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.

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