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Tag Archive | "Cedar Springs FFA"

FFA Community Gardens


By Olivia Martinek

As the snow disappears, the registration for our community garden plots opens! April showers bring May flowers for most, but in our case, it brings the community together to produce wonderful crops. For over 70-plus years, the Cedar Springs FFA has been focusing on serving others and developing its member’s community involvement and leadership skills.

The Cedar Springs FFA members, and students in Agriscience classes, are learning about how to prepare and how to plant a garden in Michigan. There are many who want to have a garden to produce fresh produce, but do not have the necessary resources or land. If that is you, the community gardens are a great option! 

The plots for the community gardens are provided near the high school. The water for the gardens is donated by the generous local fire departments, who fill the tank so members will have local access to water. The FFA provides tools and prepares the plots before the members of the community take on their individual plot. The seedlings are grown and provided by the High School Plant Science class, FFA members, and other Agriscience classes. If you choose to join, you can plant your own seed, or transplant some of the seedlings free of cost. Once you take on the garden plot, it is for you to maintain and to reap the benefits. 

If you are interested in having a plot in the Community Gardens, you can contact Larry Reyburn (the FFA Advisor) at 616-696-1200 extension 6331 or email him at larry.reyburn@csredhawks.org. 

The Cedar Springs FFA is looking forward to another great spring of helping others have easy access to fresh, plentiful fruits and vegetables.  

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Spring into FFA


This time of year is always busy for the Cedar Springs FFA. With many events approaching fast, and many events that have already passed, we have a lot of news to cover. We are very excited for this new season and new opportunities to learn and grow as an FFA.

All of our FFA officers recently participated in district and regional contests. Districts were hosted at Cedar Springs High School on January 30th. The regional contests were held at Lowell High School two weeks following. Our Parliamentary Procedure team – Alyssa Marshall, Dylan McConnon, Zack Cardinal, Marjorie Hosking, Angel Shears, Olivia Martinek, and Austin Bylsma – got 2nd place gold at districts and moved on to the regional contest where they received silver. Heather Beverwyk competed in public speaking, receiving 2nd place gold, and also continued to the regional contest, where she received silver. Cecelia Brandt competed in job interview receiving 3rd place gold. Connor Brecker also competed in job interview, and received silver. 

The Cedar Springs FFA held another successful FFA week, with help of Melody Hughes, the high school student body participated in a variety of FFA related activities. Some of the events included: Riddles, guessing games, and many fun fact day. The people who one received prizes. FFA Week is always an exciting way to get the word around the school about FFA. 

Additionally, it is maple syrup season! We have tapped almost 200 trees for our annual sugar bush. The sap runs best when the days are warm and the nights are cold. So far we have collected 1,300-plus gallons of sap (almost all at a 3-percent sugar content) with the help of many of our members and volunteers. We bring our sap to Rick Sevey. He then starts the rigorous project of boiling it down to delicious syrup. After it is boiled down, we sell it in pint jars for fundraising, $12 a bottle! This year instead of using buckets, we are using an easier, more efficient method: disposable bags. We are excited to get our syrup bottled as well as to sell our sweet treats!

On March 7, Alyssa Marshall, Olivia Martinek, Dylan McConnon, Heather Beverwyk, Cecelia Brandt, and Jasmine Suschil, along with our chaperones Mr. Reyburn, Mr and Mrs. Babbitt, and Mrs. Brandt, got the opportunity to attend the 90th annual Michigan FFA State Convention. The following members received their state degrees: Alyssa Marshall, Evan Young and Cecelia Brandt. The following people received silver academic excellence awards: Cecelia Brandt, Alyssa Marshall, and Heather Beverwyk. At state convention we got to experience the Michigan State campus, learn new things by attending sessions, and watch finalists in a few contests. The delegates voted on next years state officers at the capitol. Our chapter also received the national superior chapter award! State convention is a great learning opportunity for our members to participate in. Congratulations to all of our members who received awards.

