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NEW HORIZONS THE MAGAZI NE OF THE N ATIONAL FFA ORGA NIZATION | A P R I L 2 009

Wild About

Animals

Members flock to veterinary medicine careers

Gvmm Uispuumf

Angelica Gallegos doesn’t let mud bog her down

Create a profile. Add friends. Start a group. Voice your opinions.


WEB POLL What is your favorite draft horse?

The Buzz Online FFA Nation members have uploaded more than 1,500 photos in the Photo Gallery. Go online and check them out!

Clydesdale 50 %

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FFA Giveaways

Percheron 40% Shire 10%

Discussions

Belgian Draft 0%

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What ’s New Racing Through the Mud – On Camera!

Need a past issue? Click on ¼ Virtual Magazine for current and archived editions.

“THE DECEMBER ISSUE IS SO AWESOME SINCE IT TELLS HOW WELDING IS HOT FOR A CAREER. I LOVE WELDING!”

Visit ¼ ffanewhorizons.org for scenes from a mud-bogging competition and an interview with FFA member Angelica Gallegos.

Lyndsey Combs, Garrard County FFA, Ky.

Go online to submit your FFA experiences.

State Scoop Read special inserts from other associations in ¼ State Scoop. 2

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FFA

Volume 55 Number 4

NEW HORIZONS

ÂŽ

APRIL 2009

Contents

The magazine of the National FFA Organization

JULIE WOODARD KIM NEWSOM JOYCE CARUTHERS JESSY YANCEY ANDREA BLOOM, CHRIS HAYHURST, JESSICA MOZO, SARAH JACKSON, RYAN VADEN KEITH HARRIS BRIAN McCORD JEFF ADKINS, TODD BENNETT, ANTONY BOSHIER, IAN CURCIO, J. KYLE KEENER CHRISTINA CARDEN MELISSA HOOVER, KATIE MIDDENDORF, JILL WYATT LAURA GALLAGHER, CANDICE SWEET, VIKKI WILLIAMS ERICA HINES, AMY NELSON JESSICA CHILDS, MARCIA MILLAR, PATRICIA MOISAN, RAVEN PETTY GARY SMITH ANDY HARTLEY, YAMEL RUIZ FRANCO SCARAMUZZA RYAN DUNLAP, CARL SCHULZ JENNIFER GRAVES TWILA ALLEN KRISTY MEYER, AMBER STRIEGEL RAY LANGEN CARLA H. THURMAN CASEY E. HESTER MARK FORESTER TEREE CARUTHERS NATASHA LORENS JEFFREY S. OTTO BETH MURPHY

Editorial Director Managing Editor Copy Editor Associate Editor Contributing Writers Creative Director Senior Photographer Staff Photographers Associate Production Director Production Project Managers Senior Graphic Designers Graphic Designers Ad Traffic

Distribution Director Web Project Managers Web Design Lead Web Designers Web Production Color Imaging Technician FFA Communications Executive Vice President Sr. V.P./Sales Sr. V.P./Operations V.P./Visual Content V.P./Editorial Director Production Director Photography Director Advertising Sales Manager, Custom Division JOHN LACEY Integrated Media Manager RACHAEL GOLDSBERRY Custom/Travel Sales Support RACHEL MATHEIS Sales/Marketing Coordinator

8 cover story

For advertising information, contact John Lacey, (800) 333-8842, ext. 281, or e-mail jlacey@jnlcom.com. 2008-09 National FFA Officers PAUL MOYA, NM NESSIE EARLY, CA HANNAH CROSSEN, OH LAILA HAJJI, OK REGINA HOLLIDAY, GA RILEY BRANCH, TX

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President Secretary Eastern Region Vice President Central Region Vice President Southern Region Vice President Western Region Vice President

Full Throttle FFA member and mud bogger Angelica Gallegos sets the pace.

Wild About Animals FFA members flock to careers in veterinary medicine.

