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Tag Archive | "Cedar Springs FFA"

Summer winds down for FFA


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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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FFA community garden begins again


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It is once again that time of year! The Cedar Springs FFA is sponsoring its annual community gardens again this year. Under this program community members can utilize a 20 x 20 garden plot. Residents can grow vegetables, fruit, and even flowers.

Local advisor Mr. Larry Reyburn reports, “Thanks to our many sponsors, the FFA is able to provide tillage, seed, fertilizer, and water.” FFA members are working after school and several Agriscience classes have been involved in the work and planning of this community service project. “This not only allows our members to learn by doing, but they also have a hand in a great community service project,” added Reyburn.

The Chapter his asking for a nominal fee of $20 to offset costs, however, scholarships are available for those seeking assistance. “For those who like the outdoors and wholesome food, this may be the ticket to a fun and productive summer,” Reyburn added.  “It is our hope that we can especially offer this program to area residents that would like to produce their own food with their own efforts!”

The Chapter would like to thank Gleaner Insurance Company for sponsoring the scholarships.

Please contact Larry Reyburn if interested. Phone 616-799-4968 or email larry.reyburn@csredhawks.org.

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FFA Receives Grant


Community garden kickoff group.

The Cedar Springs FFA chapter has received a grant in the amount of $500 from Gleaner Life Insurance Society. Gary Mills represented the Gleaner organization in presenting a check to the club on Thursday, May 24. The grant was in support of the FFA’s community garden project. The garden is a community service endeavor that is directed towards allowing members of the community to have a place to grow their own fresh vegetables. The grant money was used to buy all of the necessary supplies to form the garden. So far, the garden consists of 10 (20-foot X 20-foot) garden plots. The FFA is providing tillage, seed, fertilizer, and water.

Dylan tills the soil.

The community garden was advised by a committee consisting of: Jake Gebhart; Andy Hagenow, Dick Winzer, Rick Sevey, Brent Willett, D White, Roger Swift, and Wayne Marsman. The Cedar Springs FFA is grateful to the many volunteers and donors who loaned equipment and helped prepare the garden site. Two of Mr. Reyburn’s agriscience classes were also utilized preparing the sites.

 

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