There are plenty of blue-and-gold jackets around the WPS Farm Show, members of Oshkosh-area chapters are manning the information booths in each of the hangers, there is a daily silent auction plus the State FFA officer team has a booth. State President Kayla Hack says it gives them a great opportunity to meet with members, parents, supporters and prospective members. It has been a very good year for Hack and her team, earlier in the week she was informed that membership has exceeded 19,000 in Wisconsin setting a 19-year high for the Association. The team is also counting the days, just 75 days left in their year which will culminate with the State FFA Convention in June.
A new executive director for the Wisconsin FFA Foundation, Sara Schoenborn will begin her duties on April 8th; she replaces Nicole Nelson who is going to remain with the Foundation but at a reduced level to give her more time with her family.
Schoenborn is a U.W. Madison graduate majoring in Dairy Science and Life Sciences Communications. She has been assistant editor for Agri View the past three years.
FFA students were a big part of Illinois Ag Legislative Day at the State Capitol in Springfield today. Illinois Agriculture Department Director Bob Flider told FFA students the sky’s the limit for their careers in agriculture and they are essential for meeting the food needs of a growing population.
Flider told the FFA members, “Being a part of FFA and supporting agriculture – there’s so many different fields in agriculture – you’re in the right place. And I hope that you stay here. I hope you’ll stay interested in agriculture because it’s our future.”
Flider said production agriculture and food processing are the drivers of Illinois’ economy. Flider says, “Illinois leads the nation in food processing sales – $162 Billion in food processing sales and it all begins in the farm fields of Illinois.”
Ag day gives farmers, future farmers, commodity groups and everyone across the spectrum of Illinois agriculture the chance to meet with state lawmakers and discuss their priorities.
FFA members from the Southwestern Hanover FFA chapter located in southern Indiana will soon be providing ground beef for members of their community that are struggling to put food on their table.
Greg Schneider, the ag teacher and FFA advisor at Southwestern Hanover, says the chapter will buy Holstein bull-calves at four days old and will have a part in raising them all the way through finish. “Each school quarter we’ll have an eight-week window to raise a pair of dairy calves and get them weaned,” he says. “The students will do that. The calves will be kept at school and animal and vet science students will take care of them.”
Following the conclusion of the quarter the calves will go to Schneider’s farm where they’ll remain until they reach roughly 550 pounds; from there they’ll head to a host farm to be fed out.
Schneider says the students will keep track of the animals through maturity. “The veterinary and animal science students will conduct farm calls on a routine basis – just to assess the animal’s wellness and to assist the farmer with any tasks that need to be completed,” he says. “At approximately 14 months of age they’ll be taken to a processor.
After processing – the ground beef will then be donated to various food banks throughout Jefferson County. Schneider says food pantries have an abundance of canned and processed foods – but run on short supply of proteins because of the expense.
It’s his hope that the FFA’s Community Calf Project can regularly supply proteins to those that struggle with food insecurity.
Four-H and FFA students wanting to get into the sheep industry in Missouri may apply for grants from the Missouri Sheep Producers (MSP) organization. They must NOT currently own a flock, must be actively involved in Missouri 4-H and/or FFA, submit an application and contact a current MSP producer for a letter of recommendation and agreement. That MSP producer would then mentor the younger member. The flock must be kept by the grant winners for at least one year. The application deadline is May 1, 2013.
For application, click here.
Jay County, Indiana FFA Chapter
Located in Portland, Indiana – our next FFA Chapter Spotlight is the Jay County FFA.
The Jay County FFA is our final Indiana Beck’s Hybrids/Brownfield FFA Chapter of Excellence. As we visited with the FFA members in the chapter – one of the things that they pointed out was the size of their chapter. Because their membership is 248 members, it allows for more members to engage in a wide variety of activities; allowing each of their FFA members a unique experience.
In addition to the membership giving back to the community – the community is also extremely supportive of the chapter. Thomas Borgerding, a senior at Jay County says community members dedicate their time and funds to help the chapter when needed. Some of their support has gone to the Jay County FFA Greenhouse as well as the other shops used by the members to help richen the students’ FFA experience.
The FFA members were in agreement that their experience has been memorable and created an opportunity to learn that will continue to help them grow in years to come.
The Jay County FFA Chapter advisors are: Melissa Wolters, Brittany Bridges, Cody Linville, and Seth Swallow.
Congratulations to the Jay County FFA!
Three students leaving a FFA event at a rural church were killed when two pickup trucks collided Thursday morning. Six students from South Ripley High School in Versailles, Ind. were involved in the accident.
In a news conference Thursday afternoon authorities released the named of those killed: Timothy Bowman; Jacob Vogel; and Samantha Hanson. Three other students: Tommy Crawford; Caleb Cumberworth; and Kayla Adkinson were injured.
According to Indiana State Police the accident happened at the intersection of Fairgrounds Road and County Road 850 West near Osgood. Investigators say it appears both vehicles disregarded stop signs.
The Indiana State Department of Agriculture and the Indiana FFA Association released this statement regarding the tragedy in Ripley County:
The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) and the Indiana FFA Association were very saddened to hear about the events which took place in Versailles, Indiana earlier today. The loss of any life is tragic and heartbreaking. That heartbreak is only compounded when the loss of life happens to those who are so young. ISDA and the entire Association send our condolences, thoughts, and prayers are with the South Ripley FFA Chapter, the local community, and the many friends and family members of all who were involved in this tragic accident.
National FFA Week is a time to express pride in who we are – and reminisce about how FFA has impacted our families over the years.
Brownfield Ag News reporter Tom Steever shared this family photo as part of National FFA Week, which runs through this Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013.
To celebrate FFA Week, my nephew and Lennox FFA member John Thomas Steever wears his dad John’s circa late 1970s FFA jacket. John’s Star Farmer and Meats Judging medals remain attached. The fit is remarkably perfect. The pants are not quite official FFA dress.
This is National FFA Week, Kayla Hack is Wisconsin State FFA president this year and like so many members, she did not grow up on a farm. She was first exposed to the organization in junior high and it built from there. She says while production agriculture remains a very important part of the program, agri-science is the area that appeals to so many non-farm students. “By 2020, we are going to have to fill over 132,000 jobs in the agriculture industry,” says Hack and that is what the program is built to do.
It was Missouri FFA Day Wednesday at the State Capitol in Jefferson City. State FFA President Jaelyn Bergmann of Perry, Missouri, addressed the Missouri House – reminding them that Missouri is, in her words, “the true home” for the National FFA. The then-Future Farmers of America was started in Kansas City in 1928 by 33 farm boys.
She said, “Those 33 farm boys made our mission statement to read: ‘FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of its students by developing their potential for premiere leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.’ Our members stand solid behind this mission statement, just as you stand solid behind your mission to improve our state.”
Bergmann went on to explain the educational opportunities for FFA members.
Ag proponents say FFA programs are at risk of being cut if the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education moves forward on its proposal to de-emphasize career and technical education.
~Missourinet contributed to this report~