Monday, December 8, 2014

District LSE's

FFA members attended District Leadership Skills Events in Aurora Nebraska.  Schools that compete in our district are: Aurora, Boone Central, Central City, Cross County, Fullerton, Hampton, Heartland, High Plains, Palmer, Riverside, St. Edward, and Twin River.

During this competition, members are asked to compete in contests such as Public Speaking events (Junior Public, Senior Public, Natural Resources, Cooperatives, and Extemporaneous), Creed Speaking, Ag Demonstration, Job Interview, and Parliamentary Procedure (Senior and Junior).

The Heartland members were involved in all but Ag Demonstration and Parliamentary Procedure.

Students did very well for their first time competing in these events, as all but three were freshmen.

Lane Huebert and Austin Stuhr competed in Extemporaneous Speaking.  They were asked to draw a topic, and were given 30 minutes to write a 4 minute speech.

 Paige Mestl and Lydia Quiring competed in Job Interview.  They were not able to see how well they competed the day of the contest.
 Karah Joyner (wrote about how the creed influences her) and Kyra Dick (spoke about why we need to give speeches) competed in Junior Public Speaking.  They, like Job Interview, were not able to see how they competed the day of the contest.
 Cheyenne Hiebner (spoke about the Dust Bowl) and Devon Stamp (spoke about Dogs) in the Natural Resource competition.
 Connor Boehr and Taylor Quiring gave Cooperative speeches.  Taylor received second place, which qualifies her for state.

Bailey Peters and Krynn Arbuck did the Creed contest.

National Convention

On Tuesday, October 28, Heartland FFA members left school on the trip to Louisville.  They stopped to load a charter bus at McCool Junction.  From there, the seven students stopped at Palmyra, Nebraska City, and Squaw Creek (MO) for pick ups of 4 other FFA chapters.

Every year, Heartland joins McCool, Osceola, Freeman, Palmyra, Nebraska City, Falls City, Pawnee City on the annual trip to National FFA Convention.  This year we were joined by the Lawrence Nelson FFA chapter.

On Wednesday, October 29, the charter bus made a stop at Hummert International which is a greenhouse manufacturing facility.  They not only sell parts to greenhouses, but they also mix potting soils, have cuttings/seedlings for sale, as well as any thing that is essential to growing healthy plants in a greenhouse.  Students toured the facility, as well as were able to see there hydroponics unit.

After touring Hummert, students were taken to Purina Farms Visitor Center.  They learned a little of how pet food is made, were able to witness a cow being milk, test their strength compared to a horse, and weigh themselves.  Students ended the day at Purina at a dog show, where they watched dogs do stunts (catch frisbees and jump off of platforms into water).
Students then headed on to Louisville, where they attended the opening session on Thursday morning.  During the session they got to see the National Band and Chorus perform.  They were also able to hear motivational speaker, Nick Vuijcic.  After the session, students were able to attend the FFA shopping mall, watch some FFA talent, as well as the Career and College Fair.  Students were also asked to attend at least one leadership workshop while at the Convention on Thursday.

On Friday, October 31st, students toured various places around Kentucky.  They started the morning off at the Louisville Slugger Museum.  Here they learned the process of making the iconic baseball bats.

After the Slugger Museum, students were driven to a Dairy Farm.  This Dairy Farm has a unique floor for all the cows that are currently milking.  Instead of being on a normal concrete or dirt floor, these ladies are treated to a combination of sawdust and manure.  The owners say that since they have changed the flooring of their barn, they have had a huge increase in the production of milk.  Due to the sanitary conditions keeping the cows healthier.  Students were also able to pet a 3 day old calf, and some cats.

After the dairy, students were taken to Mammoth Caves state park.  They all took the tour of a cave, even if they were a little afraid of tight spaces and being underground. :)
On Saturday, November 1, students attended the American Degree Ceremony and then loaded back on the bus for a long journey back to Nebraska.  Students returned home around 1am on Sunday November 2.

Friday, October 24, 2014

October Happenings

After freshmen students attended P2C, see previous posts, the Ag classes, plus a few FFA members, attended district Land Judging in Deshler, Nebraska.  Students spent 1.5 hours judging the land in a wheat field with a cover crop of turnips.  Though our students didn't qualify for state (which by the way was this past Wednesday in McCook) they did a great job.  Austin Stuhr was 4 places away from qualifying for state as an individual.  He received a purple ribbon.  Addie Swartzendruber received a blue ribbon.  Matthew Buller and JJ Johnson received a red ribbon.  Trevor Friesen, Vanessa Hiebner, Nate Rogers, Kristine Goertzen, Bailey Peters, Devon Stamp, Roy Mason, and Destiny Bloxton received a white ribbon.  There were over 250 area students that participated in this contest, so I was fairly pleased with the results.

