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fall 2011

Join us at the 84th National FFA Convention plus: Take an active role in the next Farm Bill


31 ways to wear your FFA spirit


Dear FFA Members,

“Your magazine has come a long way since it was created in October 1952.”

Welcome to the “new” and improved FFA New Horizons magazine! Your magazine, once called The National Future Farmer, has come a long way since it was created in October 1952 to be the official member magazine of the National FFA Organization. Over a nearly 60-year span, the magazine has evolved and changed with the times. Today it continues to play a vital role in the lives of FFA members. The magazine has featured more than 300 dynamic covers and thousands of informative articles on agriculture and careers. It has highlighted countless FFA chapters and members. Certainly, it has provided inspiration, advice, and humor for generations of FFA students, parents, teachers and supporters. During the 2009 National FFA Convention, the delegates discussed ways to improve FFA New Horizons. We listened to everything they had to say and, based on their recommendations, we created the magazine you hold in your hands. FFA New Horizons now features more in-depth stories about major issues in agriculture, as well as fast facts and statistics about agricultural products. Every page has a new look, and each issue will offer more pages and be printed on thicker, brighter paper. But don’t worry; we haven’t changed what you like most about the magazine – profiles of FFA members and chapters, stories about life in high school, and spotlights on

agricultural careers. Another new, exciting addition to this issue of the magazine: the 2011 Blue Look Book. The look book features the 2010-2011 National FFA Officers in the latest FFA gear and styles for purchase at Go back to school showing your FFA pride! We hope you enjoy your new magazine and all the issues to come. We’d love to hear from you, so please send us a message at and tell us what you think of the new look and feel of FFA New Horizons. As Benjamin Franklin said, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” Well, we’re certainly not finished. We’re making way for bigger and better things to come! All the best,

W. Dwight Armstrong, Ph.D. Chief Executive Officer National FFA Organization

FFA New Horizons


Volume 59 Number 1 The magazine of the National FFA Organization

Visit FFA Nation to read past issues of FFA New Horizons, nominate a friend (or yourself) for FFA Faces and talk to other members in the online community!

digital magazine Careers Check out our new-and-improved Careers page, a great resource for learning more about careers in agriculture.

Want to see past issues of FFA New Horizons? Visit the Digital Magazine page to flip through issues back to 2008.

Convention Visit the site on Oct. 1 for a sneak peek at the 2011 Convention Exhibit Guide. Inside, you’ll see a list of all the exhibitors and vendors for the upcoming national FFA convention, plus information about colleges and trade schools.

ffa nation Featured member


follow us on twitter nationalffa

Tanner Kemp

Chapter: Paradise Valley FFA, AZ

Tanner loves FFA, choir and his 1973 Ford truck! His supervised agricultural experience (SAE) program involves lawn management, and he enjoys learning about wildlife.

like us on facebook nationalffa

Editor Kim Newsom holmberg Associate Editor jessy yancey Content Coordinator BLAIR THOMAS FFA Publications Manager Julie woodard FFA Communications Kristy Meyer, Geoffrey miller Proofreading Manager RAVEN PETTY Contributing Writers celeste laurent harned, jESSICA MOZO, darryal ray Media Technology Director Christina Carden Lead Designer Jessica manner Senior Graphic Designers Laura gallagher, janine maryland, KRIS SEXTON, VIKKI WILLIAMS Media Technology Analysts becca ary, chandra bradshaw, lance conzett Photography Director jeffrey s. otto Senior Photographers Jeff adkins, Brian McCord Staff Photographers todd bennett, antony boshier Information Technology Director Yancey bond Web Designer richard stevens Web Developer yamel hall Color Imaging Technician alison hunter Integrated Media Manager rhonda graham Controller CHRIS DUDLEY Executive Secretary Kristy duncan Ad Production Manager Katie Middendorf Ad Traffic Assistants krystin lemmon, Patricia Moisan Accounting Diana guzman, maria mcfarland, shelly miller, Lisa Owens Distribution Director Gary Smith Marketing Creative Director Keith harris Executive Vice President Ray Langen Sr. V.P./Business Development scott templeton Sr. V.P./Operations Casey Hester For advertising information, contact Rhonda Graham, (800) 333-8842, ext. 324, or e-mail 2010-2011 National FFA Officers President riley pagett, ok Secretary landan schaffert, co Eastern Region Vice President tiffany rogers, mi Central Region Vice President Wyatt dejong, sd Southern Region Vice President james flatt, tn Western Region Vice President shannon norris, nm National FFA Staff National FFA Advisor steve brown Chief Executive Officer dwight armstrong National Treasurer Marion Fletcher Division Directors Mark Cavell, rob cooper, Dale Crabtree, bill fleet, janet maloney, Kent schescke, Vicki settle, lee anne shiller, Tony Small, Bill stagg National FFA Board of Directors – Members Chair, USDE, VA steve brown Treasurer, State Supervisor, AR Marion Fletcher State Supervisor, NV Jim Barbee State Supervisor, MS Wilbur Chancellor FFA Executive Secretary/USDE, SC Keith Cox Business Representative/USDE, LA ALICE DUBOIS State Supervisor, WI Jeff hicken State Supervisor, KY Curt Lucas Associate Professor/USDE, FL Brian E. Myers Business Representative/USDE, CO John Rakestraw Subscription Information: FFA New Horizons (ISSN 1069-806X) is published quarterly 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 Periodical postage rate is paid at Indianapolis, Ind., and additional mail offices. Postmaster: Please send address changes to FFA New Horizons, P.O. Box 68960, Indianapolis, IN 46268-0960.

Copyright© 2011 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. Please recycle this magazine


FFA New Horizons


fall 2011

12 Features


12 Something to Believe In

4 Scrapbook

Learn what’s being planned for the 84th National FFA Convention.


cover story

16 A WellRounded Experience

Texas FFA member excels in agriculture, academics and community service.

19 Clothes Call 31 ways to put FFA in your wardrobe

32 The Farm Bill Challenge FFA plays integral role in upcoming Farm Bill.


FFA news and achievements, reported by FFA members.

6 FFA Faces Meet members from across the country.

8 Reconnect Welcome Dr. Steve A. Brown, your new National FFA Advisor.

10 National Officer Q&A All six officers describe their FFA experiences in one word each.

31 Ag 101 15 things to know about corn.

36 Premier Leadership Being a team player.

38 Personal Growth Eight ways to get organized for the school year.

40 Career Success Showing livestock earns more than blue ribbons.

42 Living to Serve Start your own day of service.

44 All About National FFA Happy Birthday, FFA Alumni!

On the Cover 2010-2011 National FFA Officers Photo By Brian McCord FFA New Horizons



FFA News From Across the U.S. A place to celebrate your FFA achievements, chapter successes and good deeds

McBee FFA, South Carolina

Star Teacher Woodbury FFA, Connecticut

Squashing Hunger Growing vegetables can provide a valuable experience for FFA members to learn about crop inputs, weather, moisture, harvest and pest management. But for the members of the Woodbury chapter in Connecticut, it’s also a way to help the community. This chapter planted seven rows of potatoes and several hills of yellow squash, with all vegetables harvested donated to the Connecticut Food Bank. This was part of a statewide program sponsored by the Connecticut Grange to help feed people in need.


FFA New Horizons

Pat Earle, a 30-year agricultural education teacher, was recently inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame (NTHF), marking one of the highest honors any teacher can achieve. Earle is only the second agriculture teacher to ever be inducted into the NTHF, which was founded in 1989 to honor the teaching profession. As part of his recognition, Earle’s photo, along with some FFA memorabilia, will be on display in the hall of fame, located in Emporia, Kansas.


