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Building Career Success

Monday, May 12th, 2014

By Kaylynn Webb, FFA Chapter Reporter, Lehi High School

Over the past several months, Lehi FFA members have been learning, preparing, and presenting their skills in preparation for the Utah FFA State CDE (Career Development Event) competitions that were held April 22-23 at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. At this event twelve teams participated in various competitions including: Forestry, Agriculture Marketing, Agricultural Communications, Agricultural Issues, Livestock Judging, Horse Judging, Meats Evaluation, Poultry Judging, Food Sciences, Agricultural Mechanics, Veterinary Technician, and Floriculture.

Each team ranged from three to seven team members, with each member playing a key role in building career success. In each competition, each team was judged and scored on a team level as well as an individual level. Depending on how each team competed determined their ranking. Each team was responsible to complete several different tasks in several different areas, in order to test their knowledge and skill relating to their competition. Several of the teams who competed were required to identify key terms and items that were included in their competition. Other teams were asked to present a five to ten minute speech pertaining to their competition. Each team was also required to take a test; each test was based upon simple vocational skills that individuals may see if they were to work within each of these fields.

When all was said and done, each team was able prove their skills to several different sets of judges. We had multiple teams take home the state gold ranking. Others demonstrated their knowledge and skill set and were honored with the state silver ranking.

Each member that competed excelled within their area of expertise and proved to the judges that they have what it take to be successful within their desired career. We had two members who especially showed their knowledge this year. Riley Downs and Collin Hampton both placed in the top three in the Forestry competition. In addition to Downs and Hampton, the entire Forestry team will have the honor to represent the state of Utah at the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky October 29-November 1.

The Lehi FFA is proud of everyone who competed, and we know that you gave your best efforts. Just remember, no matter where you placed, you are building career success!

This blog was originally published in the Lehi FFA May Newsletter, 2014.

VIEW the list of 2014 FFA State Winners


FFA: Building a Foundation

Monday, March 17th, 2014

By Courtney Bennett, FFA Ag Awareness Committee Chair, Lehi High School

Food for America is a great program that the Lehi FFA has pride in. The program has been very successful, by placing in the top three at state. The Lehi FFA members had the opportunity, over a course of two days to travel to different elementary schools that feed into Lehi High School, and teach children about agriculture. This year we had the chance to go to Lehi, Meadow, North Point, and Snow Springs elementary schools to teach the first, second, and third grade classes. Belva Parr, from Utah Farm Bureau, has helped our FFA order posters, gathered supplies, and gave us many ideas for new lessons. She stated, “I love watching the students grow an understanding of agriculture. They love what we do, and we enjoy doing this each year.” This year we taught animal science, plant science, and nutrition. The students had the opportunity to rotate from class to class and learn something new.

For the animal science rotation we had students dress up in animal costumes; including a pig, chicken, cow, and a lamb. Each animal had a different script to follow, which helped give the students a common connection.

In the plant science rotation, the students were taught how to make a “living necklace.” A “living necklace” is a seed inside a jewelry bag with a wet cotton ball inside, it slowly grows if it is taken care of. The students were very excited about the idea of growing a corn plant in a jewelry bag. A teacher from North Point Elementary said, “We were really excited to see you guys come for the first time to our school. Our students were very happy and learned a lot of new things, as we did too.”

During the nutrition lesson, students made their own “My Plate” based off the Food Pyramid. They enjoyed putting their favorite foods into the correct categories and learning more about how to maintain a healthy life. A third grade teacher from Meadow Elementary said, “I love seeing the FFA come every year! They always change the lessons they teach, and it is always organized and well planned out. You guys are simply awesome! My students really look up to and admire you!”

We make changes each year in our lessons to improve quality of the teaching, as this is the most important part. It is a great opportunity and a lot of fun to go with friends and teach younger students about agriculture. They get really excited about us coming every year and look forward to joining FFA in their future. It makes us excited to see them so engaged in the activities. We would like to thank the schools and teachers for allowing us to take time out of their day to teach their students more about FFA and agriculture.

