missouri Soybean Association MFA Incorporated

FFA calendar
Missouri FFA is on the Move

1 1 2-3 4 4 4 -6 16 16-17

University of Missouri Scholarship Apps. Due 2012 BOAC Grant Apps. Due Missouri Livestock Symposium Kirksville Mo. Sheep Producers Speaking Contest Finals Tan-Tar-A, Osage Beach Mo. Farm Bureau Speaking Contest Finals Tan-Tar-A, Osage Beach Mo. Farm Bureau Annual Meeting Tan-Tar-A, Osage Beach 2012 Youth Pork Ambassador Apps. Due Mo. Cattlemen’s Assoc. Annual Meeting Columbia

1 1 4 8 8-9 18-25 24-26

Mo. Agribusiness Academy Apps. Due Mo. State Fair Youth in Ag Scholarship Due MU Ag Unlimited Banquet Mo. Pork Assoc. Speaking Contest Finals Columbia Mo. Pork Expo—Columbia National FFA Week Western Farm Show—Kansas City

2 3 7 8 10 19 22 22 26 27 29 30 31 31 MSU Horse Clinic—Springfield College of the Ozarks FFA Workshop Point Lookout Mizzou Ag Ed Society Leadership Contests Columbia MU Southwest Center CDE Workshop Mount Vernon Mo. Youth Livestock Grading/Juding Contest Columbia Crowder Ag Sales & Speaking Contests Neosho NCMC Ag Club Contests—Trenton Crowder College Aggie Day—Neosho Northeast District FFA/Ag Sales CDE’s Monroe City Southeast District Horse CDE’s—Advance Southeast District Ag CDE’s—Cape Girardeau South Central District CDE’s—Rolla Southeast District Ag & FFA CDE’s CTCC, Cape Girardeau Southwest District Speaking CDE’s & Ag Sales MSU, Springfield

3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 6

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

Missouri FFA Today welcomes your comments, chapter notes and story ideas. Send them to us at: joann.pipkin@att.net or call: 417.732.8552



proud to support our agricultural future.
apply for an fcs financial scholarship!
Each year, FCS Financial honors the dedicated young men and women continuing their studies. We award up to thirty-five $1,000 scholarships to Missouri high school seniors whose parents or grandparents are current FCS Financial customers. Over the past seven years, more than $230,000 has been provided to help our next generation with their education. To apply for the 2012 FCS Financial Scholarship or to learn more details, visit myfcsfinancial.com. The 2012 application is due March 1, 2012.*
*Applicants must meet all qualifications to be eligible for a scholarship.

congratulations to the 2011 FCS Financial scholarship recipients
Eli Bartley Megan Behring Ben Brown Dylan Bussell Mark Carpenter Andrew Cauthorn Lauren Cofer Ben Delaney Nora Dodd Shelby Esser Kaitlin Flick Sara Gillum Cody Gitthens Zachary Grossman Kara Hambelton Zachary Henderson Ethan Huff Sadie Kinne Lauren Kliethermes Andrew Laut Travis Luther Alyssa Mackey Will Moore Rebecca Neill Emily Paullus Dustin Stanton Jacob Stoll John Vogelsmeier Megan Voss Zachery Watts Amy Zuroweste

Not pictured: Jonathan Blanchard, Kathryn Coon, Dayne Voelker

FCSF_2011Scholarship_FFAToday_Winter.indd 1 10/3/2011 4:40:48 PM

Oklahoma Outlook
Winter 2011

An Interview with Riley Pagett
Riley grew up in Woodward, where he showed cattle through 4-H then joined FFA as a freshman in high school. During his sophomore year, he was elected Reporter. As a junior, he was elected vice-president and as a senior, President. He then ran for Northwest District Vice President and won. Two years later he applied for national office and was chosen to be National President. D.C. to conduct the State Presidents’ Conference, which is “the longest national FFA event in history. The state president and one additional delegate from each state come to D.C. to determine the delegate issues that will be discussed at the next national convention.” With the delegate issues determined, the national officers go to work planning and preparing the other aspects of the next convention.

