Well, for most of the area, we're mid-harvest. For the FFA chapter, we're mid activities during the month of October.
Last week, we had District Land Judging. It was held in Hamilton County this year. Who would have guessed that they put us along the Platte River banks? Let me tell you, for the type of soil that we worked with that day (October 7) we sure didn't do too bad. In fact, I am extremely happy with how the kiddos did! If I would have put the kids on different teams....we could have easily received third place...possibly even 2nd.
Just a reminder, and for those who are unfamiliar with land judging, we were looking at what the soil is capable of doing. We have to forget what the land is currently being used for, and look at several factors to determine what it's best use would be...all while keeping soil conservation in mind.
Out of 334 competitors, we had 8 place in the top 50. Addie Swartzendruber placed 2nd (earning a chance to compete at state), Emily Goertzen placed 11, Matthew Buller placed 17, Cheyenne Hiebner placed 23, Trevor Friesen placed 24, Kyle Ott placed 31, Vanessa Hiebner placed 33, and Peyton Ott received 39. At this time, we do not have any ribbon placings...but I'll get you updated when we receive them.
On Friday, October 9, members took some time from their day off to feed local farmers. This event took place in Bradshaw, at Progressive Ag Inc. This is the third year of the Heartland Chapter hosting the event. I think that the kids enjoy it as much as the farmers appreciate it.
Several members were also chosen to receive a free FFA jacket through various supporters that live throughout the state of Nebraska. These supporters sponsored over 315 jackets. Heartland was fortunate enough to receive 8 jackets.
Lastly, Tuesday evening, October 13. FFA members worked the David City volleyball concessions. The money earned from concessions will help to pay for the chapter dues.
Members will also work during the conference volleyball games on Monday, October 19 and then December 15 during basketball concessions.
Money earned at concessions on Monday will go towards helping members pay for National Convention. Money earned from concessions in December will go to finish helping pay for dues, and any other activities that we will hold throughout the year.
Looking towards the rest of the month, next week is State Land Judging out in Scottsbluff, NE. Then 7 FFA members will attend National FFA Convention in Louisville, KY in two weeks - October 27-31. Keep looking for some updates.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Wow has it been a while! Crazy how time flies when you stay busy. I think the officers will agree with me that we definitely have been busy...whether it's school and sports...or just life.
Can you spot the differences?
Members met and worked with the new Nebraska State Officers. They also had a chance to bond with National Western Region Vice President, Caleb Gustin. During their time at COLT officers began to look at what activities we would try to do throughout the 2015-16 school year, as well as worked on building their own leadership skills.
The FFA chapter was fairly busy throughout the summer too! During June we held our first, and I hope continues, Parent/Member meeting.
This meeting was designed for incoming freshmen and their parents so that they could see what FFA was and learn a little about what is expected of them. After the meeting, freshmen attending the meeting got together with older FFA members for a pool party at Henderson Aquatic Facility.
Members also participated in Community Days by hosting a 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament for going to be 3rd-going to be 8th graders. They also had a float, and hosted a Pie Baking Contest. After the contest, the pie was sold with the option of ice cream. It was a great way to end the evening!
Members then hosted a concession stand at Bradshaw Days annual Tractor Pull. It was a great afternoon, and we got to watch two of our members in the Pull.
Our members also showed various projects at the York County Fair.
Krynn Arbuck (pictured here with her Charolais) showed cattle and sheep. Trevor Friesen showed a few of his hogs.
Austin Stuhr also did well with his flowering plants.
After the fair, we had our first FFA meeting in August. The members had a lot of fun during the slip-n-slide. Last year, we had the slip-n-slide on what might have been the coldest evening of the summer. This year the weather was awesome!!! Unfortunately, our camera was missing for a few months...as it went home in a certain member's FFA jacket and she didn't figure it out until recently when she pulled her jacket out for a School Board meeting.
