Sarah Draper, a graduate of Box Elder High School, and an agricultural education major at Utah State University, was elected the 2015-2016 National FFA Western Region Vice President. Each year at the National FFA Convention and Expo, six students are elected by delegates to represent the organization as National FFA officers. Delegates elect a president, secretary, and vice presidents representing the central, southern, eastern, and western regions of the country.
Sarah is the tenth National FFA officer elected from Utah since 1931. She is the eighth Utah FFA member to hold the office of Western Region Vice President. Sarah is the first female to be elected as a National FFA officer from Utah. She is the first National FFA officer elected from Utah in forty-two years.
Sarah has been very active in the leadership of FFA. In 2014-2015, she served as the Utah FFA Vice President. She is very talented, very bright, comes from a very strong family, and is of the highest character. Sarah has been working hard to prepare herself since she was selected as Utah’s candidate in May. She also attended several training opportunities for National Officer Candidates this summer. I am excited for Sarah and for Utah FFA. This is a great opportunity,” said Buddy Deimler, State FFA Advisor and Western Region State Advisor.
Utah FFA Facts: > 6,249 FFA members. The number of FFA members has doubled in the past 10 years.
> 133 Agricultural Education teachers in Utah. This number increases each year.
> 44, or 33 percent, of the 133 Agricultural Education teachers are female.
> 3 new FFA programs/chapters were added this year. They are, Tintic High School in Eureka, Roots Charter School in West Valley City, and Jordan Applied Technology Center in Riverton.
WATCH Sarah Draper introduce herself to FFA members throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
Congratulations to Buddy Deimler who was honored as the Outstanding State Supervisor by the National Association of Supervisors of Agricultural Education (NASAE) at the 88th National FFA Convention and Expo last week. “Only one person is named each year and it is the highest honor given by NASAE,” said Brett Evans, Utah FFA Association State Executive Secretary.
The NASAE award annually recognizes one member who has made outstanding contributions to agricultural education state supervision. The purpose of the award is to recognize and encourage superior contributions to the field of supervision in agricultural education.
On the award plaque Buddy received it states, “As a true leader you have the confidence and courage to make tough decisions and the compassion to listen to the needs of other. Because of the quality of your actions and the integrity of your intent, you have overcome barriers to success that would have caused others to falter or fail. You have been decisive where others have hesitated. You will always be recognized as an outstanding leader in Agricultural Education for your efforts.”
Since the beginning of the school year, FFA members at Spanish Fork High School have been busy providing community service, competing in competitions, and teaching middle school students about agriculture. Their dedication to service in their community, their competitive spirit as they competed against their peers, and their passion for teaching Agriculture in the Classroom has cultivated their desire to make a positive difference in agriculture.
Community Service In September, Farmer Randy Gordon donated three bins of pumpkins to the Spanish Fork Chamber of Commerce Harvest Moon Hurrah community event, however, the pumpkins needed to be washed. Spanish Fork FFA members quickly volunteered for the job. With a job well done, a sparkling clean pumpkin was given to each child at the Harvest Moon Hurrah.
Competitions Sterling Brinkerhoff competed in the Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off and placed second. His pumpkin weighed 514.5 pounds, 100 pounds more than third place. Sterling raised the pumpkin as part of his Summer Agricultural Project.
Spanish Fork FFA members had great success at the Utah State Fair. Dalton Sorensen won the blue ribbon for his champion hog and Kaitlin Hallam won Best in Show in the Agricultural Mechanics category.
Teaching FFA members taught students in an 8th grade class about the importance of agriculture. One activity included making ice cream, as students learned about dairy production. Another activity included dissecting an animal to learn about the parts of the anatomy.
The 88th National FFA Convention and Expo begins today, Wednesday, October 28, 2015. Join the convention live from Louisville, Kentucky. Here are four ways to stay connected with the FFA Convention and Expo:
RFD-TV will broadcast each session. Visit the RFD-TV site for channel listings and more. Most sessions shown live on RFD-TV will also be simulcast on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio via RURAL RADIO Channel 147.
More than 45 hours of the convention will be streamed live online. The broadcasts will be available at FFA.org/convention and can be viewed live or via the on-demand archive. The streams include nine convention sessions, six events from the CDE Finals Hall, and nine student workshops.
Stay connected via the FFA convention app. This digital guidebook includes all of the convention and expo activities, maps, and more. The app is free and is available in the Apple and Android/Google stores.
During the convention FFA members will celebrate 85 years of the FFA Creed. The Creed was written by Erwin Milton Tiffany. The FFA Creed expresses Mr. Tiffany’s strong belief in the industry of agriculture and the core values of citizenship and patriotism.
