BLOOMDALE — Elmwood FFA was very busy this fall and with community service activities, fundraising, studying and participating in contests.
One of the basic purposes of the FFA is to perform service to its community. In October, Elmwood members worked with other organizations to conduct an Elementary Fall Festival.
Over 200 students enjoyed a variety of activities including tractor safety education, farm animal care and safety with beef cattle, rabbits, chickens, sheep, horses, pigs and goats, and agriculture Olympics games.
Another deep-rooted asset of FFA members is the leadership skills they strive to develop. The chapter attended the National FFA Convention in late October in Indianapolis. Students attended leadership sessions where they listened to inspiring speeches from National FFA officers and spent time at the career show and expo. The convention was highlighted for the chapter when two of its members received the highest degree the FFA has to offer, the American FFA Degree. Zane Hagemeyer received the honor.
Hagemeyer was also an American FFA Star Farmer Finalist for his beef cattle backgrounding project. The American Star Farmer is awarded to the FFA member that demonstrates the top production agriculture supervised agricultural experience in the nation. In order to be considered, Hagemeyer had to fill out a lengthy application based on his SAE project and go through an interview. Although he did not win, he was one of four FFA members in the nation selected as the top candidates in this award area.
Hagemeyer runs his own beef cattle backgrounding business. He has been president and secretary during his time in the chapter. He was a member of the Parliamentary Procedure team, Farm Business Management, Ag Mechanics Skills and Soil Judging teams. He is currently continuing the beef cattle operation and looking to expand it within the next few years.
In November, Elmwood FFA hosted the Ohio FFA State Leadership Night, focusing on enhancing their leadership skills. Students were encouraged to work on specific tasks to build public speaking, communication and teamwork skills.
The Elmwood FFA has participated in the following Career Development Events this fall and winter: Urban and Rural Soil Judging, Job Interview, and Advanced Parliamentary Procedure. Students also participated in the Grain Merchandising CDEs and Public Speaking CDE in January. There are still over 10 more CDEs students will be participating in before the end of the school year. Some of those are Ag Power, Farm Business Management, Greenhand Quiz, Ag Mechanics and Outdoor Power.
To help fund activities, Elmwood held its annual fruit sale fundraiser in December. This is the largest chapter fundraiser where members sell citrus products along with the sale of Ohio Signature Beef, Florida’s Best Nuts and DB Yummers BBQ Sauce. At the conclusion of the sale, the chapter made donations to three local charities and will use the money to help students attend leadership trainings and conduct community service activities and special projects for the school. These events generate enough funds to allow the chapter to make donations to the Children’s Hospital in Columbus and provide donations to the American Cancer Society, CROP, the Ohio FFA Foundation and the Elmwood Food Pantry.
Elmwood FFA Alumni, Elmwood Music Boosters, Elmwood FFA members, parents and community members all pitch in during the Wood County Fair to conduct a beef promotion stand. Funds raised from the event were used to purchase animals at the Wood County Junior Fair livestock sale, provide food items for the Elmwood Food Pantry, provide academic scholarships to FFA members, and provide scholarships for members to attend Ohio FFA Camp, Washington Leadership Conference and National and State FFA Convention. The Elmwood FFA Alumni also make donations to other groups and organizations within the Elmwood community throughout the year.
Recently, FFA members finished filling out Ohio FFA Degree, American FFA Degree and Proficiency award applications. After the applications are filled out, they will be evaluated by teachers two times before being sent to Columbus for a final review. The chapter treasurer, secretary, and reporter also have to put together a book with all the records for the chapter for 2022. Those books will be evaluated in early February in addition to all degree and proficiency applications.
One Elmwood FFA Member received the American FFA Degree