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Going the Distance with Agricultural Education

 FFA Buzz

Time to LOL!
FFA Week is Feb. 20-27 so get ready with the 2010 National FFA Week planning materials, now available at Find the official FFA Week Planning Guide, logos, certificates, helpful templates and more. These tools and resources are great for members to download as they plan for a great FFA Week. But wait, there's more! All chapters will be mailed an FFA Week DVD, official poster and special promotional piece you can hang in your classroom. The DVD includes video public service announcements, the Lead Out Loud theme video, the Stars Over America video and more. Look for it to arrive with the CORE Catalog mailing after the New Year.   

Risk Management head
Incorporate Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) programs into the classroom through the Risk Management Essay Contest. In a three-to-seven-page essay, students should identify and explain how they manage risks in their SAEs. Ten national winners and one advisor per student will receive an all-expense paid award trip to Washington, D.C. where they will visit with congressional representatives, meet the Secretary of Agriculture and explore the sights of our nation’s capital in May 2010. Three hard copies of the essays must be submitted to National FFA by Feb. 1, 2010. For more information, required paperwork, official contest rules and sample essays, visit the Risk Management Essay webpage.

Million Hour Challenge
Million Hour Challenge encourages members across the country to improve their communities through civic engagement. Project hours contributed by members, nonmembers, parents and advisors are captured to provide recognition within FFA as well as in the communities themselves. During the 2010 National FFA Convention, awards will be given to the chapters submitting 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, 2009 to Oct. 1, 2010 period. Hours from state and national FFA programs are also eligible for the Million Hour Challenge. Remember, hours must be entered by advisors into the Million Hour Challenge database to earn credit. Million Hour Challenge is sponsored by Monsanto as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. For more program information, contact the Million Hour Challenge office, or 317-802-4215.

Free Lesson Plans Now Available
Looking for a way to teach entrepreneurism or ag business to your students? There are 12 free lesson plans on the Agri-Entrepreneurship webpage. Each lesson has been developed according to the LifeKnowledge precepts and align to National Standards with student learning objectives clearly identified. Topics covered include: marketing, research, risk management, balance sheets and cash flow. Download one or all today and get your students on track to learn valuable agri-business skills.

Five Winning Barns Selected for Restoration
Voting concluded last week for the National FFA Alumni and Campbell Barn Project. The casted votes selected the following as the five barns to be restored this spring:

  • Providence Grove High School in Climax, N.C
  • The Bowers School Farm in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
  • The Just Wait and See Farm in Union Bridge, Md.
  • The Dull Family Farm in Thorntown, Ind.
  • The Augie Fudala Farm in Bark River, Mich.

This is an exciting opportunity for our five barns and was a wonderful opportunity for the other nominated barns to share their stories. View the five selected barns at

National Teach Ag Day is Feb. 25
You are passionate about your profession.  You know the extremely important role agricultural education plays in preparing students to lead their generation.  Doesn’t it make sense then to set aside a day to celebrate the profession of agricultural education and to show your students what a great career it could be for them as well?

Have a “dress like your ag teacher” contest.  Let your students be the teacher for a day.  Host a current college ag ed major as a guest speaker.  However you do it, please be sure to celebrate the first ever National Teach Ag Day on Feb. 25, 2010! 

The National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) has developed a variety of resources to help you celebrate the day, including lesson plans, worksheets, games, a video and more.  We also have a contest for collegiate ag ed organizations that can help them win money for their club (Details).  Visit the official National Teach Ag Campaign website to find all these great tools and ideas.

Congressman Travis Childers of Mississippi has filed a resolution with the U.S. House of Representatives to officially designate Feb. 25, 2010 as National Teach Ag Day, and ag teachers all over the country are being tapped to help spread the word about agricultural education. Make plans to celebrate National Teach Ag Day.  For more information, visit  If you have questions or would like to get involved in helping us spread the word about agricultural education, contact Ellen Thompson, National Teach Ag Campaign Coordinator at


Living to Serve
Looking for ways to make classroom or service activities more engaging and effective? Service learning lets your students put their agriculture skills into action to meet community needs! Living to Serve is a grant program of the National FFA that is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.   The goal of the program is to engage rural youth in service-learning projects.  Rural FFA chapters can receive up to $2,000 to develop, implement and evaluate service-learning projects that meet an authentic community need.  Visit the Living to Serve website,, for more information.  Applications for the 2010-2011 school year are available now!

Don’t Forget about Collegiate FFA
Wow! Can you believe that the school year is almost half over? All of your hard work in the classroom has definitely showed as students all across the nation shined during the last National FFA Convention. Thank you for everything that you do to help students fulfill the FFA mission of premier leadership, personal growth, and career success. Speaking of career success, there is an opportunity available for some of your past students. Kraft Foods Company has paired with the National FFA Organization to help spread the message on how your students can continue their FFA career on the collegiate level. Collegiate FFA enhances the collegiate experience through service and engagement to create premier leaders, enable personal growth and ensure career success. Whether it’s Collegiate LifeKnowledge, the New Century Farmer program, our International Collegiate Agricultural Leadership (I-CAL) program, or the National Collegiate Agricultural Ambassador Program, there are many ways for collegiate members to sharpen their leadership skills, strengthen their resumes, learn about agriculture, and network with other students!  Be sure you tell your past students to visit for more information.

