Bowling Green FFA kicked off the new school year with a variety of events. The officer team started off the year organizing FFA Families, which are groups of FFA members each led by one of the officers. Families are meant to create stronger bonds among the FFA members as well as encourage underclassmen to feel comfortable getting more involved. These families will also help to facilitate healthy competition. The families were kicked off with a donut meet and greet. Members were invited to receive their family welcome letter, meet their officer and enjoy a donut.
Members also volunteered at Wood County Ag Venture, a self-driving farm tour. There were 14 members who helped with parking and pumpkin painting at Buckeye Seafood Company, LLC on Sept. 17. Members enjoyed interacting with the general public to help educate them about agriculture. Another volunteer opportunity that the members took part in was the Children’s Tent at the Bowling Green Farmers Market. Members conducted activities such as butter making, seed necklaces and coloring with kids attending the market.
The start of the school year also means the start of Career Development Events. The first CDE of the year was Soil Judging. The chapter took 11 members to District Ag and Urban Soil Judging in Defiance County. Members included Eddie Eschedor, Emma Ferguson, Audrina Layfield, Addie Naus, Easton Schick, Hunter Sockman, Cole Brokaw, Madison Carrillo, Drew Thomas, Ethan Helvoigt, Audrey Geyman and Kaylee Bishop. The Ag team placed seventh in the district and the Urban team placed 12th. Eddie Eschedor placed fouth in the district and qualified for the State Soil Judging contest where he placed 28th.
The officer team held a Greenhand welcome day in their classes. Officers planned activities to interact with the new members. This was another initiative to try and help the first year members get more comfortable in FFA and in high school. By building strong relationships between the members and giving them a taste of the FFA, the officer team hopes to see more involvement throughout the year from these members.
Bowling Green FFA ended the month with the induction of 66 Greenhand members into the National FFA. The ceremony was the first official meeting of the year. After the meeting, the members and their families were invited to the Ag Department for an open house where they enjoyed cake and refreshments.
In October, 12 members were selected to travel to Indianapolis to attend the 95th annual National FFA Convention and Expo. The members chosen were seniors Eddie Eschedor, Ethan Helvoigt, Hunter Sockman, Emma Ferguson, Peyton Bosworth, Lindsay Eisel, Kenzie Spangenberg, Laney Crawford and Madison Carrillo; junior Drew Thomas and sophomores Addie Naus and Averie Crawford. BG FFA traveled to the event with Oak Harbor FFA and Otsego FFA.
The chapter arrived Oct. 26. At the opening session, members were treated to a performance from the FFA chorus and band, reflections from the National FFA Officers, introduction of the states, and the keynote speaker, Tamika Catchings. Her speech was “when you love who you’re serving and what you’re serving, it doesn’t feel like you’re having to take time away from your day.” The night ended with the chapter attending the World’s Toughest Rodeo at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
Members spent much of the next day at the expo center and the FFA shopping mall. The expo had hundreds of agricultural colleges and businesses from all over the country for members to visit and interact with, as well as a shopping area to buy souvenirs. BG FFA members were treated to dinner at Harry and Izzy’s steak house. After dinner, members had fun at Zip City, an indoor trampoline and zipline center.
BG FFA attended general convention sessions as well. During the second session, President Eddie Eschedor and Vice President Emma Ferguson had the honor to walk across the stage to receive the 3-Star Chapter award for BG FFA. This is the highest rating a chapter can receive.
On the way back to Bowling Green, members were given a tour of Umbarger Show Feeds. They were shown where the feed comes into the facility, the feed mills, as well as the floor plan of the finished product.
Convention ended with the American FFA Degree Session. The BG FFA American FFA Degree recipient for 2022 was Konnaly Kale. The American FFA Degree is the highest degree a FFA member can achieve and over 4,000 American FFA Degrees were handed out this year at the National FFA Convention. That number represents less than half of 1% of all FFA members, making it one of the organization’s highest honors.
October BG FFA Events
Bowling Green FFA kicked off October with the Chapter Degree ceremony. The ceremony was held at Elmwood High School this year and the chapter had 27 members receive their degrees. The chapter degree is the second highest degree a member can earn and the highest degree given by the local chapter. The degrees were presented by President Eddie Eschedor and Adviser Stephanie Conway.
On Oct. 7, the annual Fruit and Nut sale started. The sale is the only fundraiser the chapter does to raise money for its activities throughout the year. Customers can order online or in person from a member.
Members also learned about career opportunities by attending the manufacturing fair at the middle school and hosting an admissions representative from OSU ATI.
The officer team hosted a Halloween-themed monthly meeting. After handling chapter business, members were invited to play Halloween-themed games such as pumpkin bowling, a pumpkin pie eating contest,and a mummy wrap where each team had to wrap their volunteer as a farm animal. There were over 30 members present.
BG FFA members Grace O’Connell, Addie Naus, Delanie Jarvi, Madison Carrillo and Peyton Bosworth participated in the county level job interview CDE. The contest consisted of a member developing a cover letter and resume, filling out a job application, participating in a mock job interview and writing a follow-up letter. O’Connell placed fifth in Division 1; Naus placed third and Jarvi placed fourth in Division 2. Bosworth placed fourth and Carrillo placed fourth in Division 4.
Members of the Animal and Plant Science Class wrapped up their poultry nutrition project by taking their chickens to a local processing plant to be harvested. The members learned how to cut up a whole chicken into its retail parts after caring for the chickens for the previous seven weeks. The members use this project to illustrate proper nutrition and feeding practices when caring for livestock. Mid-Wood Inc. and John Krukemyer donated feed.
The Bowling Green Agricultural Education Department is a satellite program of Penta Career Center.