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FFAnewhorizons.org SPRING 2014


Ten tips to improve your study habits


New Jersey FFA members maintain the schools golf course



cover story

4 Scrapbook
FFA news and achievements, reported by you.

8 Green Thumbs

24 Living to Serve
Be a Hunger Hero.

New Jersey students grow career experience through golf course, landscape and nursery management

6 FFA Faces
Meet members from across the country.

26 Personal Growth
Determine your best learning style.

14 Star Search
National FFA Talent competition attracts top performers in the country

16 Premier Leadership
Increase your life skills while helping with FFA fundraisers.

28 Career Success
Log on to the AgCareer Network.

18 Easton Gives Back

Country music artist celebrates his FFA roots

17 Ag 101
Grab peanuts for a healthy snack choice.

30 Reconnect
Meet alumna Dr. Chastity Warren English from North Carolina.

On the Cover

22 National Officer Q&A

Meet the 2013-14 officer team.

32 All FFA
Connect with FFA Link after high school.


Tim Gallagher, a student at Monmouth County Career Center in Freehold, N.J., helps maintain the schools FFA Links golf course.
Photo by Jeff Adkins


Volume 61 Number 3

For advertising information, contact Katie Newbern, (800) 333-8842, ext. 212, or email knewbern@jnlcom.com. 2013-14 National FFA Officers President BRIAN WALSH, VA Secretary MITCH BAKER, TN Eastern Region Vice President WES DAVIS, WV Central Region Vice President STEVEN BROCKSHUS, IA Southern Region Vice President JACKSON HARRIS, AL Western Region Vice President JASON WETZLER, OR National FFA Staff National FFA Advisor STEVE BROWN Chief Executive Officer DWIGHT ARMSTRONG Chief Operating Officer JOSHUA BLEDSOE FFA Executive Secretary SHERENE DONALDSON National Treasurer MARION FLETCHER National FFA Board of Directors Members Chair, USDE, VA STEVE BROWN Treasurer, State Supervisor, AR MARION FLETCHER State Supervisor, GA CHIP BRIDGES Teacher/USDE, LA ALICE DUBOIS Industry Representative/USDE, CA MATTHEW GONZALES State Supervisor, GA CHIP BRIDGES State Supervisor, NH LES PURCELLA State Supervisor, WI JEFF HICKEN State Supervisor, MI RANDY SHOWERMAN Teacher Educator/USDE, MO TRACY KITCHEL FFA Executive Secretary/USDE, NJ ERIN NOBLE Subscription Information: FFA New Horizons (ISSN 1069-806X) is published quarterly by the National FFA Organization, 6060 FFA Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46268-0960. Publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited manuscripts, art or any other unsolicited materials. For subscription information contact: FFA New Horizons Subscription Services, (317) 802-4235 or email newhorizons@FFA.org. Periodical postage rate is paid at Indianapolis, Ind., and additional mail offices. Postmaster: Please send address changes to FFA New Horizons, P.O. Box 68960, Indianapolis, IN 46268-0960.

Visit FFA New Horizons online to read more great stories, watch videos and download our FREE mobile app!


Winter 2013-14

The Big E celebrates FFA members from 18 states


Oklahoma member earns high honors for his commitment to community


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


Have you been to the FFA New Horizons website? Go check it out! There, youll nd: Stories about FFA members and chapters Career-planning resources A page just for your state (and a new way to submit your own story to be posted there!)

twitter.com/ nationalFFA

Copyright 2014 by the National FFA Organization and Journal Communications Inc. FFA Mission FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The Agricultural Education Mission Agricultural education prepares students for successful careers and a lifetime of informed choices in the global agriculture, food, fiber and natural resource systems. The National FFA Organization affirms its belief in the value of all human beings and seeks diversity in its membership, leadership and staff as an equal opportunity employer. The National FFA Organization is a resource and support organization that does not select, control, or supervise state association, local chapter or individual member activities. Educational materials are developed by FFA in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education as a service to state and local agricultural education agencies.

Wish you could read FFA New Horizons in your classroom? Tell your agriculture teacher about the magazine teaching guide. Get more details at FFAnewhorizons.org/teaching_guide.

facebook.com/ nationalFFA




FFA News From Across the U.S.

A place to celebrate your FFA achievements, chapter successes and good deeds

After spending two weeks volunteering at a rural Haitian medical clinic, FFA member Erin Hammond noticed that most of the Haitian farmers had little to no formal education on how to farm their lands, resulting in devastating soil erosion and crop loss. The experience inspired Erin to write a research paper on food security in Haiti for the World Food Prize and fueled her interest in ghting global hunger. She hopes to someday start her own nonprot organization that implements agricultural education programs for farmers in developing countries.


Legislative Leadership
The Mowerystown FFA Chapter traveled to the 2013 Ohio Legislative Leadership Conference at the state Capitol building for an eye-opening experience. The chapter was represented by ve members who spoke to Ohio state legislators, other FFA members and agricultural educators about making a difference in the agricultural community. The chapter members also learned that they play a large role in advocating for agricultural issues and education.



Social media isnt just for keeping up with friends and celebrities anymore. Lily the goat from Heritage High School in California has her own Twitter handle, @lilygoat1. A Boer goat that lives at the schools Agriculture Research Center, Lily tweets (with the help of her FFA friends) about fairs, awards, trips and other exciting FFA events. The goal for giving Lily a voice is to raise awareness about the agriculture center, which opened in 2012. With more than 80 followers and her own hashtag, #followthegoat, Lily has proved to be a great agvocate for her FFA chapter.


Always Remembered, Never Forgotten

To honor the fallen heroes of Sept. 11, 2001, the Elk Creek FFA Chapter organized an educational ceremony for the younger children in their school district. During the event held in 2013, every class in the district created posters featuring the phrase Always Remembered, Never Forgotten, which demonstrated the importance of the day. Local re and sheriffs department personnel attended the event, including guest speaker Sheriff Larry Jones.


A Stitch in Time
Minnesota FFA member Cole Thaemert proudly wears the same jacket his father, Cary Thaemert, wore 25 years ago. Coles mother altered the jacket to t and stitched his rst name where his fathers used to be, leaving the last name intact. A high school senior and vice president for his FFA chapter, Cole says he enjoys carrying on his familys FFA traditions.

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 youve received or even your involvement outside FFA.

Want an easy way to send your story? Email a photo, your story and contact information to newhorizons@ffa.org. All photos need to be in color and a minimum of 1 MB in size.

Or, mail to: FFA New Horizons P.O. Box 68960 Indianapolis, IN 46268




Meet Six FFA Shining Stars

Wrangler, the sponsor of FFA Faces, will award a pair of jeans to featured members
Andrea Joann McGrath

Trisha Pierre-Louis

Andrea shows cattle and pigs at local fairs, raises various crops and forages, and enjoys woodworking. She plans to join the U.S. Navy after graduation and pursue a career in nursing or marine biology.

This outstanding eighth grader serves as her chapter reporter. Trisha is dedicated to serving her chapter and her community. She loves helping younger members get involved and assists her peers with activities.

Sophia Peterson

Orion Douthit

This junior at De Soto High School serves as her chapters reporter and shows livestock at the county fair. After graduation, Sophia plans to go to Southwest Technical College and study agribusiness marketing.

As a middle school member, Orion served as his chapters president and competed at the state level in many of his projects. Orion helps with his fathers hay business and hopes to join the operation full time after college.

Justin Daniel


Evan Schaefer


Justin started a pine straw sales business in fth grade, then used those prots to buy his rst cattle when he joined FFA. He has expanded his SAE to include swine, egg production and vegetable production.

Evan currently serves as his FFA chapters president and vice president of the National Honor Society. He has received his state FFA degree and plans to pursue a career in agriculture after he attends college.

Nominate yourself to be considered for FFA Faces by following the steps below. Questions? Email ffanation@jnlcom.com. GO ONLINE Visit www.ffafaces.com and click on Nominations. You can nominate yourself or another current FFA member.

DESCRIBE Fill out the form to tell us about you your FFA involvement, school activities, future plans and more.

UPLOAD Find a great photo of yourself head and shoulders photos work best and upload it as part of the nomination form.




New Jersey students grow career experience through golf course, landscape and nursery management

Jessica DeJonge, a student at Monmouth County Career Center, looks through the owers stored in the cooler. She and other students create arrangements, corsages and more to sell to the public.


