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Tag Archive | "FFA"

FFA Booster Group is Formed


 

By Brent Willett

The Cedar Springs FFA Alumni Association & Friends is excited to announce that their FFA Alumni chapter has officially been charted at the national and state level, as a non-profit organization, to support and grow the local agricultural education program and the FFA chapter at Cedar Springs Public Schools. The National FFA Alumni Organization is encouraging locals across the country to organize a local support system for the agricultural education program by forming an official FFA Alumni chapter. 

The Alumni chapter is open to anyone who is interested in supporting and promoting agriculture, agricultural education and FFA. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Sept 27 T 6:30 in the High School Agriculture room. The alumni chapter will be made up of a wide variety of supporters. You do not have to have been in FFA or have a child in the FFA program to be a member of the Cedar Springs FFA Alumni Association & Friends. FFA Alumni members are proud of FFA and want to help the local members acquire knowledge and experience from agricultural education and FFA activities. 

“As alumni, it is our responsibility to serve as a source of relief for our agriculture educators as well as attract new volunteers and supporters to help our FFA programs,” said National FFA Alumni Executive Director Josh Rusk. 

The Cedar Springs FFA Alumni Association & Friends is looking for more community members to become alumni members today. Find us on Facebook or contact President Brent Willett at brent.willett16@gmail.com to find out more information on how to become an FFA alumni member. Community members without an email may contact Advisor, Larry Reyburn at 616-616-1200 Ext. 6331.  

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 653,359 student members who belong to one of 8,568 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is also supported by 344,239 alumni members in 2,051 alumni chapters throughout the U.S. Please consider joining the Cedar Springs FFA Alumni Association & Friends to help support our local FFA chapter and ensure the future of local agriculture for the next generation. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at FFA.org and on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.

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FFA concludes a busy summer 


By Chloe Boomgaard

Summer has gone especially fast for the Cedar Springs FFA this summer. It all began when the High school FFA officer team had the chance to attend the State Leadership Conference for Chapter Officers (SLCCO) in Lansing on July 9 and 10. The eight members of the officer team attending include Dylan McConnon, Olivia Martinek, Chloe Boomgaard, Carly Dunham, Angel Shears, Trevor Marsman, Jared Smith,and Mr.Reyburn. These students had the opportunity while at the conference to attend three different sessions that were themed with different points of leadership: how to set goals, how to work as a team to achieve goals, and communication skills that will help the officers step up to the plate and become the best leaders possible.

Just days after returning from SLCCO, a group of FFA members returned to the MSU campus. The group included Alyssa Marshall, Dylan McConnon, Alyssa Roelofs, Axel Anderson and Trevor Marsman, and coaches Brent Willett and Cade Hall. They had the chance to participate in a Livestock Judging competition on July 12. They spent many countless hours practicing and going to fairs to practice judging livestock being shown by other people. The team put all they had into the competition and placed 11 out of 27 different teams. Great job team! 

The land lab work began with Wayne and Trevor Marsman planting the corn in the field by the high school and Dylan McConnon spreading the fertilizer on the field. Dave Dunaven and Steve Smitz helped the FFA by tilling and planting the soybeans and making sure that everything was set in order to have a great crop this season. Jerad Smith and Dylan McConnon applied herbicides to both of the fields. Along with this great group of people we had Jake Gebhardt, who helped both groups of people to prepare the field for planting. 

Dylan McConnon and Tyler Schoen represented the FFA and Cedar Springs well in the state tractor driving contest. Dylan finished in first place,and Tyler followed behind in fifth place. Many of the chapters members participated in the showing of live stock at the Kent County Youth Fair while other officers worked a booth selling meat sticks, maple syrup, and work gloves along with running the Agricultural Adventure barn to help younger kids learn about the many areas of agriculture. The barn was not only run by the Cedar Springs chapter but the Lowell and Caledonia chapters as well. All student entering the High school and returning high schoolers keep a lookout for the FFA at orientation with some games for everyone to enjoy. 

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FFA Leaders Take charge


Cedar Springs FFA officers worked on their leadership skills at The Shack on April 24-25. Courtesy photo.