Continuing on, this month, we are electing our officers for next year. The members interested have to fill out an application, be interviewed, and then voted into office. Once they are elected they will go to a training camp at The Shack (Jugville, MI) on April 24-25 and then one later in the summer at MSU (SLCCO, July 9&10) . The new officers will learn leadership skills, teamwork, and will then bring back new ideas back to the chapter. The new officers will later be announced.

Finally, the 72nd annual banquet planning is underway. Chairperson, Heather Beverywyk and co-chair, Jasmine Suschil, are hard at work. Mark your calendars for Monday April 23! Looking even further ahead, the spring drive your tractor to school day is scheduled for May 11. We cannot wait for a delicious breakfast with our own maple syrup!

We are eager to get even more events rolling as the warmer weather approaches. Stay tuned for an update on the middle school FFA, the Cedar Trails farm day, the safety program, skills contests and more. We are always thrilled for the new opportunities and fun events we get to plan. 

As the weather gets warmer, farmers will begin to work-up fields and harvest will be here before you know it. Be sure to thank a farmer for all of their contributions as National ag week is March 18-24, and national ag day is March 20th! Happy Spring from the Cedar Springs FFA!

 

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Some sugary goodness for you! 


Maple sap is running and you might find Maple trees being tapped in various places in the area. This photo was taken of trees in Nelson Township, near 18 Mile and Tisdel. Photo by L. Allen.

From the Cedar Springs FFA

This year the beginning of March not only marks the beginning of spring, but also marks the beginning of sap season. Every year the FFA taps nearly 200 maple trees behind the middle school. This can be a rigorous project, but has resulted in less work this year due to the switch from 5 gallon buckets to 5 gallon bags. The FFA decided to try out the bags so they did not have to sanitize and wash the buckets every year prior to and following sap season. With the bags, you just have to put them together, then take them apart and throw them away when it’s done flowing. 

Under the supervision of Bill Brandt, many of Mr. Reyburn’s ambitious students took to the woods. They brought along a drill, the correct size drill bit, taps, and bags that were assembled in Ag class. In order to apply the tap—about a foot and a half to two feet from the ground—a small hole is drilled. This is a tedious job because the hole can neither be too shallow, nor to deep. After the hole is drilled, a tap with 8-12 inches of hose attached to it is pushed into the hole. This year, the tap is put through the hole on the collection-bags-bracket first, and then into the pre-drilled-tree hole. This is so that the bags do not fall to the ground. This drilling and bag hanging process is repeated on all of the trees. 

Once the taps are in, it’s waiting time. 

Prime flowing weather is when the sun is shining and it’s a little above freezing during the day and then gets colder at night. The bags are emptied as needed, anywhere from everyday to not for a whole week. Dumping normally takes place after school so more people can be involved. To dump the bags, you simply remove the tap from the tree, dump the sap into a bucket, hang the bag back up, then take the bucket to dump into the tub on the trailer. 

Cedar Springs FFA has tapped nearly 200 Maple trees behind the Cedar Springs Middle School to catch sap for making maple syrup. Courtesy photo.

Without the dedication and commitment of Cedar Springs FFA Alumni member Rick Sevey, the FFA would not have syrup. After dumping the sap, Chairperson Evan Young hauls it to Rick’s farm. Here, the sap is dumped into a 400 gallon bulk tank to store until boiling time. The sugar content is measured at this time as well. So far this year,  all but one load has had a 3 percent content, which is extremely good (the other was 2.75 percent). The average sugar content is about 2 percent. At that average number, it takes approximately 40 gallons of sap to get 1 gallon of syrup. But, a higher sugar content allows for the ratio to drop closer to 35:1, possibly even 30:1. 

The boiled down sap is bottled into pint jars for the FFA to sell. The FFA also gets a few gallon jugs to auction at their annual banquet. So far this year, the FFA has collected 1300-plus gallons of sap meaning it will yield over 30 gallons of syrup.