I bet you're wondering what the picture is above. It's actually DNA. The freshmen agriscience class began a discussion about biotechnology. Due to this discussion, we extracted some DNA from both strawberries and carrots. The bubbles in the picture is not of spit. It's actually a cloud of DNA...and what you can see with your naked eye.
Several members helped make the static exhibits at the state fair possible. Seniors attended the fair on Friday of Labor Day weekend to help set up the static exhibits, and get the exhibit area ready. They also got a chance to see some of what the fair has to offer.
After all of Heartland's exhibits were up, they helped man the booth for Nutrients for Life. While working the booth, they had the chance to tell people of plants needs in the soil.
We also had a few members volunteer that time throughout the weekend to help with judging of the static exhibits as well as bringing the exhibits home.
Sophomore member Karah Joyner was one of those volunteers. She helped the crops judge write the placings on the entry tags, as well as brought grain samples to him so that he could look them over and place them with a purple, blue, red, or white.
FFA members attended Husker Harvest Days on Wednesday, September 16. They were asked to wear orange shirts to help promote Abilene Machine. Not only did the members receive free orange shirts, they also received a monetary donation from the company for promoting their business.
Not only is Husker Harvest Days a good way to get the kids to see the vast network that agriculture is and the career opportunities that await, they also get in to the show for free by donating to the Heartland United Way food pantry. To top that off, members were required to fill out a scavenger hunt that is hosted by UNL. This scavenger hunt asks the members to find the various agriculture career pathways and have some sort of interaction with each pathway. Possible pathways are: animal systems, plant systems, food systems, agriculture business, agriculture mechanics, and natural resources. For completion of the scavenger hunt, members were awarded a free CASNR (College of Agriculture Science and Natural Resource) shirts.
32 members attended Husker Harvest Days. Here we are posing in our orange shirts at Abilene Machine for a picture.
Recently, FFA members hosted the annual Farm Safety Day. Members developed lessons to teach 4th-6th graders about safety. The topics that were covered this year were: helmet safety, chemical safety, animal safety, and ATV safety.
Cheyenne Hiebner hosted an ATV jeopardy game about ATV safety. Here 4th and 6th graders were split into two teams, where they competed to see who could gain the most points.
Currently, FFA members are studying for Land Judging. District contest is next week, in Hamilton County. They have learned about conservation practices and when to use them. They have learned to ribbon the soil, how to calculate erosion, and also how to figure slope. Since we are missing a lot of school lately, and I tend to loose track of time. We decided to first learn slope by utilizing the crown on the football field.
Here the freshmen class spreads out to calculate the slope from the goal post to the other side of the track.
I'll have to post next week on how we do. Hopefully it's well. State Land Judging will be in Scottsbluff, NE. I think it would be great to take some kids out west to see the scenery and so that they could see the difference in soil.
The classes have been going through a variety of stuff.
There are two students in Ag Leadership. This class talks about what it takes to be a leader, different personality and learning styles, and what their personality and learning styles are as well as how they can work with others not like them.
There are 13 students in Ag Science. We have talked about a general idea of agriculture, various career options, and some natural resource items...including soil conservation.
There are 9 students in welding. They were all anxious to go out to the shop and weld. So far, we have just worked on OA welding and will begin brazing fairly shortly.
We have 8 stations going at one time. That means that if we have a day where all students are there, there is one student that observes another student, and then they switch. Here I'm helping Noah Boyd steady his hand while tacking the metal...so it doesn't move as he runs a bead for the butt weld.
The ag projects class has 2 students. Each student was asked to develop a scrap iron project. One created a post pounder, the other is in the process of creating a stand for the metal sheer...since one of the wheels is no longer in working order.
There are 4 students in an independent study. Two students are working on animal science information. They will gain knowledge in cattle, swine, sheep, and then switch tasks to vet science. The other two students developed the curriculum for farm safety, have been studying for land judging and the meats contest. Once land judging is over, they will begin to prepare for job interview skills.