Planting Seeds for the Future For past Virginia FFA member Austin Larrowe, traveling internationally opened his eyes to the devastation of hunger and poverty in other countries. He realized that the key to battling these problems could, often be leadership, economics and education. Austin created a non-profit organization, called Feed by Seed, to provide immediate food aid to other countries and deliver materials such as plant seeds, animal feed and other materials needed to establish a productive, sustainable food system. Most importantly, Austin and his team train people to become food producers. So far, the group has worked in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. To learn more, search Feed by Seed on Facebook.

Game Show Shout out This youth organization, the FFA, prepares young people for careers in agriculture. If you answered, “What is the Future Farmers of America,” you could have won $800 on a recent episode of Jeopardy!

Visit this story at ffanation to share your thoughts about telling the FFA story.

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. Want an easy way to send your story? Email a photo, your story and contact information to All photos need to be in color and a minimum of 1 MB in size. Or, mail to: FFA New Horizons P.O. Box 68960 Indianapolis, IN 46268

Give us your best response to this:

Today’s FFA members know that the organization is no longer officially known as the Future Farmers of America, but it’s still quite exciting for FFA to be recognized on a national game show. And it presents a great opportunity for FFA members to continue to educate others about how FFA prepares members for careers in all segments of agriculture.

your turn

You Said Pleasantville FFA, Iowa

A Halloween Treat For many people, Halloween is known as a night of tricks or treats. But for the Pleasantville FFA chapter, it's all about treating others. For the past three years, they've hosted a Halloween benefit dance, with all proceeds donated to a worthy cause. They've given their profits to a fellow classmate fighting cancer, to the local food pantry and to a clothing drive. Local businesses help sponsor the event, and school clubs provide prizes for the costume contest winners. The FFA members who organize the event say they are already planning their perfect costumes for this year's event.

“I believe in the future of Agriculture! Farmers are the unsung heroes. We should all thank them for their hard work.” – FFA supporter walter phillips, via facebook

FFA New Horizons


FFA faces

Meet Six FFA Shining Stars Wrangler, the sponsor of FFA Faces, will award a pair of jeans to featured members Brady Kaufmann

Kaylee South

Brady has raised poultry, swine, sheep, goats and cattle for his supervised agricultural experience (SAE) program. His personal motto is “Give it your best, don’t worry about the rest.”

A college freshman, Kaylee will be competing in the national livestock judging career development event (CDE) this October. She also served as chapter president and was valedictorian of her graduating class.

Chapter: Mart FFA, TX

Jared Vulgamore Chapter: Westfall FFA, OH

Of all his FFA experiences, Jared most enjoys participating in CDEs, where he has met a lot of new people. He is currently serving as student advisor and has been a top-10 fruit seller for two years.

Anthony Drumonde Chapter: Hilmar FFA, CA

A three-time chapter officer, Anthony has been active in nearly everything FFA has to offer. In addition to his chapter officer duties, he serves as sectional reporter and was part of a state-winning dairy foods team.

Chapter: Franklin County FFA, GA

Amy Britton

Chapter: North Clay FFA, IL

This college sophomore is looking forward to receiving her American FFA Degree in October. In high school, Amy earned a proficiency award in beef placement and was on the high honor roll.

Suzanne Foote

Chapter: Greenwich Senior High FFA, NY

This chapter president has been active in FFA since the sixth grade and was recently honored to serve on the state FFA officer nominating committee. Suzanne also serves as her county’s dairy princess.

Nominate yourself to be considered for FFA Faces by following the steps below. Questions? E-mail


Go Online Visit and click on Nominations. You can nominate yourself or another current FFA member. 6

FFA New Horizons


Describe Fill out the form to tell us about you – your FFA involvement, school activities, future plans and more.


Upload Find a great photo of yourself – head and shoulders photos work best – and upload it as part of the nomination form.

FFA New Horizons



Dr. Steve A. Brown Meet your new National FFA Advisor


This year’s convention theme is “I Believe.” What do you believe, as it relates to FFA?


I believe that the FFA Creed and the FFA motto communicate many of the basic beliefs held by FFA members. I believe that agricultural education and FFA helps instill basic employability skills, grass roots values, communication skills and solid work ethic that help FFA members to be successful in a lifetime of informed career choices.

Why have you dedicated your career to agricultural education and FFA? I am a product of agricultural education and FFA and believe in what it can do to help a person be successful. My agricultural education instructors and FFA advisors inspired me to always do my best regardless of the situation or circumstances, treat people fairly, truly listen to others, be honest, be the first to arrive and the last to leave in getting the job done, be a good team player, and do my best no matter what the task.


What are some of your key initiatives that you would like to see FFA achieve in the coming years?


I believe it’s critical that FFA membership continue to grow and that all students are engaged in the educational process and the leadership activities that agricultural education and FFA offer. We must continue to identify, support and connect the science, technology, engineering, and math taught in the agricultural classroom and the ability of agricultural education students and FFA members to be college and career ready.


FFA New Horizons




Name: Dr. Steve A. Brown


Home FFA chapter: Orrick FFA, Missouri

What are you most looking forward to at this year’s national FFA convention? Being with and spending time with the student members. The national FFA convention is the showcase of what agricultural education and FFA can do to help students be successful. The convention is all about the students and the hard work and dedication behind the recognition they receive. The convention is truly an inspiration to me. It provides the reason that the dedicated teachers, parents and business leaders keep helping students to become our future leaders.

Occupation: National FFA Advisor

FFA member for: Seven years SAE: Beef cattle, corn and soybeans FFA awards: Star Greenhand, Beef Proficiency Award

Did you know there are between seven and nine million former FFA members? Help re-engage them with the FFA program. If you know a former FFA member, ask them to visit in late September.

FFA New Horizons


FFA national officer Q&A

Get to Know Your National FFA Officers


If you could use only one word to describe your time in FFA, what word would you use? Wyatt: Invaluable Shannon: Blessing Riley: Impactful Tiffany: Unbelievable Landan: Inspirational James: Humbling


If a school district was planning to cut agriculture classes, how would you convince the board to keep this important program?


10 FFA New Horizons

Riley: Earlier this year, I was fortunate to be part of a group that wrote a letter to the Cazenovia Public School in New York for this very reason. Cazenovia kept the program, and I believe other communities will keep their programs if we simply tell them how our lives have been changed because of ag education and FFA.

Wyatt: I would highlight who our sponsors are nationwide and how they believe in us; emphasize global, state and local activities within FFA; and pinpoint the role of agriculture within the community. Shannon: I would make them understand that agricultural education invests in the development of leaders in life, not just leaders in the classroom. Students who are determined to make a positive difference in the world are more career ready after an agriculture

December See what your national officers have been doing this year!

education class and can serve as advocates and role models in their schools and communities.

Spend time at the National FFA Center for team training.

Tiffany: They need to know that agriculture is a growing industry with unlimited possibilities that feeds, fuels and clothes the world. And agricultural education is where leaders for this industry are developed.

Landan: I would remind members of the school board and community that the agriculture industry is the most vital industry in each of our lives by explaining that, without agriculture, we simply would not eat and could not survive. James: My parents always wanted my sister and I to go to college, however we knew that if we wanted to go, we would have to find our own ways to pay for it. That’s where FFA came into play. Both my sister and I have received scholarships through our FFA experiences. Needless to say, FFA has made a major difference in not only my life but in my entire family’s future. That’s what the school would need to know.



Celebrate FFA Week in six states.

Smile big for the FFA merchandise photo shoot.

January Travel to Washington, D.C., then to Japan.

March Visit FFA Foundation sponsors.


Train new state FFA officers at NLCSO conferences.

May Travel to lots of state FFA conventions.

“Every year I get chills when each state presents its flag on the national FFA convention stage in the Parade of States.”


What one thing are you most excited about for the national FFA convention? Wyatt: I’m looking forward to celebrating the service done throughout the year. Shannon: I’m excited to see the thousands of people who are coming together to celebrate a year full of success and challenge themselves to leave better than they came.

Landan: I am most excited about the opportunity to interact with FFA members. James: I can’t wait to see all of the friends I have made this year and those individuals who have made the biggest impact in my life.


