FFA Buzz

2010 Convention Planning Website Now Available
The 2010 convention planning website, www.ffa.org/convention, is now live! From planning tips and fundraising ideas to instructions on how to secure hotel rooms, we have the information you'll need to begin planning your trip to Indianapolis for the 83rd National FFA Convention,Oct. 20-23. Be sure to check back often to see what's new and exciting for this year's national convention. Questions? Contact Julie Woodard, 317-802-4310 or jwoodard@ffa.org.

Changes on the Way for ffa.org 
State staff and advisors, take note.  FFA is currently undertaking a large-scale project to update the functionality and design of ffa.org.  These changes are necessary to allow the website to interact with other critical systems to collect and report data - including membership information.  During the next few months, we will be asking for your input and giving you opportunities to preview the site changes.  Tell us what you would like to see on the new site!  Take the ffa.org web survey. Thanks in advance for your comments, and remember to be on the lookout for important ffa.org updates effective Sept. 1, 2010.

FFA Heads to Africa
Welcome to FFA Global Outreach: Africa (FFA GO: Africa), a special three-week program that will offer six college-age students the opportunity of a lifetime: an all-expenses-paid trip to Zambia, Africa, to help local farmers fight area hunger and poverty through sustainable agriculture and conservation. The program is made possible through a generous gift from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. To learn more, visit the Collegiate webpage on ffa.org. If you have questions about FFA GO: Africa, contact Marty Tatman, FFA education specialist, mtatman@ffa.org or 317-802-4356.

Check out the latest from LifeKnowledge
Want to get some planning accomplished early for the 2010-2011 school year? Sign up for the final LifeKnowledge University webinar before the summer months: LifeKnowledge Online – Tools, Guides and Plans for a Total Program. The webinar will be presented on Tuesday, May 11 at 6 p.m. EST. Click here to sign up!
While you’re at www.ffa.org/lifeknowledge, check out the LK in Action podcasts - providing you with helpful tips and information from agriculture educators around the country.

Judges Needed
The National FFA Organization is accepting nominations for judges for the Agricultural Proficiency Awards, Agriscience Awards, and National Chapter Awards at the 83rd National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind., this fall. The Agricultural Proficiency and the Star awards judging will take place on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010, and all judges will be invited to an awards luncheon on that day. The Agriscience Awards will be judged on Wednesday, Oct. 20 and Thursday, Oct. 21. National Chapter Awards will be judged on Wednesday, Oct. 20. Convention judging is voluntary. FFA does not cover any expenses for the judges. Nominations can be submitted on the form located here. The completed form can be mailed to Teri Buchholtz, National FFA Organization. P.O. Box 68960, Indianapolis, IN 46268-0960 or faxed to her, 317-802-5419.

National FFA CDE Add/Delete Changes
Revisions have been made to the national career development events add/delete process. The newly revised process and policy (pages 7 and 9, http://www.ffa.org/documents/cde_handbook.pdf) was implemented in February 2010 and will be utilized at national FFA convention starting in 2010.

Keep These Dates in Mind…
American Degree applications due – June 15
Honorary American Degree applications due – June 15
Proficiency Awards applications due – July 15
Agri-Entrepreneurship applications due – July 15

2010 American Degree and Proficiency Application Reminder
In processing the applications last year, we saw several applications that contained the next year's hours. All 2010 applications end on Dec. 31, 2009.  DO NOT include any 2010 hours in the financial section of any applications. These hours will be excluded during qualification checks for the American Degree and the national judging of the proficiency applications.

Coming Soon: American Degree Requirement Change
Start preparing your students now: A change in the American Degree requirements will be implemented with the 2011 application process. The community service hours' requirement will change at the chapter, state and national levels. 
Chapter FFA Degree will change to the following requirement:
Have participated in at least 10 hours of community service activities. These hours are in addition to and cannot be duplicated as paid or unpaid supervised agricultural experience (SAE) program hours.

State FFA Degree will change to the following requirement:
Have participated in at least 25 hours within at least two different community service activities (NOTE:15 more than Chapter Degree). These hours are in addition to and cannot be duplicated as paid or unpaid SAE hours.

American FFA Degree will change to the following requirements:
Have a record of outstanding leadership activities; have participated in at least 50 hours in at least three different community service activities (25 more than State Degree; these hours are in addition to and cannot be duplicated as paid or unpaid SAE hours); and have achieved a high school scholastic record of "C" or better, as certified by the principal or superintendent.

These hours may be cumulative.  Example:  
--10 hours required for Chapter Degree
--15 more hours are required for the State Degree
--25 more hours are required for the American Degree, for a total of 50 hours.
These hours may NOT be duplicated for Directed Lab (unpaid hours).