National FFA Staff LARRY CASE National Advisor, Chief Executive Officer Executive Secretary Chief Operating Officer National Treasurer Division Directors

STEVE BROWN DOUG LOUDENSLAGER MARION FLETCHER JULIE ADAMS, MARK CAVELL, DALE CRABTREE, TOM KAPOSTASY, JANET MALONEY, DENNIS SARGENT, KENT SCHESCKE, VICKI SETTLE, LEE ANNE SHILLER, TONY SMALL, BILL STAGG, WILL WAIDELICH

National FFA Board of Directors – Members LARRY CASE Chair, USDE, VA STEVE BROWN Secretary, USDE, VA MARION FLETCHER Treasurer, State Supervisor, AR ROBERT B. CALVIN Agriculture Teacher/USDE, MO WILBUR CHANCELLOR State Supervisor, MS THOMAS DORMODY Teacher Educator/USDE, NM DENNIS FISCUS State Supervisor, AZ IKE KERSHAW State Supervisor, OH BRUCE LAZARUS FFA Executive Secretary/USDE, AR JOEL LARSEN State Supervisor, MN JOHN RAKESTRAW Business Representative/USDE, CO Subscription Information: FFA New Horizons (ISSN 1069-806X) is published Feb., April, June, Aug., Oct. and Dec. by the National FFA Organization, 6060 FFA Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46268-0960. Publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited manuscripts, art or any other unsolicited materials. For subscription information contact: FFA New Horizons Subscription Services, (317) 802-4235 or e-mail newhorizons@ffa.org. Periodical postage rate is paid at Indianapolis, Ind., and additional mail offices.

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Scrapbook

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FFA Faces

Read news, jokes and more.

Meet members from across the country.

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What’s Hot

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National Officer Q & A

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Healthy Lifestyles

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How To ‌

Find new ideas for fundraisers.

Meet Secretary Nessie Early.

Gain life skills in Washington, D.C.

Postmaster: Please send address changes to FFA New Horizons, P.O. Box 68960, Indianapolis, IN 46268-0960.

CU S TO M M AG A Z INE M ED I A

CopyrightŠ 2009 by the National FFA Organization and Journal Communications Inc. The National FFA Organization is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

Go green in your community.

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On the Cover Mud bogger Angelica Gallegos, Las Vegas, N.M. Photo By Kevin Young

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FFA scrapbook

Express yourself

Just Joking What kind of fruit do scarecrows like? Strawberries. Dan Andrews, Wauneta, Neb.

Why did the raccoon only eat the corn at the bottom of the stalk? Because he was on a low-cob diet. Tammy Wiedenbeck, Lancaster, Wis. What part of the fish is the heaviest? The scales. Dan Andrews, Wauneta, Neb.

FFA as an Art Form Welding isn’t typically an art form, but Turtle Lake (Wis.) FFA member Monica Lutz has taken it to new heights. Her FFA advisor Don Dipprey suggested that she create a life-size version of the FFA emblem out of steel, so Monica started the project by taking a photo of the FFA emblem and projecting it onto sheet metal. After tracing the design, she cut out each individual piece of the emblem with a plasma cutter, then arc-welded the emblem together with the help of fellow member Josh Thornwall. Sold during the National FFA Alumni auction, the emblem was then donated to the National FFA Center, where it is now on display in the front lobby.

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Special Invitation Rachel Powers from the Agri-Power FFA Chapter in Iowa recently attended the Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C. Rachel was selected to attend as a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars at the University of Iowa. As a high school FFA member, Rachel served as chapter president and secretary. She also placed second in the state radio broadcasting career development event (CDE) and is now a journalism major in college. To read Rachel’s firsthand account of the inauguration events, visit ffanewhorizons.org.

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FYI YOUR TURN Keep us informed! This is your chance to be a part of FFA New Horizons. Send us a short article about your latest chapter activities, awards you’ve received or even your involvement outside FFA. Be sure to include a high-quality color photo and your contact information. Want an easy way to send your story? Visit ffanewhorizons.org and click on ¼Tell Us. This year the McLoughlin FFA Chapter was awarded the Washington State Fair Commission Award, an honor no other Oregon chapter has won before. The Mcloughlin chapter was chosen for its outstanding leadership and showmanship during the fair, and McLoughlin members represented their chapter well as livestock exhibitors. Congratulations!

