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Issue 3: March 2014

MINNESOTA FFA TODAY State Convention Preview

Fuel Your Future… THE LOREM IPSUMS SPRING 2016 Fuel Your Passion… Fuel Your Knowledge… Fuel Your Experience… FEATURED INSIDE: Page Page Page Page **Ag Page Page Page

3-4: Mobile App Goes Life for Convention 5-6: One Call Made One Difference 7: FFA After FFA – What’s next? 8-9: Latest Happenings in Minnesota FFA Policy Bootcamp, FFA Week, and more… 9: Flat Fletcher Adventures 10-12: State Convention Insider 14: Fuel Your Fire


Follow us at @MNFFA Mallory Pagel, President – Fulda FFA Stuart Schumacher, Vice President – Southwest Star Concept FFA Brooke Wente, Secretary – Morris Area FFA Dylan Antoff, Treasurer – Winona FFA Brandon Roiger, Reporter – Sleepy Eye FFA Heidie Sloot, Sentinel – Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop Pioneer Express FFA 2




Minnesota FFA Mobile App Goes Live for Convention THE LOREM IPSUMS


ST. PAUL, Minn. – Through partnerships with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, McDonald’s, Producers Hybrids, Dominoes, Wyhe’s Choice Fundraising, SEMA Equipment, AgStar Financial Services, Call 811, the Southern Minnesota Center of Agriculture, and CHS, Minnesota FFA is excited to announce the continuation of last year’s mobile application for state convention at the University of Minnesota to be held April 27-29. Users of the mobile application will be able to access information about anything convention-related. From the convention session schedule to Career Development Events to workshops, there will be a plethora of the information available to those with access to the mobile application. Additionally, the mobile application will be available year-round for the use of other events happening in Minnesota FFA. New this year for the convention event will be a scavenger hunt for users to participate in. Participants will have the opportunity to navigate parts of campus and show off a competitive edge with friends across the state of Minnesota. “The mobile application will be a fun addition to state convention, but it will also truly enhance state convention. Users of the mobile application are going to be immersed into campus and feel a part of the convention,” said Minnesota FFA President Mallory Pagel. “The mobile application isn’t just about keeping up with technology; it is about FFA members, advisors, and supporters feeling a part of something bigger than themselves. That is what convention is all about, and hopefully the mobile application can help that experience. “ The state convention experience will become more interactive this year with hopes of a live Twitter feed appearing on the big screen before the sessions in Mariucci Arena. The mobile application will be able to access all of the social media platforms of Minnesota FFA, and users will be able to tweet directly from the application using the convention hashtag—#FuelFFA. Through the mobile application, there will be access to press releases from the Minnesota FFA Foundation and a direct link to iHigh’s online streaming of convention. The mobile application will enhance the state convention experience. Download the mobile application today for an iPhone or Android device.


“I have always been told, ‘In agricultural THE LOREM IPSUMS SPRING 2016 education, we are like one big family,’ and honestly, that statement couldn’t have more truth to it.


One Call Made One Difference THE LOREM IPSUMS


A student at Red Lake Falls H.S. as a senior, Jenna Cardinal wasn’t really sure if she wanted to continue her education after high school. Jenna Cardinal has always been interested in agriculture, but wasn’t too keen on going back to school for even more school. After a call to Lyle Westrom in the agricultural education department at the University of Minnesota – Crookston, she decided that becoming an agriculture instructor might be the right path for her. Four more years of school, and Ms. Cardinal accepted her first job with Mahnomen High School. Ever since taking the first dare from Lyle Westrom to become an agriculture instructor, Ms. Cardinal hasn’t let opportunity pass her by. Because her school didn’t have an agriculture program, she has taken it to heart to learn more about agricultural education in Minnesota. “I always like to peak my head in to see what’s going on during leadership conferences, CDE contests, and other FFA events,” said Ms. Cardinal, Mahnomen agriculture instructor and FFA advisor. “I’m new to FFA, so it is really interesting to learn about different things happening at events.” With the help of her community, chapter FFA members, and school faculty, Ms. Cardinal is starting to become an expert on the role of FFA in her community and Minnesota. “Currently, one goal that our chapter is working on is community involvement. We feel that the community has greatly contributed to our success; in return, we would like to give back,” said Ms. Cardinal. In addition, Ms. Cardinal receives mentorship from several other teachers, including previous instructor Mr. Erickson. “I have always been told, ‘In agricultural education, we are like one big family,’ and honestly, that statement couldn’t have more truth to it.” What does this mean for you? Ms. Cardinal took a chance on a new opportunity. She had very little background knowledge about agricultural education in high schools, but she was willing to listen to a gut voice that told her teaching agriculture in the classroom might be right for her. As students of agricultural education, we are constantly trying new things in the classroom, during FFA events, and with our Supervised Agricultural Experiences. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of new opportunities! By taking a chance on new opportunities, you are sharpening your skills and contributing fuel to your fire. Ms. Cardinal’s limited knowledge didn’t stop her from fueling her fire. She continues to attend professional development events with other instructors, mentor her students, and look for new ways to grow her influence in the classroom. How will you live by the Minnesota FFA theme before and after convention? How will you Fuel Your Fire? 6

