March 2011

LATEST NEWS

Ag Summit presentations now available
The National Agricultural Education Summit was held March 3-5 in Orlando, Fla. The summit was designed for state agricultural education supervisors, teacher educators, teacher leaders and others interested in school-based agricultural education. If you weren’t able to attend the summit or if you would like a refresher on some of the topics discussed by National FFA staff, the presentations are now available online.

FFA chapters in seven states to compete in 2011 FFA Chapter Challenge
FFA chapters in seven states on March 7 began efforts to make new and stronger connections with their local farmers and earn their share of more than $225,000 in incentives provided by Monsanto.

The 2011 FFA Chapter Challenge encourages members of FFA chapters in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Georgia and Alabama to reach out to their community’s farmers, learn about their operations, engage them and bond them with FFA. Confirmation of each participating chapter’s connection with local farmers must be registered by farmers online at www.FFAChapterChallenge.com or by calling the National FFA Organization, 800-293-2387.

The deadline for farmers to confirm connections is May 1. FFA chapter winners will be announced by May 15.

The top 125 FFA chapters that make the most connections with farmers will receive a $1,500 certificate of credit from the National FFA Organization. Chapters can use the credit throughout the year to buy FFA member jackets, merchandise, awards, banquet supplies and more. Chapters can also use the funds to pay member costs associated with attending the organization’s largest annual events, the Washington Leadership Conference and national FFA convention.

Only FFA chapters in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Georgia and Alabama are eligible to participate. More than 1,700 FFA chapters and their combined 117,824 FFA members can take part in the FFA Chapter Challenge.

The chapter that makes the most connections among the top 125 chapters that participate in the 2011 FFA Chapter Challenge will be awarded a grand prize – an all-expenses-paid trip for six FFA members and one adult advisor to October’s national FFA convention in Indianapolis, Ind. The grand prize has a retail value of $6,500.

For more, visit www.FFAChapterChallenge.com.

Convention housing is open
Attention advisors: Don’t forget that the 2011 National FFA Convention Housing is now open! Go to FFA.org and log into your MyFFA account to access the hotel listing and housing form.

Font and text change needed on proficiency applications
It has come to our attention that one of the proficiency applications posted on FFA.org had a font/text size change on the photo pages. The required font size for the photo text box is Arial 14. As soon as we discovered the problem, we uploaded a corrected application. If your applicants downloaded an application that had the font size on the photo pages as Arial 10, please resize the text to Arial 14 prior to forwarding the application for national judging (state winners only).

We also noticed that if someone copies and pastes from Word into the text boxes, sometimes the font changes to your computer’s preset preferences. Make sure all text boxes, except those on the photo pages, are set to Arial 10. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Rosalie Hunsinger, rhunsinger@ffa.org or 317-802-4255.

PALS resources now online
Partners in Active Learning Support (PALS) is a mentoring program that matches caring and motivated FFA members with elementary youth. The objectives of the PALS program are to improve interpersonal, human relations and leadership skills through a long-term mentoring program. Mentors acquire leadership and planning skills as they work as a team to develop individual and group activities focusing on personal growth and agricultural literacy.

Find all of the updated PALS resources on FFA Learn, FFA.Learn.com. Resources are divided by grade level and topic; you will also find strategies for starting a PALS program, mentor development and developing an advisory committee.

Banquet season has arrived!
Place your banquet orders early, allowing at least two weeks prior to your event for order processing and shipping. Shop online at Shop FFA —it’s easy, fast and the best, most accurate method for ordering awards and personalized items. Save time and money with the FFA Banquet Kit — this kit for 100 gives you everything you need for the perfect banquet setting. Need great gifts for volunteers, sponsors or to remember a special person? The elegant FFA Crystal Cubes or FFA Paperweights makes an affordable way to say thank you in a special manner. Remember: Telephone orders are limited to 10 line items per call during the rush season. And, as always, free engraving is available.

Free embroidery for graduation sashes through May 15
Recognize your FFA members at graduation with the FFA graduation sash and make it personal with free embroidery from National FFA. This heavyweight satin sash in either national blue with gold FFA emblem or corn gold with blue FFA emblem is the perfect final touch on graduation day. Embroider up to two lines with a maximum of four characters per line. You can do your initials or high school letters on one line and the date on the other. Your graduation is special as was your years in FFA—commemorate both with a personalized graduation sash.