Like many schools, Monmouth County Career Center connects classroom learning with hands-on activities.

igh school students in New Jersey are getting IDENTIFYING TALENTS a jump-start on agriculture-related careers at Qualifying high school students in Monmouth County the Monmouth County Career Center (MCCC) attend shared-time programs at the career center for 2 in Freehold. 1/2 hours per day, five days per week. They spend their The centers award-winning horticulture, floral first year in the centers exploration program and their and landscaping programs give students hands-on junior and senior years in more specific training experience in areas such as floral programs that fit their interests design, greenhouse operations, and abilities. The center has landscape and turf its own FFA chapter with FREEHOLD, N.J. 48 members. management. Their training Monmouth County Career Center What weve found is that often leads to employment has its own golf course, which some kids who may not have after high school. is rare among high schools. been highly successful in Weve had several students academics are drawn to find jobs at golf courses, and agriculture and often find others have started their own hidden talents here, says lawn care and landscaping Cheryl Alfonse, floral design businesses, says John Neyhart, instructor at MCCC. Some FFA advisor and landscaping/ kids who come to us may not be turf instructor at the career successful when given a pencil center. Many have gone on to and paper, but when they get work in nurseries and garden other tools in their hands, they centers or in floral departments. get so excited about what theyre learning and become Connecting students to careers in the green industry more motivated to learn. is a natural fit in New Jersey. According to the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association, the green A LIVING LABORATORY industry accounts for 40 to 45 percent of the states MCCC has one of the few golf courses in the annual farm production and an estimated 60,000 jobs nation located on school property, and students in the horticulture landscaping program maintain it themselves. throughout New Jersey.

Students maintain the FFA Links golf course, which is one of the only courses found on a school property in the country.

more on our app


Check out the interactive version of this story, where you can learn how golf courses are maintained, on our magazine app. Visit FFAnewhorizons.org/mobile for more details on how to download the app on your phone or tablet.

Monmouth County students learn floral arrangement as part of their coursework. The school operates its own floral shop and sells to the public..

The golf course was designed and built in 2009 using students ideas with the help of local professionals who donated labor, an irrigation system, fertilizer, soil for the green, sprinkler heads and other materials. The golf course is our living laboratory, Neyhart says. Students do all the maintenance, including aerating and top-dressing it, watering, mowing, raking sand traps and all the other things a regular golf course needs. Students also compete each year at the New Jersey FFA Turf Management Career Development Event, and they have placed first in the state 14 times since 1998. Nursery and landscape teams from MCCC have also won best in the state four of the last 10 years and have represented New Jersey at the National FFA Convention & Expo, where theyve won bronze. Students in the career centers horticulture floral program rotate between classes in floral design and greenhouse operations. The center has its own floral

shop and greenhouse, which are open to the public, and students are responsible for growing and marketing greenhouse crops, such as poinsettias and geraniums, and filling orders for customers. Students also enter plants and flowers in the New Jersey High School Horticulture Exposition every March. Its very exciting because they prepare all year for the expo, and we typically have more entries than any other chapter in New Jersey, Alfonse says. Laurie Neyhart teaches greenhouse operations at the career center. I often see students come to us not realizing they have talent, and then because agriculture is such a vast industry, they always find one or two things they enjoy and are good at, she says. To see that confidence being built in them and helping guide them toward something they are good at is extremely satisfying.


If a career working with plants, owers or turf appeals to you, gain experience now! Its always a good idea to job-shadow professionals in your community, but also consider these ways to incorporate your green thumb into a supervised agricultural experience program. Pursue a job or volunteer experience at a: Florist shop Lawn care business Greenhouse Golf course Sports eld Take initiative and learn your own skills in: Creating ower arrangements, bouquets and corsages. Planting and maintaining owers and shrubs at your home. Mowing lawns and increasing curb appeal. Growing plants from seed.

John Humphrey entered MCCCs turf management program his freshman year because he enjoyed golf and working outdoors. After graduating in 2008, he went on to complete a 20-week professional golf turf management program at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Today, he works as assistant golf course superintendent at Beacon Hill Country Club in Atlantic Highlands, N.J. If it werent for the career center, I wouldnt be where I am today, Humphrey says. I competed in the FFA Turf Management Career Development Event my senior year, and I got first place, which gave me a $1,500 scholarship to go to Rutgers. While at Rutgers, Humphrey landed an internship at Beacon Hill Country Club. After I graduated, my boss decided to hire me full

time, he says. Now I supervise crews who are working on the golf course. I love working outdoors and keeping the grass healthy and green. Katelin Hulse studied floral design, landscaping and greenhouse management at the career center and graduated in 2013. She is now attending Brookdale Community College in Middletown, N.J., and plans to transfer to a university and pursue a bachelors degree in plant science. The career center offers very hands-on learning and gives you the skills you will need to work in that field, Hulse says. I want to work in greenhouse management selling plants or flowers wholesale. I love that field because its peaceful and creative. Working with plants puts you in a good state-of-mind. Jessica Mozo

National FFA Talent competition attracts top performers in the country

FA members are talented. The organization seeks to spotlight the many ways the students are gifted through presentations and sessions. During the 2013 National FFA Convention & Expo, students who chose to express their talents had a new challenge. They had to compete. This friendly competition sought to name the most talented participant in the contest. And 17-year-old Bailey Wesberry was named the winner of the first National FFA Talent competition at the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo in Louisville, Ky. National FFA Talent and the National FFA Talent Competition are sponsored by Wrangler. Wesberry is a member of the Waurika FFA Chapter in Terral, Okla. She was excited to be named the first official National FFA Talent winner, singing songs like Anyway by Martina McBride, Something to Talk About by Bonnie Raitt, and To Make You Feel My Love by Garth Brooks. The other two finalists were Britton Pankratz from the Mountain Lake FFA Chapter in Minnesota with a yo-yo talent, and vocal duet EMazing Grace, with members Grace Kensinger and Emily Stoltzfus from the Manheim FFA Chapter in Pennsylvania. The competition began with members submitting applications and recorded auditions to National FFA months in advance. After a review of the materials by the National FFA Talent Director, Dan Tedor, the applicants were notified of advancement and were invited to participate in the new competition. Upon arriving in Louisville, 66 performers competed

in the first round of selections. This general audition had candidates perform up to two different routines or songs. Then, 15 acts were chosen to perform during Round 2 on Thursday evening in front of a live audience and panel of judges. The final three were selected and competed on Friday evening at the National FFA Dance for the top prize of $250 and automatic acceptance as a member of the 2014 National FFA Talent program. Competing against high-caliber talent and performing in front of thousands would make most quite nervous, if not terrified. But for Bailey, it was one more opportunity to share her passion, although she does admit that she had a few butterflies in her stomach. There was a lot of really good talent there, Bailey explains. I had faith in myself, but I definitely wasnt expecting to win! My FFA chapter stayed to watch me perform, which meant a lot to me. They were originally planning to leave the convention earlier, but they stuck around to support me. Bailey, who serves as her FFA chapters sentinel and shows pigs, says that singing is her biggest passion. Her first singing competition was at age 8, and shes been entertaining audiences ever since. Today, Bailey is putting together a band in Wichita and working on her original songs, which she says are based on her real-life experiences. So far, she has written about 10 songs. Im kind of like Taylor Swift, since most of my songs are about boys and heartbreak, she laughs. But I also have a few about where Im from. Writing my own songs is really important to me, so Im still working at it. Caroline Weihl and Kim Holmberg


Bailey Wesberry from Oklahoma was the first-ever winner in the National FFA Talent Competition.




Growing Funds and Skills

Increase your leadership abilities through fundraisers
ruit and meat sales, concession stands, event ad sales. No matter the product, the service or the season, youve probably helped with some type of fundraising effort for your chapter. Beyond the obvious benefit of raising much-needed money for FFA activities and events, fundraising efforts can also help you develop other important life skills. Helping collect money and make change at a plant sale develops your money management skills. Promoting a car wash helps you develop public relations skills. Selling fruit to your family members and neighbors increases your communication and problem-solving skills. And keeping track of your progress in any fundraiser helps you to be more organized and goaloriented. These are the exact types of skills that employers find valuable.

each activity, but to also be examples for other members of how to do things the right way.This might involve organizing and checking fruit orders or captaining work shifts at the fair or giving tips on how to be a better salesperson. Our members are given many opportunities to immediately see the benefits of their labor, and because of this, many strive to help carry the load.


