While the lack of a spring break may have deprived my students of sleep and time off to relax, it has not dampened their spirits when it comes to FFA. Spring has brought many great things to our FFA chapter, and it is nice to see the members being rewarded for their hard work and effort that they have been putting in all year. In the years before I arrived at South, their advisors had not always allowed them to compete in CDEs and attend events that they had prepared for or wanted to try. This year, they were able to expand their horizons and experience the success they deserve.
The officers tried their hand at the Winter Online CDEs for the first time this year. I had also never had students participate in this either, so it was a new experience for all of us. Our Farm Business Management team took home 3rd place in the state, and we had the 2nd placed individual. The members used this event as a chance to gain new insight into the business of ag since we don't offer it as part of our curriculum, and it will be a great addition to their resumes.
Hort Expo was also a great morale booster for the members. Almost every entry (from both middle and high school members) received a ribbon, and both of our senior floral design students received first place in their division for their arrangements. This was their first year involved in FFA, and it is nice that they got a taste of success in a very competitive event and will remember their FFA experience as a positive one.
Spring CDEs were also successful. We sent a team of first timers to Vet Science, and they had a great experience and a solid showing. They will be back for more next year and more competitive than ever. The highlight was our Ag Mechanics team who placed 2nd in the state in what was a very competitive CDE. We also had the 2nd and 5th placed individuals. We do not have ag mechanics as part of our curriculum, so for them to beat out schools that offer ag mechanics classes was a huge achievement. The group of boys who made up the team had a hard time with the transition of the program this year, so it was wonderful to see them feel proud and successful. We were also extremely fortunate to have a great group of parents and community members to coach them and help guide them along. I know nothing about ag mechanics, so their help was greatly appreciated!
Living to Serve Grant
Our chapter was awarded a Living to Serve Grant this year to do community outreach about our school's rain garden. After months of planning and coordinating, we headed to West Amwell School to work with 4th-6th graders who will attend South in the future. The members taught the younger students about the rain garden, and assisted them in making hummingbird feeders out of recycled water bottles. This fun, yet eco-friendly project, was a wonderful experience for all involved, and we are hoping to continue our partnership with WAS next year. The elementary students showed a strong interest in learning about FFA, and hopefully will join our middle school chapter when they take ag in 7th and 8th grade.
Have a great weekend and look for S'Morey soon!