Nothing is more delicious than a stack of flapjacks with homemade maple syrup!  Although tapping, collecting, and boiling is an enduring process, the outcome is worth it: fresh syrup, and spring weather!  

The FFA will be selling the remainder of their 2017 syrup at Cedar Springs Community Night on April 19, so come on out and grab a pint and support the Cedar Springs FFA!

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FFA teacher receives honorary degree


State FFA advisor Mark Forbush (left) with Cedar Springs FFA advisor Larry Reyburn. Photo from Cedar Springs FFA Facebook page.

Cedar Springs High School teacher Mr. Larry Reyburn, advisor for the Cedar Springs FFA, received his Honorary American FFA degree on Wednesday, February 7. He was one of 59 recipients chosen in 2017 to receive the degree from the National FFA Organization, and the only person in Michigan. Usually this award is received at national convention, but state FFA advisor Mark Forbush made a special trip to deliver it personally. Congratulations, Mr. Reyburn.

In other FFA news, the Cedar Springs FFA will hold a fundraiser at Tractor Supply Company on Saturday. Stop by for baked goods, meat sticks, and homemade maple syrup. The store is located on the corner of 17 Mile and White Creek Avenue. 

Also this month, Tractor Supply Company stores in MI will collect donations during National FFA Week to support grants for FFA chapters in their community.

Coinciding with National FFA Week (Feb. 17-24), Tractor Supply customers can donate $1 or more at checkout Feb. 16-25 while shopping in-store, online at www.tractorsupply.com or by calling Customer Solutions at (877) 718-6750. Donations will fund the national Grants for Growing program, supporting FFA chapters in MI that are making a difference in their communities through unique and sustainable agricultural projects. The program is coordinated through a partnership with the National FFA Foundation and Tractor Supply, the country’s largest rural lifestyle retailer. 

“Through the generosity and assistance of our customers and team members, we are honored to support local FFA chapters across the country through our Grants for Growing program,” said Christi Korzekwa, senior vice president of marketing at Tractor Supply Company. “This initiative not only allows us to invest in the next generation of agricultural leaders, but also the future of agricultural education.”
Since its start in 2016, Grants for Growing has raised more than $1.4 million for the National FFA Organization. The initiative has funded a total of 692 grants supporting projects involving more than 69,000 students. 

Earlier this year, FFA chapters submitted applications detailing how they will start or expand on a project that will benefit their communities as well as both current and future FFA students. Funds have been requested to purchase vegetation, trees, seed, chickens, feed, mulch and tools for projects ranging from greenhouses to aquaculture labs. 

Grants, awarded to winning FFA chapter initiatives in the spring, have a minimum value of $500 and a maximum value of $5,000. All donations remain within the state in which they were raised. 

For more details about the program, visit www.ffa.org/grantsforgrowing

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Winter activities keep FFA busy 


 

By Olivia Martinek

The Cedar Springs FFA has been very busy in these past months, and the FFA has a packed full winter! Now that they are well into the school year, events have really gotten going.

Some of their members, Heather Beverwyk, Cecelia Brandt, Alyssa Marshall, Olivia Martinek, Dylan McConnon, Evan Young, Zack Cardinal and Jared Smith had the amazing opportunity to attend the National FFA Convention held in Indianapolis, IN. Also, a special thank you to the chaperones, Mr. and Mrs. Babbitt, Mrs. Brandt and Mr. Reyburn the FFA advisor. The National FFA Convention is an event where FFA members and advisors from all over the country attend sessions, competitions, a expo,  workshops, and many other activities. Members stayed at a campground near the Convention Center from October 24-27. The FFA also had the opportunity to see country singer Rascal Flatts in concert, attend the World’s Toughest Rodeo, and, as an extra, visit the Indianapolis Zoo. National Convention is always a great, educational, exciting event to be a part of.  