2015 American Degree Upgrade
The applicants for the 2015 American Degree need to start planning now for the financial requirement change to go into effect calendar year 2015.
Start Records as a:

      • Freshman – 2011
      • Sophomore – 2012
      • Junior – 2013
      • Senior – 2014
      • Apply for American Degree – 2015
  • A student after entering agricultural education must have: 
    1) earned at least $ 10,000.00 and productively invested at least $7,500.00; or
    2) earned and productively invested $2,000.00 and worked 2,250 hours in excess of scheduled class time.
    • Any combination of hours, times a factor of 3.56, plus actual dollars earned and productively invested must be equal to or greater than the number 10,000.
    • Hours used for the purpose of producing earnings reported as productively invested income shall not be duplicated as hours of credit to meet the minimum requirements for the degree. 

Would You Like to Win a $50 Gift Certificate to Shop FFA? 
Do you have a great SAE Cooperative idea you would like to share with other chapters?  Tell us about it! If your idea is selected as one of the best 10 ideas, you will win a $50 gift certificate to Shop FFA.  Chapters selected will be recognized during the proficiency luncheon on Oct. 21, 2010, during the 83rd National FFA Convention (no travel expenses provided).  If you would like to participate, e-mail the information to proficiency@ffa.org .  Include a description of the SAE Cooperative in 500 words or less, school policies used to support the SAE Cooperative, training agreements if used, operational budget, key resources or other information that could be used to duplicate the SAE Cooperative at another school.  The due date May 1. 
See example below:

Title of SAE
Ag Processing-Honey Bees

Description of SAE:
The student purchased two colonies of honey bees, collected the honey late summer, distracted it from the combs, bottled it in various sizes of containers, put a specially designed label on each container, advertised in the local newspaper and sold the honey to marketed customers.

Other Comments (when available):
Special attention should be given to raw honey, there have been many concerns over raw honey and the possibility of Salmonella poisoning.

  • Operational Procedures
  • Budget
  • School Policies
  • Key Resources
  • Training Agreements

Sponsors Would Like to Meet Your Chapter:
Need a guest presenter at your chapter banquet?  Have you ever thought of inviting the sponsors of the proficiency awards?  Many sponsors would like to be engaged at the chapter level, so here is your opportunity.  The sponsor information is located on the chapter certificate workbook located on the proficiency homepage.  When you order your free medals with the award medal request form, information on downloading the chapter certificates are included in the mailing of your medals.  If you need further clarification, e-mail proficiency@ffa.org.

2010 National FFA CDE due dates:
On-going:        Submit state CDE plaque order forms at least 30 days prior to needing them
Team Declaration Forms  due—June 1
Team Certification Forms due—July 1
CDE Special Needs Requests due—July 1
Student Waiver Forms due—July 1
State Speaking Judges Forms due—July 1
Prepared Public Speaking Manuscripts—Aug. 15
Agricultural Communications, Agricultural Issues, Job Interview and Marketing Plan portfolios due—Sept. 15
Add/Delete Forms due—Oct. 19
Find forms on the CDE webpage.

Log On and Vote!
By now, you've probably heard of the Pepsi Refresh initiative, a "crowd sourcing" undertaking by Pepsi that is awarding more than $2 million to projects chosen by votes on the Pepsi Refresh website. FFA will be submitting a project this month for voting during the month of May. Please be on the lookout for additional information when it's time to vote for those projects. 
In the meantime, our friends at DECA and FCCLA, fellow career and technical student organizations, have some projects that could use your vote this month.  They've agreed to publicize and vote for our projects if we support theirs. Let's spread the word and pool our resources for other career and technical student projects: Go to http://www.refresheverything.com/index and search on "DECA" and "FCCLA" to cast your vote. 

You Make it Happen!
New name, new logo and new exciting workshops and tours are just a few reasons why all FFA alumni members should attend the dynamic four-day 2010 FFA Alumni Development Conference (formerly known as the State Leaders Conference), July 14 - 18 in Rock Island, Ill. Sponsored by TSC, the conference is designed to bring local and state FFA alumni leaders together to absorb, shout ideas and become the best alumni advocates possible. Online conference registration will be available at www.ffa.org/alumni/ until June 1. FFA alumni members are asked to contact their state's alumni leaders or visit the FFA alumni website at www.ffa.org/alumni/ for details, including a tentative schedule and registration information.

