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Tag Archive | "FFA"

FFA begins new era


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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FFA invests in leadership and community

The Cedar Springs Future Farmers of America (FFA) was established in 1946, and has consistently invested in the leadership of its members as an integral part of the Agriscience program at the High School. As part of its mission statement the FFA seeks to develop premier leadership in its members.

Many activities also encourage members to become involved in the community.  This year the club has participated in leadership development through several conferences, fund raising activities, and participation in school and community events. One of the premier events this year saw the club hosting a farm day on the Land Laboratory, where all second grade children were escorted to a corn maze, and small animal exhibit on school property, and presented with several gifts. The event also included a hay ride around the school property. Another character building activity has a group of members acting as mentors to elementary students in need of assistance in school. The mentor-members meet weekly after school with their charges to help with their education and to provide and role model.

If you would like to learn more about the Cedar Springs Future Farms of America, please contact Larry Reyburn via email  Larry.Reyburn@csredhawks.org.

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FFA offers community garden plots

FFA members lead 2nd graders to the Corn Maze in the 2011 project

They hope someone will take advantage of the offer this year


FFA President Brent Willett announced this week that the Cedar Springs FFA chapter is planning to offer free garden plots to any community member who contacts the Agriscience Department prior to May 1, 2012.

The FFA is preparing its Land Laboratory for the coming growing season.  The plots will be located on the North end of the Land Laboratory between Red Hawk School and the High School. “We offered the plots last year and did not get any response from the community,” Willett remarked. “We were surprised that no one wanted to produce their own food in this economy. As we reflected we realized that we may have been a little late announcing.”

Jerry Green, local FFA Vice President added, “We decided to announce earlier this year, and if we don’t get a response by May 1, we will proceed to plant the entire acreage to corn.”

Charles Nelson, club Sentinel, explained that the plot soil would be prepared for planting, and seed and water will be provided, just like last year. The group is also planning to prepare a corn maze, like last year. “We took every 2nd grader in our Beach Elementary through the corn maze, gave them a free Michigan apple, milk, and take home items, and allowed them to enjoy our petting farm last fall,” said Nelson. “We considered the entire project a success. Our land lab committee of myself, Green, Willett, D White, Dick Willett, Rick Sevey, Jake Gebhardt, Ginger Nelson, Larry Reyburn, and Dan Spangenberg, have been instrumental in laying the ground work for this project.”

The members, in addition to the corn maze and petting farm, arranged for all 2nd graders to sit on a brand new tractor and ride a hay ride back to class. This year they plan to allow the general public to enjoy the corn maze as well.

If you are interested in a garden plot for the 2012 growing season contact the FFA at the agriscience program at 616-696-1200 extension 6131 for more information or to reserve your plot.




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FFA leaders begin anew

The 2010-2011 team members ended their year with the 66th annual parent/member banquet on April 25. Hanna Johnson said, “We had a good hog roast and an awesome time.  All FFA members and officers helped to make this banquet happen.” The officers would like to thank all the parents and everyone who attended; they helped a lot, with each bringing a dish to pass and adding their lively conversation and company to the event. While this day did mark the end of the 2010-2011 officer team, it began the life of a hopeful new group.
The FFA officers for the 2011-2012 year have started their year off with an investment in their leadership skills. “It is great to start a new season of leadership with such a great group of young men and women,” remarked club advisor Larry Reyburn. The newly elected officers are President Brent Willett, Vice President Jerry Green, Secretary Kayli DeCanter, Reporter Hanna Johnson, Treasurer Whitney Decker, and Sentinel Charles Nelson.
As a kick off to the new season, the club hosted their spring “Drive Your Tractor to School Day” on April 28.  Despite rainy weather the event was well attended, with 8 tractors and many observers. Each tractor driver was provided with a commemorative t-shirt and roasted hot dogs during school lunch. Thanks go to several local businesses for sponsoring the event; your support is greatly appreciated.
The new officers further developed their team building skills by attending the FFA’s regional leadership camp, held each year at the Shack hotel in Newaygo.  This event is an enjoyable learning experience intended to help new FFA leaders learn to fulfill their office duties and live up to their potential in the FFA. Members will be instructed on the duties of their prospective offices, some key factors in building team relationships, and exciting ways to develop leadership capabilities. Jerry Green expressed his feelings about the trip: “As Vice President, this time will allowed me to get the ground work laid for our group’s activities next year.” The club participates in everything from the Agricultural “Olympics,” to agricultural skill development, and to community service. Kayli DeCanter showed excitement about meeting other chapter officers from all over this part of the state and challenged herself to find new ideas to apply in her Cedar Springs community.
Also the group was selected as the second place team in the only team competition at the event. Mr. Reyburn remarked that this was the best the Cedar Springs officer team had finished in over 2 years.

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FFA sponsors community garden

The Cedar Springs FFA has received approval from the School Administration to launch a new “Community Garden Project.”  Advisor Larry Reyburn announced that the project is just a beginning to future experiences.  “We hope that this marks the first year of an annual event in our community,” he said.
The group plans to prepare garden plots measuring 15 feet x 15 feet, which community members could rent for $20. The renter can then plant a small produce plot that would be tilled by FFA booster members. FFA members have been eagerly anticipating a time when they could bring more agriculture back to their program at Cedar Springs. “I am very excited to help bring more agriculture and community service to our school, but we will need help from our community,” said Brent Willett, local FFA President.
Local farmer and FFA booster Wayne Marsman will be helping the group with soil preparation. The target, weather permitting, is to have the sites ready for planting by the end of May.  Several community members have been instrumental in the planning for this activity.  Dan Spangenberg, D. White, Rick Sevey, and Dick Winzer have been working with FFA members Brent Willett, Jerry Green, Charles Nelson, and FFA Advisor Mr. Reyburn to bring the project to fruition.  “The most difficult part of the process has been to be sure we have all the bases covered for safety and liability for the school,” remarked Reyburn.
“With the big downturn in the economy and the movement toward naturally grown foods, we figured the time is now,” stated Sevey, a local farmer.  The project will allow community members to start a fun project, renting and growing their own food plot as long as they follow organic guidelines.  Community members can contact Mr. Reyburn for more information or reserve a plot by calling 616-696-1200 (Extension 6131) or emailing Larry.Reyburn@csredhawks.org.

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