By Joel Penhorwood, Student Reporter
On the morning of Thursday, May 3, the Ohio State Fairgrounds is busy with the setup of the agriscience fair, proficiency competitions, and career development events for the 84th Ohio FFA State Convention. Along with these contests, there is another activity in which blue jacket wearing members are participating. The Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program (OSGMP), an organization, which works to improve wheat production and other small grains in the state of Ohio, sponsored the “Food for Thought” program.
This year, eight teams participated in the competition which gives FFA chapters $500 dollars to fund activities and programs to educate the public on the benefits of small grains. The contest was judged by a panel of 5 judges from the Ohio Corn Marketing Program and a Chef from the “Chefs Move to Schools” program. Students at the convention voted by texting Teams created programs and then made a presentation to a panel of judges hoping to win the grand prize of a grant in the amount of $2,000. The final eight teams competing were: Clearfork FFA, London FFA, Miami East FFA, North Union FFA, Northwestern FFA, Ridgedale FFA and Ridgemont FFA
Each chapter’s presentation touched on the healthiness of whole grains and their importance to the human diet. Out of all the presentations, some initiatives stood out from the rest, including a “healthy lifestyles fair” by the Miami East FFA, which not only gave students information, but face-to-face discussion with medical associates explaining the importance of whole grains. Other unique programs included motivational posters by the Clearfork FFA and daily healthy eating logs by many of the chapters.
In the end, the third place finish went to the Northwestern FFA Chapter, second place went to the Ridgemont FFA Chapter, and the first place prize of $2,000 went to the Clearfork FFA Chapter team, which was made up of Chelsea O’Connor, Mackenzie E. Miller and Spencer McGinty. Their presentation called “Team Whole Grain,” outlined the benefits of whole grains as well as their projects, which were designed to convey that message to the community.
Did you know Ohio produces over 70 million bushels of wheat each year?
That fact, along with many others, helped members to present “Food for Thought” and represent the OSGMP to areas across the state of Ohio. FFA Members did a great job in representing the OSGMP and promoting the image of agriculture.