2021 Nebraska FFA Foundation May Newsletter

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Leadership. Tradition. True Blue.

May 2021


2021 Virtual State Convention Highlights The 2021 Nebraska FFA State Convention began March 22 with competitive events and wrapped up with virtual sessions on April 7, 8 and 9th. The event took a lot of volunteers and preparation from students, teachers and staff. The full results are available online at www.neaged.org by clicking on “results.” During convention, Sean Kile, Dane Van Cleave, Cole Ebbers and Preston Wieting from the Norris FFA Chapter received first place in the welding career development event. Norris received a local chapter grant from the Nebraska FFA Foundation to purchase updated welding equipment to help prepare students for future careers in agriculture. Collin Kubik, agriculture teacher says, “Having our welders updated has allowed Norris to keep up with new technology that will give students more skills as they go to college in welding. Using machines that are multi-process where SMAW, GMAW and GTAW can all be taught using the same machine has allowed me to be more efficient in my teaching. At Norris we have been able to incorporate the GMAW are into the advanced welding class where students practice with mild steel and then even some with aluminum and stainless steel.” Another highlight of convention is the announcement of the 2021 Nebraska FFA State Stars. These students have worked hard on their supervised agricultural experience (SAE) to learn hands-on career skills. They went through a rigorous application and interview process to be selected for this award. To learn more about their SAE, watch the sixth general session of convention. This year’s winners are: Star in Agribusiness – Morayah Cupp, Imperial FFA Star in Agriscience – Molly Carraher, Riverside FFA Star in Ag Placement – Reagan de Koning, Pawnee City FFA Star in Production – Nathan Scheer, St. Paul FFA In the final session, the 2021-22 Nebraska FFA State Officers were announced. They are: President


Vice President

Vice President

Aurora FFA

Seward FFA

Rock County FFA

Cozad FFA

Ellie Wanek

Emma Kuss

Jaya Nelson

Gracie Schneider

Vice President

Vice President

Vice President


York FFA

Sandhills FFA

Victoria Ference

Bailey Robinson

Emily Martindale

Congratulations to all students and teachers, and thank you to 1all volunteers for making this a successful convention.

NEBRASKA FFA FOUNDATION PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE As a former member of the Raymond Central FFA Chapter, I have many memories of state convention. Making the short trip to Lincoln, staying in a hotel and getting out of school were all things I was excited about at the time. As I reflect, I now understand that it was more about the experiences with my FFA advisors, Jim Crandall and Joe Strickland, as well as the preparation for competitive events that really shaped me and prepared me for a successful career in agriculture. The leadership and teamwork skills I learned from my FFA experiences shaped who I was in my ag career. I know that the experience of traveling to Lincoln and being with the sea of blue jackets is an important and memorable time for Nebraska’s FFA members. This year FFA members didn’t have the opportunity of traveling to Lincoln, but they were still able to showcase their skills, knowledge and Supervised Agricultural Experiences during the virtual convention and competitive events. I believe that the experience students receive preparing for a career development event, leadership development events, proficiency interviews in their classrooms and schools is just as important in preparing them for lifelong success in agriculture. This is why I continue to be excited about the work the Nebraska FFA Foundation does to support 200 FFA chapters with over 10,000 FFA members and their advisors in Nebraska. I’m grateful for teachers who pivoted and supported the growth of their students through the challenges of this year. I’m proud of the students who stepped up to all of the newness of this year and still thrived. I’m proud of Nebraska FFA Association staff who worked hard to give students an opportunity to shine amidst the challenges they’ve faced. Finally, I’m proud of Nebraska FFA supporters, who gave their time and resources. It is exciting to see the difference we can collectively make to grow leaders, build communities, and create career connections for Nebraska agriculture education students. Sincerely,

Vernon Benes President, Nebraska FFA Foundation



Students Gain Exposure to Career Opportunities with I Believe in the Future of Ag Over half of Nebraska’s FFA chapters received donations through the I Believe in the Future of Ag campaign for 202021.

Kortni Burnett, Bridgeport FFA advisor said, “We chose to participate in the I Believe campaign to get our students some exposure to other businesses outside of our community. It was a fun and exciting way for the students to learn about other career opportunities and even about other career pathways that could interest them. We intend to use the funds to add an aquaponics system to our classroom. We are trying to become involved in the farm to school program and would like to use the aquaponics system for the students to learn about fish and alternative ways to produce food.”