What’s your favorite cereal?

Wyatt: Fruity Pebbles

Riley Pagett national ffa president

This Oklahoma native raised beef cattle, swine and Boer goats for his SAE program.

Landan Schaffert national ffa secretary

Landan is a fourth-generation family farmer from Colorado, where he raised beef cattle for his SAE.

Tiffany Rogers

national ffa Eastern Region Vice President

Tiffany raises Percheron draft horses in Michigan and develops curriculum to teach children about agriculture.

Shannon: Cocoa Puffs Riley: Every year I get chills when each state presents its flag because I know our organization reaches so far and is present all across the nation, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Tiffany: Seeing everyone we’ve met this year again!


Plan for the national FFA convention at team retreat.

July Visit leadership camps in various states.

Riley: Froot Loops Tiffany: Peanut Butter Captain Crunch

Wyatt DeJong

national ffa Central Region Vice President

Wyatt grew up on a 7,000-acre cattle ranch in South Dakota and is pursuing a career in ag education.

Landan: Rice Krispies James: Frosted Flakes

James Flatt

national ffa southern Region Vice President


Memorize speeches and scripts for the 84th National FFA Convention.

September Visit leadership conferences, continue convention planning.

This Tennessee native has volunteered more than 1,800 hours for community service projects.

Shannon Norris

national ffa western Region Vice President

As an FFA member in New Mexico, Shannon focused on helping others develop leadership skills.

FFA New Horizons 11

Something To Believe in Revive your FFA spirit at the 84th National FFA Convention


early 55,000 FFA members and guests from across the country will descend on Indianapolis this October for the fun, educational and motivational experiences of the 84th National FFA Convention. This year’s event themed “I Believe,” kicks off Wednesday, Oct. 19, and runs through Saturday, Oct. 22. So brush up on the five “I believe’s” of the FFA Creed, and get ready to make memories at one of the largest annual student conventions in the country. As many of you returning attendees know, you can’t fit all that is great about the convention into one list. So here are our top 10 suggestions for how to spend your time in Indianapolis. After you’ve read through our list, head on over to for more events and news about the 2011 national FFA convention. 12 FFA New Horizons

An FFA member celebrates her cultural heritage during the National FFA Convention Talent Revue. staff photo

FFA New Horizons 13

1. Show off your FFA pride ON THE WAY TO CONVENTION! This year for the first time, FFA chapters can order commemorative convention T-shirts before the national FFA convention starts. Shirts are available now at Shop FFA ( Place your order no later than Oct. 9 to receive your shirts before traveling to Indianapolis. The T-shirts will a lso be sold at the convention.

2. GRAB a convention T-shirt designed by FFA members! Another first – convention tees designed by FFA members. From all designs submitted in the National Convention Tee Design Contest using the FFA Design Studio, 12 finalists were posted on Shop FFA so FFA members could vote for their favorites. The six winning T-shirt designs will be sold only at the convention. Plan to buy one – or maybe one of each! 14 FFA New Horizons

3. Get ready to serve!

5. Discover a career!

Since its start in 2006, the FFA National Days of Service has become a favorite annual convention event. Lend a hand at one of more than 10 local organizations and make a difference in the Indianapolis community. This year’s Days of Service will be held on Thursday, Oct. 20, and Friday, Oct. 21, but advance registration is required.

You can expect a different look at this year’s National FFA Agriculture Career Show. This year’s show is getting a new location, which means more space and more great booths. Be sure to visit this year’s show to see the new booths, as well as favorites from previous years, and win great prizes!

4. Celebrate Native Americans! At this year’s convention, pay tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans especially as they relate to FFA, agriculture and agricultural education. Scheduled activities include a historical display of Native American heritage and agriculture in the Indiana Convention Center and remarks from Chief Earl Old Person of the Blackfoot Nation who was a member of FFA in the 1940s.

6. Get motivated! During the convention, we’ll not only hear from the keynote speakers, but also from our FFA leaders. Hear departing comments from your national FFA officers, and thank them for their year of service as we welcome six new national FFA officers for the 2011-12 year!

7. Explore Indianapolis! Explore some of Indiana’s rich agriculture and career opportunities in the field on a Career Success Tour or Educational Tour! One tour, always a favorite, is a guided

photos by Jeff adkins, antony boshier, Brian McCord

walking tour at the Indiana State Fairgrounds that will allow you an up-close look at participants in national career development events.

8. Strap on your spurs! You’ll be on the edge of your seats as rodeo’s hottest acts compete in two big shows on Thursday, Oct. 20 and Friday, Oct. 21. The Three Hills World’s Toughest Bull and Broncs – National FFA Edition, brings the best bull and bronc riders to the Indiana State Fairground’s Pepsi Coliseum for the crowning of the series champion!

9. Get down with your favorite musical acts! Get ready for a wild night of country music! This year’s National FFA Convention Concert features 2010 CMA Male Vocalist of the year, Blake Shelton (he was also on NBC’s hit show The Voice!); threetime Grammy nominee and 2011

CMT award nominee for Group Video of the Year, Little Big Town; and 2011 CMT award nominee for Duo Video of the Year, Steel Magnolia. Get your tickets now, they’ll go fast! And as always, make plans to attend the National FFA Band and Chorus Concert and the various other venues where FFA members show off their own talents.

10. WATCH the convention! The best part of this year’s national FFA convention? You can enjoy it from anywhere. SchoolTube will be streaming every convention session live on its website,, and the full session videos will be available online after the convention. Also, you can tune in to the sessions on RFD-TV during the week as well. So even those who can’t make it to Indy can join in on the convention fun! – Blair Thomas

Navigating the Career Show While attending the National FFA Agricultural Career Show, it’s easy to be a bit overwhelmed. To help you find your way, we’re publishing a special Convention Exhibit Guide. Pick up a copy at the official convention registration booth. Inside, you’ll find a map of the career show, information about career show booths, and college listings. Or check out the online version at ffanation, available Oct. 1.

FFA New Horizons 15

d e d n u o R l l e AW

Experience Texas FFA mem ber excels in agriculture, academics and community serv ice


Nueces County Junior Livestock Show queen contest eighton James is living proof that you get out in 2009. of FFA what you put into it. The Corpus Christi, “My talent was public speaking, and it was a patriotic Texas FFA member graduated third in her class speech that talked about doing something worthwhile from Tuloso-Midway High School in May and is with your life,” Leighton says. attending Texas A&M University “My goal was to be in the top with $18,000 in college five, and I was shocked when I scholarships courtesy of FFA. Corpus christi won because I was a sophomore, “I give FFA all the credit for FFA member Leighton James and the queen is usually a senior. preparing me for college and the created a peer-mentoring I received a scholarship, and I business world,” says 18-year-old program in her hometown. got to be in parades and do TV Leighton, the oldest of nine interviews. It was awesome brothers and sisters. “FFA taught getting to represent our county me how to communicate with livestock show and explain to people. I hear people say FFA is people what it was about.” about showing animals, but it’s Winning the crown wasn’t so much more – there are people the only shocker of Leighton’s in FFA who have never even high school career. She started touched an animal. There really showing steers in eighth grade, are opportunities for everybody.” and her freshman year, she Leighton’s favorite part of snagged the grand champion steer victory at her county FFA is public speaking. She competed in FFA Creed livestock show. Her champion steer named Prince later Speaking and prepared public speaking throughout sold for $26,000, which she will use for college. high school and even leaned on her speaking skills “I started showing lambs in third grade and switched for a beauty pageant. While many contestants might to steers in eighth grade,” Leighton says. “It was sing, dance or play an instrument for the talent portion, shocking to everyone when I had the grand champion Leighton gave a motivational speech called “Something steer because I was new to the competition.” to Leave Behind,” and it helped her win the crown at the 16 FFA New Horizons

photo by Brian Mccord

FFA New Horizons 17

Brian Mccord

Leighton James often goes from wearing jeans and boots in the show barn to a full-length sequined dress for a pageant, and she’s been successful in both.