Hoer and the Montgomery FFA chapter members are also quick to point out that no chapter would be successful without the support of their community. These are not extremely wealthy individuals, or people who have nothing else to spend their money on, Hoer says. Most of them are hardworking people just like you. But they are choosing to make an investment in you and the things you do, so you owe it to them to work hard, do your best, and give back in some way to repay them for their generosity. Beverley Flatt


Take the Wapello FFA Chapter from Iowa, for example. Every year, the FFA chapter hosts the Wapello Pro Rodeo that brings in crowds and cowboys from across the country. FFA members sell advertising for the event, which brought in $55,000 last year, make contacts with businesses, manage the rodeo finances, and write and design the entire rodeo booklet. Ive had several sponsors call me back and ask how soon they can hire my students after a meeting, says Irv Meir, a retired agricultural education teacher from the Wapello FFA Chapter. Students develop confidence after meeting with someone they dont know. They gain organizational skills and planning abilities, which are major life skills. The Montgomery County FFA Chapter in Missouri is also successful at raising funds for their chapter through ice cream sales, labor auctions, fruit and meat sales, and an annual scholarship raffle. However, according to FFA advisor John Hoer, the leadership skills are the main reason they do so well. Its this total team effort that makes us very successful, Hoer says. Our chapter officers lead the way as we count on them to not only be directly involved with


AG 101

The Peanut Gallery

This legume packs a protein punch
The average American will consume more than six pounds of peanut products per year in the form of peanut butter, candy, roasted, salted, boiled and more. Despite not technically qualifying as a nut, peanuts are the most popular snack nut in the U.S., accounting for 67 percent of nut consumption. With edible kernels encased in a shell, the peanut is classified as a legume, along with beans and peas.

Top Peanut States

Peanuts are grown in 15 states, with 55 percent being produced in the Southeastern states. The United States produced 6.7 billion pounds of peanuts in 2012 and ranks third in the world for peanut production behind China and India. Georgia is the top-producing state, breaking the record for highest average yield with 4,555 pounds of peanuts per acre in 2012.

Types of Peanuts

1 2 3 4

CERTAIN PRODUCTS REQUIRE CERTAIN PEANUTS. HERE ARE THE MOST COMMON TYPES: Runner: This type of peanut is commonly used for peanut butter. It accounts for 80 percent of peanuts grown in the United States.

Virginia: Known as the ballpark peanut, this snack nut is grown mainly in the Southeast and accounts for 15 percent of the United States peanuts. Spanish: Often used for candy and salted nuts, these small, red-skinned kernels account for 4 percent of peanuts grown in the United States. Valencia: All-natural peanut butter and boiled peanuts are the most common uses for this type.

1.5 billion
Approximately 1.5 billion pounds of peanut products are consumed in America every year.
Source: The National Peanut Board


Country music artist celebrates his FFA roots

Easton Corbin performs one of his hit songs at the 2013 National FFA Convention & Expo in Louisville, Ky.

aybe its not what he was referring to in his hit single All Over the Road, but Easton Corbin spent much of 2013 traveling the roads of rural America to meet with FFA chapters and members around the country. Through his partnership with the Ram Truck brand, Easton is celebrating Rams Year of the Farmer by holding private events featuring his songs. These events provide an opportunity for members to interact and discuss agriculture and FFA with him and each other, communicating the notion that there is a Farmer in All of Us. Ram kicked off the Year of the Farmer in February 2013 with the debut of their Super Bowl commercial,

Farmer, which has garnered more than 22 million views on YouTube. For every 1 million views, Ram pledged to donate $100,000 to the National FFA Organization, for a maximum donation of $1 million; viewers overwhelmingly supported the two-minute video, reaching 10 million views within days. As a result, a $1 million check was presented to the National FFA Foundation, on behalf of Ram Trucks, by Easton and Ram Truck Brand President and CEO Reid Bigland during the first session of the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo, held in Louisville, Ky. As the Farmer video suggests, many budding farmers including FFA members were inspired by their grandfathers and fathers. A former member of the

Watch a video of Eastons performance at the National FFA Convention & Expo at FFAnewhorizons.org/ EastonCorbin.




Reid Bigland and Easton present a check for $1 million from the Ram Truck brand to the National FFA Foundation, as part of the Year of the Farmer campaign.

As part of his National FFA Convention & Expo appearance, Easton met FFA members and signed autographs.

Easton sings his latest single All Over the Road to a group of FFA members at the Ram Trucks booth in the National FFA Convention & Expo.



Trenton FFA Chapter in Florida, Easton was no different. His grandparents lived on a beef cattle farm, so showing cattle as his supervised agricultural experience program was a natural fit. I remember when I was in sixth grade and [my grandfather] asked me if I wanted to show cattle and I was like, Well, yeah! Easton says. So, my grandpa was a big influence on me. Hes always been such a hardworking guy. Ive always looked up to him. You know, he really taught me a lot. Easton speaks highly of the skills and values he learned through FFA and his grandfather. Most important, he says, are his work ethic and people skills both of which helped him as a successful agricultural business student at the University of Florida. I always knew I would move to Nashville, but it was really important to my family and to myself that I got a good education, Easton explains. So I focused on getting my degree first, then I moved to Nashville right after graduation. Its his focus and strong beliefs in agriculture and FFA that have made Easton a good partner with Ram. Ram has been a supporter of the FFA organization

for well over 50 years, says Marissa Hunter, the head of advertising for the Ram Truck brand and Chrysler Group global advertising director. The FFA organizations values are very much in line with Rams. We respect what FFA stands for, and the good that students contribute. We are very proud to be affiliated with the organization. Ram sees Eastons music as a way to bring together local FFA chapters to celebrate and acknowledge the Year of the Farmer, Hunter continues. He is a great spokesman, especially as a past FFA member. His deeper appreciation and fit are perfect. For me, its a way of giving back to an organization thats given me so much, Easton says. Its been great with the kids; they just love it, and of course I have a great time. Its all organic; its not scripted. Its just all natural. We get out there with them and have a good time. Becca Harrison

Watch Easton Corbin visit FFA chapters across America at EastonCorbinWebisodes.com.


FFA members enjoy watching Easton perform.




Get to Know Your National FFA Officers

Tell us about yourself in two sentences.

launched my egg production business. I enjoy spending time outdoors, running, kayaking and hanging out with my family. Steven: I grew up on a fifth-generation family dairy farm, so my family is close-knit. I am a fun, outgoing guy who loves hiking, running and being outdoors. Jackson: Faith, family and country music are some of my greatest passions. I enjoy spending time with my friends and

being outside, and if I can do both at the same time, thats even better! Jason: I have an extreme passion for Lord of the Rings and exercising. My bucket list includes items like being a rodeo clown for a month, doing stand-up comedy, and touching a shark on the nose while its alive.

Brian: I was never raised on a farm, but I grew up raising livestock to show at the county fair. I come from a family of seven kids and absolutely love hanging out with them. Mitch: I love to drink coffee, watch movies and go on adventures! When Im not hanging out with my family, Im probably on YouTube or finding really funny Internet memes. Wes: In seventh grade, I bought a $1 chicken at the county fair (without my parents knowing!), which

Mitch: My dad and my grandpa were both in FFA, so you could say I grew up around the blue jacket. I knew I wanted to be an FFA member when my dad would pull out his old jacket and tell me stories of all the fun he had in it. Wes: Walking through the county fair as a young kid, I always admired the high school students with their blue corduroy jackets. But it wasnt until taking an eighth-grade agriculture science class that I really began to learn about FFA and became a member. Steven: My dad brought me to his ag classroom when I was only 6 years old. I joined FFA because everyone in it knew how to have fun and make me feel like I was cool.

How did you first learn about FFA?

Brian: I was first introduced to FFA in seventh grade, when I was motivated by many of the blue jackets that my friends wore. I joined as a freshman in high school and was immediately hooked.

October So what really happens when a new national officer team is elected? TIMELINE Heres where the 2013-14 officers have traveled so far:

After election during the National FFA Convention & Expo, the team stayed in Louisville, Ky., and Indianapolis for initial training, then returned home to finish up the school semester and prepare for a busy, yet exciting year.


The team reported to Indianapolis for training, then traveled to Arkansas to put their skills into action, meeting with national FFA sponsors and FFA members.

Jackson: I was invited to join our chapters antique tractor restoration team the summer before my freshman year. I loved that feeling of fitting in. Jason: I was actually fortunate enough to have my mom as an advisor

Mitch: I really hope to ignite FFA members to live every day like an adventure! Wes: I hope to ignite our passion for others to spark that fire of pure human ambition to live for other people.

Brian Walsh

Hailing from Virginia, Brian raised sheep and swine for his SAE and plans to become an agriculture teacher.

Mitch Baker I really hope to ignite FFA members to live every day like an adventure!
from the time I was born and my stepdad as an advisor from the time he married my mom when I was 10 years old. Im pretty sure my crib was lined with corduroy. Steven: Help others to feel like they belong. No one likes feeling left out, so find those outliers and include them into your everyday life! Jackson: I believe that compassion will be ignited in FFA members across the country as we work toward fighting against hunger, starting at home. Jason: I hope to ignite a passion for small acts of service. I truly believe serving in small ways can have just as big of an impact as large acts of service.

Mitch owns a lawn care business in Tennessee with his siblings. His career goal is to work in hunger relief.

Wes Davis


This West Virginian bought his rst chicken at age 11, and now he plans to become an agriculture teacher.

