Leadership. Tradition. True Blue.
TRUE BLUE NEBRASKA NEWS
Dear friends, While the end of the school year and state convention did not go as planned this year, we can be so grateful for the work of the 2019-2020 Nebraska FFA State Officer Team in ending the year with grace and leadership, which we also saw from many of our students and our teachers. Congratulations to the 2020-2021 Nebraska FFA State Officer Team! This yearâ€™s Nebraska FFA State Officers are: President
Logan View FFA
Hayes Center FFA
Jozie Schilke Chase County FFA
I hope many of you were able to join in on the Celebrate Nebraska FFA Days, which was a virtual celebration in lieu of state convention. It was held on May 21 and 22. I commend state staff and others responsible for making a way for students and adults alike to be honored in this way. Lastly, thank you so much for your support during this time. I know that there are many causes worthy of your support and am grateful that you understand the continued importance that agriculture has on our future. I know these agriculture education students are essential to helping us solve the problems of tomorrow and am glad to have you supporting them along the way. Sincerely,
Stacey Agnew Nebraska FFA Foundation Executive Director
NEBRASKA FFA FOUNDATION PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
FFA members have always risen to the occasion, and this year is a prime example of that given the pandemic that impacted our communities, state and world. FFA members had to forgo the contests, workshops and networking opportunities that the Nebraska FFA State Convention offers, but it didn’t stop them from preparing for over 300 careers in agriculture so that no one in our world goes hungry. FFA members, present and former, know that they are important to the future of agriculture. I know this because I am one of those former members. FFA and agricultural education prepared me for my career in farming where I grow food like popcorn and white corn. The leadership training I received from FFA prepared me to serve others and taught me to be an advocate for an industry I am passionate about. It is comforting to know that agricultural education and FFA are preparing the next generation of leaders in agriculture. That is why I continue to be excited about the work the Nebraska FFA Foundation does to support 193 FFA chapters with over 9,000 FFA members in Nebraska. Whether it be the local chapter grant program or the I Believe in the Future of Ag campaign, the Nebraska FFA Foundation continues to invest in helping develop tomorrow’s leaders. Agriculture remains the number one industry in Nebraska, and as agriculture changes, it is critical to have the next generation prepared to lead. The Nebraska FFA Foundation is proud to be part of growing leaders, building communities and strengthening agriculture thanks to the support of our generous donors. That work is making a difference and should comfort us knowing that the future of agriculture is in good hands. I cannot thank you enough for your support of the Nebraska FFA Foundation. The work we do would not be possible without your generous support. It is exciting to know that we together are making a difference for tomorrow’s leaders. Sincerely,
Lance Atwater Nebraska FFA Foundation Board President
I BELIEVE IN THE FUTURE OF AG
I Believe in the Future of Ag Campaign Impacts Ravenna FFA The Ravenna FFA Chapter participated in the I Believe in the Future of Ag campaign, and also was named one of the top chapters for I Believe.
The I Believe in the Future of Ag campaign serves as an outlet for local FFA chapters to receive donations for innovative projects in their classrooms, leadership programming, community service projects and field trips to advance agricultural education in their schools. Chapters receive 100 percent of all funds directed to them and a portion of a $35,000 matching grant provided by the Nebraska FFA Foundation. This year, 144 out of 193 Nebraska FFA chapters participated in the campaign.
Each year the Ravenna FFA chapter participates in the campaign to receive additional funds to give the students more opportunities. Over the years they have used their donations in a variety of ways. One way they have recently used the funds was to purchase supplies for their greenhouse. Another way the donations have been used was to purchase Career Development Event study materials.
Chapters are rewarded for receiving at least $500 in donations and participating in the sponsor engagement contest. Those top chapters are: Ravenna, Johnson County Central, Litchfield, Verdigre, Allen-Wakefield, Heartland, McCool Junction, Randolph and McPherson County.
Heath Ahrens, Ravenna FFA Advisor, said that the I Believe in the Future of Ag campaign has helped his chapter receive more donations because people in the community hear and read about the program. At their annual banquet, they showcase the program and all of their support throughout the year.