This blog was originally published in the Lehi FFA’s March Newsletter, 2014

FFA Believes in You

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

By Hunter Siggard, Utah FFA State Treasurer

I hope this message finds everyone doing well, learning daily, and achieving success. With the year coming to close, in the next couple of months, it is an exciting time for many. Seniors are preparing for graduation; others are signing up and preparing for further education and new classes in the fall. Spring sports are beginning and several student clubs and CTSOs are preparing for state conferences and competitions. The FFA is no different. As an organization and state association we are looking forward to the coming months.

Utah FFA chapters are preparing for competitions that will be held in the upcoming months. Several career development event judging practices are going on to assist in preparing students for state judging during April. State judging allows students to put their skills to the test and compete in several contests that help develop their potential for career success. These contests involve many of the animal contests, as well as agricultural mechanics, veterinary science, agricultural communications, marketing, forestry, floriculture, etc. We encourage FFA members to practice seriously and do their best in order to learn the most and compete well at state judging. State judging provides opportunities for members to compete in more hands-on contests involving various aspects of the Agriculture industry, whereas the FFA State Convention provides opportunities to compete in speaking contests.

The FFA State Convention will be held March 13-15 at Utah State University. In January, members competed in area contests and those who were selected to move on are busily preparing to compete at the FFA State Convention for the opportunity to represent Utah at the National FFA Convention and Expo in Louisville, Kentucky held October 29-November 1. These contests include: Prepared and Extemporaneous Public Speaking, Creed Speaking, Job Interview, and Parliamentary Procedure. Members not competing will have the opportunity to attend workshops, attend convention sessions, hear from keynote speakers, participate in service projects, and other activities to help members develop premier leadership and personal growth.

As a state officer team we are excited for the events that are right around the corner and for the opportunity we have to interact with FFA members from around this great state. With the year coming to a close we encourage everyone to remain focused and dedicated to their studies in order to maintain eligibility for activities and competitions. All of you are capable of achieving success and as a state officer team and association we believe in you! One of my favorite quotes is, “The difference between good and great is a little extra effort.” I hope that we all put forth that little bit of extra effort to achieve success in every aspect of life. Until next time. . .

Kaitlin Hallam: Welding Her Way to Success

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

By Shaun Black, CTE welding instructor at Spanish Fork High School

In the welding classes I teach at Spanish Fork High School there are multiple opportunities to be proud as an educator. As, student and FFA member, Kaitlin Hallam progressed through the class welding and cutting assignments she realized that she wanted a challenge. She approached me with the idea to make a trailer. With her motivation and enthusiasm for the welding course I assured her it would be achievable and that is exactly what she did. Kaitlin’s trailer ended up being an 18’, dual 7500 lb. axle, flatbed utility trailer. From the design to the last coat of paint she did an excellent job! The trailer was a very sound and professional grade build. This trailer was beyond any high school level project. Kaitlin entered the trailer into several competitions and was well deserving of the awards that followed. She took 1st place at the Utah Valley University Welding Expo, 1st place in the Senior Division at the Utah County Fair, and was the winner of the Ag Mechanics exhibit at the Utah State Fair.

On February 12, 2014, Kaitlin was recognized by the Nebo School District Board for her accomplishments. At the meeting a representative from Lincoln Electric awarded Kaitlin a prize package valued over $500 that included a set of Lincoln tools, an auto darkening helmet, leather gloves, and a leather welding jacket and cap.

Left to right: Shaun Black, CTE welding instructor at Spanish Fork High School;
Kaitlin Hallam; Jason Hart, representative Lincoln Electric Company;
John DeGraffenried, Secondary Education Director at Nebo School District

It was my privilege to accompany Kaitlin to the Board meeting and at the same time promote the welding program in Nebo School District. Kaitlin is welding her way to success and is definitely college and career ready. Great job Kaitlin!

Ignite Your Passion for Agriculture

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

During February 15-22, 2014 more than half a million FFA members across the country will celebrate National FFA Week. This year’s theme is Ignite and it embraces more than 80 years of FFA traditions while looking forward to the organization’s future.

FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through Agricultural Education. Today’s FFA members are tomorrow’s leaders of America’s number one industry, agriculture. Through agricultural and hands-on learning, FFA members are preparing for more than 300 career opportunities in the food, fiber and natural resources industry.