served about 20 kids in second through fifth grades. “We helped them with their homework, but we also played basketball, colored and jumped rope with them,” Leighton says. “A lot of the kids had serious issues at home and needed a friend who was stable. Those kids have seen a lot for how little they are. It was so cute because they all called me ‘Coach.’” In addition to all her other responsibilities, Leighton worked part-time jobs at a barbecue restaurant and a Western apparel store during high school. She also served as her FFA chapter’s president and as district secretary. After hearing Leighton speak publicly, her high school administrators asked her to be the motivational speaker for incoming freshmen in 2009, 2010 and 2011. “I spoke to them about the difficulties of high school and how they can overcome them,” Leighton says. “And I talked to them about being responsible for their own decisions and not making excuses. Several of their parents came up to me afterward and asked how I learned to speak. I always told them it was through FFA.” Leighton’s best piece of advice to young FFA members is to educate themselves on every opportunity FFA offers. “FFA is much more than people think,” she says. “Get involved and stick with it. FFA scholarships are paying for a whole year of my college. All the effort I put into it has really paid off.” – Jessica Mozo

“I hear people say FFA is about showing animals, but it’s so much more – there are people in FFA who have never even touched an animal. There really are opportunities for everybody.” In June 2010, Leighton was one of 10 Texas FFA members selected from 400 applicants for the Texas FFA Ford Leadership Scholars program, a partnership between the Texas FFA Foundation, Ford Division, and Texas Ford Dealers that gives Texas FFA members opportunities for leadership and community service. “It was by far the best program I’ve gotten to be involved with through FFA,” Leighton says. “We all met in Austin in July for one week of training, and I learned more about myself in that one week than ever in my life.” The goal of the training week was to prepare the 10 scholars to create their own community service project in their respective communities. During the week, members created a city park for a small community outside San Antonio, designed a homeless living community for Mobile Loaves & Fishes Inc. (a social outreach ministry for the homeless) in Austin, and visited with a three-star general at Fort Hood. After that experience, Leighton returned to Corpus Christi and started a tutoring program at a recreation center for kids from low-income families. She recruited tutoring volunteers from area high schools, created schedules and organized the tutoring plan. The program lasted from October 2010 through February 2011 and 18 FFA New Horizons

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ag 101

Grown in All 50 States Learn more about corn, the foundation of the FFA emblem


ou can eat it, fill your car’s gas tank with it or feed it to ol’ Bessie. You can freeze it, can it or gnaw it right off the cob. You may even want to cook with it. It is, of course, corn – the foundation of both American agriculture and the FFA emblem. It’s one of the most recognizable commodities in the world, and it’s been around forever, it seems. Ancient Mayans cultivated it long before it spread to the Americas sometime between 1700 and 1240 B.C. Since then, America has become the world’s largest producer,

Ears in the Cornfield With so many ears in the cornfield, you’d expect to learn a thing or two about growing corn. Hang around the field long enough, and you’re sure to hear words like this:

Crop inputs: Anything that goes into growing a crop, including seed, fertilizer, herbicides, insecticides, etc. Conservation tillage: This refers to no-till and striptill methods of preparing the soil to reduce the number of trips through the field. This results in less fuel usage, prevents

supplying almost half of all the corn on Earth. This year alone, American farmers planted 92.3 million acres with Corn Belt states accounting for much of that. In fact, four states – Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Illinois – grow about half of all the corn in the U.S. while Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin also contribute heavily. So prevalent is this crop that when harvest rolls around this fall, U.S. farmers are projected to bring in a record 13.5 billion bushels. Much of that – at least 58 percent – is dent corn or “field corn,” the kind grown primarily for livestock and poultry feed. It also has a wide array of industrial uses, from ethanol to toothpaste. The U.S. also grows almost all of the world’s popcorn, but the corn we Americans eat is sweet corn, named so because it contains more sugar than other types of corn. With so much corn around, it would seem that it’s an easy crop to grow – it isn’t. Farmers have a small window of time in which they must plant their corn, and the weather seldom cooperates. While the introduction of hybrid varieties have enabled farmers to have an earlier planting season, soil conditions and temperature still must be just right. How deep the seed is planted is also important. It must be deep enough to germinate where the water is in the soil, but if too deep, it won’t grow. Research has improved the odds in favor of the farmer as have advances in seed and equipment technology. But the farmer still must make difficult decisions on matters such as crop rotation to avoid nutrient depletion of the soil, row spacing, tillage, fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. No doubt about it – growing corn is a tough job. Even so, corn is a crop that is grown with pride, the kind of pride found on every blue corduroy jacket. – Darryal Ray

soil packing and leaves the plant residue like cobs, stalk bottoms and leaves in the field to maximize the soil’s organic content. Fungicide: Another input is fungicides, either chemicals or biological organisms, that are applied to the crop to kill or inhibit fungi or fungal spores.

Glyphosate resistant: A growing problem for many farmers are weeds that have acquired a tolerance or resistance to the herbicide, glyphosate. One such weed that is threatening many fields in the South is Palmer amaranth or Palmer pigweed.

FFA New Horizons 31


Farm Bill

Challenge FFA members play integral role in upcoming Farm Bill

32 FFA New Horizons

photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture


staff photo

hat do crop subsidies, school lunches and water conservation all have in common? They are all part of the Farm Bill. About every five years, Congress passes a bill commonly known as the “Farm Bill,” because it deals with food production, food safety, agricultural trade, food assistance and environmental concerns. Because of changing worldwide food needs, new technologies available, and changes in federal administration, the Farm Bill is under constant review, and many groups offer input on what should be included. The very first Farm Bill, passed in 1933, was designed to help struggling farmers during the Great Depression, but since then, has become much more encompassing. “The Farm Bill is bigger than just the people who work in agriculture,” said Kent Schescke, director of strategic partnerships for the National FFA Organization. “Over two-thirds of the money that’s spent in the Farm Bill has nothing to do with farming,” Schescke says, “It’s all about the food system and food assistance programs.” In fact, nearly 70 percent of the

monies in the 2008 Farm Bill focused on nutrition, with the remainder going to commodity support, conservation and crop insurance. In all, the 2008 Farm Bill projected a total of $284 billion spent, which might seem like a large sum but is in fact, less than one percent of the overall federal budget. Since the 2008 Farm Bill, new attention and focus has been placed on nutrition and healthy eating, which should influence the next bill. In February of 2008, First Lady Michelle Obama launched her “Let’s Move!” initiative, and in June 2011, the United States Department of Agriculture dropped the “Food Guide Pyramid” and introduced the new “My Plate” nutrition guide. The 2012 Farm Bill is already in the works in the House and Senate committees on agriculture and numerous parties, from farmers to foodies to environmentalists, are making sure their views are represented. In summer 2011, House and Senate agriculture committees began to conduct audit hearings, the first step in the process of writing the 2012 Farm Bill, to evaluate current programs. Eventually, the House and Senate

Top: U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack discusses the 2012 Farm Bill with agriculture leaders and FFA members. Sec. Vilsack has asked FFA to collect and present its members’ views regarding agricultural policy. FFA New Horizons 33

The Secretary’s Challenge In January 2011, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack met with the National FFA Foundation Sponsors Board, and in the middle of his speech, he turned his attention to the National FFA Officer Team and began speaking directly to them. “He said, ‘I have a challenge for you,’” Schescke recalls, “‘The upcoming Farm Bill will set the groundwork for where agriculture policy is going. I challenge you to

staff photo

committees on agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture will draft their own independent reports and present them to Congress. These reports are the product of months of research and discussions with agriculture and food groups. For the first time, the National FFA Organization will be one of those groups, sharing the opinions of its more than 500,000 members with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Farm Bill, Broken Down

further divided into “sub-provisions” and “sub-sub-provisions.”