New Century Farmer Applications Still Available! 
Applications for the New Century Farmer program are now available online!  Fifty of agriculture’s best are selected each year to be part of this weeklong experience.  Selected participants will partake in numerous learning sessions on topics ranging from farm succession, global agriculture, ag marketing and finance to new and emerging farm machinery.  Additionally participants will take part in numerous field and operation tours and participate in an extensive team building experience. The New Century Farmer program will be July 19-23, 2010 in Johnston, IA.  Applicants must be:
- Enrolled or a recent graduate of an agriculture college or university
- Have a background in production agriculture
- Plan to return to production agriculture as a career after college   
Contact Marty Tatman for any questions,  Applications are due March 15, 2010, and can be found at


Travel  with the International Collegiate Ag Leadership (I-CAL) Program
The best way to learn about international agriculture is to experience it!  Each May, the International Collegiate Ag Leadership (I-CAL) program travels overseas to help 12 college students better understand international agriculture trade and marketing.  The program is designed for students to become immersed in international agriculture and to acquire a unique cultural experience.  Pervious I-CAL locations have included Spain, Morocco, Egypt, China and Vietnam and the 2010 program will be going back to Asia!  Tentative dates for the 2010 program will be May 15-29, 2010 (depending on international airfare).  Applications must be postmarked by Feb. 15, 2010, and can be found at  Contact Marty Tatman with any questions,

Kraft Internship Opportunity Available
Do you know of any students interested in a food science career? If so, be sure you tell them to check out the Kraft Foods Production Internship. This internship gives special consideration to those students who were or still are FFA members. This position offers one of the most challenging and exciting aspects in Kraft Operations. The student will learn the responsibilities for day-to-day manufacturing operations and be at the forefront of modern production innovations that continue to meet Kraft’s scheduling objectives. Experience plant operations first-hand and see what it’s like to run a production line! They will be exposed to federal food guidelines and begin to understand the “big picture” of impacting the organization through individual and team contributions. The position requires a student with good leadership skills and who possesses the ability to problem solve quickly and effectively. This individual will gain experiences that will lead to future growth opportunities and positions of leadership. For more information, please have your students e-mail Michael Rogalsky, Collegiate Career Success Ambassador, at


Heads or Tails
The National FFA Commemorative Coin Act (U.S. Senate Bill #1553 and U.S. House of Representatives Bill #3464) will seek a U.S. minted commemorative coin honoring the 85th anniversary of the National FFA Organization in 2012. FFA is working with key leaders in Congress to promote and gain co-sponsors of the bill. In order for the bill to emerge from committee, FFA must list 67 Senate co-sponsors and 290 House co-sponsors (as of mid-December we had 11 Senators and 20 Representatives). To see if your member of Congress has signed on, go to and search for bill using the bill number search engine.

Here’s how you can get involved: Use the NAAE Legislative Action Center to contact your senators and congressional representatives and urge them to co-sponsor this bill:

-Visit the NAAE website,
-Enter your zip code in the “Contact Congress” block in the left margin of the homepage.
-Go to Issues and Legislation
-Select “The National FFA Commemorative Coin Act” option (under Current Action Alerts)
-Read the Action Alert
-Complete the editable message
-Send it to your two senators and one representative. This commemorative coin act will honor a venerable national agricultural education organization with a wide impact. If you would like to see FFA immortalized and honored on a U.S. coin, let your legislators know.


2010 National FFA Collegiate Scholarship Program
Each year, the National FFA Organization awards approximately $2 million in scholarships designed to fit the diversity of our applicants.  Scholarships are available to high school seniors and students already enrolled in college.  The 2010 Scholarship Application is available now until Feb. 15, 2010.  Visit for information, access to the online application, scholarship descriptions, frequently asked questions, helpful tools and a list of participating Ford dealers. All applications must be submitted online by 5 p.m. EST Feb. 15, 2010. A completed Signature Page postmarked no later than Feb. 22, 2010, is required in order to be eligible. A list of scholarship sponsors can be viewed at

Triscuit Grants Deadline Extended
The deadline for the Triscuit cereal grain grants has been extended to Feb. 15, 2010. These grants are based on financial need and open to FFA members between the ages of 14 and 17. There are eight $1,000 grants still available. The application is short and easy to complete. To download the application, visit the SAE webpage.

So Who Grew My Soup, Anyway?
FFA’s Partners in Active Learning Support (PALS) is excited to announce a new reading and teaching resource available for teachers and PALS mentors. The publication, Who Grew My Soup?, is available through Campbell's Soup Company. For more information on this informative resource and children's book on vegetables, farmers, and where our food comes from, visit or submit an e-mail to and place “Who Grew My Soup” in the “Subject” line.