What do you hope to ignite in FFA members this year?

Brian: I hope to ignite a passion within FFA members. FFA caters to so many interests and when we define what it is that we are passionate about and then act on it, we are unstoppable.

Steven Brockshus


Steven worked on a dairy farm in Iowa for his SAE, and his career goal is to be an agriculture missionary.

Jackson Harris


The team spent one week in Wisconsin, where they visited 10 schools, presenting workshops and speeches. Next up were meetings in Washington, D.C., and a trip to Japan to learn about global agriculture.

This Alabamian loves restoring antique tractors. His career plan is to work in community development.

Jason Wetzler


Its time to divide and conquer. The six officers began attending conventions, conferences, meetings and special events individually or in pairs.


Hailing from Oregon, Jason raised swine for his SAE and now studies agricultural leadership in college.



Be a Hunger Hero
Join the FFA challenge to recognize and defeat hunger in your community
n the world of agriculture, it may seem that America is a land of plenty: fields of corn, acres of vegetables, row upon row of orchard trees. But, for one in six people in the United States, hunger is a reality. Many believe that hunger is confined to big cities or pocket communities, but oftentimes, those who struggle with hunger are our neighbors, hardworking people who have to go without food for multiple meals, or even several days. In an effort to combat this growing issue, the National FFA Organization has developed the FFA Hunger Heroes Challenge, which is part of a comprehensive hunger initiative, Feeding Our World Starting at Home, launched in 2012. The three goals of the initiative are to assist FFA members to See the problem, help Solve it and Share information about what they are doing as part of the answer. At the 2013 National FFA Convention & Expo, attendees were able to visit Running on Empty: A Journey Through Hunger, a large interactive exhibit where visitors listened and learned about people who are food-insecure in communities across the United States. Each visitor assumed the identity of one of these people in order to better understand their situation. Participants learned the scope of hunger, the choices made to secure food, types of assistance programs, and ultimately, how most people become food secure. At the

end of the journey, participants were encouraged to take the FFA Hunger Heroes Challenge. The FFA Hunger Heroes Challenge encourages FFA members and chapters to find ways to defeat the hunger issues that exist in their community. Coming off the 2012 National FFA Convention where almost 10,000 FFA members packed more than 1 million meals for the hungry, FFA members and advisors were looking for ways to learn more about the issues of hunger and how to take positive action in their own communities, says Kayla LumpfordMitchell, the program coordinator for the Living to Serve team with the National FFA Organization. National FFA wanted to offer a new challenge to chapters across the country: Help us donate 1 million meals to local communities by the 2014 National FFA Convention & Expo. FFA members thrive off of competition, and this challenge offers them an opportunity to take action and be a part of the solution to end hunger and help National FFA reach our goal. Meals are calculated using a Meal Math sheet that can be found on the FFA Hunger Heroes page located on the FFA Hunger site at FFA.org/heroes. As of December 2013, more than 300,000 meals have been collected and donated to the hungry by FFA chapters. Many chapters have contributed by hosting a canned food drive, managing a community

garden, and developing presentations to inform the community on how to grow their own food. The Scotts County FFA chapter from the Kentucky FFA Association hosted a Souper Bowl event and encouraged their entire school to bring canned food and nonperishables. The chapter then took the donations and created a CANstruction before donating nearly 16,000 meals to the local food shelter. The FFA Hunger Heroes Challenge and the Feeding Our World Starting at Home initiative are funded by The Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Cargill, Farmers Feeding the World, Land OLakes, Monsanto, RAM, Tractor Supply Company, Elanco and Nationwide Insurance Foundation as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. Beverley Flatt



Learn How You Learn

See, hear, do which way do you learn best?
magine you are in your agriculture classroom. Your teacher starts class and says you are going to learn something new today that you will be tested on tomorrow and gives three options: learn about the new subject by lecture and discussion, through a PowerPoint or video, or through an activity. Which way would you prefer? We each have a preferred way of taking in new information a preferred pattern of learning, or learning style. If you know which style works best for you and take time to cater to it, you can learn more quickly, study more efficiently, retain information better, understand things more deeply, improve performance on tests, and contribute more effectively on teams! So, lets talk about the three basic learning styles. We learn by seeing (visual), hearing (auditory), and doing (kinesthetic). We learn through all three of these channels, but we each have a favorite. Read on for more information about each, then be sure to go online (FFAnewhorizons.org/learningstyles) to take our quiz to determine which one fits you best.

Kinesthetic learners need to move and do. They like hands-on approaches to learning, and retain information best when they have an experience that anchors the information in their mind.


Zach Kinne, 2007-2008 National FFA president, knows that he is a visual learner. When he has to tackle learning a new issue for his job as a staffer for U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, he creates a visual web on paper by plotting key points in a bubble in the middle of the page and connecting rays off of that middle point to other bubbles with relevant information. This helps him focus his time and learn more efficiently while creating a mental image in his mind that he can revisit in his memory when he is in a meeting. He also uses it to contribute effectively to teams. He volunteers for tasks that involve making visual presentations because, since he prefers visual learning, he knows how best to display information for other visual learners. Thinking about how you learn best can empower you every day, giving you a step up as you move through life and face new challenges and opportunities, and even shed light on what career you might want to pursue. Anne Knapke

Visual learners learn best by seeing information displayed on a board, in a video, through activity sheets, pictures, etc. They need to visualize vocabulary in their head to commit concepts to memory, and probably take copious notes during class or meetings.

Auditory learners do best with lectures, prefer discussions, and need to read aloud or talk about information that has been read.

Want to know which style is dominant for you? Visit FFAnewhorizons.org/learningstyles to take our online quiz.


Auditory learners love to talk and listen. Here are some study tips for you: Use a tape recorder during lectures instead of taking notes. Read text aloud. Create musical jingles or mnemonic devices to memorize information.

When studying, do you take frequent breaks or like to listen to music? If so, you are probably a kinesthetic learner. Here are some ways to improve your study habits: Work in a standing position. Chew gum while studying. Use different-colored pens and highlighters to highlight important reading material. Dress up your study space with inspirational posters.

If you can remember things easily after reading them, you are likely a visual thinker. Improve your study habits with these tips: Draw pictures, charts and graphs to explain concepts. Use color to highlight important points when reading text or books. Study in a quiet place and avoid being disturbed.




Click for Careers

AgCareer Network makes career preparation easy
ccording to a recent Ypulse survey, a high percentage of young people resolved to plan more for their futures in 2014. Does this describe you? If so, the Agricultural Career Network (AgCN) can help. Within AgCN, a nationwide system developed by the National FFA Organization, you can document your FFA and academic achievements, explore careers and more. Since its launch in 2011, new options and activities have been released, making the site even more useful. If you havent joined the site yet, ask your FFA advisor to sign you up for an account. See the adjacent ad on page 29 for more details. Here are four ways you can use the site to help you develop a career plan.

match up with your interests and goals. You can explore different career options, then see how you can start preparing for those opportunities. Career Cruising recommends classwork, hands-on learning opportunities and a path to follow. Within the AgCareers.com section, you can search for existing career opportunities within your field of study or within selected geographic areas. This is a great feature that will prove useful to you throughout college or technical school as you begin to look for a full-time job, but it also can help you see what type of requirements, responsibilities and salary range you can expect for a future position.


Applying for FFA awards, degrees and scholarships is now more streamlined through AgCN. Since youre already entering your FFA experiences, service projects, agriculture classes and more, this information will automatically flow into FFA applications for the American FFA Degree, National FFA scholarship applications and more.


Once youre in, youll fill out basic information and begin entering your achievements. Track your FFA activities, as well as community involvement and service projects. You can even record classes you have taken to help you achieve your career goals and identify scholarships you have been awarded. Why is this important? Once its time to begin applying for college, jobs, internships or scholarships, having a record of your activities and achievements will make your application process much smoother. And you wont accidentally leave out your biggest successes by mistake!


Many people point to a mentor or career coach as a major influence in their professional lives, and we want FFA members to have those same opportunities. A major goal for AgCN is to connect you with industry professionals to share their experiences, answer your questions, offer advice, and hopefully, create lasting relationships as a career coach or mentor.


Two great partnerships with Career Cruising and AgCareers.com allow you to learn about careers that


Dr. Chastity Warren English

University professor inspires new agricultural educators
A lifelong passion for agricultural education and diversity inclusion led Dr. Chastity Warren English to her chosen occupation as an assistant professor at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, one of the states landgrant schools. She began her career as a high school agriculture teacher, but her pursuit of a masters degree uncovered her interest in researching agricultural education at a higher level. Read on as Dr. English shares her hopes for developing more agricultural educators.

What motivated you to pursue a career in agricultural education?