During the week, FFA chapters will conduct a variety of activities to help others in their school and community learn about FFA and Agricultural Education. Utah FFA chapters will celebrate National FFA Week by:

  • Attending the signing of a National FFA Week proclamation.
  • Participating in the FFA Olympics.
  • Recruiting new members to FFA.
  • Dressing up in their FFA blue jackets.
  • Organizing fundraisers to support FFA.

Did you know?
In 1947, at a National FFA Board of Directors meeting, the week of George Washington’s birthday was designated as National FFA Week. Today, FFA Week always runs Saturday to Saturday and encompasses February 22, Washington’s birthday.

Join FFA members across the country in celebrating National FFA Week. As part of the celebration, thank the farmers in your community for the food they provide for all of us.The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through Agricultural Education to 579,678 student members in grades 7-12 who belong to one of 7,570 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.


Consider a Career in Agriculture

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

There is one industry that exists to feed, clothe, and provide for the ever growing world population. That industry is AGRICULTURE. From farming, IT, health science, to education, there are 23 million jobs in Agriculture. This growing industry needs IT specialists, software developers, computer scientists, and engineers. The industry needs people with degrees in plant science, biology, health science, engineering, and food processing. The Agriculture industry also needs experts in communications, public relations, and social media. So, agriculture is just more than planting a seed.

Did you know that by the year 2050 there will be 2.5 billion more people on the planet, and they will need to eat. There’s food for thought!


Source: AgroWorld, Some food for thought: Careers in agriculture, posted on YouTube.com January 3, 2014

If you’re interested in a career in Agriculture, talk to your school counselor to register for one of the many courses in Agricultural Education. By taking Agricultural Education courses, you will learn to value and understand the vital role of agriculture, food, fiber, and natural resources systems in advancing personal and global well-being.

Check out the six Utah Agricultural Education Pathways, today.
Agricultural Systems Technology
Horticulture Science
Natural Resource Science
Production/Processing Animal Science
Production/Processing Plant and Soil Science
Production/Processing Science

Utah International Mountain Forum Essay Contest

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

In conjunction with the celebration of the 2014 International Year of Family Farming, the Utah International Mountain Forum and Utah Valley University has announced the Fourth Annual Utah High School Essay Contest.

Essay topic: The Family Farm in Mountain Communities.

Goal of essay: To educate and engage the public on the issues of family farming, mountain life, and the ways to serve and lift up our fellow man.

Topics for submission may include, but are not limited to:

  • Arid farming practices
  • Exportable technology or innovations
  • Difficulties facing arid land or high mountain farms
  • Family management of farms in the 21st century
  • Family vs. industrial farming
  • Soil and water solutions
  • Economic challenges and solutions in the era of globalization
  • Indigenous or cultural farming practices

Submission guidelines: Check HERE

Award: All participants will be awarded a certificate of participation. However, the best student essays will receive a financial award, in addition to a certificate of participation, and a chance to publish his or her work.

Due date: Essay must be submitted by Thursday, February 6, 2014.

Submit essay to: samhill.conlaw@gmail.com

For more information, visit:
Utah International Mountain Forum
Utah Valley University


2014 Youth Pork Ambassador Program

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Utah Agricultural Education students, how would you like a $2,500.00 scholarship? If you said “yes,” are you interested in the pork industry and working with people statewide? Then, plan now to apply for the Utah Pork Producers “Youth Pork Ambassador Program.” This program is open to both high school and postsecondary Agricultural Education students interested in learning more about and representing the Utah pork industry. The ambassadors will receive up to a $2,500 scholarship.

The Utah Youth Pork Ambassador Program is designed to provide youth with an opportunity to:
> Become actively involved in the pork industry.
> Participate in hands-on experience in the many facets of pork production and agriculture in the state of Utah.
> Develop strong relationships with the various types of pork producers throughout the state of Utah.
> Gain a better understanding of the pork industry.
> Develop and improve communication and leadership skills.

The main goal of the Youth Pork Ambassador is to promote the Utah Pork Producers Association and the pork industry at various events. The successful candidate will gain valuable experience and develop relationships that will last a lifetime. The ambassador will also receive up to a $2,500 scholarship, payable to a technical school, community college, or a 4-year university at the end of the program.

To apply for the 2014 Youth Pork Ambassador Program download the information and application from the Utah FFA Association homepage at: www.utffa.org.

 Applications are due Friday, December 20, 2013.