Blue-Ribbon Banjo Player

Or, send to: FFA New Horizons P.O. Box 68960 Indianapolis, IN 46268 newhorizons@ffa.org

When you’re as talented as Ohio FFA member Steven Moore is with a banjo, people notice. This Union Local High School senior scored first place at the 2007 Ohio State FFA Talent Contest, and he was the champ of the 2008 National Bluegrass Banjo Competition. When he’s not winning battles with his banjo, Steven enjoys playing with the band he co-started in 2004. The band, called Almost Famous, strums tunes of bluegrass, gospel and swing music. Learn more about Steven’s music at www.myspace.com/stevenmoorebanjo.

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FFA Faces

Stand Out in the Crowd Nominate yourself to be considered for FFA Faces by following the steps below. Questions? E-mail ffanation@jnlcom.com.

Create

Describe

Nominate

Go to ffanation.ffa.org and sign up for an FFA Nation profile.

Upload a profile photo, and fill out the fields to tell us about your FFA experiences.

Under the FFA Faces thread on the Discussions page, tell us why you should be featured.

IL

MT

Johnathon Cauble

Kali Petermann

Chapter: Dongola FFA

Chapter: Wibaux FFA

Johnathon, a high school senior, has served as his chapter’s vice president for three years. He participated in livestock evaluation, agricultural mechanics and agronomy career development events (CDEs). Johnathon is also an active member of his high school band and chorus. He plans to attend college and pursue a career as an automotive or real estate investor.

This high school junior first joined FFA to participate in the horse evaluation CDE. Last year, her team placed second in the state in this event. Kali works on her family’s beef ranch and shows horses. She serves as her FFA chapter’s student council representative, is a member of the high school band and is an actress in her school’s plays.

GA

TX

Ryan Hilburn

Megan Hawkins

Chapter: Stone FFA

Chapter: McLeod FFA

This seventh-grader is proud to be the first middle school FFA member of his chapter. He serves as the chapter treasurer and competes in the nursery and landscape CDE. He enjoys studying plants, attending chapter meetings and developing career skills, such as public speaking. Ryan also hopes to become chapter president in the future.

As a high school sophomore, Megan values the opportunity to travel to FFA events and meet other people from her state. She raises rabbits and hogs for show, and also enjoys riding her horses. Megan serves as chapter vice president and is also active in student council and her church. She looks forward to competing in horse judging and forestry CDEs.

WY

TN

Gage Lacek

Leah Cherry

Chapter: John B. Kendrick FFA

Chapter: Dyersburg FFA

A high school junior, Gage owns two horses and six cattle on his family’s Pass Creek Angus Ranch. He competed in agricultural sales and environmental and natural resources CDEs, and he serves as chapter vice president. He also enjoys welding, trapping and bird hunting. Gage plans to attend the University of Wyoming to major in animal science or agricultural business.

Leah, a high school sophomore, first joined FFA because her dad is an alumnus and even had the same advisor. She has a supervised agricultural experience program (SAE) in sheep production and raises Suffolk breeding ewes. Leah also participated in FFA Creed speaking and parliamentary procedure CDEs. Last year, she was named her chapter’s Star Greenhand. – Andrea Bloom