New arrivals section added to Shop FFA!
The new arrival section was developed and designed for FFA members, advisors and alumni to have ready access to the latest trends in FFA spirit wear. Now featured are new tees, pants and shorts in the freshest of spring colors, and great new graphics. Added to the colorful line of FFA logo tees is one of spring’s hottest new colors… purple. And just in, the American Heritage Hot Pink Pullover and the National FFA Royal Blue Pullover. Colorful and lighter-weight, fleece pullovers are perfect for spring breezes.

2011 FFA Chapter Tee Design Contest winners announced
The votes have been tallied! This year’s FFA Chapter Tee Design Contest winners are:

Tree—Redmond FFA, Oregon
How We Roll—Kettle Run High School FFA, Virginia
What We Love—East Nicolaus FFA, California
One Goal—Granville FFA, New York
One in Every Crowd—Mitchell FFA, North Carolina
Raised in a Barn—Hinsdale FFA, Montana

Congratulations to all the winners. To order one of the winning T-shirts, visit Shop FFA.

Coming late March: FFA Design Studio… designs by you for you
In mid-March, FFA will launch FFA Design Studio. This easy-to-use website located on Shop FFA will have all the tools you need to create high-quality spirit apparel. Whether you need one or more items, members, parents, sponsors and supporters can create unique personalized looks. Simply choose from four garment styles, hundreds of design elements, and multiple colors and then start designing. With the FFA Design Studio, you can create unique personalized tees or sweatshirts for fundraisers, community projects, member incentives, and sponsor and volunteer recognition. Allow two weeks for delivery. Don’t forget to look for the 2011 FFA Chapter Tee Design winners in the FFA Design Gallery on March 21.

Save 80 percent on Cowboy Way magazine
The award-winning Cowboy Way magazine is the journal of the Paragon Foundation. Each issue is filled with information and entertaining stories that celebrate the rural values and culture of the American West. Each issue of the magazine also features a four-page section dedicated to FFA.

The magazine reaches and supports the landed people of the West and those who support the efforts and challenges of families in ranching and agriculture. Cowboy Way is offering FFA members and advisors a very special annual subscription price of only $10. Help support this wonderful magazine by signing up for a subscription today.

Discounts from La Quinta and Wyndham Hotels Now Available
If you are traveling this spring or planning a summer vacation, make sure to take advantage of the special deals and discounts from La Quinta and Wyndham. When you make your reservations at La Quinta, use discount code: NAFFA, and with Wyndham use code: 1000005345.

Step into spring with the Wyndham Spring Promotion
Wyndham Rewards® members looking to kick-start their point balance in 2011 now have the chance to earn up to quadruple points or airline miles for qualified stays at more than 6,500 hotels in over 20 countries with the launch of the loyalty program’s 2011 Spring Promotion.

Designed to help members reach free nights faster, travelers who register and begin staying at any participating Wyndham Rewards hotel by April 30, 2011, will receive double points or miles on their second stay, triple points or miles for their third stay and quadruple points or miles for their fourth stay. Stays must be completed by May 7, 2011. For full promotion details, or to apply, visit www.wyndhamrewards.com.

Second annual FFA Chapter Strategy Day is March 24
Through the magic of today’s technology, FFA chapters from the Thumb Region of Michigan (Huron, Lapeer, Sanilac and Tuscola counties) are pleased to share with you via webcast our second annual FFA Chapter Strategy Day.

Following our opening introduction and ceremony, this year’s keynote speaker will be Trent Loos, humorist and storyteller on rural America and a sixth-generation U.S. farmer with a passion for the rural lifestyle. He presently has a radio listening audience of 4 million and can be heard on more than 100 stations across the country. Among his favorite audiences are our nation’s youth; he talks with them about the importance of food as a matter of national security and the value of their involvement in today’s food production system. Loos and his family own and operate a ranch in central Nebraska.

FFA chapters nationally will be able to view the speech any time after 11 a.m. (Eastern Standard Time) on Thursday, March 24. Go to www.livestream.com/thumbworks.

Check out the Kiwanis Key Leader Program
Not everyone is able to attend National FFA conferences. Schedules, traveling and money are often tough challenges to overcome. The National FFA Organization recognizes that there are numerous opportunities for our members to learn and grow their leadership potential, and some of them occur in their own backyards! Kiwanis Key Leader is one such program. Key Leader is a weekend experiential leadership program for today’s youth leaders. It focuses on service leadership as the first, most meaningful leadership development experience. By participating in a hands-on weekend event, FFA members will learn that leadership comes from helping others succeed. The program is designed to identify and empower emerging student leaders and move them beyond where most other leadership programs end. To obtain additional information, visit www.key-leader.org.​​​