Agri-Entrepreneurs, Listen Up!
Do you have students with entrepreneurial SAEs, but your state doesn’t have an agri-entrepreneurship competition? Chapters can send applications directly to the national FFA center for the national judging. The deadline is July 15; judging takes place the first Wednesday in August.  While there can be only one chapter winner (award of up to $150), it is possible to have more than one winner from a chapter at the national level (award of $1,000). Last year, two of the 10 national winners were from the same chapter in Minnesota. Applications are available on the agri-entrepreneurship website.

Help Us Reach 1 MILLION Service Hours by Convention 2010!
The Million Hour Challenge (MHC) encourages FFA members to improve their communities through service. To earn credit, projects completed between Oct. 2, 2009, and Oct. 1, 2010, can be submitted by chapter advisors through their MyFFA accounts to the online MHC database. Five awards of $2,500 will be given during the 2010 National FFA Convention to chapters submitting the most service hours in each category. MHC is sponsored by Monsanto as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. For more program information, contact the MHC office, mhc@ffa.org or 317-802-4345.

National FFA Convention Housing
2010 National FFA Convention housing for chapters is open.  Advisors need to login to their MyFFA account to get the hotel listing and form.   Convention Housing closes Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010.

Reserving Rooms for Other Chapters?
If you are reserving rooms for other chapters and each chapter will pre-register for convention independently, please make sure you indicate on the chapter housing form the chapters and the number of rooms allotted to each chapter. We want to make sure each chapter gets the preconvention registration discount for utilizing the National FFA Housing block. If you have already submitted your chapter form, and need to update this information please contact housing@ffa.org.

Applications for National Collegiate Agricultural Ambassador Team Now Available! 
The application for the 2010-2011 National Collegiate Agricultural Ambassador team is now available online. Selected ambassadors will have the opportunity to promote agricultural awareness around their community and state, as well as work with different organizations and groups to help them better understand the value and importance of agriculture. Ambassadors are awarded scholarship money for their service. Additionally, ambassadors are given a digital camera to take pictures of their presentations and the use of a laptop and LCD projector for the year. Applications must be postmarked by June 1, 2010, and can be found at www.ffa.org/collegiate. For more information or questions, contact Marty Tatman, mtatman@ffa.org. The ambassador program is sponsored by BASF - The Chemical Company, Syngenta, and Elanco Animal Health, as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. 

2010 International Collegiate Ag Leadership (I-CAL) Team Selected
Twelve students from across the country were recently selected to participate in the 2010 I-CAL program. The newly selected team will travel to Malaysia and Taiwan May 16 - 28 to study international grain marketing and trade and global agriculture. While overseas the team will tour numerous Asian agricultural operations, including grain-inspecting facilities, fruit/vegetable production farms, livestock operations, and open-air grain, meat and animal markets. The selected students are: 
Ronald "Wil" Baxley, North Carolina State University
Devin Burton, University of Wyoming
Grant Christensen, Iowa State University
Lucas Fuess, Cornell University
Ashley Gatling, University of Arkansas
Daniel Helvig, University of Minnesota
Ryan Hrubes, Iowa State University
Caitlin Kasper, University of Minnesota
Tim Martini, Colorado State University
Adam Miller, Ridgewater College
Amy Petersen, Utah State University
Emily Schneider, Kansas State University
For more information on the program, visit www.ffa.org/collegiate. The I-CAL program is sponsored by the U.S. Grains Foundation as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

Looking for a Few Outstanding Seniors
Monsanto would like to help you recognize your outstanding high school senior in agriculture with the 2010 DEKALB Agricultural Accomplishment Award. Monsanto provides all of the award materials without cost or obligation.  The DEKALB award materials include a personalized certificate suitable for framing, a pewter lapel pin and a letter of congratulations.  A multi-year plaque for engraving winner’s names is also available for display in the classroom or school trophy case.  FFA advisors can submit requests for award materials at www.dekalbawards.com at any time throughout the 2010 school year.  Please submit requests three to four weeks in advance of any award ceremonies to ensure timely receipt.

Thanks, Mom!
Five women have been selected as regional winners of Monsanto’s America’s Farmers Mom of the Year 2010. The public can help determine the national winner by casting votes online at www.AmericasFarmers.com.The nominees are:

  • Northeast Region: Sue Roohr, Cookstown, N.J.
  • Southeast Region: Erika Forsbach, Savannah, Tenn.
  • Midwest Region: Cheryl Day, Cerro Gordo, Ill.
  • Southwest Region: Carol Cowan, Watonga, Okla.
  • West Region: Caroline Luiz, Yreka, Calif.

Encourage your students, friends and families to visit www.AmericasFarmers.com to read more about each nominee and to vote for America’s Farmer Mom of the Year. Voting closes May 3 and the winner will be announced May 4.