Name: Dr. Chastity Warren English Occupation: Assistant Professor of Agriscience Education, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University Home FFA Chapter: North Edgecombe High School FFA Achievements: Honorary State FFA Degree

My parents instilled in me, from a very young age, the value of education and the importance of farming. Probably as early as fifth grade I knew I wanted to be a teacher. In high school, I met Mr. Armstrong, my agricultural teacher, who introduced me to the world of agriculture! I knew during my high school sophomore year that I would attend North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and major in agricultural education.

the high-school classroom. It was after many discussions with Mr. Armstrong that I decided to take a chance. However, I knew once I left my program that it would take someone who understood the importance of an agriculture teacher to continue the program. It is difficult leaving a program that was built by sacrifice, love and dedication. It hurts even more to see a stellar program begin to dwindle due to a highlyqualified teacher not being hired.

the shortage?
If there are no agriculture teachers, then agricultural programs will begin to disappear. With my collegiate students, a problem I see is competitive offers from other professions. When my students decide to teach, I make sure they understand the challenges they will endure. However, I also inform them of the difference they will make in the lives of their students. There is no salary that can compare to this truth. I often remind my students that teaching is the one profession that creates all other professions.


What are the problems associated with

We often hear about a shortage of qualified teachers for agricultural education. Do you believe this is a problem?
Unfortunately, I do. Even in my case, I felt guilty when I was trying to decide if I should pursue my doctoral degree or stay in



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A panel of agriculture professionals spoke to FFA members during the 2013 National FFA Convention & Expo, as part of the FFA Link launch.

FFA News You Can Use

Stay connected with FFA after high school
With graduation just around the corner, you might be wondering how do I continue my FFA connection? Thats where FFA Link comes in. FFA Link focuses solely on the professional and creative development of FFA members beyond high school. It is also your connection to the Agricultural Career Network. FFA Link features exciting programs to help you network, gain premier leadership skills and prepare for your career success. It also gives you an opportunity to watch engaging online discussions with top professionals in agriculture. Another perk: FFA Link will bring these speakers directly to you! The speakers will visit universities and

major FFA events around the nation, providing opportunities for you to meet other FFA Link members and share ideas. Through these events and our online discussion groups on LinkedIn, you will build a new professional network that you can leverage in the future. FFA Link career programming will ensure you have the skills you need to succeed as you enter the workforce from building a knockout resume to sailing through your first interview. Dont wait join FFA Link today at FFA.org/alumni/ffalink.

This spring, recognize the hard work of others around you through three celebrations.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 marks the 41st anniversary of National Ag Day. FFA members across the country are invited to honor agriculture in your communities. Download great event ideas at www.AgDay.org. In April, help celebrate National Volunteer Month by identifying and thanking those who volunteer in your local community or give their time and talents to help with your FFA volunteer activities. And during the week of May 5, celebrate National Teacher Week. Find a way to show your gratitude to your teachers past and present. Write a personal note to a teacher who has made a major impact on your life, or stop by after school to tell them in person.


Planting Your Potential

Spring 2014

Meet Your 2013-2014 State FFA Reporter



Check out our


www.illinoisffa.org Table of Contents

PAGE B State CDEs PAGE C Easton Corbin Meet & Greet PAGE D Meet Your State Reporter PAGE E Planting Your Potential PAGE F Call to Convention PAGE G Voices from the Field


Illinois A

State CDEs
State Food Science
TOP 10 INDiViDUALS 1. Reagan Orzech, Somonauk-Leland-Sandwich 360 2. Kayla Gronewald, Unity Mendon 342 3. Mark Jansen, Unity Mendon 342 (2nd and 3rd place tie broken by test scores) 4. Josh Toft, Somonauk-Leland-Sandwich 336 5. Bobbi Toepper, Midland 329 6. Alexa Hoffman, Maroa-Forsyth 326 7. Logan Pyles, Midland 321 8. Jensen Parks, Somonauk-Leland-Sandwich 320 9. Katie Moore, West Prairie 319 10. Alex Ruwe, Maroa-Forsyth 313 TOP 10 TEAMS 1. Somonauk-Leland-Sandwich 1,590 2. Unity Mendon 1,472 3. Chicago Ag Science 1,442 4. West Prairie 1,422 5. Midland 1,405 6. Pontiac 1,363 7. Amboy 1,357 8. Heyworth 1,330 9. Maroa-Forsyth 1,321 10. Liberty 1,313

State Agronomy
TOP 10 INDiViDUALS 1. Kade Hill, Paxton-Buckley-Loda 350.5 2. Tess Cummings, Iroquois West 328.0 3. Joshua Degroot, Princeville 326.0 4. Daniel Feucht, Princeville 322.0 5. Matthew Runyon, West Richland 316.5 6. Joshua Reitz, Iroquois West 315 7. Laura Sandall, Princeville 311.5 8. Mercedes Wise, Paxton-Buckley-Loda 308.0 9. Logan Miller, Prairie Central 304.5 10. Haley Brokate, Paxton-Buckley-Loda 300.5 SUPERiOR TEAMS 1. Princeville 959.5 points 2. Paxton-Buckley-Loda 959.0 points 3. Iroquois West 919.0 points BLUE TEAMS (alphabetical order) Prairie Central Seneca West Richland

State Dairy Foods

TOP INDiViDUALS 1. Caitlyn Ifft, Prairie Central 36 2. Sadie Ropp, Prairie Central 45 3. Samantha Groth, Seneca 48 4. Laine Honegger, Prairie Central 51 5. Calli Robinson, Unity-Tolono 53 6. Samantha DeGraaf, Seneca 55 7. Cole Swearingen, Unity-Tolono 56 8. Jeffrey Deem, Unity-Tolono 56.5 9. Trenton Edelman, Prairie Central 57.5 SUPERiOR TEAMS 1. Prairie Central 132 2. Seneca 165 BLUE TEAMS (alphabetical order) Eureka Unity-Tolono

State Ag Sales
TOP 10 INDiViDUALS 1. Aaron Slack, Paxton-Buckley-Loda 192 2. Dan Nagel, New Berlin 189 3. Sommer Gagnon, Geneseo 186 4. Amelia Lindstrom, Putnam County 186 5. Tommy Justison, Hillsboro 185 6. Paxton Morse, Eldorado 184 7. Kade Hill, Paxton-Buckley-Loda 184 8. Eric Johnston, Geneseo 184 9. Alexis Hartman, Waterloo 183 10. Emily Schunke, Iroquois West 183 Connor Klingele, Liberty 183 TOP TEAMS 1. Paxton-Buckley-Loda 2. Geneseo 3. Prairie Central 4. Putnam County 5. Pontiac

B Illinois

Easton Corbin
Meet & Greet
Year of the Farmer Ram Trucks At national convention, Illinois FFA staff met with Easton Corbin and staff. Corbin was on stage at convention with an exceptional sponsor of the National FFA Foundation, Ram Trucks. You have most likely seen their commercial multiple times proclaiming 2013 Year of the Farmer. Ram wrote a check for 1 million dollars to the National FFA Foundation and announced that they would be sponsoring Easton Corbin on FFA-only events. Why did Ram choose to tour with Easton Corbin? Was it because he grew up in a town of 2,000 people? His classic country songs with modern lyrics that relate to FFA members? Or maybe even the title track of his new album, All Over The Road? Easton Corbin grew up on his grandparents farm in Trenton, FL. This member of the Trenton FFA Chapter is noted by his FFA advisor to be the shy boy that wouldnt talk in front of the whole class. During his performance he tells FFA members they need to be appreciated for what they do. He decided to go on this tour to promote to the public that their food does not magically appear on the shelves at the grocery store. There are people that spend their lives producing the food we eat. Easton sang Dont Ask Me About A Woman and then sang Merle Haggards Working Man Blues before taking a break to hear our National Creed Speaking winner, Kira Edison from the Payson FFA Chapter, present the FFA Creed. Easton remembered not being able to recite all of the paragraphs at once. He encouraged the crowd to dance and sing to the six songs he played. Easton pulled Cody, Joe, and me on stage for a question and answer period. We had to answer questions about Easton that were compiled by the crowd and him. Rachel Hawk notes, It was awesome! It was a really exciting concert and Easton is very personable. ~August Schetter

Illinois C

Meet Your State Reporter

August Schetter
Birthday: May 21, 1995 Parents: Dan and Mary Jo Schetter Siblings: Adlai Hometown: Brighton, IL FFA Chapter: Southwestern Advisor: Mr. Reed Favorite Food: Prime Rib Favorite Sport: Hockey Favorite Movie: The Longest Yard Favorite Color: Red Favorite Music: Country Hobbies: Working on the family farm; fishing; hunting ducks, geese, deer, rabbits (whatever is in season) Future Plans: Attend the University of Illinois to major in Crop Science Favorite Quotes: 1) Get-R-Done. ~Larry the Cable Guy 2) Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind dont matter, and those who matter dont mind. ~ Bernard M. Baruch 3) The most important meal is the next one. ~ August Schetter 4) Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. ~ John Maxwell Jokes you might hear August tell 1) Why are cows always broke? Because farmers milk them dry! 2) What do you call a deer with no eyes? No eye deer.