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Full

Story by Chris Hayhurst Photography by Kevin Young

Throttle Mud bogger Angelica

Gallegos sets the pace


M

ud bogging is all about going big – big trucks, big wheels, big engines and five to eight seconds of big-time adrenaline. It’s a man’s sport, and a big man’s sport at that. Or so it would seem. Talk to Angelica Gallegos, though, a sophomore FFA member at Las Vegas Robertson High School in Las Vegas, N.M., and you might get a different idea. At just under 5 feet tall, Angelica is definitely not big. Far from it. But she is an avid mud bogger – one of the few women who compete – and she’s as intense and excited and competitive as they come. Especially, that is, when it’s time to push the pedal to the metal. GOING ALL OUT Mud bogging, at least in theory, is a relatively simple endeavor. You strap on a helmet and other protective gear, haul yourself into the driver’s seat, steer your rig to the starting line, put it in first gear, and then wait for the signal. When it comes, you floor it, and through the mud and ruts you go. The engine whines, tires spin, mud flies, and your truck – or in Angelica’s case, a souped-up Jeep – does everything it can to wrench itself from your grip and fly off course. If you’re good, you cross the finish line 100 feet later. If luck’s not on your side, well…at least you’ve got your helmet. “It’s so fun,” says Angelica. “It’s a pit, and you don’t have much space to move, and there’s always the possibility that you’ll overcorrect and go off the side.” In fact, says Angelica, last year, in her first race of the season, she did just that. “I

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went flying out and climbed up the wall and was disqualified,” she explains. She wasn’t fazed at all. Not in the least. “What I like about mud bogging is it’s not just about how you do,” she says. “It’s also about seeing how the competition does, and seeing what they do to their vehicles.”

A FAMILY AFFAIR And what do they do to those vehicles? Let’s just say that Angelica’s Jeep spent a good deal of time in the shop last winter. “We’ve totally redone it this year,” she says. “We decided to get bigger tires, which meant the gear ratio needed to change, and then we decided we’d get a new motor.”

FFA member Angelica Gallegos stands just under 5 feet tall, but she is unstoppable when she loads up in her 1958 Jeep and attacks a mud bog.

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When Angelica says “we,” she’s

“To give you an idea what kind

talking about her dad, Chris, who

of person she is,” Leger says, “consider

introduced her to the sport and

that she’s in my agricultural

who himself was a competitive mud

leadership class and in ag business

bogger back in the early ’90s. Dad

and marketing, but she’s also taking

no longer races, but he does go to

ag mechanics. She’s an excellent

Angelica’s events to coach, be her

welder. I think that says a lot about

mechanic and cheer her on.

her. She’s so well-rounded.”

FFA

SEE video ONLINE

“I always told him I was going

And busy. In addition to her FFA

to mud-bog someday, but he didn’t

work (she’s chapter treasurer, placed

Visit ffanewhorizons.org to see a

believe me,” Angelica laughs.

in the top 10 at the district level in

video of Angelica racing through the

“Eventually he realized I was

public speaking, and was on an

mud and talking about her sport.

actually serious.”

agricultural issues team that won

Two years ago, the summer

state and competed at nationals),

before Angelica’s freshman year,

Angelica takes college-level math

he bought her the Jeep.

and practices karate. She also

“I wanted a Jeep because it’s little compared to what everyone else is driving out there. It fits my personality,” she says.

manages the wrestling team. And then there’s her other sport: track. In seventh grade, Angelica says, she was running with the track team, but unsure what events she’d

MORE THAN MUD Now don’t get the wrong idea. Angelica may be small, but her

compete in. Her coach asked if there was someone who could run hurdles. “When I said I’d do it, nobody

personality is anything but,

took me seriously,” she recalls. “I

says her Las Vegas Robertson

was the shortest girl on the team.

FFA advisor, Gary Leger.

They were like, ‘yeah, right.’”

Angelica says she performs much of the mechanic work with her dad’s help.

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As it turned out, she was not only serious, she was fast – the fastest hurdler on the team. Now running varsity and a star in the 100-meter event, Angelica has her sights set on this year’s New Mexico state championships. NEW IDEAS Angelica never thought she’d join FFA, and before her freshman year, it wasn’t even on the radar. But after a friend signed her up, she went to class and learned the FFA Creed. She was hooked. “For the last 13 years, I’ve wanted to go to medical school and be a pediatrician,” Angelica says. “But lately I’ve been thinking I want to go into agriculture and maybe become an FFA advisor. I’ve had so much fun with it; I’d love to share my experiences.” Until then, she says, it’s time to hit the books, the track and, of course, the mud. Saturday races run April through November, and she’ll be there on the starting line – in her little Jeep, jacked up on huge tires. “My dad is always telling me, ‘If you want to do it, do it,’” she says. “So that’s it. I’m doing it.”