A Year to Remember The Value of FFA
At that moment, Riley’s one year term of office began. After three days of team building, everyone goes back to his or her home state to finish the college semester – in just three weeks. Then it was back to Indianapolis for training, which lasted several months, with breaks for Thanksgiving and Christmas. A memorable moment from the first few months was meeting with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who challenged the officer team to bring a new perspective to the next farm bill. “So this year, our platform is to do just that: To ask youth, state officers and advisors what they think about the farm bill, and how we could implement those things from a non-biased perspective.” The team will present their findings to Secretary Vilsack in January. “After D.C., our team went to Japan for eleven days. While we were there, we were advocates for American agriculture, but we also Riley says that one of the best things about FFA is it helps people find their niche. “They become confident in their skills and they find a niche that they couldn’t find before. They couldn’t find it in school or in another organization or in a club or in a sport, but they find it here in FFA.” “It gives people that chance to succeed, and it’s teaching students to advocate, not just for themselves, but for agriculture and agricultural education. If we give students that seed and we plant that seed, foster it and water it, then hopefully someday they can plant those seeds in other people. “There are so many skill sets that FFA members rely on, and they build on throughout their FFA career. That’s what’s great about this organization that it keeps building on those skills. It’s not just for high school, it’s not just for college, it’s for life.”

got to see a lot of global agriculture. It was eye opening to see how United States agriculture affects global agriculture.” The Japanese people were very hospitable. “They welcomed us with open arms. We were guests there and they treated us like that. I’ll always remember that. I learned how to make an origami swan. Where else would I learn how to do photo identifier that?” After Japan, the team came back home to participate in the state conventions. Riley attended conventions in eight states, including Hawaii, California and Oklahoma. When all the state conventions were done, the national officers conducted national leadership conferences for state officers. Then they went back to Washington,


You can read this interview in its entirety on our website: www.okffa.org

2011 National FFA Proficiency Awards

Brenna Brawner
Equine Science Entrepreneurship Edmond FFA

Tanner Miller

Small Animal Production and Care Entrepreneurship/Placement Mulhall-Orlando FFA

Brenna’s SAE program revolves around 11 Appaloosa horses that she breeds, conditions, trains, shows and sells. Her proficiency lies in being able to see the potential in horses, working these prospects into quiet, accomplished show horses, successfully breeding them, then re-investing to do it all again. Attending 12 to 20 horse shows a year gives Brenna the avenue to showcase the improvements she has made to her show stock. Brenna does much of her advertising on the Internet because it is relatively inexpensive and its reach is worldwide. She also works hard to build and maintain relationships with horse owners and trainers when she travels to shows. Brenna’s horses have attained an extremely high level of fitness because of proper feed and consistent exercise. She was able to decrease exercise time by 40 percent and went from winning one world championship in 2008 to winning three in 2010. Upon graduation from high school, Brenna plans to attend Oklahoma State University and earn an undergraduate degree in animal science with an emphasis in equine science. She then plans to complete studies in veterinary medicine with a specialty in equine orthopedic surgery.

Tanner raises high-quality Pembroke Welsh Corgis to sell as quality pets and breeding stock. He started his enterprise with two registered females and a registered male, knowing that any additional breeding stock would have to be raised or purchased with income from his own production. In order to offer a happy, healthy puppy, Tanner has a solid health program in place with records to document vaccinations. Puppies leave his kennel with a shot record, a bag of food and a registration certificate if applicable. To date, Tanner has produced and marketed 30 Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppies to five different states using newspaper ads and the Internet to reach his customers. A portion of Tanner’s income has been used to modify his existing kennel facilities. He put insulation in the ceiling and walls in order to have a more controlled climate for the expectant females. This precaution has also helped protect puppies from exposure to temperature extremes that can be fatal. Upon graduation from high school in May 2013, Tanner plans to enter an undergraduate degree rogram in agricultural education at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.


State proficiency award applications are due February 15.

Oklahoma had 15 finalists at this year’s national convention. Here are four that you should know.

Taylor Runyon

Ashlea Smith
Agricultural Sales Entrepreneurship Cushing FFA

Food Science and Technology Entrepreneurship/Placement Atoka FFA

Taylor’s work with scientists at the Lane Research Center and Southeastern Oklahoma State University has given her the opportunity to be a part of many worldwide agricultural food science research projects and further her interest in this area. The overall goal for Taylor’s SAE was to gain knowledge about many different varieties of vegetables and fruits and also gain experience and knowledge about field and laboratory techniques. Taylor’s research has been highlighted in her local newspaper, at the Atoka County and Tulsa state fairs and through agricultural awareness programs she conducted for the local elementary school. Taylor has competed in the state and national FFA agriscience fair competitions, winning her division on the state level three times and placing third in 2008 at the national contest. She also received the State Agriscience Student of the Year Award in 2010 and was one of eight national finalists for Agriscience Student of the Year. Taylor is currently attending St. Gregory’s University, after which she will transfer to Oklahoma State University to finish a major in agricultural engineering. She hopes to continue her research though college and develop a natural skin care product that may help prevent skin cancer.

