The 85th annual Iowa FFA Leadership Conference was held April 22-23 in Ames. Members representing local chapters from all over the state gathered to hear outstanding speakers, participate in contests, elect new officers, learn about future career opportunities, and meet other members. The Iowa Agricultural Career Show is also held annually as part of the Iowa FFA Leadership Conference.
Each year 5,000 student members, advisers, parents, sponsors and guests travel to this conference to celebrate the achievements of FFA across the state of Iowa during the previous year. While at the conference, students take time to interact with exhibitors in the career show, helping students to understand the agricultural industry and gain valuable information regarding their career path. Following are some of the highlights of this year's conference.
* Pickup Truck Awarded To Outstanding Iowa Ag Education Teacher--Des Moines Area Community College agriculture professor Craig McEnany honored for outstanding ag education program.
The use of a new 2013 Toyota Tundra pickup truck has been awarded to Des Moines Area Community College agriculture professor Craig McEnany. McEnany earned the truck and a two-year lease as part of the 2012 Outstanding Postsecondary/Adult Agriculture Program award from the National Association of Agricultural Educators.
McEnany was awarded the truck on Tuesday, April 23 at Iowa State University during Iowa's annual state convention. Danny Wilson, of Wilson Toyota dealership at Ames, presented the keys to the 2013 Toyota Tundra.
"Over the past five years, Toyota Motor Sales has awarded more than 55 Toyota trucks to agriculture teachers throughout the U.S.," said Jim Baudino, marketing manager for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. "As a company, seeing firsthand the educators take these trucks and put them to use within their educational programs and their communities is inspiring. I speak for both Toyota and NAAE when I say we are thrilled to be a part of such a meaningful sponsorship."
Award recognizes teachers who are conducting high quality ag education programs
"Toyota Motor Sales' partnership with NAAE for this award is wonderful," said Jay Jackman, executive director, National Association of Agricultural Educators. "This national award recognizes the values and traditions invested in youth and adult ag education programs throughout the U.S. Working with National FFA Foundation on this partnership helps to solidify our impact on the agriculture and ag education communities."~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
This award distinguishes NAAE members who are conducting the highest quality ag education programs. The award recognizes leadership in civic, community, agriculture/agribusiness and professional activities. Outstanding ag educators are innovators and catalysts for student success throughout the U.S., says Jackman.
DMACC's ag business education program prepares students for future careers
Des Moines Area Community College's agribusiness program prepares students for the expanding food, fiber and natural resources industries. Approximately, 125 students enroll in the agricultural program each year, with an additional 55 students enrolled in the college's veterinary technology program annually.
The agricultural program also offers an Associate of Applied Science degree option in agribusiness with certificates of specialization in animal science, agronomy, farm management, sales/service and sustainable agriculture. The program at Des Moines Area Community College includes a 50 cow-calf commercial cattle operation, small farrow-to-finish swine operation and 325-acres of cropland and pasture allowing students hands-on learning experiences.
* In other news from the 2013 Iowa FFA state convention and leadership conference—a new slate of FFA state leaders were elected.
2013- 2014 State FFA Officers
Wapsie Valley Chapter
East Sac Chapter
North Central State Vice President
Charles City Chapter~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
Northeast State Vice President
North Fayette Chapter
Northwest State Vice President
South Central State Vice President
Southeast State Vice President
DeWitt Central Chapter
Southwest State Vice President
Coon Rapids-Bayard Chapter
* Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa FFA Members Team-up To Combat Food Insecurity--FFA members package 260,000 soy-based meals during convention.
The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) joined Growmark in sponsoring the packaging of more than 260,000 soy-based "Meals From The Heartland" during the 85th Iowa FFA Leadership Conference held last month in Ames. Nearly 1,500 FFA volunteers took turns measuring and packaging the nutritious meals that will feed people internationally while building demand for Iowa-grown soybeans. This was the second consecutive year that the ISA, Iowa FFA Foundation and Iowa FFA Association partnered in sponsoring the soy-based meals packaging. Combined, nearly 500,000 servings were packaged and distributed.
* Iowa Chapters Participate In FFA Chapter Challenge--Six chapters meet local farmers and receive a total of $7,250 in Iowa.
Iowa members made connections with area farmers and advocated on behalf of agriculture in the third annual FFA Chapter Challenge this year. The members not only learned firsthand about agricultural livelihoods, but the top six chapters in the state also earned a total of $7,250 for their programs.
New this year, Chapter Challenge offered members in 15 states two ways to participate. Chapters could compete in the Voting Challenge or the Chapter Advocacy Portfolio Challenge. In the Voting Challenge, members met with local farmers to build relationships and learn about their livelihood. Those farmers then voted for their favorite FFA chapter. With the Chapter Advocacy Portfolio Challenge, chapters were encouraged to meet with agriculturalists and community members to broaden their understanding about agriculture and then promote what they learned through social media and by creating a video.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
"Monsanto is proud to partner with the National FFA Foundation," says Elizabeth Vancil, Monsanto customer advocacy outreach manager. "Together we are helping local chapters advocate for agriculture and create bonds with the people who grow our food and build our communities."
The top six chapters in the state in both categories were recognized at the 2013 Iowa Convention in Ames on April 23, 2013.
Across the country, chapters were in the running for the FFA Chapter Challenge grand prize, sponsored by the National FFA Foundation and Monsanto. The top chapter in each category received an all-expense paid trip for seven to the 2013 National FFA Convention & Expo. The top chapters in each state received certificates of credit up to $2,500 which can be used with the national office for items such as new blue jackets, convention fees and more.
"Connecting students with area farmers and agriculture business professionals are vital experiences for chapter growth," says Graettinger-Terril High School FFA Adviser, Ashley Wiebe. "With the support of the community, FFA chapters can tap into the wealth of knowledge and resources these people have and can share. It keeps us up to date on current issues in agriculture and gives students an opportunity to serve and begin potential employer relationships."
To see a full list of 2013 FFA Chapter Challenge winners, visit the Chapter Challenge website.
Top chapters in Iowa
Graettinger-Terril High School FFA in Graettinger, Adviser: Ashley Weibe
Cascade High School FFA in Cascade, Adviser: Milt Luckstead
Clay Central Everly High School FFA in Everly, Adviser: Betsy Scholelerman
North-Linn FFA in Troy Mills, Adviser: Tom Murray~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
Grundy Center High School FFA in Grundy Center, Adviser: Amber Greiman
Rock Valley High School FFA in Rock Valley, Adviser: Micah Weber
About National Association of Agricultural Educators: NAAE is the professional organization in the United States for ag educators, providing its 8,000 members with professional networking and development opportunities, professional liability coverage and awards and recognition programs. The mission of NAAE is "professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy and service." NAAE headquarters are in Lexington, Ky.
About National FFA Foundation: The National FFA Foundation builds partnerships with industry, education, government, other foundations and individuals to secure financial resources that recognize member achievements, develop student leaders and support the future of ag education. Governed by a 19-member board of trustees (educators, business leaders, individual donors and FFA alumni) the foundation is a separately-registered nonprofit organization. About 82% of all sponsorship dollars received by the foundation support members and agricultural education opportunities. For more, visit the National FFA Foundation online.
About National FFA Organization: The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 557,318 student members as part of 7,498 local chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st U.S. Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online, on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.