FFA Update - February 2011

LATEST NEWS

Time to Use Your Infinite Potential!

The 2011 National FFA Week planning materials are available at www.ffa.org/ffaweek. 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 Feb. 19-26. But wait, there's more! In December, all chapters were mailed a FFA Week DVD, official poster and special promotional piece to hang in your classroom. The DVD includes the Infinite Potential theme video, the Stars Over America video and more.

Coming Soon…the Agricultural Career Network

A new, nationwide system designed to help FFA members document their educational achievements, create robust portfolios and pursue scholarships and employment opportunities is planned to launch Sept. 1.

The National FFA Organization is developing the Agricultural Career Network, an online portal members can use from middle school through college and beyond. Members will be able to track their accomplishments and awards, build resumes and online portfolios, apply for scholarships, prepare for college, pursue internships, connect with employers and more.

Agriculture teachers will also be able to manage member information in the network, which will provide key data for Perkins plans and reports, produce local impact reports for advocacy efforts, information about available grant and scholarship applications and tools that teachers can use to gauge the relevance and successes of their individual agricultural education curricula.

The initial focus of the career network will be to improve the quality, service and impact of FFA. Data collected through the network will help document the impact and relevance of FFA and agriculture curricula, drive FFA program involvement and improvement and build a growing base of support for agricultural education.

Deadline for I-CAL Nearing!

The best way to learn about international agriculture is to experience it!  The I-CAL program is designed for students to learn more about international grain marketing, global agriculture and acquire a unique cultural experience.  While part of the program, students will be able to experience all aspects of agriculture: through industry tours, farm and ranch visits, and meetings with local and national leaders and industry experts.

Pervious I-CAL locations have included Spain, Morocco, Egypt, China, Vietnam, Malaysia and Taiwan.  The 2011 program will head to a new location – South America! Tentative dates for the 2011 program are May 15-28 (depending on international airfare).Applications must be postmarked by Feb. 15, 2011 and can be found at www.ffa.org/collegiate. Contact Marty Tatman, mtatman@ffa.org, with any questions.

Re-energize Your Classroom

Middle school teachers, don’t forget to use the Middle School Food and Agricultural Literacy Curriculum that’s available on ffa.learn.com! The curriculum offers more than 150 lesson plans, covers eight different units and is packed with engaging student activities.

LifeKnowledge Offers Leadership Tools at No Charge

Do you want students to recognize their leadership potential?  Are you looking for ways to incorporate leadership without sacrificing time on your primary content?  LifeKnowledge®, a series of leadership lessons and integration tools, is packed with time-saving methods for merging leadership into your curriculum.  Browse through the website ffa.learn.com/lifeknowledge for complete access to these resources!

New Farmers of America Video Now Available

You requested it and now it’s online! The New Farmers of America (NFA) video is now available on SchoolTube. This video was produced about five years ago to mark the 40 anniversary of the merger of FFA and NFA.  FFA utilized the video again at the 2010 National FFA Convention, during the opening sessions and in the NFA career show booth.

CDE Portfolio Deadline Changed

The Agricultural Issues Forum CDE portfolio deadline has moved from Sept. 15 to Aug. 15. If your state qualifying event falls after the Aug. 15 deadline, your state’s portfolio will be accepted within 10 days after your qualifying event. Mail all portfolios to the National FFA Organization, 6060 FFA Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46268. This change will take effect immediately, starting with the 2011 event.

SHOP FFA

What You Need to Know.

Check out the 2011-12 Gold and Core Catalogs!

Check out the electronic version of the 2011-12 Gold and Core catalogs. Go to www.ffa.org/shop and look for the banner. If you have not received the new Gold and Core printed catalogs or need additional copies, go to Request A Catalog or call the FFA Customer Service Team, 888-332-2668, to order or request additional copies.

Two-week Countdown to FFA Week

If you are planning an FFA Week breakfast, lunch or dinner, make it easy and affordable with the FFA Banquet Kit, service for 100. Infinite Potential items are the perfect complement for all of your FFA Week activities and provide great gifts for sponsors and volunteers.

Give a Little...