August Schetters FFA Timeline

9th Grade Star Greenhand Didnt Place at Agronomy, Poultry, Quizbowl 10th Grade Farm Plot Manager Lost State Parliamentary Procedure 11th Grade Vice President and Section 15 Sentinel District 3 Parliamentary Procedure Top Chairman Lost State Star in Agriscience 12th Grade Section 15 President 2nd Place State Extemporaneous Public Speaking

D Illinois

PLANTiNg YOUr POTeNTiAL Wherever We Go

October 2013
October 23, November 12, 14, 20 and 22 ISBE Budget Hearings ISBE Budget Hearings were held October 23rd, November 12th, 14th, 20th and 22nd in Carbondale, Champaign, Grayslake, Macomb, and Chicago, respectively. Budget hearings are an opportune time to convey our message about agricultural education to the State Board of Education so they understand the importance of the Ag Ed line item. Joe and Cody testified at the hearing in Champaign, while August and Rachel testified at the Macomb budget hearing and Sam testified in Chicago. It was great to see so many people, including FFA members, at the hearings to testify and support agricultural education!

December 2013
December 6-9 Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting December 6-9 we attended the Illinois Farm Bureaus (IFB) annual event at the Palmer House in Chicago with the 4-H youth reps. All Officers took part in the entrance of the flags, an auction for Illinois Agricultural Association Scholarships, a Trivia Night, and other functions. We also attended the Young Leaders Discussion Meet; where members age 18-35 can debate agricultural topics. IFB has countless opportunities for anyone 18 and older. It was great getting to visit with familiar faces from home as well as around the state. December 10 Glimpses of Ag Education in Chicago Some of us have countless hours in an ag classroom in a rural community. We have always heard about agriculture programs in urban schools. Have you ever wondered what they learn about or how they see the agriculture industry? We visited two agriculture programs, John Marshall and Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, both in the Chicagoland Area. We had a great time and even got to do leadership activities with John Marshall students. We visited both schools plant and animal science labs. Students are able to take agricultural science classes and participate in classroom labs inside of the school, as well as in outdoor labs. These programs are strikingly similar to the ag programs scattered throughout the state.

December 11 American Seed Trade Association Annual Meeting The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) continues to be the industrys leading advocate for the development, marketing, and movement of quality seed and associated products and services throughout the world. ASTA promotes the development of better seed to produce better crops for a better quality of life. Syngenta, a leading company in the seed industry hosted a luncheon for their patrons. President David Morgan spoke very highly of the FFA and encouraged everyone in attendance to support the FFA in their local communities. December 14 Packages for the Troops We collected items for the troops at the State Agronomy and Dairy Foods CDE. These items filled the bed of Mr. Crafts truck and were brought to the Illinois FFA Center. The Section Presidents aided in packing the items to be shipped overseas at the December State Officer Meeting. The collection drive was a great way to say thank you to the men and women serving our country overseas.

November 2013
November 26 Illinois Commodities Conference Harry Truman once said, Its amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit. This quote could stand as the motto for this one-day meeting of six Illinois Commodity groups: IL Beef Association, IL Corn Growers Association, IL Milk Producers Association, IL Pork Producers Association, IL Soybean Association, IL Wheat Association. The purpose of each commodity group is to promote their commodity. At this conference, leaders from each industry spoke about the challenges they are facing. They talked about working together to solve some of these problems such as the Farm Bill, transportation infrastructure, and Renewable Fuels Standards.

February 2014
February 15-22 National FFA Week We are looking forward to informing the people that the FFA is a national organization this week by communicating with the media throughout the state. Join us by contacting your local media or hosting a community-wide event during FFA Week, February 15-22.

Illinois E

Call to

FFA members, do you know what time of year it is?
Thats right. It is already time to start preparing for our journey to State Convention. This June, you wont want to miss the biggest event of your summer, the Illinois Association FFA State Convention. This June 10-12, 2014, there will be a flood of blue jackets at the Prairie Capitol Convention Center. Rachel, August, Cody, Joe, and I have all been working hard to make this event the best that it can be and to show how members are truly Planting Your Potential! FFA members will have the chance to impact the city of Springfield as well as those around them and show what the Blue and Gold is all about! The rest of the week, you are sure to be entertained by your FFA Band, Chorus, and Talent! Joining the Illinois State FFA Convention will be the National FFA Secretary, Mitch Baker. Mitch, who hails from Cookeville, TN, is a sophomore at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville studying Agriculture Communications. At the 86th National FFA Convention, Mitch was elected to serve as the National Secretary to more than 580,000 FFA members nationwide. There will also be a keynote speaker that I guarantee you wont want to miss out on. Throughout the jam-packed days there will also be recognition for personal as well as chapter achievements, retiring addresses from your 2013-2014 State FFA Officer Team, plenty of workshops to attend, and even a career show to showcase numerous colleges and careers. But wait, who am I kidding? A State Convention would not be complete without the election of the 2014-2015 Major State FFA Officer Team! Even with everything going on, FFA members will get to break loose and show their dance moves at the State FFA Dance, hosted by the FFA Alumni, and held at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Everyone is sure to have a good time whether youre getting your groove on, dropping it like its hot, or just hanging out with friends while enjoying the music Illinois FFA has been Planting Your Potential for 86 years. All across this great state from the city lights of Chicago, to the bluffs of El Dara, to the forests of Elizabethtown, to even the plains of Lincoln, FFA Members have been planting potential for their futures. I am ready to see downtown Springfield flooded with Blue and Gold jackets everywhere. We are going to come and show them exactly what our organization is all about. Polish up those dress shoes, iron your black pants or skirts, and get pumped for the 86th annual Illinois Association State FFA Convention! Forever in Blue & Gold,

Sam Detwiler

F Illinois

Voices from the Field

Voices from the Field is where you share with everyone how your FFA chapter is Planting Your Potential. Please send news, events or stories to us at the FFA Center to: august@illinoisffa.org.
St. Joseph-Ogden FFA Living to Serve On Sunday, November 17, tornados hit across the Midwest, with Illinois seeing a lot of activity. A small rural town, Gifford, was hit very hard with an EF-3 tornado. The St. Joseph-Ogden FFA Advisor, Mrs. Katie Duitsman, and her husband live in Gifford. Her home was spared from total destruction, but many of her neighbors lost everything. Several of our members friends and relatives were also affected by the devastation. The St. Joseph-Ogden FFA Chapter, among other local FFA Chapters, decided to help out the community. Fifty members of the St. Joseph-Ogden FFA Chapter and other students from the school wanted to help in the cleanup of their teachers town. The cleanup organization was very useful in that the SJO volunteers were assigned to local farmers to help with farmstead and field clean-up. Alumni members volunteered their time to drive loaders and trailers to help haul out debris. The St. Pauls Lutheran Church in Gifford was the home of the Disaster Relief Center. Congregation members organized efforts, took in donations, and prepared meals for volunteers and community members. We had lunch at the church in Gifford. Donations from many people were feeding the town residents and cleanup volunteers. Everyone was so nice and willing to help. We enjoyed talking with the residents and other volunteers at lunch. Everyone was so positive and thankful for the relief effort. The FFA members and students that came had never seen anything like this, and each were touched and glad that they could lend a hand. This was a very rewarding and humbling experience for our FFA members. The St. Joseph-Ogden FFA truly believes in the importance of service to others and always strives to exemplify the last line of the FFA Motto, Living to Serve. the Princeville FFA wants to thank everyone who attended. The meal was served by FFA members in a cafeteria-style line starting at 4 p.m. There was pulled pork, baked beans, coleslaw, potato chips, and dessert made by the members. Pepsi donated soda and Munson donated water bottles. An estimated 200 people came through the line for dinner. At 6 p.m., the Labor Auction was kicked off by the State FFA Talent Octet group of Victoria Stoller, Mikaela Wieland, Laura Sandall, Claire Berchtold, Skyler Brazel, Daniel Feucht, Luke Kieser, and Trent Siebenthal singing Mountain Music. Next, 36 FFA members and Mr. Nelson were auctioned off for labor, volunteering an 8-hour work day to whoever bought them. The highlight of the night was when Mr. Nelson earned the highest bid. Again, the Princeville FFA Chapter would like to offer a huge thank you to all of the businesses who sponsored the meal, the community members for supporting the evening, and the supporters who purchased students at the Labor Auction. The first ever Princeville FFA Hog Roast & Labor Auction was a huge success! Cheerleaders, Cross Country and FBLA. Nashville FFA members who participated (left to right, back row), John Kwiatkowski, Derek Fullerton, Kane Lamczyk, Clark Wisely, Jonathan Finke, Nick Malik, Chandler Reid, Josh Rynski, Kendall Dodson, Brianna Cobb, Tricia Herrmann, Tianna Kozuszek, (left to right, front row) Mason Niedbalski, Morgan Dodson, Patrick Suchomski, Kari Hake, Megan Decker, Jessica Perjak, Neil Kachuba, Kirsten Easley, Kailie Maschhoff, and Lexy Engelman.