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 agriculture education in their schools. This school year, 105 chapters participated and received 100 percent of all funds directed to them and a portion of a $35,000 matching grant provided by the Nebraska FFA Foundation.

The campaign will officially begin for the 2021-22 school year on September 1, 2021.

Chapters are also rewarded for receiving at least $500 in donations and participating in the sponsor engagement contest. Those top chapters are: Ravenna FFA, Johnson County Central FFA, Bridgeport FFA, Litchfield FFA, Bloomfield FFA, Tri County FFA, McCool Junction FFA and Holdrege FFA. Those chapters were invited to the virtual I Believe in the Future of Ag Forum during the Nebraska FFA Virtual State Convention.

THANK YOU CORPORATE I BELIEVE PROGRAM SPONSORS: AuctionTime.com Aurora Cooperative BigIron Auctions Central Valley Ag

Bayer CropScience CoBank County Partners Cooperative Cooperative Producers, Inc.

Farm Credit Services of America Farmers Cooperative Frontier Cooperative GrainBridge

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


Nebraska Farm Bureau Pinnacle Bank Producers Livestock Valley Irrigation


Grant Opportunities for Agricultural Education Programs, Chapters and Students The Nebraska FFA Foundation is now seeking applications for 2021 grants.

“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.

The local grant program, in its fifth 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, 2021. Successful proposals from 2020 varied from poultry SAE to welding supplies to animal learning lab materials.

Apply and learn more at neffafoundation.org.

SAVE THE DATE: Nebraska FFA Grant Deadline | June 30, 2021

Nebraska FFA Tire Auction | September 15, 2021 | Grand Island, NE Nebraska FFA State Convention | April 6-8, 2022 | Lincoln, NE

Nebraska FFA Foundation 6-Star Sponsors ($15,000 - $24,999)


MARKENNA TERRYBERRY 2020 SAE GRANT RECIPIENT Markenna Terryberry was a recipient of the Nebraska FFA Foundation Supervised Agricultural Experience Grant in 2020 for her Grow in Grace Business now rebranded as Succulents and Company. She said, “I have always had a large spot in my heart for succulents. A friend of mine suggested that I pot and sell succulents as my FFA SAE. For my birthday, I received a small greenhouse in which I do all of my business out of.” In March of 2020, she started Grow in Grace. She now sells succulents pre-planted in decorative flower pots and succulent planting party packs. The grant helped her grow her business to have both online and brick and mortar. This helped her so that she could receive online orders and payment with credit cards. You can visit her website at succulentsandcompany.com.

Markenna Terryberry, Imperial FFA Member, 2020 SAE Grant Recipient

ANSELMO-MERNA 2020 AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION GRANT RECIPIENT The Anselmo-Merna agricultural education program received a Nebraska FFA Foundation 2020 grant to purchase lab equipment for the classroom that goes with the Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE). Lonnie Koepke, Anselmo-Merna agriculture teacher, will be receiving more certifications in the CASE courses this summer, and plans to use the CASE resources and lab equipment in six courses during the 2021-22 school year. He has already started implementing the lab materials used with the CASE curriculum. One of the recent activities he has used was a petunia project called life, death and pH. They use the LabQuest 2 units and a pH sensor to determine the cause of deaths to test the five soil samples, analyze the data and determine their theory of what caused the death of the plant through their research, according to Koepke. When asked about how the grant has impacted the Anselmo-Merna students, he said, “They are actively involved in class activities and are now able to do more hands-on activities than in the past. The level of engagement in agriculture and the future of the ag industry has increased through their involvement in their learning.”

Nebraska FFA Foundation 5-Star Sponsors ($10,000 - $14,999)


Marketing · Credit · Commodities MEMBER FDIC



Nebraska FFA Past State Officers Gather Virtually

This year’s virtual state convention didn’t stop the Nebraska FFA Foundation from hosting a reunion of past state officers. This reunion took place on Zoom on Friday, April 9, with a short program and time for anniversary teams to socialize in Zoom breakout rooms until the beginning of the final session of convention. This year’s recognized team was the 1995-96 team pictured below. They were recognized for the 25th anniversary of the end of their term as officers in the final session of the 2021 Nebraska FFA State Convention with a video tribute.