From the Cedar Springs FFA

 

The 2017-2018 school year is coming to a close and our new officers are taking a large step towards leadership. On April 24 and 25, the newly elected officers went to The Shack in White Cloud to learn how to become better leaders of the Cedar Spring FFA Chapter: President Dylan McConnon, Vice President Olivia Martinek, Secretary Carly Dunham, Treasurer Angle Shears, Reporter Chloe Boomgaard, Sentinel Trevor Marsman, and Advisor Mr. Reyburn. 

Cedar Springs FFA entered a team of three students in the forestry competitionand they took 3rd in the state—Dylan McConnon, Logan Guerrero, and Trevor Marsman. Courtesy photo.

These six students spent the day learning and communicating with a large group of students from the other chapters in Region 5 and working on many different skills that needed to be perfected. Each student went to three different break-out sessions. Some of them were ways to become a better public speaker, learning how to create the chapter scrapbook, setting up a meeting room, how to keep a track of the amount of money leaving the chapter, time management, and fundraising ideas. As the officers mingled with the other chapter officers they got to hear about the many different things that take place in the surrounding chapters. Many of these leadership skills are the skills that are going to help all of these students not only be leaders of the FFA but are going to help them when it comes their futures. 

Along with these students they had 8 students who participated in the spring skills contests this year. These students spent many hours after school practicing, learning, and perfecting these skills. The FFA had a team compete in the forestry contest. The team consisted of three students: Dylan McConnon,Logan Guerrero, and Trevor Marsman. There were 47 teams that participated in the forestry contest. These boys placed 3rd in the state they were only 14 points behind the team that took first place. Congratulations Dylan, Logan, and Trevor! 

They also had a team compete in veterinary science. The four girls on this team were Alyssa Marshall, Cecelia Brandt, Emily Nowak, and Taryn Troupe. Out of 136 teams from around the state they received 45th place.Congratulations girls, you all did great. Evan Young participated in the Ag. Mechanics contest. Each of these students put their best effort into these contests to receive the scores they did and they all did a great job. Congratulations to all of the students that participated in these activities.  

 

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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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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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Cedar Springs Museum summer car show


The Michigan State Police black and gold car designed for their 100th anniversary will be on hand at the museum’s summer car show.

The Cedar Springs Museum will hold its annual summer car show fundraiser on Saturday, July 29, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the parking lot between Morley Park and Skinner Field.

The car show helps the museum provide free family programs throughout the year.

Special guests this year include the Michigan State Police and their special black and gold cruiser, designed to celebrate their 100th anniversary of service. The car resembles the department’s iconic 1937 Ford Model 74 patrol car.

The Kent County Sheriff Department’s mobile command center will also be at the car show. The command center bus will be open and an operator available to answer questions. Here it is shown at a library part in 2015.

The Kent County Sheriff Department will also be on hand with their mobile command bus. The bus will be open for display and the operator will be available to answer your questions.

The FFA will sell donuts and serve as helpers; free coffee and a free hot dog lunch will also be served to those visiting the car show, thanks to two local businesses.

Trophies and prizes will be awarded at the car show, and dash plaques given to the first 100 cars. Pre Entry is $8.00 per car or $10.00 the day of the show.

Mail early entry and fee to:

P.O. Box 296

Cedar Springs Mi. 49319

Include your name, address, city, state, zip and phone number. A parent signature is required if the entrant is under 18.

For more information or if you would like to volunteer, call The Cedar Springs Museum at 616 696-3335 or email: cedarspringsmuseum@gmail.com.

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FFA Community Gardens: a sure sign of Spring


Class Member “Learning to Do” Preparing 2016 Gardens. Photo courtesy FFA.

Class Member “Learning to Do” Preparing 2016 Gardens. Photo courtesy FFA.

Just like the robin, and the appearance of seed catalogues, the announcement of the opening of registration for the Cedar Springs FFA Community Gardens is one faithful sign that winter is drawing to a close.

Agriscience students and FFA members are learning what must be done to prepare and plant a garden in western Michigan. “We hope to be able to supply many free transplants for the plots. The seedlings are to be grown in the High School Plant Science class, and by FFA members. We provide hand tools, and we rototill the gardens for community member before they take over,” said Larry Reyburn, local FFA Advisor.  Big help has come from the area Fire Departments, who take turns filling the water tank used on the gardens.