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I’m graduating soon. What’s next? Whether you are graduating from high school this year or next year, or you have been an alumni for a couple of years—if you love FFA, you can support agricultural education at the local, state, and national level for a lifetime. There comes a point when every FFA member has to hang up his or her corduroy jacket. It seems like there isn’t much you can do to be involved with FFA after that point, but you can indeed be involved with the Minnesota FFA Association and National FFA Organization long after high school and college.

build the base of the program, then you have the opportunity to start to balance the Three Circle Model. Whether you were or were not a student in agricultural education, use the skills you learned and pass them on to the students in the programs you are assisting with. Becoming a chapter affiliate and supporter of the Minnesota FFA Alumni will open up resources to your local agricultural education program to keep it growing. Earlier this month on March 1, the Alumni held their annual conference in Rochester with over 100 supporters present. Programs and individuals across the state were highlighted.

The first thing you have to ask yourself is what program you want to commit your time to or if there are a few agricultural education programs you want to be a part of. The foundation of FFA starts at the classroom level, so after identifying the programs you want to work with, you must contact the instructor to see how you can help in the classroom.

Visit for more information about the Minnesota FFA Alumni.

Once you are able to help your local teacher

Minnesota FFA Alumni “Fuel Your Fire” goes hand-in-hand with the mission of the Minnesota FFA Alumni Association. The Alumni strives to provide support for FFA chapters, agricultural educators, advisors, and FFA members. The Alumni provides support through advice, coaching, and mentorship, which helps FFA members reach their full potential because of the support of Minnesota FFA Lisa Roker is a former BOLD FFA member and a junior in agricultural education at the Alumni members. This partnership will continue to be University of Minnesota. She currently a powerful fuel that contributes to the bright flame of fulfills the communications duties as an the Minnesota FFA Association. intern for the Minnesota FFA Alumni. 7

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THE LOREM IPSUMS SPRING 2016 Latest Happenings of Minnesota FFA

Catching the International Bug As the first couple days of 2014 began, five of the Minnesota FFA officers traveled to South Africa to participate in the International Leadership Seminar for State Officers from Jan. 3-14. The international experience was coordinated by National FFA staff as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. “It was a great opportunity to really learn what agriculture is like on an international perspective and truly experience the culture of a different country,” Minnesota FFA officers are pictured Heidie Sloot commented on the experience. here in a river gorge. Besides Seventy-five officers from 23 states, along with a few agriculture, the state officers were also adult chaperones, toured several agribusinesses, able to witness some natural and farming operations, and historic sites while in South historic sights in South Africa. Africa. All of the officers want to continue to share their experiences with those interested in international travel. You can find Brandon Roiger’s South Africa newsletter at: “I’ll be back. Maybe not to South Africa, but I’m definitely more interested in international agriculture than ever before because of this experience,” said Roiger.

National FFA Week Celebration From Feb. 15-22, local FFA chapters across the nation participated in National FFA Week and lived by the national theme, “Ignite.” Members participated in community service projects, appreciation events, and fun activities to celebrate the true Christmas holiday of our organization.

The Minnesota FFA officer team even visited the Commissioner of Agriculture, Dave Frederickson, and the Commissioner of Education, Brenda Cassellius to discuss the role of agricultural education in Minnesota’s agriculture industry and how we can continue to grow our agricultural education programs throughout the state.


Agricultural Policy Bootcamp THE LOREM IPSUMS


For two days from March 3-4, 30 Minnesota FFA members gathered to learn about the legislative process in Minnesota. Members heard from speakers in Minnesota Farm Bureau, Minnesota Farmers Union, AgStar Financial Services, and several other organizations in agriculture about what it takes to be involved in a local community and be an active citizen. The participants had the opportunity to see the House in session and sit in on several committee meetings. In these places, they experienced how a bill goes through the legislature when an individual, organization, or legislator brings it forward. On the second day, all of the members were split into groups and given a mentor that walked them through a typical day at the Capitol with their job. Agricultural Policy Bootcamp provided an opportunity for FFA members to get a real grasp on what happens in government at the state level and how they can make an impact on the policy in their communities.

