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 FFA Buzz

National FFA Week Is This Month!
Don't forget to check out ffaweek.ffa.org for the official planning guide, templates and much more. This is your chance to spread the word about agricultural education and FFA. Get in touch with your local media and plan special events. Got news to share? If you get a write-up in the local paper or want to brag about the success of an activity, e-mail ffatoday@ffa.org.


Watch FFA Today
A new episode of the FFA Today television show airs every Wednesday at 6 p.m. EST on the RFD-TV network. You can also watch episodes on ffa.org or by subscribing to our RSS feed. The show, sponsored by Monsanto, is great for the classroom or chapter meetings!

2009 Scholarship Application – Deadline Feb. 17, 2009
The application deadline is rapidly approaching. There are over 9,000 applications in the system, but not all have been submitted or have advisor approval. Please complete the application using the following steps:

  1. Students – go to ffa.org and click the “scholarship” link. Click the “2009 Scholarship Application” to submit an application online
  2. Advisors – go to ffa.org and click the “scholarship” link. Click the “2009 Scholarship Application” and log in with your assigned username and password to submit your electronic approval. Please email scholarships@ffa.org if you have not received your advisor username and password.
  3. FFA members must log back into the application to print signature pages AFTER the advisor has submitted their electronic approval. 
  4. Applications must be submitted online by Feb. 17, 2009.
  5. Required signature page must be postmarked no later than Feb. 23, 2009.

 

Judging Rubric Now Online
The judging rubric for the new 2009 Agri-Entrepreneurship application is now online at http://www.ffa.org/index.cfm?method=c_programs.AgEntrepreneurship. Award amounts have stayed the same for this program at $150 for chapter winners, $250 for state winners, and $1,000 for each of 10 national winners. Any student with an entrepreneurial SAE should be urged to enter.

Million Hour Challenge
The Million Hour Challenge encourages members across the country to improve their communities through civic engagement. Project hours contributed by members and advisors are captured to provide recognition within FFA as well as in the communities themselves. Awards will be given during the 2009 National FFA Convention to the chapters with the greatest number of community service hours in the following categories—Environment, Government, Social/Human Service, Healthy Lifestyles and Education. Eligible project hours are those earned during the Oct. 2, 2008 to Oct. 1, 2009 period. Hours from all programs above are eligible for the Million Hour Challenge. Please remember, hours must be entered by advisors into the Million Hour Challenge database to earn credit. Million Hour Challenge is sponsored by Toyota as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. For more program information, contact the Million Hour Challenge office at mhc@ffa.org or 317-802-4413.

H.O. Sargent Awards Suspended for 2009
The National FFA Organization is suspending the H.O. Sargent Award program for 2009 in order to restructure that program to meet the needs of more students. In January, the FFA Awards and Recognition advisory board committee reviewed the H.O. Sargent awards. They recommended that the program be restructured, with a new objective and new application process, so that it might meet the needs of more participants. Given the current economic environment, and the fact that the H.O. Sargent Award program is currently without a sponsor (and has been unfunded for several years), the National FFA Organization has decided to suspend the program for 2009 in order to fast-track the program restructuring. For further information on the H.O. Sargent program, contact Aimee Wright, 317-802-4402 or awright@ffa.org.

News from the National FFA Alumni Association
The National FFA Alumni Association Task Force met in December. Below are a few examples of the recommendations being made to the leadership of National FFA Alumni Association and National FFA Organization:

  1. Establish and proactively manage a more efficient process of marketing FFA alumni affiliates to agriculture educators.
  2. Examine the current dues/fees structure and explore the feasibility of alternate fee structures, such as affiliate fees or membership levels.
  3. Examine the affiliate structure to answer the question, “Does an FFA alumni affiliate have to be connected to an FFA chapter? Can it be a metro or regional group if no local affiliate exists?”
  4. Evaluate the name/term “alumni.” Is it too limiting in nature?
  5. Build a database of former members and create a strategy for reconnecting.
  6. Promote FFA alumni membership on both a national and local scale. Look “outside of the box” for ideas.

Full details of the alumni initiative can be found in the 2009 alumni update at www.ffa.org/alumni.

2009 National FFA Convention Update

Advisor’s Planning Guide – First Edition Online in April
Each April, FFA advisors know to expect the Advisor’s Planning Guide – First Edition (APG) in advance of the annual national FFA convention. This guide contains important housing and preliminary event information. The publication will be made available online only. During the next few weeks, you will see ListServ e-mails and other reminders guiding FFA advisors to the convention website on ffa.org, where all the APG information will be available beginning in mid-April. Also make a note: this August, the Advisors Planning Guide–Second Edition will be available online only; no print copies will be produced. For more details, contact Julie Woodard, jwoodard@ffa.org.

Housing
Housing for the 2009 National FFA Convention is now open. Advisors need to login to their MyFFA account to get the hotel listing. For more information, contact Ellen Williams at ewilliams@ffa.org.