Fall Semester Is Very Busy for Holdrege FFA Chapter
The Holdrege FFA Chapter has had a very busy and productive fall semester. This year the chapter consists of 40 members. The Holdrege FFA Chapter Officer Team for 2011-2012 consists of President Seth Hald, Vice-President Nicholas Anderson, Secretary Melissa Golus, Treasurer Jaime Bialas, Reporter Nicole Gerdes, Parliamentarian Molli Jorges, and Sentinel Stephen Denton. In May, the officers attended COLT Conference at The Leadership Center in Aurora where each officer learned about their specific officer position and developed ideas for the upcoming year. COLT gave each officer an opportunity to work with over 25 other chapter officers from across the state. At COLT, the chapter scrapbook earned a silver rating.
Also in July, Holdrege FFA Chapter members participated in the Phelps County Fair by providing a free watermelon feed and Test Your Well Night. Nine chapter members cut and served 23 watermelons at the free watermelon feed. The Test Your Well night allowed citizens to test their water for nitrate levels. This year the chapter tested twenty-five drinking water samples.
The Holdrege FFA Chapter likes to start off the year school year strong with the Annual Kick-off Picnic. The picnic gives the new members and their families a chance to see what FFA is about and interact with the current members. The Alumni support group helps out by grilling hamburgers and hot dogs. A short informational meeting takes place after the meal to start off the year.
Each year the Holdrege FFA Chapter hosts a Farm Safety Camp for the kindergartners and first-graders of Phelps County. FFA members present demonstrations on a variety of farm safety topics. Large tractor and combine safety was presented using a tractor and combine donated by Fairbanks Implement. FFA members brought in large and small ATVs and demonstrated safe riding and equipment features. Members brought in large and small animals to teach the children about safe handling procedures and tips for strange animals. Grain bin safety and lawnmower safety were also safety topics, as well as the dangers of household chemicals. The local sheriff’s department set up a demonstration that allowed the children to view a patrol car and the items used by a deputy. Each student went home with a t-shirt and a packet to help remind them about what they learned.
This year the chapter members helped the FFA Alumni Support Group with a corn test plot. A tour of the test plot was held in September where those who attended toured the test plot, enjoyed a meal served by chapter members, and heard from each company representative about the corn hybrids exhibited in the test plot. The land and equipment for the plot was provided by local producers Lee and Darren Englund. Later in October, several FFA members helped harvest the test plot. FFA members helped by taking weights, moisture readings, running the weight wagon, recording data, and calculating yields for more than 30 different numbers which were entered in the plot.
Freshman, Kaitlin Taylor participated in the True Blue campaign through the Nebraska FFA Foundation. Kaitlin was selected to receive a new FFA Jacket through the program. Thank you to the many contributors from around the state who sponsor this program!
Also in October, chapter members competed at the District Land Judging contest in Alma, where Holdrege competitors had an outstanding day. Nick Anderson, a senior, placed 1st overall and brought home a purple ribbon. Senior, Seth Hald placed 4th and also brought home a purple ribbon. The chapter had four members bring home blue ribbons, five red ribbons, and six white ribbons. The Holdrege Chapter qualified one team for state consisting of Nick Anderson, Seth Hald, Jaime Bialas, and Brenden Kreutzer. Holdrege had two other teams receive blue ribbons and one team received a red ribbon. The four members who competed at the state land judging contest traveled to Wahoo on November 2nd. Senior Nick Anderson earned a white ribbon. Senior Seth Hald earned a pink ribbon.
Eight chapter members, along with Advisor Mr. Moore, attended the 84th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, IN. The chapter members attended sessions where they listened to speakers such as Dave Roever and Venice “Flygirl” Armour and retiring addresses of two National FFA Officers. The members participated in workshops and toured the Blues Spring Caverns, where they took an underground boat ride. The members enjoyed some free time by attending the Blake Shelton concert and going to the FFA Career Show which featured over 400 exhibitors from numerous agricultural companies and businesses.
In November, the Holdrege FFA Chapter competed at the district livestock judging contest in Hastings. Thirty-five of Holdrege’s Ag Education Program students participated in the contest. Holdrege’s Sr. Livestock Judging team placed sixth in the contest and qualified for state and will compete in that contest in April. Members of this team include Austin Marquardt, Marcus VanEperen, Nicole Gerdes, and Zach Gray. In the junior division, Ethan Johnson, Trevor Smith, Jamie Bialas, and Clayton Fritson earned blue ribbons. The chapter also came home with 3 white ribbons. In the senior division, Austin Marquardt earned a purple ribbon at 4th place. Zach Gray earned a red ribbon, and Marcus VanEperen earned a white ribbon.
The Holdrege FFA Chapter recently finished their annual fruit sales fundraiser. Chapter members sold apples, oranges, pears, grapefruit, and mixed fruit boxes. They also sold meat and cheese combo boxes. The money generated from this fundraiser is used to pay for trips, FFA jackets, and leadership conferences. The chapter members will deliver their fruit sales in December, just in time for the holiday season.
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