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Tag Archive | "FFA"

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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Maple Syrup Contest


Congratulations to the FFA for finishing 2nd place in the “Best of the West” Maple Syrup ContestCSPS-FFA-group-photo

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FFA seeks gardeners


By FFA Reporter Riley Ross

Do you like fresh produce? Do you enjoy the great outdoors? Are you concerned about what chemicals might be in your food? Well the Cedar Springs FFA has just the thing for you! The FFA is sponsoring community gardens again this year. Under this program community members can utilize 20 x 20 garden plots. Residents can grow vegetables, fruit, and even flowers!

The FFA is providing tillage, seed, fertilizer, and water. FFA members have worked 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,” remarked advisor Larry Reyburn.

The Chapter is asking for a nominal fee of $20 to offset costs, however, scholarships are available for those seeking assistance.  “This is not a hand out, but a hand up”, added Reyburn. “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!”

Please contact Larry Reyburn if interested larry.reyburn@csredhawks.org.

 

 

 

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FFA Celebrates end of a great year and starts another


By: Riley Ross

 

The Cedar Springs High School’s FFA organization was proud to throw the 69th Annual Awards Banquet in late April. The FFA leadership students for 2013-2014 Justin Davis-President, David Schoenborn-Vice President, Kevin DeCanter-Secretary, Nate Schoen-Reporter, John Spangenburg-Treasurer, Tyler Savickas-Sentinel, and Jeff Davis-Historian, took the opportunity to help make the amazing night happen. Many FFA members were honored and congratulated on winning top awards like the State Outstanding Junior award, Top Salesman, and Honorary FFA member.

To kick off the 2014-2015 year, the newly elected officers went to the Shack for their yearly meeting/get together to understand their responsibilities as officers. The new leaders are David Schoenborn-President, Erika Cardinal-Vice President, Riley Ross-Reporter, Nate Schoen-Treasurer, Jeff Davis-Sentinel, and Tyler Savickas as Historian.

With the arrival of spring, to show their Cedar Springs Country Pride, the FFA sponsored their annual “Drive Your Tractor to School Day” on May 9th. More than 15 students and members had a blast showing off their unique ride front of the school.  At the conclusion of the day the group paraded around the grounds before leaving for home.

UPCOMING FFA EVENTS:

May 23rd Dam Bike Ride – Join us for a trip down the Whte Pine to Rockford!

July 9th and 10th State Leadership Conference for Chapter Officers

July 15th FFA trip to Ag. Expo and State Tractor driving contest

July 16th Dairy judging contest

 

 

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FFA develops sweet fundraiser


N-Maple-syrup

By Judy Reed

 

The FFA club at Cedar Springs High School and several farmers in the area worked together to create a completely new project for the students to learn about agriculture—they tapped maple trees and boiled it down into maple syrup to sell.

According to teacher Larry Reyburn, who leads the FFA, Dave Dunavan and Steve Schmidt approached him about the project, and about six students signed on for it.  Dunavan owns property next to Cedar Springs Middle School on 16 Mile, so he tapped several of his trees, and others there on the school property.

“We had about 125-150 taps in,” said Dunavan.

The students hauled the buckets of sap away and another farmer, Rick Sevey, boiled it down into maple syrup for them.

“They caught on quick,” said Dunavan. “It was a learning process and everyone had a good time. “ He said the busiest time for the sap occurred during spring break, but several of the students showed up anyway.

Reyburn said they ended up with about 10 gallons of syrup to sell to raise money for the group. They sold some at community night, and have been selling it at school. The cost is $12 per pint.

If anyone is interested in buying some to help support the FFA, they can call Larry Reyburn at the high school at 696-1200.

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FFA treats kids to harvest fun


A group of students from Mr. Harmon’s class peeks through the corn. Post photo by J. Reed.

A group of students from Mr. Harmon’s class peeks through the corn. Post photo by J. Reed.

The Cedar Springs High School FFA group gave second-graders at Beach Elementary a harvest time treat Wednesday. Classes were taken on a hayride to the nearby Middle School, and allowed to go through the corn maze the high school students created to the north of the school. They also had the opportunity to pet and feed some farm animals—cows, a goat with a seemingly bottomless stomach, chickens and rabbits. The kids loved getting up close and personal with animals.

When they left, each student was given a goody bag with milk, an apple, and coloring sheets to help them remember the special day.

Feeding the animals was a prized activity. Post photo by J. Reed.

