FFA Update - January 2011

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LATEST NEWS

2010 Convention Proceedings Now Available

Relive the 2010 National FFA Convention with our annual Proceedings, now available on www.ffa.org! You’ll find national officer retiring addresses, a listing of all award winners, convention news stories and more.

FFA Mourns Passing of Longtime Friend

Donald “Don” J. Tyson, chairman emeritus of Tyson Foods Inc. and a past FFA member from Springdale, Ark., died Jan. 6, 2011, following an illness. A longtime friend of the FFA, Tyson was nominated this year to receive the Honorary American FFA Degree, the organization’s highest honor for an adult supporter. Learn more about Don Tyson.

National FFA Week Resources Now Online!

A variety of online resources are now available for FFA Week planning and promotion.  These resources are in addition to the promotional content (posters, DVD, etc.) that was sent via mail to all chapters in December. Please visit www.ffa.org/ffaweek for more information.

CONVENTION

National FFA Convention Housing Coming Soon

2011 National FFA Convention housing for chapters will be available mid-January. Advisors need to log in to their MyFFA account to get the hotel listing and form.  

STATE STAFF NEWS

Need a Judge?

USDA Rural Development would like to be invited to participate in state convention judging of your state Star applicants.  Contact Cheryl Cook, Deputy Under Secretary, USDA Rural Development, at Cheryl.Cook@usda.gov with judging opportunities. Copy star@ffa.org in your invitation to allow national FFA to track opportunities.

SHOP FFA

What You Need to Know.

Gold and Core Catalogs
Check your mailboxes for the 2011-12 Gold and Core catalogs featuring new FFA awards and great gifts for sponsors, volunteers and FFA members. If you have not received the new Gold and Core 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.

The Gold and Core will also be available in an electronic version.  Go to Shop FFA and look for the 2011 e-Gold Awards and Supply catalog and 2011 e-Core Educational Resource catalog banner.

FFA Week Reminder
2011 FFA Week is just around the corner so make sure to place your orders early and avoid the rush. Infinite Potential items are the perfect complement for all of your FFA week activities and provide great gifts for sponsors and volunteers.  Check out the new Infinite Potential vinyl banners that you can customize with your chapter name (BAN-IP-V and BAN-IP-H).

What’s New?

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
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.

CAREER DEVELOPMENT EVENTS

News You Can Use

Allow four weeks processing for state check requests on Form A (no state checks will be issued without name of winner known)  for the 47 proficiency areas, four Star areas, Extemporaneous, Prepared or Creed Speaking, and Agri-Entrepreneurship awards to rhunsinger@ffa.org. For Agriscience Teacher awards, contact the National Association of Agricultural Educators, 800-509-0204, to request the award.

  • No checks will be issued without the winner information provided on Form A (e-mail notification to all state staff, 1/05/11).
  • If a state check is requested, an application will be received for national judging.
  • A street address is required.
  • If the state does not submit the required application(s), the awarded funds must be returned to national FFA.
  • A student is eligible for a proficiency award area only once.

AWARDS AND SCHOLARSHIPS

2011 Proficiency Award Listing Now Available

All 47 proficiency award areas listed for 2010 will be available again for 2011. Diversified Agricultural Production, which had been designated to be eliminated, will be available as sponsorship has been obtained. Go to the Agricultural Proficiency Awards webpage. The 2011 award listing and descriptions are available in the right column.

Don’t Forget...

In order to qualify for the American FFA Degree you MUST have participated in at least 50 hours of community service within at least three different community service activities. These hours are in addition to and cannot be duplicated as paid or unpaid supervised agricultural experience (SAE) hours. Activities can only be used once in the application.  Activities planned by the local chapter can be included, provided they are only listed in the community service section of the application and not duplicated in the FFA activities section of the application.  For more, visit the 2011 American FFA Degree Application Updates webpage.

Recognize your Agri-Entrepreneurs!

Are there agri-entrepreneurs in your chapter? Nominate them for the National Entrepreneurship Honor Roll, sponsored by the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education.

Also the 5th annual National Entrepreneurship Week is February 19 - 26. For more about how FFA supports agri-entrepreneurship, visit the Agri-Entrepreneurship webpage.

ALUMNI

Participate in a FFA Alumni Webinar

The National FFA Alumni Association is hosting free webinars through August 2011 to empower and inform members about programs, provide ideas and assist in becoming more effective advocates for FFA. Login information is available on the FFA Alumni website news section. Participants can submit written questions in the forum. Presentations will last one hour and be available on the website for review. Share the dates and topics with your alumni and encourage council/board meetings to be conducted around these dates. For questions, contact National FFA Alumni at alumni@ffa.org.

Webinar Dates/Topics: January-February 2011

January 6 - FFA Alumni 101: Structure, Programs, Etc.
January 20 - Starting a New Affiliate and Completing Excel Roster
February 3 - Advocating for Local FFA Chapters and Ag Ed Programs

NOTE: All meetings are Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

Full Schedule: Alumni Webinar Schedule

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

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

Apply for I-CAL Today!

The best way to learn about international agriculture is to experience it! The International Collegiate Ag Leadership (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, from a 10,000-head dairy farm to a seven-head goat herd that supports three families.

The 2011 program will head to a new location – Latin and South America! Tentative dates for the 2011 program are May 15 - 28, 2011 (depending on international airfare). Applications must be postmarked by Feb. 15, 2011, and can be found at www.ffa.org/programs/global/ical. Contact Marty Tatman, mtatman@ffa.org, with any questions.

Apply for the 2011 Ag Day Essay Contest

The theme for this year’s Ag Day Essay Contest is "American Agriculture: Your Food. Your Farmer." The contest is divided into two categories of competition: written essay and video essay. Both are national competitions. For the written essay, essays must contain no more than 450 words. The written essay winner will receive $1,000 and a trip to Washington D.C. to be recognized at the Celebration of Ag Dinner held at the Witten Patio March 15, 2011. For the video essay, the maximum length of the video is two minutes. The video essay winner will receive $1,000. Students in grades 7-12 during the 2010-2011 school year are eligible. Contestants must be U.S. citizens and meet all requirements to compete. Entries must be received by Feb 4, 2011. Official rules are available at Essay Rules.

Submit entries to:
2011 Ag Day Essay Contest
Agriculture Council of America
11020 King Street Suite 205
Overland Park, KS 66210
E-mail to: essay@agday.org​​