Update December 2011

CONNECT! before Dec. 30
FFA is empowering our youth through education in agriculture! The CONNECT! program is about honoring our past, improving the present and planning for a better future. Former members and supporters of agriculture: CONNECT! today for your chance to win your choice of great rewards. Were you a former FFA member or just love agriculture? Share your story and read stories that others have submitted. Plus, share with friends and for each person you get registered, you’ll earn an additional entry to win.

Real world conversations for the classroom
Visit the Today’s Challenges; Today’s Leaders webpage to find a new lesson resource for teachers to enhance student leadership skills and develop an awareness of the world around them. Twenty lesson plans center around diversity, hunger, advocacy and sustainability for candid conversations that empower students to lead.

Check out the 2012 Proficiency Award Areas
The 2012 award areas listing is now available on www.ffa.org. A full description of the areas is also available by clicking on this link. For questions, contact Rebecca Carter, rcarter@ffa.org or Rosalie Hunsinger, rhunsinger@ffa.org.

Got scholarships? FFA does!
The National FFA Scholarship Program went live Nov. 15. This year, our top three scholarship sponsors are Ford, Cargill and AGCO. The 2012 online scholarship application and a variety of helpful tools are now available on the scholarships page of ffa.org. Review eligibility requirements in the 2012 Guidebook. Remember: Applications must be submitted online by 5 p.m. EST Feb. 15, 2012. A completed signature page, postmarked no later than Feb. 22, 2012, is required to complete eligibility.

Hurry! Order your FFA merchandise soon to receive by the holidays
Regular UPS ground shipments delivered Dec. 23

Order by Thursday, Dec. 15
Place telephone orders by 5:30 p.m. EST
Place online orders by 11:59 p.m. EST

Expedited UPS air shipments delivered Dec. 23

Order by Dec. 16 - 19
Place telephone orders by 5:30 p.m. EST
Place online orders by 11:59 p.m. EST

Please note: Regular or expedited orders placed on Dec. 20 and later will not be delivered until after Jan. 6, 2012. The above dates are best estimates from UPS and can be delayed. To ensure Dec. 23 delivery, order early.

New Gold and Core catalogs coming in January
The new Gold and Core catalogs will arrive at your school the week of Jan. 6, 2012. Check out the new line of felt banners – perfect for the classroom and to show your FFA spirit. A new line of Heritage Pewter gifts will give you a great way to acknowledge sponsors and volunteers. An updated Blue Look Book featuring the 2011-2012 National FFA Officers will also be included in this mailing, with new tees, sale items and other great items from the Blue.

New FFA Alumni impact video available
During the three opening sessions at the national FFA convention, FFA Alumni had the opportunity to be featured on the main stage for our 40th anniversary. During that time, we played a new video that demonstrates the impact FFA Alumni is making at the local, state and national levels. After the video, the National FFA Creed was spoken by five FFA Alumni members; the presentation concluded with comments from Chase Rose, past national FFA officer and current National FFA Alumni Council member, on the impact FFA Alumni have made in his life. Watch all of this online now! You can also watch the >FFA Alumni Impact video online.

National FFA Alumni staffing update
Executive Director Frank Saldana has transitioned to the National FFA Local Program Support team. Until a new individual is hired, Tony Small, National FFA partner services division director, will serve as interim director of the National FFA Alumni Association. Daily operations will continue to be handled by the National FFA Alumni staff. We will keep you informed once the job announcement has been posted and once the position has been filled. Feel free to contact alumni staff or Small with any questions or concerns.

Tony Small, tsmall@ffa.org or 317-802-4300

Phyllis McDonald, pmcdonald@ffa.org or 317-802-4332

Amber Smyer, asmyer@ffa.org or 317-802-4294

Lucy Whitehead, lwhitehead@ffa.org or 317-802-4420

2011-2012 National FFA Alumni Membership Challenge
This past year we challenged each state to help meet our long-term goal of having an active local FFA Alumni affiliate for every FFA chapter by increasing the number of affiliates in their state by 11 percent in 2011. We were overwhelmed with the response to the challenge with 143 new/reactivating affiliates in the year. Seventeen states met the 11 percent growth challenge and as a result received a corduroy banner recognizing their accomplishment. To keep the momentum going, we are issuing a new recognition program for state associations. Each year that you increase the number of affiliates within your state by 10 percent, you’ll receive a year pin to be added to your personalized corduroy banner, recognizing your efforts to help us reach our long-term goal to serve every FFA chapter. Contact asmyer@ffa.org with any questions.

National FFA Alumni 2011-2012 Webinar Series announced!
At the end of November, we launched the 2011-2012 National FFA Alumni Webinar Series! Be sure to pass the word along to state and local FFA Alumni leaders that this educational series is available. If you are unable to participate in an evening webinar, each session is recorded and available to be viewed online. Check out past webinar sessions.

New! Grant opportunity to help fight hunger
FFA is excited to announce a new grant opportunity for chapters, FFA: Food For All! Chapters may apply for up to $2,500 to support year-long service-learning projects focused on developing and implementing sustainable hunger programs. Applications are due Dec. 15. Project concepts include, but are not limited to: community gardens, raising broilers or tilapia and educational outreach. Visit the FFA: Food For All website for additional information. Grants are provided through funding from Farmers Feeding the World and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

Pledge to BMOR
National FFA has partnered with America’s Promise in the State Farm 26 Seconds campaign, which is an awareness campaign centered on the high school dropout crisis. You can help make a difference by participating in the monthly challenges located at www.facebook.com/26seconds. Log on and choose FFA as your affiliation. Complete the monthly challenges, and you could win some cool prizes while helping FFA support leadership education. Each month the organization with the highest participation rate may receive funds to help support its mission. Leaders stays in school…FFA leaders are always willing to BMOR!