25 YEAR TEAM: President: Kevin Sagehorn, Logan View FFA Secretary: Jed Christensen, Lakeview FFA Vice President: Christy Davis Hodges, Chappell FFA Vice President: Heidi Hasselbalch, Genoa FFA Vice President: Laurie Jacobs Sagehorn, Central FFA Vice President: Jason Harb, Northwest FFA Vice President: Brent Kramer, Sutton FFA


Nebraska FFA Foundation Virtual Career Fair The Nebraska FFA Foundation hosted a virtual career fair April 1 – 23 for FFA members to learn more about nearly 50 companies, colleges and commodity groups.

We want to thank all of the career fair sponsor participants for sharing their company stories with FFA members across Nebraska to help them build career connections.

Around 700 FFA members participated in the career fair activity to earn prizes by answering a question from each career fair video. Also, over 140 Nebraska FFA members completed every mission for the activity.

The career fair is able to be viewed at neffafoundation.org.

Nebraska FFA Foundation 4-Star Sponsors ($5,000 - $9,999) alliantgroup AKRS Equipment Nebraska Corn Board Ag Processing Inc. Agri-Services Agency LLC BASF

Chief Industries Extreme Ag, Inc. Heartland Builders Co Helena Agri-Enterprises LLC LandTrust Liberty Mutual Insurance


Midwest PMS/Biegert Feed Nationwide Insurance Performance Plus Liquids Reinke Manufacturing Company Tredz Central Wholestone Farms

Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program U.S. Army


Bartlett Receives Helping Hand Award for Commitment to Community

The Nebraska FFA Foundation has awarded Mr. Rusty Bartlett, Pender FFA advisor, with the 2021 Gary Scharf Helping Hand Award.

Bartlett, FFA advisor for the Pender FFA chapter, was nominated for the award with support by former students and community members. Mr. Bartlett is a retired military veteran. He has led several community development projects, served for his local firemen’s banquet and coached youth sports. In her nomination, fellow community member, Wanda Kelly wrote “Mr. Bartlett is a man of faith, a devoted family man, a military veteran, a trusted neighbor, a community volunteer, a good friend. He also has been and continues to be a tireless educator, a mentor to countless students, a respected coach and the kind of individual that parents and grandparents want their children to have the privilege of having in their life.”

A former Pender student, Lexi Ostrand said “In the community, Mr. Bartlett is always the first to offer aid at any moment, especially during natural disasters like the recent floods of 2017 and 2018 and the Pilger tornadoes of 2014. He also helps to plan and execute various events within the school and community, such as the Veteran’s Day program that the school puts on which holds a special place in his heart as he served in the military for 26 years.” The Gary Scharf Helping Hand Award recognizes a Nebraska agriculture teacher or FFA advisor for what he or she has done in helping others, specifically in the school and community outside of agriculture education and FFA. As recipient of the award, Bartlett receives a plaque and $500 cash award from the Nebraska FFA Foundation.

Rusty Bartlett, award recipient


Growing Leaders. Building Communities. Strengthening Agriculture You can support the Nebraska FFA Foundation invest in agricultural education and FFA for over 10,000 FFA members and their advisors by growing leaders, building communities and creating career connections. •

General Fund - Supports local FFA chapters, agriculture classrooms and Supervised Agricultural Experiences through the Nebraska FFA Foundation Grant Program like Anselmo-Merna’s classroom lab equipment.

I Believe in the Future of Ag - Designate your support to a local FFA chapter for their own programs, like Bridgeport FFA.

It’s easy! Go to neffafoundation.org/support_us or return the encolsed envelope with your gift to donate today.


PO Box 94942 Lincoln, NE 68509-4942

WHAT YOU’LL FIND INSIDE 3 Students Gain Exposure to Career Opportunities with I Believe in the Future of Ag



Grant Opportunities for FFA chapters, agriculture classrooms and SAE projects

Bartlett Receives Helping Hand Award for Community Involvement

Website: neffafoundation.org | Phone Number: 402-472-5224 | Address: PO Box 94942 Lincoln, NE 68509