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Story by Chris Hayhurst Photography by Thomas Shea

Wild About

Animals FFA members flock to veterinary medicine careers

FYI P WANT MORE?

For more information, check out the American Veterinary Medical Association’s website, www.avma.org. Other valuable resources include the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (www.vhma.org) and the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (www.navta.net).

assionate about animals and animal care? Then the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) would love to hear from you. The AVMA, the organizing force behind the association’s 78,000-plus veterinarians, has identified what they’re calling a “growing crisis” in the veterinary workforce. Simply put, there are too few veterinary professionals to serve all the pets, livestock and other animals that need care. And according to AVMA president Dr. Jim Cook, you’re just the type of person they’d like to bring on board. “FFA members have the ability to make good decisions and be successful leaders,”

Cook says. “Their enthusiasm and passion for helping animals, people and the environment make veterinary medicine the perfect career path.” Talk like that is music to the ears of Liz Pritchard, a member of A&M Consolidated FFA in College Station, Texas. “I’ve always wanted to be a veterinarian,” Liz says. “My goal is to be a large animal vet and specialize in equine medicine. I’ve been riding horses since before I could walk, and I’ve trained and worked with these animals as far back as I can remember.” Last year Liz was one of 18 students in her junior class to take the Introduction to

Also, the Feb. 25 episode of “FFA Today” featured a story on vet careers. Visit ffatoday.ffa.org to find links to archived shows.

A&M Consolidated High School student Morgan Gonzales, left, and her teacher, Lisa Pieper, perform a checkup on a miniature poodle. Right: Kelby McMullen holds a rabbit, one of the animals used for hands-on learning in the veterinary medical class.

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The Perfect Proficiency The new Veterinary Medicine proficiency offered by FFA is a great way to explore the field of veterinary medicine. Students in the program can work with veterinarians in clinical practice, research facilities, colleges of veterinary medicine, the animal health industry, and in a number of other capacities. Those who take part in the program may compete for proficiency awards at the chapter, state and national level. The awards, which are sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association, include $1,000 for the national winner. According to Dr. Ron DeHaven, AVMA chief executive officer, the new proficiency was created to give students the opportunity to be recognized for their interest in animal health and to encourage them to pursue veterinary careers. There’s a shortage of veterinarians in the workforce, DeHaven says, and that shortage is especially acute in rural areas. “We hope the award will attract more talented young people to the profession and all that it has to offer,” DeHaven says.

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Veterinary Medical Science course at her high school. The course, says agricultural science teacher Lisa Pieper, teaches FFA members everything from how to bandage a horse to how to do the clinical work typical of veterinary medicine – grooming, taking vitals, administering injections, drawing blood and more. Interested students can even spend time at nearby Texas A&M University, home to one of the nation’s 28 veterinary schools. The two-semester class meets for one period each day. Those who complete the course, as well as master certain technical skills they learn outside the classroom at area clinics, can take an exam to become certified veterinary assistants. “The first semester is a lot of terminology,” Pieper says. “Second semester is more hands-on. The idea is to see what veterinary medicine is all about and to really expose them to all of the related opportunities that are out there.” Those opportunities, says the AVMA’s Cook, include not only careers as a clinical veterinarian – be it small animal, large animal or mixed practice – but also jobs in associated positions. “If you don’t choose to take the four-year veterinary program, you can enroll in a two-year program to become a licensed veterinary technician,” he explains. “The employment opportunities for veterinary technicians today are excellent. As a technician, you can work in clinical practice, research or the public health arena.” For those who choose to become certified veterinarians, Cook says,

