Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Boy, it's been a while.

The Heartland FFA has had a busy year so far, and more to come. Since I wrote last we have done some amazing things as a chapter. The last time I blogged was September 15th , so we’ll pick up from there.

We did promise a few pictures from Husker Harvest Days...well, we have one.

We also have a few pictures from a meeting where members built adirondack chairs which were used for a charity auction.  Sometimes class can get crazy, try having 30 members in the shop at one time with an assembly line for building chairs.





Every year the FFA does this thing with children called Farm Safety and Health Week, this is where we go and teach the younger people at the school about being safe around farm equipment and how to stay healthy around chemicals. The children get a great benefit from this because it shows them that reading and listening to instructions can keep them safe and healthy. This year, because of the scheduling/timing of the day, we put farm safety facts in the announcements, as well as brought in a pedal tractor to be set up as a display to inform more people about farm safety.

Next we had Careers in Ag day. There were a group of the FFA members that went to York and learned about different careers that are used in the Agricultural spectrum. This was made possible by Cornerstone Bank.  Also, any seniors that have attended this event can fill out a scholarship.

On October 5th, we had district land judging. In this competition we go to a a site, this year it was a prairie, and judge the land to see what the land is capable of growing or what is the most proper use for that specific piece of land.

National Convention was a very fun experience for the ten members who went. This year it was held in Indianapolis, Indiana. On the way there, they made a stop at St.Louis' Science Center to stretch their legs...and their knowledge. They made the long journey there so they could learn better leadership skills and go to different workshops about different jobs or just to motivate them to do a certain thing. They went to a wind turbine farm to learn about how turbines work and what their reason is. Also they went to a shrimp farm to see how Indiana can be the top producer of shrimp in the country.  Members got to see how the farm manages the tanks, and markets their shrimp.   Finally, they went to an orchid farm. The man that owns and operates this breeds his own orchids and shows them in fairs and sells them some of them to help make a profit.  Members, were also treated to a pizza meal that was shared amongst both Heartland and McCool Junction FFA Chapters.  Members were also able to cheer on their own, Addie Swartzendruber, as she participated in the National Talent competition.  Former members, Paige Mestl and Jordan Heinrichs received their American Degrees.












October 26 was state land judging. I am proud to announce that Addie Swartzendruber went to this competition. She achieved second place at district and 19th at State.  Addie even had the chance to get interviewed by a local news station.  This year, the state contest was held north of Kearney.


In November, the FFA and FBLA had a Thanksgiving meal together. This is where we all come together as family, no matter what organization we are in. It gives all the members of both organizations time to communicate outside of school and with no competition.

Over Thanksgiving break, a few of the officers got together to put up a Christmas tree at Heritage Park.  It is only natural that the tree be trimmed in blue and gold.



December 5th, the FFA, FBLA, and NHS got together to collect cans for the annual food drive.  The groups split up so we could cover the whole town of Henderson and Bradshaw.

On December 14, we had LSE’s in Aurora. Here, we competed in different competitions and contests. All of our contestants did a tremendous job at this event, with Addie Swartzendruber receiving 2nd for Natural Resources.  Because we hadn't taken an officer picture before, this allowed us to be together to take an officer picture in official dress, since we were all competing.


Lastly, we had our Christmas FFA Meeting. This was when the freshmen and other recipients received their FFA jackets and their Greenhand Degree. After that was over, we had a gift exchange and drank cocoa and apple cider, and had treats to say farewell to 2016.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Whats Going on?

Since the last post, out FFA has done so much, from personal fundraisers to big FFA trips. The first thing the new officers did was have a little campout in Addie's backyard. The purpose of that was so we could get the feel of how we worked together and see what ideas we could come up with for the new year.
The big zoo trip was an experience for members who reached 250 points out of the whole year. You get points by showing up to meetings, going to conventions, and participating in competitions. We had a lot of fun! When we went, we stopped at the Claas of America, which is the only manufacturing headquarters in the United States for that company.  We got to tour the plant, and climb in the comfy tractors.


Then off we went to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha. While we were there we got a private tour that evening and the next morning, plus we got to sleep under the aquarium tunnel! 
















 We also got to have an animal encounter with a tortoise.



Next on the list is Community Days. The FFA held a basketball tournament for anyone to compete in! we had a great turnout and would like to thank everyone who helped out.



The next day, we were in charge of putting on activities for the children. They loved the "water balloon toss" which ended up being a bunch of kids running through the water hose while we tried to fill up the balloons.













During the farmers market, the officers set up a dinner for everyone in the community if they wanted any. The first week, we had hotdogs and hamburgers, and the second week was sloppy joes. That fundraiser went to helping us pay for different conventions and activities.
We also had several members compete at the County and State Fair.



Members also got to learn about milk and cheese while studying for the Dairy Foods Contest.  This was the first year that Nebraska has done it for several (probably close to 20+ years).









All agricultural students were also given the opportunity to work on updating the courtyards.  They got the privilege to work closely with Travis Friesen and his crew, Friesen Landscaping, to get the courtyards looking nice.  Ag students got to put together lights, haul rocks, plant shrubs, dig the pond, set up automatic sprinklers, and run a little electrical.  Students have enjoyed eating lunch out next to the fountain, and hopefully soon we can add some fish.









The last thing I have for you is when we went to Husker Harvest Days. We did a scavenger hunt and got some free t-shirts out of the deal! The scavenger hunt was a fun experience for people like us to get to know what kind of job opportunities and technological advantages the farming industry has. Unfortunately, we have not rounded up any pictures from this event yet.  (Maybe we can share on the next post.)
Thank you to all who support our FFA and hope you enjoy what the FFA does for the community, 

Karah Joyner