Paris FFA Winter is coming on and Paris FFAs Gardening for Good has come to an end. Gardening for Good was organized between Paris FFA, Paris Community Hospital, and 4-H Extension to help better the Paris Community. The purpose of starting Gardening for Good was to help the community of Paris by donating produce to the hospital and the food pantry if supplies provided. With the start of gardening this summer there is still room of improvement and making the garden bigger and better with more years. The FFA had many volunteers to help put this in motion including planting, weeding, and watering once a week. Through this dedication we produced more than 216 pounds of tomatoes that were all donated to the Paris Community Hospital. Next year,the hopes are to have a bigger garden so some produce goes to the hospital and some to the Food Pantry. We are hoping to get more FFA members involved next year and have more produce than this year. Section 17 The Section 17 Officers and 121 members from Section 17 met at the Illini Union at University of Illinois to have some fun at Section Bowling! This event was held on November 20th. Some of the advisors even got in on the fun! We were so glad at the turnout! Thank you to everyone who went! Hartsburg-Emden FFA The Hartsburg-Emden FFA and FFA Alumni took on a huge community service project. A local bank took possession of a house in one of our communities. The bank needed to get the property looking good so as to place the house on the sale block. Not only was the outside (yard) unsightly, but the inside of the house was a disaster as well. November 9, a Saturday morning, more than 30 FFA members and alumni came in and started the clean-up. In probably record breaking time (3 1/2 hours) more than 60 tires, 11 televisions, furniture, mattresses, old swimming pool deck, wheel-chair ramp, basement clean-up, sweeping, vacuuming, garage clean-out the property is ready to sell. Arrange-ments were made for a hardy lunch at the Stag R Inn after the clean-up. People in the community were very glad to see this eye-sore cleaned up and FFA members were proud to know they had a huge part in making this happen.

Mount Vernon FFA Safety Day Camp is an extension of TASK. TASK is Teaching Ag Safety to Kids, and usually this is taught to the local 3rd and 4th graders, four times a year to more than eight different grade schools. By teaching, TASK kids learn basic safety skills ranging from lawn mower safety to chemical safety. But during Safety Day Camp kids learn more about different safety skills. We also bring in local companies like Monsanto, Farm Bureau, the Mount Vernon Fire Department, Pioneer Seeds, Littons Ambulance, and Tri-County Electric Company. Most members remember going to Safety Day Camp themselves, and they are thrilled to bring the experience that they had as a child to other children. Safety Day Camp was held at Adams Farm in Bonnie, Illinois, on April 10, 2013. Nashville FFA During the holiday season, NCHS student organization participated in the annual NCHS Student Council Scavenger Hunt. Student participants went from house to house collecting nonperishable food items for donation to the BCMW for local families in need. To finish the evening, the students brought the items back to the Community Center to be counted and were served pizza, snacks, and soda. To add an element of surprise to the event, every year there is a mystery item that teams must unknowingly try to collect. This year that item was macaroni and cheese, and the Cross Country team successfully won this challenge. However, the big winner of the night were the Cheerleaders. In addition, all of the teams did an excellent job by collecting more than 1,000 items for the BCMW. Participants in the event represented many NCHS student organizations including Student Council, FFA, Lifesavers, National Honor Society,

Shawnee FFA Host Annual Farmer Feed In appreciation for all that farmers do, the Shawnee FFA held its 4th Annual Farmer Feed at Keller Grain Elevator in Ware, IL on October 14, 2013. FFA members grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and gave out desserts that they made along with chips and a drink. They sat out at the elevator during lunch and when a farmer dropped off their load of grain they had a chance to grab some food and head right back out into the field. Members also had the chance to tour the elevator. They saw where the soybeans and corn entered the elevator and where it traveled to be stored. They then were taught how to take both the temperature and moisture content of the corn. They also figured out how much money a farmer would receive after his deductions on moisture, temperature, and damage. Princeville FFAs Hog Roast & Labor Auction October 19, 2013, was the perfect, chilly, fall day for a hog roast. The Princeville FFA Chapter hosted their first ever Hog Roast & Labor Auction on that evening in the Ag Shop at Princeville High School from 4-8 p.m. Blown away by the support of the community,

Illinois G


Spring 2014

The Miracle in Louisville

In 2012 six students from the Kingfisher FFA chapter won the Parliamentary Procedure State CDE Finals in Stillwater.The whole group, especially Chairman Trevor Woods, was very excited about their achievement; however, at the end of the CDE finals, all six members of the team had also qualified to go to nationals in other categories.As a result, the Parli-Pro team did not compete at Nationals that year but did commit themselves to working their way back to Nationals in 2013. They did just that, once again winning the State CDE Finals. And this time they would compete at Nationals. But there would be a detour on their road to the National Championship. Heres how Trevor tells it: We qualified at the State Interscholastic event and decided that wed go to Nationals. We put off practice a little bit because almost all of us were working wheat harvest. On the night of June 25, I was with some buddies just driving around some wheat land. I was riding in the back of a pickup and somehow just fell out. Trevor was rushed by his friends to the local hospital and then sent directly to the OU Trauma Center where he was diagnosed with a severe brain injury. He was in the hospital for ten days, with a broken jaw and big cuts on his face, but his most serious problem was memory loss. I lost some memory, and one thing I still dont remember is the accident itself. Between June 25 and July 4, I was conscious and speaking with people, but I dont have a memory of it. During that time, it was inevitable that some people wondered if he would recover in time to compete in Louisville. Was there ever discussion about not going? At some point you had to make a decision that youre either going to go or not. How did you all work that out?

Honestly, we never really had a discussion about it. I stayed ten days at the OU Medical Center and ten more days at Jim Thorpe Rehab. I was released one day with a broken jaw and everything. I had my mouth wired shut. The day after I was released, we had Parli-Pro practice. I just jumped right back into it. Im the chairman. I have a lot of speaking. But I participated with my mouth wired shut. From all the questions that I would be asked, I had to answer. That just reassured us that we still had a chance. I had no doubts that I could participate. Trevors will, determination and desire never left him. His road to recovery was led by that will.His team did win the national championship, and the entire Kingfisher community rose to cheer this group of students and especially the leadership and inspiration from the struggle of this determined young man. If you heard about this happening to someone else, would you imagine theyd be able to pull this off and do what you guys have done? Especially what you have done? Honestly, it is hard to believe. I was very fortunate to have all the supporting members of the community, of my family, and especially my team. In spite of all that Trevor has been through and all that he has had to overcome, he still gives all the credit to his team. I honestly couldnt be any more honored to be a part of that team. We were the only team from Oklahoma to ever win that event at the national level. We are all so close that were practically a family. And always will be, right? Exactly. Always will be. Congratulations to Trevor and his team members, Blair Kloeppel, Katie Lippoldt, Maegan Yost, Jason Murray and Gatlin Squires. And thanks to Gatlins dad, Mark, for sharing the story with us.

Kingfisher Parli-Pro was not the only Oklahoma winner at Louisville. Turn the page to see many, many more.

FFA National Convention

Jacob Grossnicklaus National Champion National Proficiency Award Winner Agricultural Mechanics Repair & Maintenance Entrepreneurship The Chickasha FFA Chapter Advisors: Chance McPherson and Melinda McPherson Garrett Sharp National Champion National Proficiency Winner Environmental Science & Natural Resources Entrepreneurship/ Placement The Waukomis FFA Chapter Advisor: Jarrod Johnson

Garrett Yerigan National Champion National Proficiency Winner Outdoor Recreation Entrepreneurship/Placement The Pryor FFA Chapter Advisors: Walt Taylor and Jarrod Melugin Garrett is a two-time national proficiency award winner!

Tanner Miller National Champion National Proficiency Winner Diversified Livestock Production Entrepreneurship/Placement The Mulhall-Orlando FFA Chapter Advisor: Allen Miller Tanner is a two-time national proficiency award winner!