“There is no end to what they can do with their degrees.” “You can work for the USDA. You can work in wildlife preservation, in environmental studies and in public health,” he explains. “For example, the U.S. food supply and food safety are heavily dependent upon veterinarians. It was a veterinarian who discovered the cause of West Nile virus, and veterinarians were the first to do hip replacements. They’re really on the front lines of scientific research in both animal and human health.” Kyle Jordan, a senior at A&M Consolidated who worked in a local clinic while taking the same class as Liz, has another career idea: veterinary management. “I really like the business side of things,” Kyle says. “I may apply to veterinary school, but I want to keep my options open and be prepared for anything.” Toward that end, for his undergraduate work, which he’ll begin next year, Kyle says, he’s looking at schools that offer not only agricultural and pre-vet programs, but also good business programs. No matter how you look at it, or what you intend to do, pursuing a future in the veterinary field is anything but easy. It takes lots of time, and requires a great deal of hard work. Still, Liz says, it’s worth it – especially since for her, it’s both a career path and her passion. “I’m not going into it for the money,” she explains. “I’m going into it because I know this is what I want to do. I’m doing it because I want to be happy more than anything else.”

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Veterinary medicine

1

THE PRINCIPLES IN THE VETERINARIAN’S OATH, AS DETERMINED BY THE AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, INCLUDE:

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REMOVING THE REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS OF A FEMALE DOG IS CALLED:

A. Spaying B. Neutering

A. Using scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society

B. Practicing the profession conscientiously

C. Keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics

D. All of the above

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AN INDIVIDUAL WHO COMPLETES A TWO-YEAR PROGRAM AT A TECHNICAL COLLEGE IS CALLED A:

THE HOLSTEIN BREED OF DAIRY CATTLE, KNOWN FOR ITS HIGH MILK PRODUCTION, IS RECOGNIZED BY:

A. Veterinarian B. Veterinary technician C. Dog groomer D. Receptionist

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FFA Careers

FYI TEST YOUR ANIMAL IQ Do you have the smarts to work with animals? Take our veterinary medicine quiz to find out. Those who work in the veterinary career field must learn about all species of animals – from cats to dogs to even exotics. Many who end up with animalrelated careers find their passion by caring for the family dog, working with livestock on a farm or even by taking a behind-the-scenes tour of the zoo. FFA can also help prepare you for an animal science career. Visit www.ffa.org and click on Career Cluster to discover more information and resources about the industry of veterinary medicine.

CARDIOLOGY IS THE STUDY OF THE:

A. Heart B. Lungs C. Eyes and ears D. Brain

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A. Its black and white hide

THE NORMAL TEMPERATURE FOR A CAT IS (AS MEASURED IN FAHRENHEIT):

A. 97.5 degrees B. 98.6 degrees C. 101.0 degrees D. 110.5 degrees B. Its dark brown face ANSWERS: | 1 D | 2 B | 3 A | 4 C | 5 A | 6 A FFANEWHORIZONS.ORG

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FFA What's hot

Cool stuff to know

Maple Trees Are Money Trees

Money Matters For most FFA chapters, fundraising is an integral part of ensuring that activities can continue. We’ve heard from many of you who want to learn about new and innovative ways to raise money for your chapter, but also make it fun and educational. On this page, you’ll find a few ideas from other FFA chapters. We hope you’ll go online to FFA Nation at ffanation.ffa.org and continue sharing fundraising ideas on the Discussions page.

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Love FFA and maple syrup? Then head to New York to catch an exhibit about maple syrup performed by the VernonVerona-Sherrill FFA Chapter. Every spring, the chapter raises money and educates others about this sweet treat by drawing its own syrup straight from the tree. The chapter travels with a mobile trailer to schools, fairs and festivals around the state, telling people all the great things about maple syrup production.

Putting On a Good Show

FYI

If you’re looking for a good show, look no further than the clinic on showmanship etiquette hosted by the Sebring Senior FFA Chapter in Florida. These members demonstrate the appropriate methods for showing cattle, poultry, swine and rabbits. Competition judges also attend to inform visitors about what they look for and what every showman should know. Sebring Senior provides the clinic for all county FFA chapters and 4-H clubs.

