The Eastwood FFA has been busy throughout 2022. From attending the State FFA Convention to participating in local CDE competitions, Eastwood FFA members have been very active.
Eastwood FFA celebrated its 60th annual banquet on April 3. Nearly 300 guests were present along with 74 members. The FFA members were recognized for their achievements, and adults were acknowledged for their contributions. Gina Swartz, Jodi Zunk and the Bowling Green AgCredit branch were given honorary membership. State degree recipients were recognized, and members who participated in various CDEs were also recognized. Awards were given to members for their work, and the new officer team was installed.
Eastwood FFA had 19 members attend the State FFA Convention May 5-6 in Columbus. Eleven members received State FFA Degrees . All three officer books received a gold rating at the convention. A notable moment was when Katie Oestreich was elected as state treasurer for the Ohio State FFA chapter. Members attended workshops and sessions with guest speakers Hunter Pinke, Melissa Radke, Juanfra DeVillena, National FFA President Cole Baerlocher and Ohio State FFA President Jake Zajkowski. They also toured Ohio State University.
Ohio FFA State Officer
Oestreich is one of the 10 newly elected officers. To become a state officer, she had to apply, take a written test and interview in front of a panel of judges, in addition to submitting a letter of recommendation, a video and written exercises. The process took several weeks. She was one of 26 members applying for a spot on the officer team. At the first session of the 94th state convention, the candidates found out who was slated. There are two candidates per constitutional office slated. Katie and Shaden Heiser were slated for treasurer. After the session, delegates stayed and watched videos of everyone slated. On May 6, at the beginning of the final session, Oestreich was announced as treasurer. In her year of service, she will travel around Ohio doing chapter visits, speaking at banquets, training and conducting leadership nights.
Farm Safety Day
The Eastwood and Otsego FFA chapters held Farm Safety Day at the Agricultural Incubator Foundation on May 18. The chapters educated fifth graders about safety around the farm. The students were split into groups where they were rotated to different educational stations taught by FFA members and volunteers. Over 200 students from Eastwood and Otsego elementaries attended. The FFA members taught the younger students about pond safety, safety around tractors, ATV safety, electrical safety, fire safety and safety around animals. There were also volunteers from the Bowling Green Fire Division, Wood County Sheriff’s Office and Ohio State University Extension.
Food For America
The Eastwood FFA held its annual Food For America on May 11. Food For America is a day in which FFA members teach fourth graders about agriculture. Food For America was held at JD Russell Hay & Straw Farm and the Nissen Family Farm. The FFA members taught a different topic about agriculture to the fourth graders. These topics included poultry, recycling, dairy, farm equipment, wildlife, horses and goats. Group leaders led the fourth graders around to each station and answered questions.
The Eastwood FFA exhibits a display at the Wood County Fair each year. Babyland is a barn filled with different baby animals, and FFA members care for the animals during the week. Jerry Swartz, the Eastwood FFA adviser, and FFA members manage the barn. At Babyland, the animals are donated to the Eastwood FFA. These animals are then put on display for the week. Some of the animals are display only, but most are available at the auction at the end of the week. The money raised supports the FFA chapter.
Eastwood FFA members participated in the Wood County Soils CDE on Sept. 15. FFA members competed in either the Urban Soils Contest or the Rural Soils Contest. FFA members judged the soil based on its agricultural uses. Members in the Urban Soil Contest judged the soil for land use purposes such as building basements, houses or roadways. There were 18 members competing in the Rural Soils Contest, and three were in the Urban Soils Contest. Eastwood’s top eight members then moved on to compete in district. The District Soils Contest was held on Sept. 26 in Defiance County. Grace Kingery, Emma Ruffner and Lydia Thornton competed. Kingery placed third overall as an individual. Competing in the District Rural Soils Contest were Riley Burtchin, Kennedy Ameling, Logan Brinker, Luke Brinker, Gianna Coalson, Mackenzie Hady, Noah Lang and Brianna Patterson. Burtchin placed third overall as an individual in District 1.