Ashlea wanted an SAE that would be different from any others her chapter was doing, so she went to a local retail garden center and asked the owners if there was anything she could sell them. They asked her to grow pansies for them to re-sell. The owners of the garden center were so impressed with Ashlea’s first crop of pansies, they awarded her their entire pansy demand for the following year. She is now their exclusive source of pansies, selling over 400 flats each year. Soon after she agreed to grow pansies for the garden center, she started selling sweet corn and other produce at a roadside stand. She has been selling corn for four years now. She sells about 90 percent of her corn for a healthy profit. The 10 percent that doesn’t sell she donates to a local homeless shelter. Ashlea won first place in Oklahoma’s Agricultural Sales proficiency in 2011. She has been very successful in the Proficiency Award program on both the state and national levels. Ashlea is a freshman in the College of Agriculture at Oklahoma State University, majoring in pre-med. She is planning for a future in the pharmaceutical field.

There are 49 proficiency award areas, including a new area in goat production..


Your 2011-2012
Courtney Maye, State President
allow this organization to change your life for the better – just as it did mine. Your background, location, school size or financial means does not matter. FFA has something to offer each one of us! Just like catching a firefly in a glass jar at night, you need to take advantage of these opportunities while they are in front of you. Believe me when I say time truly does fly. So don’t wish these moments away. Spend extra time making sure you memorize your speech word for word. Work your animals just a little bit harder. Give an extra set of livestock judging reasons to your ag-ed instructor. It’s the little things in life that will make the biggest difference. Strive to be the best you can be in this organization and set your goals high! Always remember that nothing is impossible with God on your side!

I remember my first day of eighth
grade just like it was yesterday. I was not worried about any class on my schedule except for third hour. I waited for the bell to ring, and then off I went. I was making my way to the Ag Building. I knew without a doubt this would be my favorite class. However, as I got closer I began to get extremely nervous. You see, my dad was going to be my teacher, and I was so afraid that he would embarrass me in front of my friends. That day we learned how to give a good firm handshake and look the other person in the eye. We faced our fears, stood in front of the class and talked about ourselves. From that point forward, I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to get involved and get my very own official blue and gold jacket! FFA members, like many of you I developed a love for this organization at a very early age. And like me, each of you has the opportunity to get involved and to


Courtney’s favorite place to eat in Stillwater is Buffalo Wild Wings.

State Officers!
Joshua Conaway, Northwest District Vice President
I knew there would be important steps and lots of hard work along the way to accomplish this goal. When December of my senior year rolled around, I began filling out the application. I “experienced” the Nominating Committee in February and prepared for the state FFA convention during the first week of May. Thoughts of “I can’t do this,” and “I’m not qualified,” constantly entered my mind. At the convention, I gave my three-minute campaign speech and waited. I had made the first cut! I then gave my one-minute runoff speech, but I had to wait until the closing session of convention to hear the results. I worked my way through the 3-2-1 process. Emily Beanland opened the envelope and yelled my name. I flew from the stands. I flew up on the stage. I have been flying high ever since that moment. FFA members, I want you to know that you, too, can fly if you set your goals high and work to achieve them. So I encourage each of you to start with “3” by setting your goals. Work hard to accomplish your goals with “2.” And when you reach “1,” I know you will fly.

In sixth grade, I was a banner carrier
for the high school marching band, and the band got the opportunity to visit the Royal Gorge in Colorado. It is the perfect spot for a thrill-ride called the Sky Coaster. It swings you out over the gorge at a height of 1,150 feet. A few of the high school students ran to get on the Sky Coaster. But I was petrified of heights. So I devised a sure-proof game plan. I said I would do it if my mom would do it with me. I knew there was no way she would do it! Unbelievably, she called my bluff and said we should go. I was scared out of my wits when they harnessed me up and strapped me in. I was so scared that I literally cried as they pulled us back. Ready to launch, they yelled “3-2-1-FLY!” FFA members, it required facing my fears to witness one of the most beautiful sights ever! I set a goal my first year in FFA to serve as a state officer.

Joshua is a mama’s boy and proud of it!