Some of the terms used to create the Farm Bill:

Program: Government actions outlined in the Farm Bill.

Appropriation: Process used to designate funds to specific Farm Bill programs or titles.

Baseline: Projected costs of Farm Bill programs.

Provision: An element of a title that outlines how appropriations are used. They can be

Target price: Estimated prices based on historical and average data, used in determining subsidies.

Subsidies: Compensation made to producers when target prices are not met. Commodity: The 20 crops designated to receive subsidies. Specialty Crops: Crops that are not considered a commodity but are still included in provisions.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION Weigh in on the upcoming Farm Bill at 34 FFA New Horizons

bring forward the thoughts of the half-million FFA members.” Vilsack promised the national officers that he would allow them to present FFA member views to his office and help shape the recommendations they send to Congress. Since that meeting, the national FFA officers and National FFA staff have been developing the “Secretary’s Challenge.” “My family’s heritage is deeply rooted in agriculture, so being part of a challenge where we have the unique chance to share their voices and help leave a positive impact on the future of agriculture is awe-inspiring to me,” says Landan Schaffert, national FFA secretary. The national FFA officers and staff have created a way for all FFA members to voice their opinion on the 2012 Farm Bill. Attendees at this summer’s State Presidents’ Conference and New Century Farmer Program participated in small group discussions about Farm Bill issues and drafted their own recommendations. Similar small group discussions are being planned for the national FFA convention, and an online component will open up the conversation to all members. “We have taken some of the basic information about what the Farm Bill is and we’ve created an e-learning module,” says Christine White, national FFA educational programs operations team leader. After completing the e-learning portion, students can apply their knowledge by interacting with other members in a discussion board. “This is a unique opportunity for FFA members to share their perspectives on agricultural issues and suggest possible solutions,” Landan says. “I encourage you to use your passion for agriculture and FFA to get involved and make a positive change through the Farm Bill.” – Celeste Laurent Harned

FFA New Horizons 35

premier leadership

Go Team! Successful teamwork takes a combination of talents and skills


ow that school is back in session, chances are you’ll find yourself assigned to teams for class projects, interacting with others on sports teams and working with fellow FFA members on new chapter officer teams. Whether you’re a leader or a follower – a go-getter or an introvert – don’t underestimate the important role you play on a team. Teams require all kinds of personalities to function effectively. “Team is defined by Webster’s as a group of people

Identify Your Strengths Achieving success in a team environment starts with identifying your strengths. Which of these roles do you fit into? Human Relations Roles Encourager: praises, agrees and accepts others’ contributions

36 FFA New Horizons

working together to achieve a common goal,” says 20102011 National FFA President Riley Pagett. “If we are to work together to achieve a goal, we first have to learn to develop relationships with others, no matter our backgrounds, and celebrate success together.” Have you ever thought about what role you play on a team and what your strengths are? There are two types of roles people play on teams – human relationsoriented roles and task-oriented roles. Task-oriented roles are action roles such as contributors and information seekers. Human relations-oriented roles relate to working together and include encouragers, compromisers and standard setters. Riley says he and his teammates each play unique roles that complement one another’s strengths. “For example, Shannon comforts with kindness and makes each person feel they are the most important person in the world,” Riley describes. “Wyatt’s positive attitude and enthusiasm are admirable. Tiffany is a relater who makes real connections with members young and old. James exhibits extreme professionalism and speaks in a way that draws others in. Landan is wise beyond his years and gives a piece of himself to everyone he comes in contact with.” Team leadership styles can also be influenced by teachers, mentors, and friends and family members you look up to. People often learn to lead by example by adopting the habits of others whom they admire. “I have learned valuable leadership skills through my Granddaddy Everett, my youth minister, FFA leaders and others who have played a vital role in my life,” Riley says. “My leadership style has been modeled after these – Jessica Mozo people.” 

Harmonizer: mediates differences, reconciles disagreements and reduces tension

Task-Oriented Roles Contributor: suggests new ideas or a changed way of doing things

Opinion Giver: states his or her belief and encourages the group to adopt it

Compromiser: offers common ground on conflicts where his or her position is involved

Information Seeker: asks for clarification of suggestions made

Elaborator: spells out suggestions with examples

Opinion Seeker: asks for clarification of the values, not the facts, of what the group is undertaking

Energizer: prods the group to action

Gatekeeper: keeps communication channels open by encouraging others’ participation Standard Setter: expresses ideals for the group to achieve

Information Giver: offers authoritative facts or generalizations

Visit for more information on these team roles.

FFA New Horizons 37

Personal Growth

Clear the Clutter Eight ways to get yourself organized for the school year


one are the lazy days of summer, when most students stay up late and sleep until noon. School is back in session, and there’s no better time to get organized. You’ll find that organization benefits every area of your life, from home and school to your FFA involvement and community service. Richard E. Bavaria, senior vice president for Education Outreach for Sylvan Learning in Baltimore, Md. weighs in with nine tips for overcoming summer brain drain:

1. Clean up your personal space. “A dirty, cluttered room is not conducive to studying,” Bavaria says. “Get organized before homework starts piling up. Remove seldomworn clothing. Pack away belongings not used on a regular basis.”

2. Carve out a homework spot. It may be in your room, the basement or the family office. “Find an area where you can work distraction-free, and claim it as your workspace,” Bavaria says. “Pick a place that is always available and where you feel comfortable doing schoolwork. Stock the area with supplies needed for homework.”

4. Stay on schedule. Post a calendar on your wall to plan for assignment due dates, sports practices and games, social events, and job hours. “Minimize last-minute cramming or deadline mix-ups by creating a detailed schedule,” Bavaria says. “Include classes, assignments, project deadlines and test dates. Schedule times for studying, projects and extracurricular activities. The more thorough the schedule, the more helpful it will be.”

5. Know your school. Find your classrooms during registration or some time before school begins. Meet your guidance counselor and teachers. Don’t show up nervous the first day of school because you don’t know where to go.

6. Set educational goals. “Whether it is striving for an A in a certain subject, handing in all

homework on time or preparing for tests well in advance, setting goals can help establish a routine for the new year,” Bavaria says. “Set goals that are measurable, specific, reasonable and have personal value.”

7. Plan for tomorrow. Mornings should not be chaotic. The night before a school day, pick out your outfit, pack your backpack and prepare your lunch. That way all you need to do is get up, get dressed, eat a healthy breakfast and go.

8. Choose activities wisely. Don’t spread yourself so thin among various extracurricular activities that you can’t do anything well. Choose one or two activities per year and give them your best. Remember to schedule time for schoolwork, practices, meetings, games and family obligations. – Jessica Mozo

3. Organize by subject. Use separate, labeled notebooks for each class. Invest in a filing cabinet and create file folders for each subject to hold assignments, essays, handouts and class notes. 38 FFA New Horizons

FFA New Horizons 39

career success

More Than Blue Ribbons For many industry leaders, career preparation starts in the show ring


he way Julius Johnson, Tennessee’s Commissioner of Agriculture, remembers it he was near the end of his rope … and so was his Black Angus show heifer. The judging in the livestock show ring had taken forever. So when the announcement finally came that he

had won, Johnson dropped his arms in an exaggerated display of relief. The quick motion startled the heifer, causing her to jump wildly. “It was a little embarrassing,” he confides now. “I won, but there is a correct way to act even when you’re winning. I shouldn’t have done that.”