THANK YOU CORPORATE I BELIEVE PROGRAM SPONSORS: AuctionTime.com Aurora Cooperative BigIron Auctions Central Valley Ag Dekalb Hoegemeyer Hybrids
Bayer CropScience CoBank County Partners Cooperative CPI Farm Credit Services of America Farmers Cooperative
Nebraska FFA Foundation Premier Sponsors ($25,000 or more)
University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources & Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication
Frontier Cooperative GrainBridge Nebraska Farm Bureau Pinnacle Bank Producers Livestock Valley Irrigation
BRADEN BADERTSCHER “POWER YOUR POTENTIAL” ENDOWMENT
FFA Members Awarded Badertscher Grant Five FFA members were selected to receive grants through the Braden Badertscher “Power Your Potential” Endowment. The goal of these Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) grants is to help FFA members start or expand an entrepreneurship SAE in the area of power, structure and technical systems. Landen Chapman pictured above with his new lawn mower as part of the grant.
The award is in memory of Braden Badertscher, the 2013 winner of the Ag Mechanics Repair and Maintenance Entrepreneurship Proficiency Award.
The 2020 grant winners are:
Sam Loy, Ansley FFA Landen Chapman, Tri County FFA Devin Konicek, Burwell FFA Grant Kaup, Stuart FFA Tate Miller, Keya Paha FFA
GARY SCHARF HELPING HAND AWARD WINNER
Simpson Receives Helping Hand Award for Commitment to Community The Nebraska FFA Foundation has awarded Mr. Phillip Simpson, Burwell FFA advisor, with the 2020 Gary Scharf Helping Hand Award for what he has done in helping others, specifically in the school and community outside of agriculture education and FFA. 2019-20 Nebraska FFA State Vice President and former student of Simpson, Weston Svoboda, reflected on his FFA advisor’s impact outside of the classroom. “Mr. Simpson’s community involvement as a youth baseball and basketball coach, Nebraska’s Big Rodeo board member and church role model are just a few examples of the outstanding role model he is for students in and out of the ag classroom.” He added, “To put it
in the simplest terms possible, Phillip Simpson is a blessing. He plays a huge role in the development of our town and the people in it. Our students, ag program and community as a whole would not be what they are without the impact of Mr. Simpson. His continual investment in projects, leadership and individuals are unmatched. From coaching, to board leadership roles, to simply being a great role model, Mr. Simpson really is the full package.” As recipient of the award, Simpson received a plaque and $500 cash award from the Nebraska FFA Foundation.
Nebraska FFA Foundation 6-Star Sponsors ($15,000 - $24,999)
Phillip Simpson, award recipient
Grant Opportunities for Agricultural Education Programs, Chapters and Students The Nebraska FFA Foundation is now seeking applications for 2020 local chapter grants. The local chapter grant program, in its fourth year, supports Nebraska agricultural education classrooms, FFA programs and individual student Supervised Agricultural Experiences. Funds are provided by supporters of the Nebraska FFA Foundation and its general fund. This year, grant requests may be any amount up to $10,000 for classroom and chapter projects, and up to $2,000 for student SAE projects. Applications are being accepted until June 30, 2020. Successful proposals from 2019 varied from greenhouse repairs to welding supplies to animal learning lab materials.
“The Nebraska FFA Foundation understands that in the challenging times that we are living today, the investment in local agricultural education classrooms, FFA chapters and students SAE’s are critical to strengthening agriculture for today and in the future, here in Nebraska. The Nebraska FFA Foundation’s local grant program helps to support Nebraska FFA members for growing future generations of leaders and preparing for nearly 300 important careers in agriculture,” says Stacey Agnew, Executive Director. Apply and learn more at neffafoundation.org.
CHASE COUNTY 2019 GRANT RECIPIENT Chase County agricultural classroom in Imperial received a 2019 local chapter grant to update their shop equipment. The shop needed updated equipment because some of the equipment was 10 to 35 years old. Jason Speck, Chase County agriculture teacher said, “Students were constantly having to stop welding and waiting for the machines to be fixed. With the age of the machines, the technology that students would see in today’s industry was way ahead of what they were using and with the new machines the students would be using machines that are more intune with today’s technology.” They were able to purchase five GMAW machines, two chop saws and one band saw. Only one GMAW machine could have been purchased every few years without the grant funding.