The PALS kickoff is coming up soon. Although an official date has not been set, all of the members are ready to meet their 2nd grade pals and are excited to help them work towards success. PALS is a branch of the FFA where high school students mentor 2nd graders. Members are very eager to get the program rolling! Members include: Heather Beverwyk (chairperson), Chloe Boomgaard (co-chairperson), Ayline Zavala, Adrian Zavala, Josh Canfield, Grace Anderson, Angel Shears, and Shiyong Zheng (a Chinese exchange student).

They have recently started up a middle school FFA to help boost interest. Mrs. Catherine Smith has been a huge help to the launch of that, volunteering as the advisor. The middle school FFA meets every Tuesday in the small group room of the middle school. This a phenomenal opportunity for the middle school students, and we are ecstatic to work with them together as an FFA chapter!

The high school FFA has started something new this year as well. With Christmas approaching, they are doing a secret santa activity. Each person participating filled out a survey about themselves, put it in an envelope, and then randomly chose an envelope. Participants then have to buy a gift ($30 limit) for the person that they drew. No one is supposed to know who each person has, this makes it mysterious and exciting! Participants are exchanging gifts on December 18th after our last regular FFA meeting of 2017.  

The FFA has really been getting into the Christmas spirit lately! Along with secret santa, the group has picked a place and date for the annual Christmas party. The Christmas party planning committee was made up of Tyler Schoen (Chairperson), Taryn Troupe, Carly Dunham, Alyssa Roelofs, Melody Hughes and Dylan McConnon. The Christmas party will be held at Craig’s Cruisers in Wyoming on Wednesday December 20th for wristband Wednesday which includes many activities and even the pizza buffet. All Cedar Springs FFA members, including the middle school, are welcome to attend. Members will be meeting at the high school at 4 p.m. to carpool. 

Keeping up the Christmas spirit, the Cedar Springs FFA is also helping out Second Chance Schools with selling Christmas trees as their community service project. Second Chance schools is located on 17 Mile Rd. and Olin Lakes. They are beginning a new school for kids who have struggled with staying in school and are referred by the court system. They are selling Christmas trees as a fundraiser for their new school. So, if you are still in need of a beautiful Christmas tree, stop into Second Chance and  purchase one. The trees range anywhere from $35-$75 and are sold every Thursday-Sunday until December 17. 

The club also started selecting a member of the month again. This month our member of the month is a 10th grader, Angel Shears. She is in Animal Science class, and she wishes to become a veterinarian. She loves everything thing about FFA, including the people, the activities, and learning about the future. She attends all of the meetings she is able to, volunteered to coordinate Harvest Day, and is participating in PALS.

Lastly, members are conducting a fundraiser. They are selling soybean candles for $14, the FFA receives 50 percent per candle sold ($7 each). The candles burn for 60 hours and are totally biodegradable. Members have vials of sample smells, and if you’re interested feel free to contact Mr Reyburn at 616-696-1200 Extension 6331. Orders need to be in by December 20! Although you will not receive your candles until after Christmas (sometime in early January they will be delivered), they would make a wonderful Christmas gift.

The FFA membership would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

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FFA celebrates with fall activities


 

FFA members participated in the Ag Olympics earlier this month, where they competed in various games, including sack races. Courtesy photo.

By Olivia Martinek 

Fall activities are starting to take place here at the Cedar Springs FFA. As we’re getting into the swing of a new school year, officers have been planning many events for the FFA. Unfortunately some of our officers moved this summer, but we elected a few new ones for this school year. Our new secretary is Zack Cardinal, our new reporter is Olivia Martinek, and our new historian is Marjorie Hosking.    

Two members of the Cedar Springs FFA, Melody and Michael Hughes, entered in this year’s Broiler Contest. The broiler contest consists of the members purchasing broiler chickens (meat chickens) and raising them for 6 weeks. They then pick three to five chickens to bring to Michigan State University to be judged based on their composition; the members also bring their records along to be judged.  

The FFA also participated in the annual Red Flannel Parade the first weekend in October. Volunteers worked hard after school to make a float for the parade. A big thank you to Dave Johnson for letting the FFA use his tractor to pull our float and also a huge thank you to Catherine Smith for helping organize the float workers.

