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AG News Archives for 2014-05

Hardin Northern FFA Attends State Convention

The Hardin Northern FFA had 22 members attend the 2014 State FFA Convention on May 1-2 in Columbus.
The FFA chapter was recognized as a Top 10 Chapter and interviewed in the areas of chapter and community development.  Lukas Schroeder and Ashton Stevenson interviewed for the chapter development area and Tiffany Breidenbach interviewed on behalf of the chapter in the community development area. 
Members of the Hardin Northern FFA attended the State FFA Convention May 1-2 in Columbus.
Hardin Northern had many students participate in activities within the convention. Kayla Whitaker participated in the State FFA Chorus and Awakened Commotion members sang during the first and fifth convention sessions in addition to competing in the Talent Show. Members of Awakened Commotion are Collin Hoffman, David Allen, Mariah Burton, Breanna Cook, Danielle Miller, Sara Morris, Grace King, and Lukas Schroeder. They placed 4th in the Talent Show. The treasurer, secretary, and reporter books all received a gold rating at the state level. Secretary Julia Poling, Treasurer Billy Mills, and Reporter Molly Wilson were given this award based on their books kept from the year before and did an outstanding job. 
The Hardin Northern FFA was once again named a Top 10 FFA Chapter in Ohio based on the activities, goals, and achievements of the FFA chapter.  The chapter was also ranked Top 10 in the areas of Chapter Development and Community Development.
Taylor Brown and Rhiannon Ferkins received Washington Leadership Conference scholarships from Marathon for this summer. They will be heading to Washington DC July 8-13. Rose Rall received third in the state with her Equine Placement Proficiency. Rose also received her State FFA Degree for the hours and earnings she has with her horse SAEs, rabbits, market lambs, and steers.
Congratulations to all members for their achievements.
If you have a 4-H meeting story or FFA Story, you can submit it to us by emailing it to wktn.agnews@gmail.com


Lynn Valley Farmers 4-H Club Holds Meeting

Lynn Valley Farmers 4-H met April 30th with Kolt Buchenroth as President. The American Pledge was led by Kolby Wilcox and the 4-H pledge was led Samantha Lowe. April 30th was the last night for any project changes. Dairy beef weigh in is May 31 8~10:00am at the fairgrounds. June 1st is the deadline for livestock ownership.
June 6th is Camp sign up at 8am at the Extension Office. Club dues must be paid before you can sign up for camp.
June 11th will be Quality Assurance at the club meeting. If you wish to keep your records on line instead in books you will need to talk to Kolt.
Demonstrations given were from Olivia Whiting on Dairy beef feeder feed, Samantha Lowe on cake decorating and Dylan King on how to show and wash a pig. Demonstrations for the next meeting will be: Wes Minter and Delaney Althauser
Next meeting will be May 14th at 6pm at the Lynn Valley Township Hall. We will be planting flowers and refreshments will be donated by the trustee's. Tyler Buxton made the motion to adjourn the meeting and Gage Buxton 2nd.
If you have a 4-H meeting story or FFA Story, you can submit it to us by emailing it to wktn.agnews@gmail.com


Kenton FFA attends Ohio FFA Convention

Members that attended the convention from L to R: (Front Row) Peyton Brooks, Konner Alban, Calynn Morris, Carrie Morris, Robin Fesal, and Haylie Sheldon. (Second Row)Hannah Heilman, Jackson Althauser, Kolt Buchenroth, Kirsten Osborn, Kelli Haudenschield, and Courtney Fulton. (Back Row) Bailey Pees, Jared McNeely, Damian Sheldon, Dylan Canode, Brandon Asbury Jordan Vermillion, AJ Sorgan, Kameron Kaylor and Dylan King.



Twenty One members of the Kenton-OHP FFA chapter attended day one of the two day long Ohio FFA State Convention, May 1-2 at the Celeste Center at the Ohio Expo Center. The group started by touring the John Deere training center in Plain City, as well as tours at the OSU Ag Campus and the OSU Beef Farm.


The group listened to keynote speakers and watched many awards presented. On day two, Reporter Chelsea Adkins and Treasurer Haley Sherman were recognized on stage for receiving a gold rating for their Officer Books. Also, Austin Phillips, Damian Sheldon, and Morgan Bloom received their state degree on Friday.


