FFA Week
Posted on 02/19/2019
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            Westco and Land O’Lakes provided a grant to the Garden County FFA to get new welders in our shop.  With these new machines, our students can learn SMAW, GMAW, OFW and GTAW techniques.  The goal is to provide students with an opportunity to explore skills that can lead to future careers.

            The Garden County FFA is also a recipient of the Governers of Excellence NIFA award.  With this grant money, our chapter wanted to increase students knowledge of entrepreneurship to encourage our youth to return to our community and bring entrepreneurship opportunities with them.  The officers chose to host a 4-H Inventure Day training for our seventh, eighth, and ninth-grade members.  The students will be placed in teams with an adult entrepreneur from our community as a mentor.  The teams will then be given and widget that they need to use to engineer a product and a marketing plan for that product.  The teams will then present their product to a panel of judges. The winning team will earn a day in Lincoln touring UNL’s Innovation Campus.  This opportunity will take February 26 at Garden County Schools.

            Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation provides training to FFA leader on how to teach agriculture literacy to elementary students.  Connecting Chapters asks FFA chapters to reach out to elementary classrooms and teach the students about agriculture.  Jaedon Ross, Tarah Ross, Maddi Lake, and Kelsee Moffat visited our second-grade students. They read a book and lead a lesson teaching the second graders about plants.

            Our chapter is also a participant in an Environmental Service Learning Program lead by the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies.  Through this opportunity, the Environmental Science Students at Garden County have learned about pollinators and native bees and their decline.  They chose to create a pollinator garden that will help educate our community about the importance of pollinators with their grant funds.  Three of our FFA members, Austin Dormann, Chris Sciortino, and MacKenzie Richards, have been selected to take part in 4-H Ag Innovators experience focusing on native bees.  They will be provided training on March 23.  Both of these programs will provide our students with the knowledge needed plan and host a community outreach experience.

            Know Your Well is a program developed by UNL and funded by the Nebraska Environmental Trust that trains high school students well water testing.  The Garden County FFA is excited to receive this training and the opportunity to learn about the water of our county.

            Our students have also been watching rainbow trout eggs hatch, become alevin, and then turn into fry.  Through the Nebraska Trout in the Classroom Program hosted by the Nebraska Game and Parks, we received about 150 rainbow trout eggs.  The fish are now in the fry stage.  Our students will monitor the fish growth and in April release the fish at a designated Nebraska Game and Parks location.

            The Garden County FFA has also had a successful season of competitions.  At the District Twelve Leadership Development Event, our freshmen Conduct of Chapter Meeting team placed second and qualified for state. The member of the team is Nickolas Alworth, Trey Kirch, Kamry Kramer, Kaylee Leach, Josie Marquez, Dutch Yates, and Mallory Zorn.  Kara Barnhart also won the Cooperative Speach Contest at LDEs and will represent our chapter at state.  At our latest Career Development Contest, our Agriculture Communications Team received a first-place purple and will be competing at state.  Madi Leach, Tarah Ross, Kaitlyn Hunt, and Kayden Kramer developed a media plan that would promote the agriculture safety day that our chapter cohost with the CreekValley and South Platte FFA chapters for third-grade students in both Garden and Duel Counties. Kara Barnhart earned another first place purple in Food Science and along with her team consisting of Madi Leach, Kaylee Leach, and Mallory Zorn place third at districts and will represent our district at the state competition.

            The Garden County FFA is looking forward to participating in National FFA Week, one more district CDE contest, Nebraska State FFA Convention, and finalizing our current projects.


Left to Right: Kayden Kramer, Kaitlyn Hunt, Tarah Ross, and Madi Leach