Newell-Fonda celebrates National FFA Week

Monday, March 5, 2018
FFA Members worked hard to prepackage meals that were given out to area farmers during the busy harvest season. Pictured on the left side of the table from front to back: Brittany Linke, Carlyee Clark, Sydney Tauber, Becca Mandernach. On the right side of the table from front to back: Tyler Mandernach, Brett Wells, Beth Greenfield, and Dakota Richter. / Photo submitted

National FFA Week is celebrated each year during President’s week. This year celebrations took place from February 17- February 24 “I Can. We Will,” is this year’s theme for FFA. Members of Newell- Fonda’s FFA chapter plans’ to part in their own festivities to celebrate an organization dedicated to, “making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success.”

All Newell-Fonda FFA members who are in high school helped put on festivities for the entire building. This year the chapter has 63 FFA members in total. (Students can remain in FFA after high school for four years as long as they attend a post secondary institution.) The activities planned at Newell-Fonda began with decorating the school on Monday February 19th. Tuesday the members wore FFA t-shirts as well as having several students attend the showing of the video Farmers for America which the St. Mary’s FFA hosted in Storm Lake.

Ag Olympics were held for all high school students who chose to sign up a team. Thursday the chapter hosted their annual Appreciation Lunch for all members, parents, teachers, advisory council, and school board. Friday was Teach Ag Day in the elementary classes as well as Flannel Friday and the hosting of the sub - district FFA contest at the school. The chapter would also like to take this opportunity to publicly thank all of the community members who have volunteered to be judges at our contest. In addition to these activities, the FFA officer team hosted small activities and competitions after lunch for high school students.

FFA week kept members of our FFA chapter busy just like they have been all year. The chapter started this year just as busy with having their Welcome Back BBQ in August. In September, the chapter took 13 members to the Manson Northwest Webster trapshoot. Several of these same members also attended the Denison Trapshoot. During this time, the chapter also took on several leadership roles with Ag Citing Day and Farm Safety Day. At both events, FFA members were advocates for agriculture teaching elementary students about animals. October was our time to give back to the community and area farmers through our Harvest Meals. This year members were able to take 375 meals to area elevators including Albert City, Newell, Fonda, and Sulfur Springs. The chapter also enjoyed an exciting trip to the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana and the Greenhand Fireup in October. The chapter ended the calendar year with the annual fundraiser and winter party. New this year, the chapter decided to create fruit baskets to deliver to the Meals on Wheels residents along with donating boxes of fruit to the area nursing homes.

As the new semester started, the hussel continued. In January, eight members traveled to the Iowa Pork Congress swine judging contest. In addition, eight members filled out their Iowa FFA Degrees and one student completed Diversified Livestock Production proficiency award application. All ofthese students will be receiving their Iowa FFA Degrees this coming April and the proficiency award has advanced to state for further judging. Receiving an Iowa FFA Degree is a huge accomplishment since you have to have invested $1,500 or 375 hours into a project that relates to agriculture outside of class time.

This spring semester members also started a new Partners in Active Learning Support (PALS) program with the first graders in our building. Each Monday, students in my Ag Leadership class help either teach the first graders about agriculture or help support the regular classroom learning.

As PALS continues throughout the semester, memebrs also continue our FFA work. Currently, the chapter is preparing for the sub-district, district, and state contest. Members are working hard and are hoping to do well at each level. The sub-district contest was held on February 23 at Newell-Fonda, the district contest on March 3rd at East Sac and our State Convention will be held in Ames April 22-24. Members are hoping thier applicants for Star Farmer, the FFA Band, FFA Talent, and National Anthem do well and are able to perform at the state level.

This year has been a whirlwind of excitement. All ofthese accomplishments and more will be acknowledged at our chapter banquet on March 22. The chapter asks that the parents, staff, advisory council, and school board note the change to the banquet from what was previously published on the school calendar.