Each summer, Bakersfield FFA members in California learn how to work the ground at the chapter’s pumpkin patch.

FROM THE GROUND UP

Participating members gain experience in planting, weeding, irrigating and harvesting crops. After harvest, the pumpkins are sold at a local farmers’ market, and participants use the profits for FFA activities.

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FFA National Officer

Q&A

attending school board meetings on behalf of your FFA chapter, or inviting community members to your annual banquet.

Q

What was your favorite chapter fundraiser as a member?

A

My favorite and our most successful chapter fundraiser was our annual plant sale. Boy, do people love plants! Though I didn’t grow the plants each year, I enjoyed helping people pick out their favorite plants and watching their happy and satisfied faces as we loaded them into their vehicles.

Q

A lot of FFA members show livestock, like you did. What made the show ring such a great place for you?

A

FYI NESSIE’S FAVORITES When this Californian was 10, she wanted to be a Hollywood actress. These days, she’s leaning more toward becoming a college professor. Learn more about Nessie and her favorites.

Nessie

Early National

FFA Secretary Q

Hobby: Riding horses, snowboarding and jogging with my dogs

California native Nessie Early is extremely passionate about FFA, animals and being an ambassador for the industry of agriculture. This year as your national FFA secretary, Nessie is utilizing all three of her passions.

FFA historical event: 1933, when the blue corduroy jacket was adopted

Q

Personal hero: My mom Cartoon: Pink Panther Board game: Apples to Apples Sport to watch: Hockey

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How can FFA members be agriculture ambassadors in their communities?

A

The show ring often felt like a second home for me. It provided a place for me to learn to work hard and to be challenged each time I entered. I’m thankful for the support I was given and friendships I have gained because of my experiences in the show ring. Plus, not too far outside of the ring is bound to be some amazing fair food!

As FFA members and knowledgeable members of agriculture, we have a great opportunity to be ambassadors! Some possible ways to do so in your own community are by writing an agriculturerelated article in your school and community paper each month, adding an agriculture fact in your school’s daily announcements,

Do you have any advice for FFA members looking to start their own competitive show string of livestock?

A

The best way to start and maintain a successful livestock show string is to be a continuous learner. Watch how others raise, show and market their livestock, and constantly ask questions. Don’t forget to make it fun! Getting my family involved, making friends in the showing community and helping others made “working” with my livestock enjoyable for me. And, eventually, it became one of my passions.

ffanewhorizons.org Click on In This Issue for more from our interview with Nessie.

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FFA healthy lifestyles

civic engagement

Living to

Serve

Washington Leadership Conference is a experience

life-changing

FYI G FIND YOUR WAY TO WLC The dates for the 2009 Washington Leadership Conference are: Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7

June 2-7 June 9-14 June 16-21 June 23-28 July 7-12 July 14-19 July 21-26

The cost for the conference is $660 per student. Many states have scholarship programs, and chapters can also hold fundraisers to raise money to attend. To register for WLC or for more information, visit www.ffa.org and click on the WLC link.

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NEW HORIZONS

ot any exciting plans for this summer? You do now. The National FFA Organization’s annual Washington Leadership Conference takes place over seven weeks in June and July and gives FFA members a chance to explore our nation’s capital, make friends from across the country and learn to become authentic leaders. “Students visit the monuments and places like Arlington National Cemetery and talk about those leaders – how they knew what their purpose was and how they took action,” says Whitney Danker, education specialist for leadership delivery for the National FFA Organization. “It can be an overwhelming experience to be in our nation’s capital. For many of them, it’s their first time.” Besides visiting the U.S. Capitol and meeting their state senators and representatives, FFA members learn what it really means to be a leader. The five-day conference focuses on serving others and gives students the opportunity to create a “Living to Serve” plan to put into action upon their return home. “We discuss how they can use their talents to better their communities,” Danker says. “We have an in-depth session where they discover a need in their hometown, state or even the world. It could be related to racism, poverty, teen pregnancy or drunk driving. They pick a need that tugs at their heart – something that makes them want to make a difference.”