On September 18, the FFA members gathered to participate in various games and activities for the Ag Olympics. Games included: marshmallow toss, egg toss, milk chug, hay bale toss, pitchfork javelin, cookie slide, and sack races. The Ag Olympics is an annual event for the FFA to get members outside for recreation and having a good time. 

Members Attend SLCCO-Pictured l to r Cecelia Brandt, Heather Beverwyk, Evan Young, Alyssa Marshall, Dylan McConnon, Mykenzie Gage, and Diane Howe.

The FFA is beginning their PALS (Partners in Active Learning Support) program. PALS is a mentorship program where high school FFA members are paired with at risk second graders to tutor them one day after school every week for an hour. So far 9 members have signed up to participate.

On Monday October 9, Mr. Reyburn’s agriculture classes took a field trip to the FFA’s sugar bush. They went to help manage the trees and clean up the woods in preparation for the winter. The students ran chainsaws, stacked wood, and cleaned up brush. In the spring, the FFA taps approximately 200 sugar maple trees, collects the sap, and then local supporter Rick Sevey makes the maple syrup for the FFA to sell. Several adults aided in running chainsaws and mentoring our future foresters; they included Wayne Marsmen, Bob Babbitt, Bill Brandt, Randy VanDuyn, and Dennis White. 

FFA members partnered with Beach Elementary to give kids a hayride, experience a corn maze, and other fall activities. Courtesy photo.

The annual FFA Harvest Day, planned with Beach Elementary, took place on Monday, October 16. The kids went through a corn maze, visited farm animals, received an apple, milk, and a coloring book, and took a hayride back to the school. 

The fall is a busy time for the FFA, but we are excited and ready. We are looking forward to the winter and spring activities to come!

  

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FFA week gains new meaning


The Cedar Springs FFA Group that competed at the regional level. Pictured from L to R:  Mr. Reyburn, Kaitlin Rounds, Diane Howe, Evan Young, Mykenzie Gage, Cecelia Brandt, Madison Strain, and Tanner Anderson.

The Cedar Springs FFA Group that competed at the regional level. Pictured from L to R: Mr. Reyburn, Kaitlin Rounds, Diane Howe, Evan Young, Mykenzie Gage, Cecelia Brandt, Madison Strain, and Tanner Anderson.

by Madison Strain

As National FFA Week approached, the Cedar Springs FFA sought new ideas to celebrate. This year, the chapter chose to raise money for a local family in their community.

National FFA Week ran February 18 -25. The chapter extended a few of their events outside of FFA Week to raise money: a silent auction, a movie night at Kent Theatre, and a dinner at Culver’s. The silent auction was held at both Tractor Supply and Family Farm and Home in Cedar Springs. Many businesses participated by donating items or services for the auction. At Cedar Springs High School, the students participated in a Kiss the Piglet Coin Drive. Any teacher who wanted to take part in the event received a pig container, which held the change students dropped off throughout the week. The top five teachers with the most money will kiss a piglet on video; this video will later be shown to the entire school.

The community also took part in a movie night at the Kent Theatre. Miracles from Heaven—a touching story about a little girl who was cured of a disorder after a terrible accident occurred—brought many community members out in support. Dinner at Culver’s allowed students to “work” for one night to raise extra money for the Ricker family; 10 percent of the evening’s profit will be given to them.

Many students and community members came out to support the fundraisers. Instead of hosting events to promote FFA, the club decided to take a more meaningful opportunity to help a family in their community. Cedar Springs is a wonderful place to live and serve.

Many of the same members who took part in FFA Week also participated in leadership contests a few weeks prior. Leadership contest were held at Beal City; the chapter was very proud of their participants. The results are the following: Ag. Issues-2nd place, Cecelia Brandt, Tanner Anderson, and Evan Young. Demonstration-2nd place, Diane Howe, Mykenzie Gage, and Kaitlin Rounds. Demonstration-4th place, Adam Parker and Cade Hall. Job Interview-6th place, Jeff Davis. Job Interview-7th place, Dylan McConnon. Public Speaking-1st place, Madison Strain. Public Speaking-5th place, Nathan Schoen. Congratulations to Madison, Evan, Cecelia, Kaitlin, Tanner, Diane, and Mykenzie for moving on to Regional contests. Regardless of the results, each member put in hard work and bettered their skills by getting involved.