Chase County agriculture students welding with the new GMAW machines that were purchased through the grant.
Nebraska FFA Foundation 5-Star Sponsors ($10,000 - $14,999) Livestock
Marketing · Credit · Commodities
NEBRASKA FFA ENDOWMENT IN MEMORY OF VOTRUBA
Keri Votruba Future of Farming Endowment Supports Future Agriculture Leaders Nebraska FFA Foundation and St. Paul, Minn.-based AgriBank are honored to recognize former Nebraska FFA State Officer Keri Votruba through an endowment to honor his legacy in crop and livestock production. Votruba, a rancher and crop farmer from Hemingford, Neb., was chair of the AgriBank Board of Directors when he died unexpectedly in October 2019. “Keri was a tireless advocate for AgriBank, the Farm Credit System, and rural communities and agriculture,” said Richard Davidson, chair of the AgriBank board. “He was especially passionate about helping young people get started in farming and ranching. The endowment is a fitting memorial, because as a young man, Keri served as a state FFA officer in Nebraska.”
Votruba, the 1977-78 Western Area Chair, was a rancher and crop farmer from Hemingford.
The endowment will recognize students with a Supervised Agricultural Experience in crop production or livestock production through the Nebraska FFA Association’s proficiency award program. Stacey Agnew, Nebraska FFA Foundation Executive Director, says “I am very excited to help AgriBank pass on Keri’s legacy through FFA members across the state. This is such a great way to honor his support of agriculture, rural communities and young future leaders in agriculture, food and natural resources.”
SAVE THE DATE: Nebraska FFA Tire Auction | September 16, 2020 | Grand Island, NE Nebraska FFA State Convention | April 7-9, 2021 | Lincoln, NE
Nebraska FFA Foundation 4-Star Sponsors ($5,000 - $9,999) AHI/Zoetis Nebraska Corn Board alliantgroup Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau AKRS Equipment
Ag Processing Inc. Agri-Services Agency LLC BASF Dultmeier Sales Extreme Ag, Inc. Heartland AG Systems Inc.
Helena Agri-Enterprises Liberty Mutual Insurance Midwest PMS/Biegert Feed Nationwide Nebraska Beef, Ltd.
Performance Plus Liquids Reinke Simplot Tredz Central Union Pacific Foundation BKD
Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program WholeStone Farms Heartland Builders Green Plains
PAST STATE OFFICERS
Celebrating the 1994-95 Nebraska FFA State Officers
Did you know the 1994-95 state officer team was the first to have only seven state officers selected? This was also the first team to have vice presidents, without regions designated. While we couldn’t meet in person to celebrate this team celebrating their 25-year anniversary at state convention, the Nebraska FFA Foundation would like to honor these individuals for their year of service.
25 Year Team: President: Angela Watts Armagost, Nelson FFA Secretary: Tony Kaufman, Newman Grove FFA Vice President: Brenda Williams Nelson, Broken Bow FFA Vice President: Joe Skavdahl, Harrison FFA Vice President: Kim Stuart Eisenmann, Nebraska City FFA Vice President: Jared Walahoski, Ord FFA Vice President: Matt Schlueter, Scribner-Snyder FFA
WAYS TO GIVE
Growing Leaders. Building Communities. Strengthening Agriculture
You can support the Nebraska FFA Foundation invest in agricultural education and FFA for over 9,000 FFA members and their advisors by growing leaders, building communities and strengthening agriculture. •
General Fund - Supports local chapters through the Local Chapter Grant Program like the Chase County shop update.
I Believe in the Future of Ag - Designate your support to a local FFA chapter for their own programs, like Ravenna FFA
Go to neffafoundation.org to learn more.
PO Box 94942 Lincoln, NE 68509-4942 neffafoundation.org (402) 472-5224
WHAT YOUâ€™LL FIND INSIDE 3 I Believe in the Future of Ag Impacts Ravenna FFA
Grant Opportunities for FFA chapters, agriculture classrooms and SAE projects
Keri Votruba Future of Farming Endowment