Feeding the animals was a prized activity. Post photo by J. Reed.

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Museum to showcase historic woodworking skills


 

Rex VanHorn, Jr. will be on hand at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum on Red Flannel Day, Saturday, October 5, to demonstrate his woodworking skills. He will be making buckets, barrels, kitchenware, brooms and other wood products using only vintage hand and foot-powered tools (nothing electric).  Please stop by to see him.

While you are there, take a look at the antique tractors and running farm equipment that will be on display again in Morley Park. Older farm trucks, miscellaneous farm equipment, implements and other items will be on display. The FFA will also have a food both set up there.

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FFA is community


N-FFA-community-land-lab1-Dave-S-Plowing-VandVMembers of the Cedar Springs FFA were reminded this spring that their group is a part of the community. Members have attempted to pour into Cedar by helping with PALS, serving at the North Kent Community Service Center, helping with the historical society, farm day activities for all 2nd graders, and various other community based activities. The members saw this investment come back to them in a multiplied effect as they prepared to grow crops with their land laboratory committee.

With the loss of some of the land previously used by the group, many members of the community stepped forward to help them to adapt to changes at the school site.

A group of nine boosters, alumni, and members met to plan the future crops and methods of accomplishment. The FFA even enlisted the assistance of area businesses to reach their goals. After this, many community members worked along side FFA members to prepare the fields, secure new property to plant, actually plant the crops of corn and soybeans, and spray the fields. The members learned to plow and spray.

N-FFA-community-land-lab2-Braydin-Discing-v-and-vA big thanks to all those who helped!

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FFA begins new era


N-FFA

N-FFA-Team-in-basementOn Monday, April 22, 2013, the Cedar Springs FFA Chapter gathered at the High School to elect the 2013-2014 chapter officers. After many speeches and votes, seven chapter officers were elected. The new officer team went to the Shack bed and breakfast on April 30-May 1st with advisor Larry Reyburn and FFA booster Ginger Nelson. At the Shack, the group spent 24 hours in rigorous training and planning with 16 other teams from around West Michigan. Besides learning the duties of their new offices, the group spent time planning FFA activities for the 2013-14 school year and summer.

Newly elected president Justin Davis stated, “We face a busy schedule this year.  We are planning our land laboratory crops of corn and soybeans. We are also planning to create a booth for the Kent County Youth Fair and are making plans to attend Ag Expo in June.”

The group will continue to hone their leadership skills and continue planning when they attend the FFA State Leadership Conference for Chapter Officers at Michigan State University on July 10 and 11 this summer.

The new officers include: President, Justin Davis, Vice-President, Dave Schoenborn, Secretary, Kevin DeCanter, Treasurer, John Spangenberg, Reporter, Olivia Maslin, Sentinel, Tyler Savickas, and Historian, Jeff Davis. The officers look forward to their future duties and responsibilities for the next year.

 

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FFA members achieve victory


N-FFA-01-2013-CSgroup1Tension filled the air on Thursday, January 31, as members of the Cedar Springs FFA chapter competed at the annual district leadership contests. Six chapters from District one—Beal City, Cedar Springs, Chippewa Hills, Fremont, MACC, and Newaygo CTC—participated in the contests. The events that Cedar Springs took part in were Demonstration and Prepared Public Speaking. Each contest challenged different abilities of each member.

Two teams from Cedar Springs participated in demonstrations. The first team included Tyler Savickas and Braydin Bigney. Team two consisted of Justin Davis and David Schoenborn. Both teams had to choose one topic surrounding agriculture. The topics chosen were dairy farm safety and tractor safety. Each demonstration was required to fall within a time limit of 10 to 15 minutes. They spent many hours gathering items and building models to go along with their discussions. The teams worked very hard to do their best. The dairy farm safety team, Tyler Savickas and Braydin Bigney, received a silver award. Justin Davis and David Schoenborn, with their presentation on tractor safety, received a gold award and will move on to the FFA Region Five contests, the next level in the leadership competitions.

Two members competed in prepared public speaking. Those members were Whitney Decker and Brooke Lubben. In this contest, each participant was required to write a five to eight minute speech and answer five minutes of questions from the judges. The topics of each speech also had to surround agriculture. Both members did their best. Whitney Decker, with her speech on the current challenges in agriculture, received a silver award, and Brooke Lubben, speaking on biotechnology, received a gold award and is the alternate selection for regionals.

All of the participating members enjoyed the challenges of competing, and were happy to gain more leadership throughout the process.

 

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