Now that leadership contests are over, the chapter is shifting their focus to Spring skills contests. they currently have a Livestock Judging team and a Forestry team. The FFA chapter has been busy serving their community while learning lifelong skills along the way. Thank you to the community members, businesses, and alumni for their endless support.

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Summer winds down for FFA


n-ffa

By Chapter Reporter Madison Strain

Summer has come to a close, the Cedar Springs FFA Chapter is taking time to reflect on their eventful summer. The officers have worked hard with monthly meetings to get prepared for the upcoming school year. Over the past few months, the members obtained personal growth and portrayed grit through numerous events.

Chapter officers travelled to Lansing, on July 9, where they spent three days at the State Leadership Conference for Chapter Officers (SLCCO). The seven members spent many hours interacting with other chapter officers all over Michigan. Their time was split between three sessions. During each session, the state FFA officers presented a different way to deal with current agricultural issues. Those issues ranged from educating the youth to dealing with agricultural haters. Each session had the same recurring theme, “to be an advocate for agriculture.” The trip wasn’t all business for those young officers; there was plenty of time for fun and relaxation too. The officers tore it up at Thursday night’s dance, with the boys stealing the show with their dance moves. Cedar Springs’ officers were sure to make many friends along the way. SLCCO was a trip that resulted in strengthened communication skills and lasting memories for the Cedar Springs chapter officers.

On July 14, Cedar Springs sent four chapter officers back to Lansing where they participated in a livestock judging contest. Vice president Adam Parker, Sentinel Cade Hall, Historian Diane Howe, and Reporter Madison Strain judged a total of eight animal classes. They were later brought before a judge individually to give reasons on their ranking order for that class. Livestock judging tests the officer’s memory skills, organization skills, and speaking skills. The team received 12th place overall, with individual places of: Adam Parker- 19th, Diane Howe- 54th, Cade Hall- 63rd, and Madison Strain- 64th. Each member contributed to the team with their work ethic and positive attitude.

The Cedar Springs chapter was also reaching out to our community with their garden project. This year reached a total of 11 plots for numerous members of the community. A big thank you to the Solon and Cedar Springs fire departments for filling their water tank. Along with the successful community garden project, the land lab project is also flourishing. The corn is tasseled and growing strong, as is the bean field. Members owe a big debt of thanks to our boosters for their help with tillage and planting.

Many of the chapter’s members participated in the showing of livestock at the Kent County 4-H Fair. Two of the chapter’s officers worked a booth selling meatsticks to help fund the chapter scholarships. The chapter also had multiple members show livestock at the Montcalm County Fair.

With the 2016-2017 school year just beginning, the officers are taking every opportunity to get more students involved in the FFA. They have prepared a booth, provided flyers, and taken the time to talk with students about the benefits of joining their club at the school orientation. The chapter has high hopes of gaining new members this year. Please stay tuned to future articles for upcoming activities.

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FFA: Learning to Do


Josh and Tanner collecting sap for FFA Syrup Project

Josh and Tanner collecting sap for FFA Syrup Project

By Madison Strain and Mykenzie Gage

More than ever, the Cedar Springs FFA is giving their students many opportunities to learn by doing. The FFA motto, “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve,” is especially held true as the members work together with older mentors.