Flat Fletcher Adventures

PASS IT ON! You can be an FFA member until November 30th following your 4th National FFA Convention after graduation from high school. Talk to your FFA advisor to find out about continued involvement.




The time is almost here to celebrate what has happened over this past year with 3,500 Minnesota FFA members at the University of Minnesota from April 27-29. Bestowing over 300 state degrees, recognizing the top chapters in Minnesota, and reaching success in Career Development Events are just a few highlights of the 85th Minnesota FFA Convention. During sessions, members and guests will be motivated to action. Sarah Hill, mentor of Bethany Hamilton from the hit movie Soul Surfer who was attacked by a shark while surfing, will share how we can live a life of purpose. Coach Kill will remind us what it means to be an individual in an organization and on a team that represents a bigger picture.

In the following preview, you will find information about what is happening in each general session, what is being incorporated with social media, and a few suggestions on how you can best prepare for what you are going to experience at the University of Minnesota for three days.

TALENT SHOW & REFLECTIONS PROGRAM Sunday, April 27th at 5:30 p.m. Located in Mariucci Arena on Minneapolis campus, the talent show and reflections program will be the official kick-off to the 85th Minnesota FFA Convention and feature the following: • Top talent competition from each region of Minnesota • Introduction of state officer candidates • National FFA Eastern Region Vice President, Mr. Wes Davis, West Virginia • Fuel Your Fire reflections by Minnesota FFA officer team

FUEL YOUR KNOWLEDGE First General Session - Monday, April 28th at 8:30 a.m. Located in CECC 135 on St. Paul campus, the first general session will be chaired by Mr. Brandon Roiger and feature the following: • Welcome by Dr. Brian Buhr, Interim Dean of CFANS at the University of Minnesota • Greetings from Ms. Paula Palmer, Minnesota Department of Education • Retiring Address by Mr. Stuart Schumacher • Chartering Chapters • Roland Peterson Agricultural Education Science Fair Awards • Keynote Speaker Sarah Hill 10



STATE CONVENTION FUEL YOUR PASSION Second General Session - Monday, April 28th at 1:30 p.m. Located in CECC 135 on St. Paul campus, the second general session will be chaired by Mr. Stuart Schumacher and feature the following: • Welcome by Brad Schloesser, South Central College • Greetings from Kevin Paap, Minnesota Farm Bureau • Retiring Addresses by Ms. Heidie Sloot and Ms. Brooke Wente • Ag Literacy Awards • 25th Anniversary Minnesota FFA Officer Team Introductions

FUEL YOUR FUTURE Annual Awards Program - Monday, April 28th at 6:30 p.m. Located in Mariucci Arena on Minneapolis campus, the annual awards program will be facilitated by Mistress of Ceremonies, Ms. Mallory Pagel and feature the following: • Minnesota FFA Band & Chorus • Honorary Minnesota FFA Degree • Minnesota FFA Alumni Hall of Fame • Stars Over Minnesota • National FFA Eastern Region Vice President, Mr. Wes Davis, West Virginia

FUEL YOUR EXPERIENCE Third General Session - Tuesday, April 29th at 8:45 a.m. Located in CECC 135 on St. Paul campus, the third general session will be chaired by Ms. Heidie Sloot and Ms. Brooke Wente and feature the following: • Greetings from Dr. Amy Smith, University of Minnesota Agricultural Education • True Friendship Awards • Retiring Addresses by Mr. Dylan Antoff and Mr. Brandon Roiger • Chapter Membership Awards • Land of Service Awards • Chapter Exchange of Ideas • Minnesota FFA Alumni Awards




FUEL YOUR FIRE Fourth General Session - Tuesday, April 29th at 12:00 p.m. Located in CECC 135 on St. Paul campus, the fourth general session will be chaired by Mr. Dylan Antoff and feature the following: • Career Development Award Results and Recognition • National Chapter Award • Retiring Address by Ms. Mallory Pagel • Keynote Speaker Jerry Kill • State Advisor’s Member Challenge • Election & Installation of 2014-2015 Minnesota FFA Officer Team

Social Media – #FuelFFA The Minnesota FFA Association is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. All of these social media channels will be used actively during the 85th Minnesota FFA Convention. Active use of the convention hashtag, #FuelFFA, could result in recognition from Minnesota FFA on the big screen at convention. Wondering how that could happen? Looks like you’ll have to attend convention to find out!

