Friday, February 20, 2015

Update as of 2-20-15

Things have been very busy lately.  We are trying to make sure that we are prepared for FFA week, which is next week.  It should be a good week!

Last week, I posted while Colton Flower was visiting our chapter.  We had a great visit, and some great conversation with him.

Since then, we have been studying for contests, learning a little about the cattle industry (including what to look for when selecting cattle) and now are into the swine industry.

On Wednesday, February 18, we took 13 students to the Cattlemen's Classic.  Only the members that had an interest in attending the Classic were taken. This was the day that the Classic held for FFA members.  Members were given the task of completing a scavenger hunt for a prize.  They were also able to see the Hereford show, and the beginning of the Hereford auction.  Lunch was generously provided for FFA members in attendance, where they also talked to students about the future of agriculture.  There messages were meaningful, and I hope that the Heartland members were able to take something away from it.

Students in the Ag Science class are still plugging away on their music video.  If you look around school, they have hung a couple of posters to demonstrate what NPK are as well as why they are important.  Pretty soon, they will be ready to release their music video.  I wanted to take a second, and pass on some more words that students have written about their knowledge of fertilizers...
 "It is very important to help plants grow larger, stronger, and healthier.  Potassium helps fight disease, make energy, and control water, but without it plants don't have enough energy.  Nitrogen helps them grow strong and healthy, helps gain energy through photosynthesis, but without it they don't grow tall.  Phosphorous helps with respiration, helps store and use food, helps plants grow strong and without it plants don't grow tall."

Next week is FFA Week!
On Monday, FFA members will have their annual Pizza Party at lunch.

On Tuesday, we're going to have Drive Your Tractor to School day as well as wear your "brand" shirt.  So the school will have a chance to support John Deere, Case, etc.

On Wednesday, we're having wear an FFA shirt for a candy bar day.

On Thursday, we're going to do the annual barnyard.

On Friday, we're going to have the staff appreciation breakfast, but also invite local farmers in for breakfast.  Due to students having to go to classes, we'll only be able to serve breakfast for an hour.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Application season is behind us...

Things have been extremely busy around here.  All record books were closed out, and applications were filled out.  Applications season is now behind us!  Yeah!!!  Congratulations to our state degree candidates, which have all been selected to receive their state degree.  These candidates are Paige Mestl, Jordan Heinrichs, Parker Goertzen, Cole Nickels, and Lydia Quiring.

Congratulations also needs to go to Vanessa Hiebner and Addie Swartzendruber, who's proficiency applications have been selected to go on to state competition.  Proficiency awards are a review of what a students' SAE is and how well they reflect on goals and accomplishments.  Vanessa entered into the Outdoor Recreation SAE through her job as a lifeguard.  Addie entered into Grain Production through her SAE of helping out with the family farm.

Our animal science class has gone through consumer concerns, and classifications of animal agriculture.  They had a guest speaker come in to talk about Nebraska Beef Checkoff.  Thanks to Beef Checkoff presenter Doug Straight for teaching us about how the money is collected and where the money goes to.

Our freshmen have been working on a project to promote the use of fertilizers.  Fertilizers really aren't a bad deal, but they have a bad rep.  According to one of our freshmen, "Fertilizers/Nutrients can help plants grow larger and healthier then if the soil and water didn't hold nutrients.  Over the weeks we learned about different kinds of nutrients, I learned the importance of phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium.  We also looked at pictures of how plants look when they don't get enough of each nutrient.  Without these nutrients the plant will not be able to reach its full potential, and produce enough food to feed the world."  Students had two guest speakers come in to class.  One guest speaker was Melissa Buehler, a Nutrients for Life Representative.  She reinforced why nutrients are important, and why it's important to be knowledgeable about nutrients from the consumer view point.  She also presented a contest called Helping Communities Grow.  The agscience kids are working on participation in this contest.

The second speaker that the agscience kids had was Gary Zoubek, York County Extension Agent.  He talked to the kids about the practical application of nutrients in soils and how and why to check for the nutrients.  He also reinforced that though fertilizer is not a bad thing, we must watch at how much we apply to our soils.  If we over apply nutrients, that's when we start to harm the environment.

Students have come up with ways to get the word out about nutrients, through posters and a music video.  The video has led to some good conversations, and a memorable dance party in the middle of class.
Be sure to stay tuned in for updates on this project.  The competition ends March 2.

Today, we had a state officer visit.  Colton Flower is the State FFA Secretary.  He talked to the kids about marketing agriculture education, and asked the kids how they would market an agriculture education program.
He also challenged them to work together to build the biggest/tallest tower.  This allowed the students to collaborate, as well as not accept failure.

Congrats to the 5th period class for creating a tower that was over 12inches tall.

Be sure to check back on this blog to see our progression of the Helping Communities Grow contest as well as our FFA week activities.