One great opportunity is the Maple Syrup Project. The members work alongside FFA boosters Steve Schmidt, Dave Dunaven, Rick Sevey, and Randy House; the high school’s kitchen crew; and many others. These boosters are entering their third year of showing members how to use a forest to produce a very profitable and desired product. When working to complete this product, the workers must complete the following steps: Start by washing the buckets, next tap the trees and hang the buckets. Members must go out and collect sap every day when the weather is right. After all of the sap is collected, it is time to boil. Boiling time will be greatly reduced this year, due to a reverse osmosis process that FFA booster and alumni Rick Sevey created. So far this year, the Cedar Springs FFA has collected over 1,600 gallons of sap, which is nearly half of their yearly haul last year.

Along with the Maple Syrup Project, they also manage a project called the Land Lab. Committee members work to raise crops, which they later sell to help fund the chapter. They also put the money towards buying new equipment to keep the project running. The Land Lab is located on nine acres of land broken into two sections near the middle school and high school. The members grow corn and soybeans on the land. A portion of the land is also reserved for a community service project called the Community Garden where members provide garden plots for use by the community.  Project Land Lab is supported by the community members, FFA boosters, and alumni. They help by mentoring the committee members, providing equipment and its operation and often give feed and fertilizer donations to support the project.

As a part of the “Learning to Do” experience, FFA members plan fundraisers to raise money and a greater awareness of their program. The middle school and high school FFA programs got together to raise money on February 27. Their chapter sold meat sticks, homemade maple syrup, and baked goods to the public. These specific fundraisers were sponsored by Tractor Supply Co. and Family Farm and Home, whom are two big supporters of the FFA Chapter. Not only does Tractor Supply Co. support FFA in their fundraising, but they also offer a grant program to help with projects such as the community garden area. During the Spring the FFA prepares garden plots for the community.

This Spring, the chapter is focusing their work around the motto “Learning to Do.” With the help of community mentors and boosters, the FFA members will gain new knowledge on agricultural tasks such as making maple syrup or learning to plant crops. The FFA motto is just one way the chapter will achieve its mission of premier leadership, personal growth, and career success.

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FFA Celebrates 70 Years in Cedar Springs


The Cedar Springs FFA group in its second year, 1947.

The Cedar Springs FFA group in its second year, 1947.

By Madison Strain

The 51 members of the Cedar Springs FFA Chapter are celebrating their 70th birthday in the Red Flannel capital. This chapter became official on January 23, 1946, and was organized by John P. Coady.

In conjunction with the celebration, National FFA Week runs February 20-27. This is a yearly tradition to honor George Washington, giving recognition for his agricultural legacy. During the weeklong celebration, FFA chapters all over the country work to educate and promote FFA in their communities and schools.

In 1947-1948, the first Cedar Springs FFA annual banquet was held. There were 36 members present, including the officers: President Lyle Sipple, Vice President Don Emory, Secretary Bill Sovey, Treasurer Wayne Bigney, Reporter Carl Olmsted, Sentinel Charles Kramer, and Advisor John P. Coady.

Today they continue to host an annual banquet for members, their families, and friends of the Cedar Springs FFA, featuring a pig roast and smoked trout raised by the group.

The 2015-2016 chapter currently has 39 high school members. This year’s officers include: President David Schoenborn, Vice President Nathan Schoen, Secretary Adam Parker, Treasurer Austin McConnon, Reporter Mykenzie Gage, Advisor Larry Reyburn, Sentinel Matthew Batchelder, Historian Cade Hall, Jr. Historian Diane Howe.

Over the past two months, the FFA began a middle school program that currently has 12 members. The middle school officers include: President Bailey Newberg, Vice President Trevor Marsman, Secretary Ian Little, Treasurer Bryan Correll, Reporter Taryne Troupe, Sentinel Fred White, Advisor Colleen White, Jr. Advisor Hannah Green, Historian Travis Swift, Jr. Historian Tyler Swift.

The main objective of the middle school program is to get kids interested in agriculture and FFA before high school. They do fun activities and fundraisers. This Saturday, February 27, the high school and middle school chapters will be hosting fundraisers at Tractor Supply and Family Farm and Home in Cedar Springs.

The FFA mission is to develop premier leadership, personal growth, and career success. This is accomplished by following the FFA Motto “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.”

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