Even today at 63, Commissioner Johnson regrets the incident but says lessons he learned in the show ring – both good and bad – helped shape his life and career. “Showing livestock taught me to stay cool and calm and be prepared,” he says of his FFA years at Alvin C.

online Brian Mccord

Read about the more than 300 careers in agriculture at 40 FFA New Horizons

York Agricultural Institute in Fentress County, Tenn. “You have to understand how to prepare your animal to show to its best ability. In other words, you stretch a heifer out to enhance its qualities. You’ve got to know its desired traits to make your animal show its best. Like in life, you’ve got to know what the public wants, and try to enhance the opportunities you have.”

which to choose. Got a head for business? Consider your own pet or feed store or farm supply. Got the gift of salesmanship? Animal pharmaceutical companies and agricultural equipment dealers would love to have you. For animal-loving FFA members, the future is limited only by your imagination: food scientists, ag communications, meat inspectors, biomedical research, animal genetics, livestock buyer or consultant, ag teacher, or extension agent.

What’s at the end of your rope? For Julius Johnson back then, it was one heifer. Today, it’s the entire agriculture industry of his state – a career that began in FFA livestock shows. “Those were the good times,” the commissioner recalls wistfully. “Traveling to the shows, sleeping on the hay, and getting your animal washed and groomed. It was a lot of good camaraderie with your friends, a lot of fun.” – Darryal Ray

Showing livestock taught me to stay cool and calm and be prepared.

Since many of you are either starting or just finishing up your livestock show season, now is a good time to evaluate your own career path. Are the lessons you are learning in the show ring preparing you for a career in agriculture? Without even realizing it, FFA members who show livestock are developing character traits that will carry them throughout life – regardless of their career choice. Discipline, patience, goal-setting, making friends, teamwork, project planning and management, math and, of course, a good work ethic are all traits employers seek. Livestock exhibitors also pick up practical agriculture knowledge and experience, such as breed identification, quality and yield grades, breed characteristics, animal health care, animal behavior, nutrition, marketing, animal husbandry, record-keeping and budget management. Say you don’t want to farm? That’s OK – only 2 percent of the population does. Yet, agriculture covers a myriad of disciplines from

FFA New Horizons 41

living to serve Serving at Home Interested in starting a Day of Service in your own community? Michael Rogalsky of the Florida FFA Association offers these suggestions:

• Research community-based organizations in your community. They welcome the help. • Contact local businesses and share your plan. They often have money in their budgets to help with community service projects and are happy to partner with you. • Be patient when contacting others for help. Most people will reply within two weeks. • Create a fun way to recognize the achievements of your participants.

42 FFA New Horizons

FFA members during the 2010 National Days of Service in Indianapolis

Brian Mccord

• Research other Day of Service activities for ideas. Every state does something different and may have great ideas.

Lend a Hand More than 1,000 members participate in annual FFA National Days of Service


elping others has a tendency to leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. So it’s not surprising one of the annual national FFA convention’s most popular activities is the National Days of Service, which gives FFA members a chance to help people in need. “This will be the sixth year for National Days of Service,” says Kelsey Walls, program manager for the National FFA Organization. “The FFA National Days of Service is one of the most soughtafter events for FFA members attending the national FFA convention. The program often reaches capacity within days of the opening of registration.” At the 2011 National FFA Convention in Indianapolis this October, more than 1,000 spots will be open for FFA members to give their time and energy in a volunteer opportunity. Eleven non-profit organizations in Indiana are lined up to benefit from the service activity and eagerly await the arrival of able-bodied FFA members. Some of the work sites include

Gleaners Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Jameson Camp, Maplelawn Farmstead, Indy Parks, Joy’s House and Second Helpings. Participants will be doing everything from clearing brush and planting trees to assembling food boxes and rehabilitating houses. Some state FFA associations also include a Day of Service event during their state conventions. Florida FFA held its fifth annual Day of Service in June, partnering with America’s Second Harvest Food Bank and Keep Orlando Beautiful. “This year we had more than 9,000 pounds of food collected and donated to America’s Second Harvest Food Bank,” says Michael Rogalsky, education specialist for the Florida FFA Association. “More than 50 chapters participated in the event either by donating food or visiting one of the sites to volunteer. We have a maximum of 50 students per volunteer shift, and each year those slots fill up within one week of opening.” – Jessica Mozo

FFA New Horizons 43

all about ffa

FFA News You Can Use FFA Alumni celebrates the big 4-0, and a really cool, brand-new FFA website goes live 1. Happy Birthday, FFA Alumni!


This year marks the 40th year for the National FFA Alumni Association, which has been supporting and promoting agricultural education and FFA since 1971. All year, FFA Alumni has been celebrating its 40th birthday with the theme “40 Years and On the Grow,” and special events are being planned for the national FFA convention in October. Did you know that you and your family can get involved with the FFA Alumni on a local, state and national level? And you don't have to be a past FFA member to join; you only have to be committed to helping students in FFA achieve their full potential. Learn more at

2. Track Your FFA Career


Keeping good records of all your FFA activities over your years of membership can be quite a major task. That's why the National FFA has created a new online system, called the Agricultural Career Network. On the new website, you can track your accomplishments and awards, create resumes and online portfolios, apply for scholarships, prepare for college, pursue internships, connect with employers and more. Visit to get started.

3. FFA Connect!

3 44 FFA New Horizons

FFA is launching an exciting program for everyone who has been influenced by FFA. We want to hear from current members, former members and everyone else whose lives have been touched by FFA! Share your stories – past and present – and let us know how FFA has impacted your life! CONNECT with FFA, and you’ll also get a chance to win your choice of great rewards. Plus, let your family and friends know, and you’ll increase your chances of winning, through December 2011. Register at, beginning in late September.

flip through our


inserts! FFA New Horizons state inserts keep YOU connected to what’s going on in your state or others. • State FFA news and achievements • FFA member profiles • Career information • Meet state FFA officers

To learn about creating a state insert for your FFA association, contact Kim Newsom at

Illinois ffa association Fall 2011

C Check out our





Table of Contents Page B

Page D–E

Page G

Section Presidents

State Convention Highlights

Meet Your State President

Page C

Page f

Page H

Meet the State Officers

National Convention Preview

Officers’ Tracks

Illinois – A

Welcoming … the New Section Presidents Section 1 Section 2 Section 3 Section 4 Section 5 Section 6 Section 7 Section 8 Section 9 Section 10 Section 11 Section 12 Section 13 Section 14 Section 15 Section 16

B – Illinois

Nick Gimple Orangeville

Aaron Wetzel Ashton-Franklin Center

Tyson Schulte Sherrard

Jamie Mueller Rockridge

Mallory Blunier Midland

Kye Witek Indian Creek

Darren Riskedal Somonauk-Leland-Sandwich

Darius Dixon Chicago Ag Sciences

Megan Bloemer Heyworth

Jacob Hilliard Peotone

Kirby Fecht Illini West

Cody Zeeck Havana

Dalton Heavner Pittsfield

Morgan Kincheloe Lincoln

Caleb Behme Litchfield

Brianna Harmon Central A&M

Section 17 Section 18 Section 19 Section 20 Section 21 Section 22 Section 23 Section 24 Section 25

Jacob Dickey Gibson City-Melvin-Shelby

Thea Fruhling Catlin

Alex Russell Cowden-Herrick

Sarah Luce Stewardson-Strasburg

Courtney Gerstenecker Carlyle

Joel Limestall Waterloo

Billy Hatfield Wayne City

Chisum Kirby Goreville

Alex Edwards Eldorado

June Orientation Meeting When the lights dimmed and the crowds cleared at the 83rd Annual State FFA Convention, the Section Presidents and freshly elected Major State Officer Team joined together at their orientation meeting. There to give advice, were the retired 2010-2011 Major State Officer Team, two state staff members and National Officer Tiffany Rogers. After getting to know one another, the officers learned more about responsibilities for their year of service. With a clearer understanding of duties, the officers were ready to perform!

July State Officer Meeting The Section Presidents and Major State Officers met for the second time at the July State Officer Meeting. Here, the team worked together to establish goals for the year and reviewed responsibilities. After some awesome ideas were presented, the team decided on a theme for the year! Ms. Donna Page was Skyped into the meeting to talk to officers about leadership camp – where the FFA theme will be put into place.