The conference teaches students how to gather the resources and people they need to make their “Living to Serve” plans a reality. After attending WLC in 2008, Asia Pruckler of Nevada, Iowa, came home and volunteered to clean up debris in Parkersburg, Iowa, a small town that had been completely destroyed by an F5 tornado in May. She also recruited volunteers. “I got my dad to volunteer his plumbing ability for the people of Parkersburg,” Asia says. “Teachers in my school volunteered to drive students to Parkersburg every weekend so they could help clean up. My church also had a big part in raising and donating money. It was amazing to see a whole state come together and help a small town rebuild itself.” Not only did Asia’s “Living to Serve” plan change the lives of the people in Parkersburg, it also changed hers. “I always thought the world was too big for one person to affect it, but I know it’s possible now,” she says. “WLC changed my life for good. ‘People need me’ is my new motto. When I did good for others, it made me feel good about myself. It also made me more humble. I realize how fortunate I am to have everything I have.” – Jessica Mozo

WLC participants help glean a field.

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FFA How-to

go green new direction in 2008 and is now incorporating sustainability and

Be a

PAL

green practices into its efforts to reach young people. “In August 2008, Campbell Soup Company officially became the PALS sponsor,” says Damon Spight, National FFA Organization program manager

Partners in Active Learning Support program offers ways to teach kids about

for PALS. “In October 2008, through

‘going green’

Company, three PALS chapters were

the coordination of the National Association of Agricultural Educators and funding from Campbell Soup awarded $7,000 grants to implement or advance a greenhouse project as part of their educational outreach

A

few decades ago, Earth Day was the only time of year most people thought about “green” practices like recycling and conserving energy. But times have changed, and now the “go green” movement is everywhere you look – in the news, politics and even at the grocery store (paper, plastic or an eco-friendly reusable bag?). Water shortages, global warming, land development, and air and water pollution are just a few of the problems that have caused society to pay more attention to green practices. And the PALS (Partners in Active Learning Support) program is helping chapters across the country get on board. PALS is a mentoring program that matches high school agriculture students with elementary school students. By exploring their interests in plants, animals and the world around them, the students develop one-on-one relationships, stronger social skills, trust and positive self-esteem. The PALS program has been in existence since 1991, but it took on a

20

FFA

NEW HORIZONS

to elementary school children.” The three award-winning chapters were in Kismet, Kan.; Mapleton, Iowa; and Lamar, Ark. In April, PALS will be releasing the second edition of the PALS Activity Handbook, which includes activities for third- and fourth-graders. It also includes enhancements to 50 teaching and training modules,

sustainability and green practices,” Spight says. “We believe PALS is an invaluable outreach program, and we envision FFA membership and agricultural education broadening at the high school. middle school, elementary and collegiate levels.” Talk to your FFA advisor about starting a PALS chapter at your school. For more information, visit ffa.org and click on Award Programs, then PALS. This spring, you can request free Campbell’s tomato seeds. Visit www.HelpGrowYourSoup.com to learn more. This will help Campbell and FFA donate seeds to plant gardens in communities and schools across America. “Through this campaign, Campbell will donate 22.5 million tomato seeds to national FFA, which could help FFA chapters nationwide grow more than one billion tomatoes,” Spight explains. – Jessica Mozo

adapting them to incorporate the latest and greatest teaching and learning strategies. “New, first-time modules on renewable energy, technology and recycling are also being added to the handbook,” Spight says. “Our release date will be close to Earth Day.” There are countless other opportunities for PALS chapters to help promote green practices in their communities as well. “Numerous PALS chapters utilize Food For America activities; greenhouse and garden projects; recycling activities; and general land, water and food programs to educate and raise sensitivity among both students and adults on the

ffanewhorizons.org Click on In This Issue to learn more about PALS and find links to more information.

importance of meaningful, ongoing

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April 2009, FFA New Horizons  

FFA New Horizons is an official publication of the National FFA Organization. The National FFA Organization is dedicated to making a positiv...

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