Chapter Officer Leadership Training
The theme of this year’s conference was “Represent,”
specifically referring to how FFA members can better represent themselves, their community and the Oklahoma FFA Association. The keynote address was delivered by FFA mentor and former state president Kelly Barnes, who told us, “My keynote focused on the “little things” that make the big difference, for instance, how members act when they are wearing their official dress and also when they are living a regular everyday life of a student. “How involved are they in the community and in the organization through competitive events, leadership activities and their SAE?” The title of Kelly’s speech was “Make it a Habit.” It centered on the idea that “success is the result of small efforts repeated day in and day out.” He challenged members to think about the seemingly small things they did on a daily basis and asked the question, “If these habits are repeated on a daily basis, what will be the result in 10, 20, 30 years?” When Kelly’s speech concluded, the attendees were divided into four groups for breakouts led by the state officers who challenged the students “to represent themselves, their community and FFA by being positive role models to other students through their actions.” “We encouraged FFA members to become ambassadors for FFA in their communities by getting involved in community outreach and seeking out members of the community to get involved in FFA activities.” “Finally we looked at the FFA as a whole, looking for some new ways members can get involved as individuals and what can they do to get their chapter members involved.” Over 2,000 chapter officers attended this year’s COLT Conferences.


The 2012 COLT Conference will feature a keynote address by

Your Image, Our Image, The Image
Highlights from Kelly’s keynote:
Success in FFA is not measured by the amount of awards you win but by the person you become in the process. No one ever looked back on graduation night and said to themselves, “I wish I had done less, not tried as hard or been less of a role model.” Those of us with the ability to achieve success and prosper also have the duty to reach down and pull others up in the process.

Represent . . .

What did you learn today?
• How to represent my chapter and FFA to the best of my abilities • That the way we present ourselves to others reflects on FFA • How we represent ourselves makes a big difference in our community

What will you do differently after this training?
• Work hard to be excellent • Have a lot of integrity • Be a better role model and be more helpful to the younger members • Do more with my community • Get the officer team to work together to make a better chapter

state senator and former State FFA President Josh Brecheen.


Leadership Fundamentals
An Interview with Rhett Laubach
Influence “For influence, you need to be involved and active. You need to have weekly duties where you are helping to grow the chapter and helping other members get involved. Ask yourself, “What have I done as an officer? What has been my activity? Who have I met with, what meetings have I gone to, what meetings have I coordinated?” Spirit “For spirit, you need to make sure the FFA classroom looks good. You need to make sure the FFA is doing community visual things like adopting a highway or making a welcome sign outside of town. You need to be enthusiastic about the FFA. “It’s both personal as well as public. Am I someone who others enjoy being around? Am I a person with a smile on my face and love in my heart? Am I sharing those good feelings with others? Am I communicating with others the good things that my chapter is doing?” Class “For class, you need to make sure that you are a stand-up person, that you are a positive leader in the jacket and out of the jacket.” Class is about remembering that whenever you wear your FFA jacket, you are representing FFA to the world. It’s about “being honest, staying away from drugs and alcohol ... having a strong work ethic, looking good in your FFA jacket.” Being sure that “the language you use with others is clean, powerful and positive.” Legacy If you do all these things and do them right, you will create “a legacy of excellence in your chapter. Chapter officers can actively create that by not being so concerned about everything good happening their year.” Sometimes you just plant the seed, but the fruits of your labor may not be obvious for several years. That’s your legacy.
Rhett’s latest book, “Leaders In Gear” includes 230 specific tips for better leadership. It is available at www.yournextspeaker.com.

Rhett Laubach is a leadership mentor and consultant. He went to high school in Laverne, Oklahoma, where he served as FFA chapter reporter twice, chapter president, Northwest District vice-president, then state president. These days, he teaches leadership across the country and continues to work with FFA on the state and national level.

Are leaders born or made? “Leaders are born and then unmade. A lot of the major things that you need to have to be influential with people are things you were born with. Look at children. Children are happy, they’re creative, imaginative, friendly and trustworthy. “But as we grow up we lose our creativity, we lose our imagination, our ability to take risks, to talk to a stranger, sometimes even to just enjoy the day. Those are fundamental things that get switched off, because life switches them off. And that diminishes our ability to be influential with people.” How do we regain those fundamentals? You need to work on your influence – make it positive. You need to work on your spirit, make it energetic, joyful, engaging, and friendly. You need to work on your class – your etiquette, integrity, classiness, being a classy person. These three will feed in to the fourth one, which is legacy – having a legacy of influence.” photo identifier


You can read this interview in its entirety on our website: www.okffa.org

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