Meet the 2011-2012 Major State Officers Mike Shively

Jacob Meisner

Office: President

Office: Secretary

Advisors: Mike White and Doug Anderson

Advisor: Tim Reed

Chapter: Paxton-Buckley-Loda

Chapter: Southwestern

Supervised Agriculture Experience: Diversified Crop Production Entrepreneurship Favorite Career Development Event: Agronomy

Supervised Agriculture Experience: Dairy Production Placement, Small Animal Production and Care

Hobbies: Hunting, being with friends, attending tractor shows

Favorite Career Development Event: Public Speaking

Jim Tobin

Hobbies: Drawing, running, hanging out with friends

Office: Vice President Advisor: Adam Swigart Chapter: Blue Ridge Supervised Agriculture Experience: Turf Grass Management, Ag Sales Entrepreneurship, Food Science and Technology

Clayton Carley Office: Treasurer Advisor: Jeff Clifton Chapter: Cissna Park

Favorite Career Development Event: Public Speaking

Supervised Agricultural Experience: Vegetable Production, Diversified Crop Production, Input Research

Hobbies: Hanging out with friends, FFA activities

Favorite Career Development Event: Agronomy

Chris Steppig

Hobbies: Farming, being a camp counselor, selling sweet corn

Office: Reporter Advisors: Tim McDermott and Mindy McDermott Chapter: Waterloo Supervised Agricultural Experience: Agriculture Services, Home and Community Development Favorite Career Development Event: Parliamentary Procedure Hobbies: Hanging out with friends, playing the piano, being outside

Mike Shively, Jim Tobin, Chris Steppig, Jacob Meisner and Clayton Carley pictured in front of the FFA Center.

Illinois – C

Illinois’ 83rd FFA State Convention Highlights Stars Star in Agriscience – Alexis Raybon from the Chicago Ag. Sciences FFA Chapter is the 2011 Star in Agriscience. Her Supervised Agricultural Experience program involves her participation in the University of Illinois’ Research Apprentice Program over the last three years. Each year, she has studied various aspects of the food science industry while working with a mentor at the university. At the Alexis Raybon end of each work experience, she completed a PowerPoint presentation and a display poster and research paper about her work experience. Her advisors are Lucille Shaw and Sheila Fowler. Alexis is the daughter of Alexis Raybon of Chicago, Illinois. Nice work, Alexis! Star in Ag Placement – Julie Sauls, from the Highland FFA Chapter is the 2011 Star in Ag Placement. Her Supervised Agricultural Experience program involves her work at Greenville Veterinary Clinic. She started working at the clinic her freshman year as a volunteer large animal assistant. Her sophomore year, she was hired as a part-time large animal assistant. She also serves as a kennel assistant and takes care of the small animals housed at the Julie Sauls clinic. Julie’s advisors are Larry Jones, Don Schmitz, Renee Barr, and Mary Jackson. She is the daughter of Michael and Carole Sauls. Awesome job, Julie!

D – Illinois

Star Farmer – Jonathan Griffel, from the Gillespie FFA Chapter is the 2011 Illinois Star Farmer. Griffel was one of five District Star Farmers competing for the award. He was selected as the Star Farmer by a panel of judges based on the quality of his Supervised Agricultural Experience program and his knowledge about his farming program. His Supervised Agricultural Experience program includes corn, wheat, soybeans, forage Jonathan Griffel production and livestock. His advisor is Rick Spencer. Jonathan is the son of Dave and Mary Griffel. Congrats, Jonathan! Star in Agribusiness – Brock Dunaway, from the Shelbyville FFA Chapter is the 2011 Star in Agribusiness. His Supervised Agricultural Experience program involves his operation Dunaway Lawncare, which he started while he was in the seventh grade mowing two yards. Since then, he has increased his business to 15 yards, and he has also bid on a Brock Dunaway commercial mowing account. His services include mowing, trimming, weed control, yard clean-up and snow removal. Brock’s advisor is Mandy Totten. He is the son of James and Annette Dunaway. Way to go, Brock!


The 2011-2012 State Officer Team would like to thank the 2010-2011 Major State Officers and Section Presidents for their year of dedication to the Illinois FFA. Because of their service, more than 16,000 members were positively impacted. We hope to keep in touch and wish you all the best in everything you do in the future. Undoubtedly you will succeed in the things you pursue!

Proficiency Winners

John, Jake, Jeff, Cody and Morgan get ready to hang up their jackets at the 83rd State FFA Convention as a new team of officers is elected. Thanks again to the 2010-2011 Major State Officers!

Diversified Crop Production Entrepreneurship – Michael Clark, Woodland

Diversified Crop Production Placement – Matthew Durbin, Shelbyville

Diversified Horticulture – Kyle Jones, Marissa

Diversified Livestock Production Entrepreneurship – Valerie Erickson, ROWVA

Diversified Livestock Production Placement – Devin Bauman, Nokomis

Grain Production Entrepreneurship – Joe Bloome, Morrisonville

Grain Production Placement – Blake Pearson, Mt. Carmel

Home and Community Development – Darren Riskedal, Somonauk-Leland-Sandwich

Landscape Management – Jake Vancil, Bushnell-Prairie City

Nursery Operations – Kim Gerardy, Stillman Valley

Outdoor Recreation – Hans Vik, Midland

Electrical Technology – Bryce Erbes, Amboy

Poultry Production – Peter Gutjahr, Nashville

Emerging Ag Technology – Kevin Schabacker, Rochelle

Safety – Dustin Bingel, Marissa

Sheep Production – Jason Johnstone, Olney

Small Animal Production and Care – Laurel Plumer, Farmington

Specialty Animal Production – Alex Musial, Nashville

Specialty Crop Production – Cody Blunier, Midland

Swine Production Entrepreneurship – Kane Austin, Mt. Vernon

Swine Production Placement – Zach Whitebread, West Carroll

Turf Grass Management – Brock Dunaway, Shelbyville

Vegetable Production – John Osborne, Peotone

Veterinary Medicine – Elizabeth Collins, Minooka

Wildlife Production and Management – Megan Bloemer, Heyworth

Ag Communications – Olivia Harris, Heyworth

Ag Education – Anthony Killion, Orion

Ag Mechanics Design and Fabrication – Hank Greenwalt, Carlinville

Ag Mechanics Energy Systems – Patricia Justison, Hillsboro

Ag Mechanics Repair and Maintenance Entrepreneurship – Austin Potthast, Greenville

Ag Mechanics Repair and Maintenance Placement – Austin Keck, Mascoutah

Environmental Science and Natural Resource Management – Katie Schmierbach, Marissa

Ag Processing – Mark Girone, Midland

Equine Science Entrepreneurship – Kelsey Davis, Heyworth

Ag Sales Entrepreneurship – Jacob Frank, Waterloo

Equine Science Placement – Cayla Harner, Goreville

Ag Sales Placement – Jack Plunk, Blue Ridge

Fiber and Oil Crop Production – Jonathan Griffel, Gillespie

Ag Services – Chris Steppig, Waterloo

Beef Production Entrepreneurship – Seely Sayre, Triopia

Floriculture – Neil Laumbattus, New Athens

Beef Production Placement – Eric Barry, Liberty

Food Science and Technology – Alexis Raybon, Chicago Ag. Sciences

Dairy Production Entrepreneurship – Taylor Redeker, Cissna Park

Food Service – Lane Kreiling, Illini Central

Dairy Production Placement – Jacob Meisner, Southwestern

Forage Production – Joel McDonald, Seneca

Diversified Ag Production – William Henert, Ashton-Franklin Center

Forest Management and Products – Wilson Estheimer, Fairfield

Fruit Production – Molly Christ, Elmwood

Illinois – E

National Convention Preview

National Officer Candidate Amie Burke, from the Oakwood FFA Chapter is your National Officer Candidate this year! She was president of the Illinois Association FFA and is attending Illinois State University, where she is studying both Agriculture Communications and Leadership and Agronomy Management. In October, Amie will be put to the test during an intense interview and evaluation session by the national nomination committee. We wish you all the best at National Convention, Amie!