March 2 – 13, Southern States stores will be doing an FFA promotional campaign and collecting donations for FFA – local, state and national.  Participating Southern States locations will sell FFA paper emblems to customers.  Retail price for each emblem is $1 but customers can donate as much as they like.  One hundred percent of the proceeds from this will be returned to FFA. Fifty percent will be returned to the local FFA chapter(s) identified by each retail location. All Southern States and AgWay stores are eligible to participate.

Southern States is responsible for this fundraising campaign, and FFA chapters can get involved and help ensure the success of the program by encouraging Southern States stores to participate. If you have questions about this program or want to get involved, contact Will Fett, wfett@ffa.org or 317-802-4415.

In Case You Missed It

New Hours for the National FFA Call Center

Beginning Jan. 4, the FFA Merchandise Call Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to better serve our customers. The decision to change the start time from 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. was based on a business analysis of incoming calls. The analysis showed we would provide our customers a better service experience by shifting the schedule by 30 minutes. This affects both the customer service line, 888-332-2668, and the state staff hotline, 877-316-9332.

New Return Policy for Shop FFA

It’s even easier for you to return merchandise. You can now create your own return label and select the method of return –UPS or U.S. Postal Service. Our new return process allows you to create a UPS shipping label that can be printed on your printer and placed on the package.  Additionally, if UPS shipping is not convenient for you, packages may be dropped off at your local U.S. Post Office.

It is simple. Just follow these steps:

  1. Complete the return form that came with your FFA merchandise.
  2. Carefully re-pack the merchandise.
  3. Enclose the completed return form and a copy of the invoice or packing slip. 
  4. Follow these simple instructions on Shop FFA to return your FFA merchandise.

Note: Personalized items including official jackets cannot be returned, refunded or credited.

You will not be charged at the time you drop off your package; FFA will deduct a return fee from your refund or merchandise credit. If you are exchanging the merchandise, the service is free. If the merchandise was damaged in transit, save the original packaging and notify our customer service department immediately, 888-332-2668. If you did not receive a return form with your merchandise, contact the customer service department, 888-332-2668.

New Licensees

The National FFA Licensing Department added four new licenses covering educational tools, gifts and manufacturing.

Miller Manufacturing Company is a customer driven manufacturer and international distributor of farm, ranch and pet products. Their products are sold through distributors that serve retailers of farm and ranch products in the United States, Canada and more than 30 countries around the world. Brands that you may recognize include:

  • Little Giant® – Market leader for over 69 years
  • Hot-Shot®– Industry standard for over 71 years
  • Pet Lodge™ – Quality products for pet and small animals

Rockwell Moments transforms your photographs into a Norman Rockwell Moments portrait by trained and skilled artists using patent-pending techniques. The result is a beautiful portrait, suitable for framing and gift-giving. This is the only portrait process licensed by The Norman Rockwell Estate Licensing Company and allowed to carry the Rockwell brand. Check out their special introductory offer.

Landscape Safety Online Training System provides online training for students interested in landscape and turf equipment safety and supports the industry’s best practices preparing students for careers in landscape and turf management. The system includes videos, exams, student progress tracking and field sheets. It is available in both English and Spanish. Check it out at www.landscapesafety.com.

NBC Learn, the news you can use for teaching and learning. NBC news archives on demand makes over 10,000 historic and current events videos available instantly. Make sure to mention “FFA Offer” to receive the entire science collection (including Agriscience) for a special discount. For information call 877-NBC-7502 or go online to www.archives.nbclearn.com.

2011 Scholarship Program Now Live!

The National FFA Organization awards approximately $2 million in scholarships designed to fit the diversity of our applicants. The 2011 Scholarship Application and a host of helpful tools are available in the Scholarships section of ffa.org. The organization’s three top scholarship sponsors are Ford, Cargill and Monsanto.  Review eligibility requirements in the 2011 Guidebook. Online applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. EST Feb. 15, 2011. A completed signature page postmarked no later than Feb. 22, 2011, is required in order to be eligible.

New Century Farmer Applications Now Available!

The New Century Farmer program is designed to assist young producers in creating a vision for your operation and then provide you with the tools needed to help you reach that vision.  Forty of agriculture’s best are selected each year to be part of this weeklong experience. The program will be July 24 - 30, 2011, in Johnston, Iowa. Applicants must be:

  • Enrolled or a recent college 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, mtatman@ffa.org, for any questions. Applications are due March 15, 2011, and can be found at www.ffa.org/ncf.