Coming to Campus The atmosphere at state convention in the middle of a university is a lot different than the atmosphere you might experience in your local high school. In order to transition between the atmospheres, it is important to recognize right now what will be different in a month when you come to campus. 1. There will be a lot of diversity. Avoid group names that classify specific ethnic or racial groups together in conversation. 2. If you even think it is just a little bit inappropriate—do NOT say or do it. 3. Whatever you say and do in a public environment, make sure that your grandma would approve of your actions. 4. Competition is good, but be respectful of other teams’ hard work to earn a trip to state. 5. Don’t walk around campus alone; you must have AT LEAST one person with you.


Registration for Minnesota SPRING FFA2016 Conferences Opens May 1 st



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A thirteen year old boy in 1974, Bob ChristensenSPRING received2016 a couple of bred gilts from his neighbor as a gift to him and his brother. Bob and his brothers used these hogs as a part of their Supervised Agricultural Experience project for FFA, eventually graduating high school and building their project into a successful hog operation. There were surely challenges and successes for Bob, but he knew that in order to grow his operation, he had to start somewhere. Bob started small, putting in time and dedication to his project, knowing that one day it would pay off. THE LOREM IPSUMS

Bob Christensen - a former Minnesota FFA member - became a pioneer for animal agriculture when he founded Christensen Farms, an organization that currently takes in more than $500 million in total annual revenue and employs 1,200 people in the Midwest. Christensen Farms is now one of the largest hogproduction operations in the world.

Your Christensen has received several honors, he was named a visionary master of the industry by the National Hog Farmer, received the U of M Siehl Prize for Excellence in Agriculture, and bestowed with the Minnesota Agri-Growth Council’s Distinguished Service Award. Bob Christensen understood hard work, determination, and he had a belief in animal agriculture. Christensen, a pioneer for animal agriculture passed away in November of 2012 due to a sudden heart attack at a young age of 51 years old.

His impact hasn’t stopped, though. When Bob Christensen passed away, instead of accepting flowers on his behalf, the family of Bob Christensen asked the people who were impacted by him to send donations in support of local agricultural education. In 2013, he was inducted into the Minnesota FFA Hall of Fame and named an Honorary American Degree recipient at the 85th National FFA Convention. Christensen Farms is currently a top-dollar supporter of the Minnesota FFA Foundation and the local Sleepy Eye FFA chapter. Bob Christensen is now a piece of agriculture’s history books, but his support of agricultural education continues to impact thousands. Bob Christensen knew what Fuel Your Fire meant. Do you? 14


MINNESOTA FFA TODAY “It is the passion that creates action that burns the brightest. Grow your passion, embrace your purpose, and fuel your fire.” Stay connected to MN FFA by texting “@ffamn” without the quotation marks to 651-318-3140, a texting subscription program known as Remind101. MN FFA State Staff

MN FFA State Officers Mallory Pagel, President 318 270th Ave, Fulda, MN Stuart Schumacher, Vice President 37840 910th St, Heron Lake, MN Brooke Wente, Secretary 17893 US Hwy 59, Morris, MN Dylan Antoff, Treasurer 32006 Nagle Ridge Dr, Winona, MN Brandon Roiger, Reporter 1101 1st Ave S, Sleepy Eye, MN Heidie Sloot, Sentinel 30245 565th Ave, Winthrop, MN

Follow us at @MNFFA

Joel Larsen, State Advisor 1500 W Hwy 36, Roseville, MN Jim Ertl, Executive Secretary PO Box 118, Rosemount, MN Val Aarsvold, Foundation PO Box 365, Plainview, MN Judy Barka, Alumni 63663 330th St, Watkins, MN Dennis Bjorklund 146 Ruttan Hall, 1994 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN Wyatt DeJong, Leadership Development Coordinator

PASS IT ON! The National FFA Convention is the third largest convention in the United States – right after the Democrat and Republican National Conventions. Did you attend convention? Tweet #igniteFFA and tag @MNFFA to tell us what you learned about!

Spring Newsletter 2013-14  

The spring edition of Minnesota FFA Today glimpses at what state convention will look like in just one month, latest happenings in Minnesota...

Spring Newsletter 2013-14  

The spring edition of Minnesota FFA Today glimpses at what state convention will look like in just one month, latest happenings in Minnesota...