FFA members across the country have the opportunity to attend the 88th National FFA Convention and Expo in Louisville, Kentucky, October 28-31, 2015. These members will travel for hours by airplane, bus, train, and vehicles to experience an everlasting tradition that they will never forget. This is a tradition that has been alive and well since the very first FFA convention held in Kansas City, Missouri in 1928.
The theme for the 88th National FFA Convention is “Amplify, Boost Your Impact.” This theme has challenged FFA members to get out of their comfort zone and to be a part of something bigger. Members of the organization have already been boosting their impact by participating in various projects such as the #speakag campaign, which challenges members to stand up and be an advocate for agriculture. As well as the #teachag campaign that encourages members to become an agricultural educator.
The convention itself is split into various sessions in which members, advisors, and guests can attend. In these sessions you can experience live music from the National FFA Band and Chorus, amazing award and degree presentations, inspirational thoughts from the National FFA Officer Team, as well as extraordinary guest speakers such as the creator of Kid President, Brad Montague; past professor of Texas A&M University and character coach for the Aggies, Dr. Rick Rigsby; and our own Amberly Snyder, former Utah FFA Association President.
The Expo includes many exhibits to see as well as opportunities to participate in hands-on activities. Exhibitors include many large companies such as John Deere, Lincoln Electric, Monsanto, CSX, Case, Justin Boots, Dodge RAM, and many more. The purpose of the Expo is for attendees to explore many of the products and careers in the agricultural field.
Animal science and biology are my passion! There are so many different areas to choose from such as wildlife biology, fish [and game], animal biology, and much more. Becoming a biologist requires a lot of hard work, and passion for animals and the outdoors.
I am Shaylyn Knappenberger. Throughout high school I have taken animal science courses, been involved with FFA, and had work-based learning experiences that have allowed me to worked with biologist and conservation officers across the state, on ride-alongs and other field experiences.
Working with biologist and conservation officers exposed me to many different elements of the job. I have experienced writing tickets for going off the posted trails to transplanting antelope. Working with both sides of the Division of Natural Resources has showed me that this job is very diverse and the work is not always easy, but worth it.
I established many relationships with biologist and conservation officers. The more I went on ride-alongs, and helped with transplanting animals, the more confident I became in helping and doing things they asked of me. I love learning new things and advancing what I know in this field. On each ride along I learned new things and got to experience more than I did before.
My experience in FFA has helped tie all of my learning and experiences together. FFA has taught me to reach for the stars and go for my dreams. I have been able to take my education one step further by participating in science fair projects and competitions such as vet science and judging livestock. It has taught me about more than just wildlife and everyday pets. I have also been able to learn, develop, and use leadership skills that I will be able to use throughout my future career.
“The CTE classes I have taken in high school, such as agricultural systems and technology, animal science, and floriculture, have given me the basic skills, knowledge and abilities to allow me to obtain employment in any of those fields. These classes have shown me just how many different employment/career opportunities there really are in the world after [I graduate from] high school. The animal science class really helped me with deciding which direction I would like to go with my education and career.
“The steps necessary to obtain my goal are to attend Bridgerland Applied Technology College, become certified in meat cutting, and secure employment in a local grocery store or butcher shop. The CTE animal science class helped me learn about the proper care needed to produce the highest quality market animals, and what to look for in a good meat animal. I plan to use this knowledge to help me get started in my job field.”
Congratulations to Kaitlin Hallam, senior at Spanish Fork High School, who was selected as the 2015 Utah Sterling Scholar in the area of Skilled and Technical Sciences. Kaitlin has been an active member of FFA since 2011. From building an 18 foot, dual 7500 pound axle, flatbed utility dump trailer to raising a 38.6 pound tom turkey to placing first in the Animal Systems competition at the 2015 FFA Agriscience Fair, Kaitlin has been very successful in each project she has pursued. In fact, she is currently completing a 32 foot gooseneck electric over hydraulic tilt trailer.
Throughout the past several years, Kaitlin has won many awards as she competed against her peers in a variety of regional and state competitions. Her skill, talent, perseverance, and desire to do well has catapulted her to achieve her goals as she prepares to advance from high school to college and career.
Kaitlin has developed a great deal of self-confidence through her achievements, but says her greatest feeling of self-worth came from turkeys she raised for her agri-science research project, and then donated those turkeys to needy families in the area at Thanksgiving time. “The ability to help those who are truly in need has been the greatest feeling of satisfaction and joy in the world,” said Kaitlin.
Kaitlin will tell you that much of the success she has enjoyed has been the direct result of an incredible volley of local CTE teachers and state advisors who have continually dared her to step out of her comfort zone on a daily basis and venture to be more. Her toughest challenge has been welding in a nontraditional occupation for women.