Utah State FFA Newsletter: Read All About It

Friday, October 25th, 2013

The Utah FFA state officers have developed a statewide newsletter to share FFA stories and events with its members, school districts, and the community. The state officers want to know what your chapter is doing and what events you have planned for the year. Below is the article Hailee Garrett, editor of the newsletter and Utah FFA state reporter, wrote for the first issue. The entire newsletter can be found on the home page of UtFFA.org.

Hello Utah FFA Association! You’re my favorite association by the way. I’m sure you’ve read every last piece of this newsletter and now by the time you have reached my article I’m sure you’re wondering a couple of things…

What is this thing?
How long have I missed out on it?
Who are the State Officers?
How can my chapter be in this?

Well members, fear not, for I have the answers.

First and foremost, what is this thing? You are holding an idea brought to life by your state officers. We all decided we wanted a statewide newsletter to help tell our stories and yours. We like to call this little beauty the Utah State FFA Newsletter! Yeah I know, its catchy right?

Second, how long have I missed out on this? You have never had the opportunity to access such a wonderful piece of paper. This one you’re reading right now is the VERY FIRST Utah State FFA Newsletter, EVER! If I were you, I’d keep it! A little piece of history! Scrapbook that thing!

Next, who are the state officers? If you were unable to attend COLT you are probably wondering who all these names are. Such as, Calee Lott, McKayla Gonder, Hunter Siggard, Justin Jaques, Hailee Garrett, and Matt Mecham. Don’t you fret; I shall now lead you out of darkness once more. These names are no other than your 2013-2014 State Officers! Justin Jaques is the President, Calee Lott is the Vice President, McKayla Gonder is the Secretary, Hunter Siggard is the Treasurer, Hailee Garrett is the Reporter, and Matt Mecham is the Sentinel! If you read each of the Who Are You features you can get to know us a little better.

Lastly, how can my chapter be in this? We want this newsletter to be yours! If your chapter does something incredible, (which you all do all the time.) and you want us to feature it! Have your chapter reporter or another officer email the written article with pictures or whatever you want to utffarep1314@gmail.com. Then I, as the state reporter and the editor, can make sure your article gets in!

I hope I have answered most of your questions by now, but if there are any more you just go ahead and email me or any of the other state officers. You can find all our info at utffa.org under the tab State Officers.

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter and be looking for the next one!

Keep rocking,
Hailee T Garrett, Utah FFA State Reporter

This blog was originally published in the Utah State FFA Newsletter, Issue: 1, located at UtFFA.org.


Become Better and Ignite Your Potential

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Utah FFA Association,

I hope that your first few weeks of school have been amazing and that you are fully enjoying a new year full of great opportunities to learn and ignite your potential as FFA members. You are part of the greatest organization available to high school students and I encourage you to take full advantage of that opportunity. This new year provides new experiences and opportunities which will aid in developing your potential for premier leadership, career success and (I know it’s out of order) overall PERSONAL GROWTH.

You all can become better this year, every single one of you. It may take work, commitment, and sacrifice but it will be worth it. Becoming better this year begins with a decision… to become better. Say it to yourself, “I will become better!” Sweet, the mental goal is created! Now act on that!

I strongly encourage you to make the most of this year and keep up on your school work as well as your FFA obligations and commitments. Try something new…. compete in a new contest, meet that friend that you’ve yet to meet, and do something as you have never done before. It will be worth it. You only cross this path once, pick up as much as you can now because once it’s over you can’t come back.

We as state officers can see your potential and our feet tingle with excitement to see what it will become! (Strange analogy, but it works ha-ha) We look forward to each coming day and the opportunity to associate with so many of you, let us know what is going on. WE WANT TO BE INVOLVED! :) Once again, take each opportunity that you have to become better and ignite your potential. We look forward to seeing you this year at chapter, state, and national activities. Keep up the good work!

Until next time, work hard, stay committed, shatter expectations, ignite your potential, try something new, bleed blue and gold…. and, oh yeah, LOVE THE BIRDS- well mostly pigeons, ha-ha.

Love you all, in a not awkward way! Later,
Hunter Siggard, Utah FFA State Treasurer

This blog was originally published in the Utah State FFA Newsletter, Issue: 1, located at UtFFA.org.