National Horse Evaluation Career Development Event

The Adair FFA Chapter First Place Gold Emblem Team (National Champions!) 1st Place Gold Individual Wyatt Smith (National Champion!) 7th Place Gold Individual Blaine Mibb Advisors: Devin DeLozier and Shane Johnson

National Agricultural Issues Forum Career Development Event

The Kingfisher FFA Chapter Third Place Gold Emblem Team Advisors: Lori Burns and Ryan Burns

National Prepared Public Speaking Career Development Event

The Garber FFA Chapter First Place Gold Individual Tyler Schnaithman (National Champion!) Advisor: Dexter Matlock Oklahoma has won the Prepared event 5 years in a row!

National Agricultural Communications Career Development Event

The Stillwater FFA Chapter Second Place Gold Emblem Team Third Place Gold Individual - Olivia Cornforth Fourth Place Gold Individual - Adrienne Blakey Gold Individual Jacob Sitton Advisors: Scott Schaefer and Brad Chapman

Oklahoma had the most National Proficiency winners with 7!

Winners from Oklahoma

Blake Goss National Champion National Proficiency Winner Emerging Agricultural Technology Entrepreneurship/Placement The Sentinel FFA Chapter Advisor: Chad Blocker Tyler Sanders National Champion National Proficiency Winner Goat Production Entrepreneurship/Placement The Wanette FFA Chapter Advisor: Justin Boone

Carson Vinyard National Champion National Proficiency Winner Diversified Crop Production Placement The Altus FFA Chapter Advisors: Bruce Farquhar and J. C. Stafford Carson is a two-time national proficiency winner!

National Meats Technology & Evaluation Career Development Event

The Tuttle FFA Chapter Seventh Place Gold Emblem Team Gold Individual - Blakely Byrd Gold Individual - Jacob McKinney Gold Individual - Haylee Collins Advisors: C. L. McGill & Carey Mittelstaedt

National Environmental & Natural Resources Career Development Event

The Lawton FFA Chapter Eighth Place Gold Individual - Kyle Winn Advisor: Rick McElhaney

National Livestock Evaluation Career Development Event

The Alva FFA Chapter Fourth Place Gold Emblem Team Fourth Place Gold Individual Kory Dietz Gold Individual Tanner Burton Gold Individual Courtney Mapes Gold Individual Traci Owen Advisor: Randy Nation

National Agricultural Sales Career Development Event

The Amber-Pocasset FFA Chapter Gold Individual - Darcie Winn Advisor: Billy Scott

National Talent Competition

Bailey Wesberry (National Champion!) The Waurika FFA Chapter Advisor: Richard McCauley This was the first year for the Talent competition. Bailey will always be the first national winner!

National Food Science & Technology Career Development Event

The Burlington FFA Chapter Sixth Place Gold Emblem Team Gold Individual - Jenna Maltbie Advisor: Travis Bradshaw

Congratulations to all our National winners!

Oklahoma had the second most National Proficiency finalists with 20!

Ag Mechanics: A Perennial Winner

The Okemah FFA chapter won the Ag Mechanics Sweepstakes at last years State Fair in Oklahoma City. No one was surprised by that.They have won a state sweepstakes 13 years in a row, which is a very impressive record.But when the Midwest City Carl Albert chapter won the Ag Mechanics Sweepstakes at the Tulsa State Fair that was a surprise to a lot of people.That was a first for them.What do these schools have in common? To find out, we talked with the ag teachers at both schools, starting with Mr. Clint Chew at Okemah. Can you give us a general idea of what Ag mechanics means to you? Ag mechanics encompasses a lot. It is the one area of agriculture that is used across all other areas of agriculture. If were building livestock equipment, thats Ag mechanics but its related to livestock. If were working in a greenhouse, the structure of the greenhouse and the plumbing of the greenhouse is Ag mechanics. But it is horticulture. Right. If were working on tractors and plows, the machinery is Ag mechanics, repairing the machinery is Ag mechanics, but it all relates. And the skills a person learns in Ag mechanics are not just limited to agriculture related jobs, are they? In what other areas might having these skills be useful? I have several students right now welding on the pipelines. Some of them will go to school to do something in Ag, but a lot of them wont. Some will go on to Tulsa Welding School and become certified and go to work in the industry somewhere. There is a boy out at Carter (where Mr. Chew first taught) who designed a feed bin and had it built. It is an unmanned feed store. Hes also operating a welding shop, along with his farm and ranch and his feed business, and a welding shop.

Talking about that automated feeder brings up another point, which is the innovation, the design and creativity that go into Ag mechanics. Your student had an idea and then he had to design it. He used math skills and other skills to do that. Can you talk about how that all fits together? We use a lot of what I call Redneck Geometry. (Laughter) I do it in a roundabout fashion, but in a way that my students can understand. Ive always found it neat that when I have someone struggling in math class and not understanding a concept like the Pythagorean theoremwe can get out in a shop with two pieces of metal and a tape measure and use that to do some squaring of a rectangle, or square a gate frame. If you do that and check the diagonals of a square and after youve done that, explain to them that that was Pythagoreans theorem, the light comes on and all the sudden, they can go back to math class, and theyve got it. Because theyve seen it. Tell us about some of the success youve had. You are the school to beat and youve won again and again and again. This year at Oklahoma City marked our 13th consecutive sweepstakes at Tulsa Fair or Oklahoma City Fair. When I was teaching in Western Oklahoma, we won five out there, also. So for me, personally, this year was number 18. It just follows you around. Just follows me around. My dad won 21 in his teaching career. So between us, were getting pretty close to 40. (Laughter) You obviously have this in your blood. Youve been doing it a long time and you have this stellar track recordis there anything you could point to as a major reason for your success? For me, this is all about kids. Ive been blessed with a lot of good students with a lot of good hand skills. They buy into what I like to do. Thats the most of it.

And A New Kid On The Block

Youve had 19 years of tremendous success in Ag mechanics and tons of awards to prove it. What are your goals, now? Well try to keep up our string of sweepstakes for now. Im waiting for the day when somebody can sneak in and get me. I guess it will hurt, but I will go shake the guys hand because I will know they worked their tail off to do it. Unlike Okemah, Ag mechanics had never been emphasized at Carl Albert High School, but when Grant Little became the ag teacher there last year, he made it an important part of his program. I grew up in Bells, Texas, which has one of the best teachers for Ag mechanics, a man named Morris Mortensen. An emphasis on Ag mechanics was just the standard. So you brought that background and that expectation with you to Oklahoma. And now your students have learned enough about Ag mechanics in just a year that they were able to win a big contest. It was actually in about five months. We didnt even have equipment to do the welding until the end of November. So you had to put this together in a hurry. Looking in the future, do you see Carl Albert becoming one of the schools to beat in Ag mechanics? I sure hope so. That would be my goal. According to Mr. Little: Ag mechanics is a mixture of everything hands-on with welding and metal fabrication, cutting, repairing small gas engines, a little bit of electricity Your basic farmer is trying to make a living with everything he has. So instead of paying someone to work on it, it is more economical if he can repair it himself. If a tractors steering box breaks, he can weld it up. You can also go beyond that and try to be an engineer on your own. Thats how modern farm equipment came about: people going out, seeing they needed a little bit more and

adjusting to it by welding something onto their plow, or Improvising and customizing. Tell us about that aspect of Ag mechanics, which is not necessarily hands-on, but more Right, mental. Like I said, you have to be a bit of an engineer. If youre constructing something from nothing, you have some purpose for it, and you have to make it fit that. When youre actually constructing anything, you have to start using some physics and some math. Lots of math applications. Being a nine-year math teacher, Ive seen everywhere it applies. Ive tried to show them that application in construction and building. Tell us about the projects you did for the state fair. What did you put together? We did a lot of projects to help our shop for the future. We did three shop projects, and one got the grand champion. It is a worktable that is multi-use. It has a cut-saw that you wont have to work on the ground with. It has storage. It has a ledge so you can clamp things to it. And there is sheet metal storage to safely store sheet metal so that it wont fall on a student. Where do you want this to go? I want to stay a well-rounded program, but in Ag mechanics, be exceptional. In an environment like Midwest City where your students are not farmers and are probably not going to become farmers, how do you get them interested in taking Ag-ed and FFA? Well, basically I tell them it is a jack-of-all-trades class. Youre going to learn a little bit about everything until you find the thing you like best. Then you can start specializing. Plus, Ag is just fun. (Laughter) There is a good quality of kids that join. It is just a good group to be a part of.

Tuesday, April 29, and Wednesday, April 30

2014 State

David Garibaldi
Pre-Show Entertainment

Turnpike Troubadors In Concert

RedHawks Baseball

Joe Castillo
Pre-Show Entertainment

Thanks to our Title Sponsors:

Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK

Your State Officer Team

Walter Bond

Keynote Speaker

Bucket Boys Craig Kielburger

Kick-Off Speaker

Career Show Entertainment