Any member of the community that is interested in having their own plot should contact Reyburn at the high school by phone at 616-696-1200 extension 6131, or by email at Larry.Reyburn@csredhawks.org.

For over 70 years the FFA at Cedar has focused on serving others and developing its member’s leadership and personal growth.

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Ricker family fundraisers


The Ricker Family

The Ricker Family

Various groups are putting on fundraisers over the next couple of weeks to help pay for medical bills for two teen brothers in our community that are battling cancer: Brison and Preston Ricker. Brison has an inoperable brain tumor (DIPG) and Preston recently had surgery for thyroid cancer. They are the sons of Brian and Kim Ricker, of Nelson Township. These are the ones we know about:

Varsity basketball fundraiser

FEB. 17: Please join the Cedar Springs Girls and Boys Basketball programs this Friday, February 17, as they host Forest Hills Central in a #rickerstrong game. Many activities are planned for the evening, which starts at 5:30 p.m. with the boys game. Please pack these stands and bring your wallets as we come together to raise money for this awesome family that is battling cancer! We will have a 50/50, raffling off these fabulous corn hole boards that Steve Elliston made and painted by hand and donated, as well as some half time shooting. It is also Senior Night-the last night these senior boys and girls will suit up and play in the Red Hawk gym.

FFA Silent Auction

FEB. 17-24: The FFA at Cedar Springs High School is holding a series of fundraisers for the Ricker family, in conjunction with National FFA week. The first is a silent auction at both Family Farm and Home and Quality Farm and Fleet, and starts this Friday, February 17 and runs until February 24. Several businesses have donated items, and the FFA will also include some of their own homemade maple syrup and pancake mix in the baskets. They hope to have a couple of tables set up at each store, so stop in at both stores and bid on your favorite items.

Movie at the Kent Theatre: Miracles from Heaven

FEB. 22: The FFA is sponsoring the movie “Miracles from Heaven” at the Kent Theatre on Wednesday, February 22, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $3. All proceeds from ticket sales and a portion of concession sales will go to the Ricker family. A donation jar will also be set up for anyone wishing to donate more to the family’s medical expenses. The movie, starring Jennifer Garner, is based on the true story of a young girl who was miraculously cured from her illness.

Spaghetti dinner 

FEB. 26: Classic Kelly’s Family Restaurant, 356 N. Main Street, Cedar Springs, is holding a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the Ricker family on Sunday, February 26, from 6-8:30 p.m. They will provide either a sit down or take out dinner for $10 each, with all proceeds going to the Ricker family. #Rickerstrong t-shirts will also be available to buy that night.

Dinner at Culver’s

FEB. 28: The FFA is holding a fundraising dinner for the Rickers at Culver’s of Comstock Park, located at 4280 Alpine, on Tuesday, February 28, from 5-30-8 p.m. Ten percent of proceeds will go to the Ricker family.

Other things the FFA is doing to support the Ricker family include selling bracelets at the high school that say  “Farming for a cause #rickerstrong” and running a “Kiss the Pig” contest in classrooms. For the Kiss the Pig contest, 24 piggybanks have been set up in various classrooms. According to teacher Larry Reyburn, the top five classrooms that collect the most change will win, and those lucky teachers will get to kiss a baby pig supplied by the FFA. Paper money doesn’t count, so if they don’t want to kiss the pig, they can stuff the piggyback with dollar bills. Fun stuff! FFA students Heather Beverwyk and Kate Hall have been in charge of organizing the current FFA fundraisers for the Ricker family.