Teams: Rachel Allen & Audrey Maske, Mt. Pulaski

Tyler Stewart & Cody Carman, Sullivan

Brandon Butcher & Andrew Livingston, Taylorville

Meats Evaluation – Prairie Central

Rochelle Meteer & Matthew Hadden, Taylorville

Nursery/Landscape – Glenbrook South

Parliamentary Procedure – Paxton-Buckley-Loda

Illinois CDE Teams and Individuals competing at the 2011 National FFA Convention: Ag Communications – Midland Ag Issues – Midland Ag Mechanics – Central-Breese Ag Sales – Cissna Park

Agronomy – Paxton-Buckley-Loda

Creed Speaking – Abbey Burgener (Central A&M) Dairy Cattle – Prairie Central

Agriscience Fair National Entries

Alexis Raybon, Chicago Ag. Sciences Amy Heberling, Taylorville

Environmental and Natural Resources – Midland

Extemporaneous Speaking – Mike Shively (Paxton-Buckley-Loda)

Farm Business Management – Prairie Central

Floriculture – Paxton-Buckley-Loda

Eric Winans, Taylorville Meg Sitzes, Cisne Austin Peters, Taylorville

Food Science – Midland

Ann Pond, Cisne

Forestry – To Be Announced

Carmen Savage, A-C Central

Horse – To Be Announced

F – Illinois

Livestock – Highland Marketing Plan – Olney

Poultry – Paxton-Buckley-Loda

Prepared Speaking – Olivia Harris (Heyworth)

2011 Agriscience Student Award

Gold – Haley Pfaffe, A-C Central Silver – Travis Wyant, Pontiac

AgriEntrepreneurship Student Award

Dairy Foods – Prairie Central

Kailee Sabin, Cisne

Job Interview – Michaela Frailey (Hardin County)

Amie Burke


Gold – Jeffrey Barnes, Somonauk-Leland-Sandwich Silver – Jacob Miller, Orion

Bronze –Lucas Frye, Illini Central

Meet Your State President Mike Shively

Growing up on a farm, I had one definition of agriculture, and if you asked me I would have proudly said, “sows, cows, and plows!” To me agriculture was and always would be farming and raising livestock. I was the shadow of my uncle who farms our family farm – helping him whether he needed it or not. I learned countless things from him, like how to change oil, do some mechanical work, and my all-time favorite, driving the tractor in the fields. I loved the feeling of climbing up in the big Case International 1086 to pull wagons to the elevator. Nothing came close to the power of the diesel engine rolling out black smoke in front of the cab with the radio blaring Trace Adkins, until I became an FFA member. Sitting at my first Illinois FFA Convention as a freshman, I was in awe as I saw the more than 3,000 high school students sporting the same blue corduroy jacket as I was and had the same passion for agriculture. The rapping of a gavel focused my attention on the stage where I saw five more FFA members. These members were different than the rest; they had the name “Association” written on the backs of their jackets, as well as a gold chain hanging at their hips. Ever since that day I always wanted to be one of those state officers, but I never thought I could do it. After listening to them speak about the endless opportunities in the FFA and agriculture I immediately wanted to get more involved with the FFA. First, it started off with the small things. I was working with my uncle on the farm, playing football, trying to be active in FFA, and was still competing on our land use team and helping out in the ag room. As time went on I was doing more and more with my chapter and my free time became less and less. But to me, losing a couple hours of some time that I would spend doing the things that I want to do was worth it; FFA was my new passion. I was definitely hooked. I loved competing on the agronomy, ag mechanics and livestock teams in my chapter. Most of all, I learned that ag is made up of

hundreds of different careers, each one having its own key role. But something happened at the end of my junior year that started my life on a new course and led me to do things I never thought I was capable of doing. I was elected Section 17’s 2010-2011 President. Immediately after state convention I was joined by 24 other section presidents who had just been installed. We had some great times throughout our year, and they became some of the closest friends I’ve ever had. Two months later, it came time for the one event that every FFA member should have a chance to go to – Leadership Camp! Being a section president at camp, I got the opportunity to be a team leader and a camper at the same time. It still stands as one of the most fun FFA experiences I’ve ever had. Working with the members and getting to know them not only helped them grow in their leadership, but it helped me grow in mine. After the week was over, the feeling of changing the lives of FFA members and getting them pumped up to go back to their chapters and be leaders got me pumped up for the rest of the year. I knew at that point I would run for a state office so I could have the chance to serve the Illinois FFA for one more year. This year, I’m honored to have that opportunity and serve as your 2011-2012 State President! But right now more than ever, the ag industry needs our help. People need to know the importance of agriculture and how it’s used in their everyday lives. Agriculture isn’t just farming, it provides food to eat and clothes to wear. I know that I’m not the only one out of 16,500 members in this amazing organization who has a passion for agriculture. Everyone has a different event in their life that instilled the importance of ag in their heart and mind. Mine was driving that old red tractor with the radio blaring and being a part of the FFA! Whatever your story is, share it with others, and tell them about the positive impacts of agriculture!

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Illinois – G

Officers’ Tracks

IAVAT Meeting Following State Convention, Mike, Jim, Chris, Jacob and Clayton set out to Decatur on their first adventure at the Illinois Association of Vocational Agricultural Teachers annual meeting. Here, the major state officers had a chance to get to know many of the agriculture teachers from across the state. During the conference, teachers were awarded for their tremendous dedication to educating today’s youth and their support of the Illinois FFA. BLAST OFF After a one-day weekend, the majors headed back to Springfield for some BLAST OFF training. The purpose of the conference was to build the Major State Officer Team both individually and as a group. This year’s presenter was Rick Henningfeld from Wisconsin. During their week of training, officers built skills that will help them during their year of service. After an exciting but tiring week of training, the team headed home to meet with their families before the Heritage and Cooperative tour in Washington D.C. Heritage and Cooperative Tours Mike and Jim explored Washington D.C. on the Cooperative tour while Chris, Jacob and Clayton saw the sites of the Heritage tour. During the tours sponsored by the Illinois Farm Bureau, majors acted as group leaders for FFA members. While getting to know their groups, everyone had a great time learning more about Cooperatives and our country’s heritage. After a long ride home, it was sad to say goodbye to the friends made on the trip.

H – Illinois

National Leadership Conference for Watching fireworks at the State Capital in Springfield was just one State Officers of the exciting events on the The five Major State calendar at NLCSO. Officers met up with Missouri and Wisconsin’s State Officer teams for the National Leadership Conference for State Officers. The week was full of purposeful workshops put on by National Officers Tiffany Rogers and Riley Pagett. The funfilled week of training helped officers learn more about leadership and presentation skills. FFA Leadership Camp Chris, Jacob and Clayton met more than 300 thrilled FFA members and some awesome camp staff in Monticello, Illinois for four days of fun and growth. During their stay at camp the group competed in Ag Olympics, team activities, and the infamous red and blue water balloon fight! After a week of bonding, the majors, along with FFA members and camp staff could agree that camp was a hit! State President’s Conference While Chris, Jacob and Clayton were at camp, Mike and Jim flew out to Washington D.C. for the State President’s Conference. This gave them the opportunity to learn more about the delegation process at national convention, establish leadership roles on national committees and meet new friends! Illinois State Fair The state officers and section presidents took time out of their busy schedules to inform the public about the importance of agriculture at the Illinois State Fair. Each year, the Illinois FFA hosts an educational petting zoo during the fair. By giving the public an opportunity to see their sources of their food, we help to promote a positive image of agriculture. This also reminds people that the agriculture industry and those involved with it form the core of our society.

Fall 2011, FFA New Horizons  

The National FFA Organization is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premie...

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