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If you have a 4-H meeting story or FFA Story, you can submit it to us by emailing it to wktn.agnews@gmail.com


High School Ag Programs Flourish As Farms Dwindle

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- High school agriculture programs sprouting across the nation's Corn Belt are teaching teenagers, many of them in urban environments, that careers in the field often have nothing to do with cows and plows.
Chase Martin, left, and Harley Brown work with teacher Chris Kaufman on a project during Plant and Soil Science class at Beech Grove High School Wednesday, April 30, 2014, in Indianapolis. High school agriculture programs sprouting across the nation’s Corn Belt are teaching teenagers, many of them in urban environments, that careers in the field often have nothing to do with cows and plows. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
The curriculums, taking hold as school budgets tighten and the numbers of farms in the U.S. decline, are rich in science and touted as stepping stones for college-bound students considering careers in everything from urban forestry to renewable natural resources and genetic engineering of crops, perhaps for agribusiness giants such as Monsanto, Dow, DuPont and Pioneer.
Ag-minded students are in luck: Tens of thousands of jobs open up each year in the broader agriculture field, and roughly half are filled by college grads with actual ag-related degrees, observers say.
"There's a shortage of workers in a number of careers, and the numbers of those jobs are staggering," said Harley Hepner, the Illinois State Board of Education's chief consultant for ag education. "Schools that understand we can get students in the ag program know they're going to be taxpaying citizens with good-paying jobs."
Along with school programs, membership in Future Farmers of America is up to about 580,000 - nearly double its ranks of the mid-1980s. That spike dispels the notion the national organization is merely a haven for farm kids, given that the number of U.S. farms are on a long-term downward trend, shrinking another 4 percent between 2007 and 2012, according to the latest federal figures available.
Untold numbers of FFA members have scant to do with farms, as Rebecca Goodman illustrates.
In Indiana, where corn is king, the 18-year-old junior is her school's active FFA president but could never be confused for a country girl. Goodman, who's lived in Indianapolis since she was 3, had never been on a farm, and her experience with animals is limited to cats and dogs.
"The only thing I planted was a small garden, and the only thing that grew out of it were weeds," she admits.
Yet Goodman aspires to be a conservation officer, crediting tiny Beech Grove schools' fledgling agricultural sciences program with steering her that way.
Beech Grove's Applied Life Sciences Academy, unveiled in November 2012, is billed as a place of hands-on, frequently technical exploration of live plants and animals. Educators say it makes a connection, helping students who otherwise may grapple with comprehending concepts and theories in a traditional math or science class.
"We live on the motto that 99 percent of the population doesn't have anything to do with (farm) production," said Chris Kaufman, a former state education department ag specialist who helped set up Beech Grove's program.
Classes include animal science, plant and soil science, separate offerings of advanced animal and plant science, natural resources, and an introductory course. Some of the courses earn the students high school science credits.
Such offerings increasingly have cropped up in many states in recent years in the nation's breadbasket. Seven Kansas high schools and four in Nebraska joined the fold in the past school year. Over the past three years, Missouri has added seven to bring its statewide total to 331 - up 82 from two decades ago - and Illinois added 10.
Beech Grove's program, among 13 the state has added since 2010, has two middle school and two high school teachers for nearly 500 students, a number that helps the program pay for itself thanks to a state fund that gives districts a per-student stipend depending on the class. Those payouts range from $375 to $450 per student, accounting for what Kaufman says has funneled $180,000 into Beech Grove's coffers.
"Beech Grove needed more electives and teachers, and this was a perfect fit that didn't cost much," he said. "This is about understanding the environment and the world around you as it relates to animals, plants and food, then going out with those skills to get a good career."
It's appeared to connect with Goodman, who remembers "kind of having a hard time with what I wanted to do with my life and was going by the book - be a nurse or something. It kind of made me boxed in, made me feel depressed."
"Before this (program) came, I was in a dark place," she said. "It's helped me find my way back."
Classmate Alicia Perez, 17, once dismissed learning about agriculture, convinced "this is gonna be for people who wanna be farmers." Not so, she now submits.
"It's an amazing program, really life-changing," the 17-year-old junior said of learning about plants and food, which feed her dreams of becoming a chef. "My heart is in culinary arts, and there are so many different careers you can pursue in agriculture.
"This is definitely something you have to go into to realize it's so much broader."


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