FFA students learn at Riker Farm field day PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Farm Editor   
Saturday, 14 September 2013 08:31
Stacie Anderson, right, talks to high school students about careers in agriculture, Thursday morning, during FFA Day at Riker Seed just outside of Bowling Green. (Photos: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
More than 185 FFA members from eight area schools attended the annual FFA Training Day on Thursday at Riker Farm Seeds on East Poe Road.
In addition to the seed farm, Monsanto DeKalb/Asgrow sponsored the event.
"This has been a very good event for the local FFA chapters in the past and it seems to bigger every year," said Diane Zyski, district sales manager for Monsanto of Northwest Ohio.
Zyski and several of the FFA advisers all said the students seemed to be very attentive at all the sessions.
Elmwood High School's FFA brought the most students to the sessions with 78. Other county schools in attendance included Bowling Green, Eastwood and Otsego.
In addition to the county's FFA chapters, FFA members from Gibsonburg, Lakota, Oak Harbor and Woodmore were also involved.
"This was the largest group we have had," Zyski said.
Otsego's group included most of the junior class.
Adviser Debbie Ayers said she likes to bring the juniors as the program ties in with their agricultural careers class and curriculum.  
The students were divided into groups and rotated through the different learning stations scattered around the property including at the farm's test plots.
Bowling Green senior Alex Wynn is responsible for 38 acres as part of his FFA project. The Haskins Clover Crew 4-H member said he appreciated the grain marketing session. He has always sold his grain on a cash basis after harvest.
Rod Limes of The Andersons, led the grain marketing session.
"He told me how to market by grain. Now I can look at futures to see if I can get a better price," Wynn said.
Some of the students noted their interest in agricultural-related careers and appreciated the session focused in that area.
Stacie Anderson, Seed Sales Specialist with The Andersons led that session on careers and job interviewing.
Brian Anderson, right, talks to high school students about hybrid corn, Thursday morning, during FFA Day at Riker Seed just outside of Bowling Green.
Caroline Battin, of Grand Rapids, an Otsego junior, was one of those who found the session valuable. She said although she does not live on a farm, she does live in the country with "cornfields all around."
"For me, learning about all the agriculture careers was great. It is nice to know what is available to me," she said.
She also liked the session on the crops and the business side of things.
Elmwood FFA senior Chelsie Schmitz, Wayne, shared similar views, noting she is not sure what career path she will take, but said "agriculture does interest me."
"I learned how to estimate yields per acres," she said. "I also learned all about diseases in both corn and soybeans and how to treat them."
The disease and insect session was presented by Brad Miller, an agronomist with Monsanto DeKalb/Asgrow.
Harold Dippman, a Pemberville resident and junior in the Eastwood FFA program, also found that session valuable.
"I learned about all the diseases and insects that affect crops and what we can do to prevent them," Dippman said.
Schitz said her interest is in both marketing and production. Like Battin, she also lives in the country but not on a farm.
Zyski led the session on yield estimates which also touched on lodging and green snap.
Wynn also liked that session which he considered a good refresher for him.
The BG FFA member also briefly spoke about the "insight" he received on new chemicals Monsanto is putting out.
Both Jay Brooks, a technical development representative from Monsanto, and Brian Anderson, district sales manager from DeKalb/Asgrow, both led sessions on various aspects of handling crops, genetics, etc.
Before lunch, Melissa Bell, director of the OHIO FFA Foundation, addressed the students touting the value of these programs and informing them about the various projects the foundation funds for their benefit.
The students were also shown a video, "Farmer Style." It is a Gangnam Style parody created by the Peterson Brothers, Greg, Nathan, and Kendal, from Kansas.
This is the same group that last year went viral with their "I'm Farming and I Grow It" video.

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