“I am usually one of few girls in most of my CTE classes. This triggers one of three reactions from the rest of the boys: instant harassment, showing off, or competition. I try to remain calm in any situation and make friends. I have found that most boys are receptive to my friendship and are eager to be helpful. They even seem to enjoy it when I am able to keep up with a new skill or even out do them from time to time. However, there are a few who expect me to cower to them. This is problematic because I am a fierce competitor and I know that I can do anything that I put my mind to. Overall, I have enjoyed learning how to balance what I say and do without compromising my own skills and performance,” said Kaitlin.
Kaitlin acknowledges the impact FFA and CTE has had on her education and preparing her for college and career. “My involvement in the Skilled and Technical Sciences [classes] already has and continues to enrich my life by helping me develop lasting values like hard work, dedication, and responsibility. Welding has given me an opportunity to train my hands to be steady, my eyes to be sharp, my mind to concentrate, and my imagination to go wild. Furniture construction has pushed me outside of my comfort zone and helped me gain knowledge in a subject I knew absolutely nothing about. Auto body has shown me that even if something is old and broken down it can still be re-built and have lasting value. Last but not least, leadership has given me the ability to plan, organize and not only lead people through a difficult situation, but support and encourage them to do the same.
“Beside these skills, I have learned crucial values, including hard work, dedication, and responsibility. I have learned how to set goals which have led to success in many areas. I have also realized how much more I need to learn in order to be truly successful. My CTE classes and my leadership experience in 4-H and FFA have laid a strong foundation on which I can build upon. I plan to go to college to complete a teaching degree. I like the idea of ‘paying it forward.’ I have had a wonderful education experience and I hope to provide that for the future students I will teach.”
After graduating from high school in May Kaitlin will continue her studies at Brigham Young University. She plans to complete a degree in education and hopes to teach in some area of agriculture.
In celebration of the first day of spring, and to celebrate National Ag Week, Utah FFA hosted an omelet cook-off at the Utah State Fair Park. Teams competed to cook the best tasting and most creative omelet in 15 minutes. The competition was “egg-citing” to watch as each competitor “scrambled” to create an omelet that would impress the judges.
Four distinguished guests—Christina Nolasco, former State FFA President; Randy Rigby, President, Utah Jazz; LuAnn Adams, Commissioner, Utah Department of Agriculture and Food; and Governor Gary Herbert—were deemed “egg-cellent” judges for the event. Judges
“egg-amined” each omelet for appearance and taste to crown an “egg-ceptional” winner in two categories.
Haley Smith, KSL TV, won “Most Creative” omelet and an Oakdell Eggs representative won “Best Tasting” omelet. Both individuals were “egg-static” to be named the winner of the 2015 Omelet Cook-off.
By Buddy Deimler
Agricultural Education specialist at the Utah State Office of Education
Utah FFA advisor
Thank you to every Ag teacher in Utah who works hard to make a difference with every student, in every class, every day. Through Agricultural Education and FFA you are making a positive difference in the lives of young people. Your hard work and dedication is evident by the hours that you spend and by the success your students enjoy whether that success is at the local level, the state level or the national level. Thank you for going above and beyond the call of duty every day as you provide opportunities for your students. You do a great job!
Katie Pinke, a mother of three who lives in North Dakota, is a huge advocate of FFA. She says, “Do you know what FFA is all about? As a mom of an FFA member I do, but as a student and young adult I had no idea. My husband raves about the confidence and lifelong skills he gained through FFA. Our son, Hunter, joined FFA as an eighth grader and has been an active member for the past four years.” Below is a summary of Katie’s list of the “7 Reasons Why Your Kids Should Participate in FFA.”
FFA is exhilarating.
FFA is part of the agricultural education program offered to junior high and high school students. The FFA advisor and agricultural education instructor teaches and array of classes based on the interests and needs of the students.
FFA is inclusive.
FFA is competition with the highest level of integrity, compassion and encouragement of one another.
FFA Career Development Events (CDEs) afford kids hands-on opportunities to test the skills they learn in a classroom, in industry-focused real-world events.
FFA students learn by doing. FFA provides hands-on learning that teaches through entrepreneurship, internship or job placement, research or experimentation, and exploring new career opportunities.
FFA members are tomorrow’s leaders. FFA teaches essential leadership skills that last a lifetime.
More than 11,000 FFA advisors and agriculture teachers deliver an integrated model of agricultural education, providing students with innovative and leading-edge education and enabling them to grow into competent leaders.
FFA student members participate in hands-on work experiences that assist them in developing life skills and discovering their career path to realize success. Nationwide, FFA student members earn more than $4 billion annually through their hands-on work experience.
Nationally FFA has 610,240 members in 7,665 chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In Utah there are 6,012 FFA members in 80 chapters.
If you are not a member of FFA, and would like to become a member, talk to your school counselor to get connected with the FFA advisor in your school.