Students also found out who won the FFA jacket scholarship.  They had to write a few essays about what FFA means to them and what they hope to do in the FFA.  I also had to write a reference letter for them.  The "scholarship applications" then go on to state where they determine who gets free jackets.  This year there was an overwhelming demand for jackets, I can't remember the exact number but I want to say it was around 600 requests.  The Nebraska FFA Foundation is excited to see the numbers growing for requests and is happy to help out.  We were fortunate enough to have four members receive jackets: Kyle Ott, Cheyenne Hiebner, Tierney Casper, and Krynn Arbuck.

This year the chapter has also begun a member of the month and an officer of the month.  So far we have named the September member and officer of the month.  Officers vote on the members to be members of the month, and the point system is used to decide the officers.  The member was Devon Stamp and the officer was Addie Swartzendruber.

Next week we will be leaving for National Convention.  There will be more coming to the blog on our trip.  Members attending are: Lydia Quiring, Trevor Friesen, Shelby Hurlbut, Addie Swartzendruber, Bailey Ulmer, Krynn Arbuck, and Devon Stamp.

Advanced Ag 1 students are working on landscaping, and learning about the principles of design.  Welding students are still working on OA.  They will be moving to ARC and MIG welding in two weeks.  Ag Science students are learning the creed and attempting to create timelines on the history of the FFA.  Advanced Ag 2 kids are working on food science information and how STEC (E. Coli) gets into the Food stream and how bacteria grow.  They did a lab that dealt with exponential growth and were able to test out a GLOW-Germ kit.

Well, it's time to get back to teaching.  Until the next time!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

It's been almost a month

Wow, it has been a month since I last posted.  Things have been busy.  Due to the weather we were not able to go to Husker Harvest Days, however we still donated our food to the Heartland United Way.  Our magazines sales finished up and we were in charge of two concession stands during home football games.  During the week of September 21-27, we worked on Farm Safety Week.  Lydia Quiring, Trevor Friesen, and Matthew Buller put together the activities for the 4th-6th grades this year.  Trevor talked about tractor safety and why it's important to stay away from the PTO.  Matthew talked about ATV safety and why it's important to wear a helmet.  Lydia talked about being safe while riding horses.  All students in grades 4-6 also received a small airhead and smartie with a note attached that said "Don't be an airhead on the farm, be smart."  Due to scheduling the Matthew, Trevor, and Lydia did their presentations on two different days.

 Trevor discussed with students where to stand when around a tractor so that the operator can see you.  He also showed students a video of what happens when you get stuck in a PTO.

 Matthew discussed what an ATV is, the importance of wearing a helmet, and some ways of properly riding on an ATV.

 Lydia had an activity that demonstrated the importance of wearing helmets while riding horses.  Her "brains" were made out of jello and macaroni.  One "brain" was in a tupperware to signify a helmet.  The other "brain" was dropped without any protection.

On September 24, Cornerstone Bank held it's annual "Careers in Ag" Day at the Auditorium in Lincoln.  Students that participated were able to visit with area professionals about their career experiences and how to obtain a job there.  Participants are also eligible for the Cornerstone Scholarship that is to be awarded to seniors attending a Nebraska College.

On October 1, freshmen students attended a conference in Grand Island called P2C, or Pathways to Careers.  This was a way of giving students a hands-on approach to what careers paths are available in the agriculture industry.  Overall, I think students had a great time, and were asking if they could go back next year.  Though, some of them were wanting to see a few more hands-on demonstrations.

 Students in the Food Science Pathway created pretzels and "sausages"
 Students in the Animal Science Pathway were taught about animal cruelty and about training dogs.
Students in the Plant Systems Pathway were taught about agronomy and the importance of raising yield amounts.

Tomorrow FFA members will host a Harvest Meal at Progressive Ag in Bradshaw.  If you have a few minutes stop by and get lunch anytime between 11 and 1.

Next week students will be participating in District Land Judging in Thayer County Nebraska.

Until the opportunity arrises for me to write again, watch out and be safe while driving as Harvest begins.