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FFA members show dedication to fall activities


n-ffa3

Rain or shine, FFA members show their dedication to agriculture. Cedar Springs FFA held their annual Fall “Drive Your Tractor to School Day” on September 30. The men and women braved the storm to participate in their favorite event. Over 15 members drove their tractors to school that Friday. Those who drove received a complimentary breakfast featuring FFA made syrup and will be receiving a free t-shirt for participating. Drive Your Tractor to School Day is among the favorite events the club puts on throughout the year.

n-ffa2Along with braving the storm on Friday, many members were also out in the elements Saturday morning, October 1, to make last minute preparations to finish the Red Flannel Day float. With a lot of help through the two weeks prior, the float turned out wonderfully. Red Flannel Day was an exciting opportunity to get members involved with one of the oldest festivals around, with the Cedar Springs FFA chapter being only six years younger than the festival. Thank you to all members who participated in Drive Your Tractor to School Day, and those who worked especially hard on the Red Flannel Day float. Everyone knows that tractors are one of the most distinguishable tools in agriculture; they are staple in many of the FFA’s activities like Harvest Day.

n-ffa1On October 14, the club hosted Harvest Day—a day dedicated to agriculture—for the second grade students at Beach Elementary. While fall is typically associated with picking apples, corn mazes, and celebrating the new season, the club took this time to celebrate agriculture, educate, and have fun with tomorrow’s agriculturists. Each class was picked up by tractor and hay wagon, where they climbed aboard to travel to the corn maze. A big thank you goes out to the tractor drivers, David Schoenborn and Nathan Schoen, for keeping the students safe and smiling while traveling to and from school. Pictures soon followed as the second graders got broken into small groups; each FFA member helper on the wagon was assigned four students to lead. The high school helpers found small groups allowed them to talk and learn more about the students in the short amount of time they had together. As each group entered the FFA corn maze and wandered to its exit, they received an apple and milk as a reward. As they munched their apple and drank their milk, they were able to tour an amazing children’s barnyard put on by FFA members with help from Brayden Bigney. By the smiles on each of their faces, it was evident they had a wonderful time in the maze and the barnyard. The Cedar Springs FFA put hours into planning and setting up this wonderful event. Thank you to to FFA chairperson Madison Strain for heading up the entire event. Each second grade class spent 45 minutes going through the rotation. Before they climbed back on the wagon, each student received a coloring book -it was put together by a club member- all about crops and animals. The smiles on the second grade students showed the success of the event. A big thank you goes out to all who helped and supported the event from around the school and community.

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FFA Ag Olympians Compete


Pictured from left to right, Cedar FFA Secretary Ceclia Brandt, POA chairperson MyKenzie Gage, State FFA Treasurer Jose Cervantes, Cedar FFA President Nate Schoen, State FFA Region V Vice President Madeline Meyers, Cedar FFA Sentinel Cade Hall, Cedar Reporter Madison Strain and Cedar Historian Diane Howe.

Pictured from left to right, Cedar FFA Secretary Ceclia Brandt, POA chairperson MyKenzie Gage, State FFA Treasurer Jose Cervantes, Cedar FFA President Nate Schoen, State FFA Region V Vice President Madeline Meyers, Cedar FFA Sentinel Cade Hall, Cedar Reporter Madison Strain and Cedar Historian Diane Howe.

By FFA Reporter Madison Strain

There is nothing more fun than some healthy competition and games revolving around agriculture. Monday, September 19, the Cedar Springs FFA Chapter held their annual Ag Olympics. The event was open to all students and was a great opportunity to publicize the club. State officers Madeline Meyer and Jose Cervantes were invited to take part in the event,

The afternoon consisted of a round bail roll, square bail toss, pitchfork javelin toss, sack race, milk chugging, and an egg toss. Competition ran high during the pitchfork toss in particular, which was a difficult game to win. Adam Parker, the first place winner, won by pure luck. The sack race was a real tumble for many contestants but in the end Adam Parker and Nate Schoen prevailed. The milk chug was the most entertaining event of the afternoon. Boys and girls lined up with their cup of milk in hand, waiting for the signal to start. The contestants gulped down milk, some dripping more than others, with a result of Ian Savickas taking first place. State officers Maddie and Jose took first place in the round bail roll.

They concluded the evening with pizza and prizes. Ag Olympics had a nice turnout of about 25 students. The chapter was eager to host the event to show the state officers what the Cedar Springs chapter was all about. It was a successful event to gain new members while celebrating agriculture. Thank you to Madeline Meyer and Jose Cervantes for attending and to all of the students who got involved!

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