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Stepping into a career with Sunrise Cooperative

By Meredith Oglesby, OCJ FFA reporter

During the 2020 Ohio FFA Celebration, Sunrise Cooperative announced the first recipient of the Recruiting Innovative Sunrise Employees (RISE) FFA Career Program. Ethin Bendickson, a 2020 graduate of Miami East High School, has secured a full-time position with Sunrise Cooperative along with a signing bonus of a 2019 Chevrolet Colorado truck.

Bendickson’s position is a four-year commitment. In the first two years, he will rotate through different divisions learning about Sunrise Cooperative and in the following two years, he will be evaluated and placed into a position based on interests and expertise. Sunrise, based in Ohio, is a leading agricultural and energy cooperative.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to work for the cooperative and learn about all the aspects of being a part of a great company,” Bendickson said.

Currently, he is working in the agronomy division and is located at the PCT branch in Kettlersville, Ohio.… Continue reading

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FFA to host virtual National FFA Convention & Expo in October

The National FFA Organization announced today that the 2020 National FFA Convention & Expo will be held virtually. The organization also extended its contract with the host city of Indianapolis from 2031 to 2033.

“We wanted to ensure that our members and guests had the full convention experience. After a discussion with the National FFA Board of Directors, the decision was made to move forward with a virtual experience for 2020,” said Mark Poeschl, CEO of National FFA. “As we continued to plan for our national convention, it became clear that travel restrictions and public health concerns, among many other pandemic-related challenges, made hosting our in-person event impossible in 2020.”

The decision to hold a virtual event in place of in-person was recommended by National FFA staff and affirmed by the board of directors.

“The safety of our members and stakeholders is always top of mind,” said Dr. James Woodard, the organization’s national advisor and chair of the board of directors.… Continue reading

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Zane Trace FFA Chapter Receives Grant for Local Community

The Zane Trace FFA Chapter has been awarded a grant designed to help students and families in the local community. The grant is provided through the Ohio FFA Foundation’s Agricultural & Rural Community Outreach Program (ARCOP) which provides support to build sustainable relationships and programs that will benefit Ohio communities for years to come.

Originally introduced in 2013, ARCOP grants allow Ohio FFA chapters to apply for funding that aid community development projects. These FFA chapter ARCOP projects often benefit rural residents or low-income farmers and have a long-term impact on the community, either economically or through an improved quality of life. Participating FFA Chapters will work in collaboration with other local organizations to complete these projects which will cover agricultural topics varying from educational programs to awareness and promotion to economic development.

Members of the Zane Trace FFA will work with first and second grade students to grow fruits and vegetables for the school cafeteria.… Continue reading

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West Holmes FFA members run for state FFA office

Two West Holmes FFA members ran for a State FFA Office as a part of the 2020 Ohio FFA Celebration. On May 6th, Kylie Ramirez and Rebecca Sprang were announced as 2020-2021 state officer candidates. The interview process was different from following year’s due to Covid-19. They had practice interviews in April which they both attended. They also took a written test and a videoed a speech about their desire to serve on the 2020-2021 state officer team. Following that, they had a general interview on May 1st.

Both Kylie and Rebecca gave a quote on their experience throughout this process and things they gained. “ Even though the interview process was different this year it still gave me experiences, friendships, and skills that will last a lifetime, and I know that Ohio FFA is in good hands this year.” -Kylie Ramirez  “ Running for state office was full of challenges.… Continue reading

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Ohio FFA chapters receive grants for local communities

FFA chapters across Ohio have been awarded grants designed to help their local communities. The Ohio FFA Foundation’s Agricultural & Rural Community Outreach Program (ARCOP) provides support to build sustainable relationships and programs that will benefit Ohio communities for years to come.

Originally introduced in 2013, ARCOP grants allow Ohio FFA chapters to apply for funding that aid community development projects. These FFA chapter ARCOP projects often benefit rural residents or low-income farmers and have a long-term impact on the community, either economically or through an improved quality of life. Participating FFA Chapters will work in collaboration with other local organizations to complete these projects for agricultural topics varying from educational programs to awareness and promotion to economic development.

After FFA chapters submitted project proposals to the Ohio FFA Foundation, a total of 12 chapters were awarded grants. The projects will be completed between July and the end of 2020.

The ARCOP program is a partnership between the Ohio FFA Foundation and the Ohio Department of Agriculture.… Continue reading

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Miami Trace FFA Hosts Annual Parent-Member Banquet

During the week of May 18th, the Miami Trace FFA chapter held their annual banquet electronically, posting new videos on their Facebook page daily. The Chapter recognized members, advisors, parents, and other community members that helped make the last year such a success. Many members were also recognized for having numerous achievements throughout the year.

To begin the award portion of the banquet, there were numerous scholarships presented to senior FFA members. Miami Trace FFA Alumni presented  scholarships to Samantha Sever, Morgan Eggleton, Regan Hagler, Cole Enochs. The Wendt Group Scholarship was awarded to Aubrey McCoy, and Anita Pursell. Aubrey Schwartz, Grant DeBruin received the Steven Bennett Scholarship. Kylie Pettit was the recipient of the Mark Garland Scholarship. Anita Pursell received the Evans Family Scholarship. There were two recipients of the Justin Stuckey Scholarship: Dawson Wallace, Victoria Waits. The Farmer’s School Scholarship was awarded to Aubrey Schwartz, Kahlin Orso, Ben Speakman, and Corbin Hastings. … Continue reading

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West Holmes FFA members received their State FFA Degrees

By Chloe Shumaker, chapter reporter

On Friday May 8th, 9 of the West Holmes FFA members received their State FFA Degrees during the Ohio FFA Celebration. These members were Megan Brannon, her SAE involves raising ducks, turkeys, and hogs for the fair.  Taryn Grassbaugh, her SAE involves raising and training horses.  Aubree Houin, her SAE, involves raising horses, hogs, and sheep for the fair. Jayme Pennell, his SAE involves reclaiming 11 acres of farmland to create a wildlife area. Ethan Reining, his SAE involves working at Mast Trucking as a tire specialist and mechanic. Lucas Shaum, his SAE, involves working at Village Motors as a groundskeeper and lot boy. Rebecca Sprang, her SAE involves raising hogs, sheep, and dairy steers for fair. Chase Stitzlein, his SAE, involves working at Hi Hills Dairy and Cornerstone Dairy as a farmhand, as well as raising his own Holstein and Red Holstein cows. Addison Yates, his SAE involves working at Piars Mineral Ridge Dairy as a farmhand.… Continue reading

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National FFA Scholarships Awarded to Miami Trace FFA graduates

The National FFA Organization awarded scholarships to three Miami Trace FFA graduates.

Aubrey Schwartz was awarded the $1,500 America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders scholarship. She plans to use the funds to pursue a degree in Agriculture Education at Wilmington College.

Morgan Eggleton is honored to receive the $1,000 AGCO Dealer Scholarship locally sponsored by Mayer Farm Equipment LLC.  Morgan plans on attending The Ohio State University where she will be majoring in Agribusiness and Applied Economics.

Lastly, Meri Grace Carson received a $2,000 scholarship from Beck’s Hybrids.  Meri Grace is currently enrolled at the University of Kentucky where she is pursuing a degree in Agronomy and Agriculture Economics.

This generous funding comes from individuals, businesses, and corporate sponsors to encourage excellence and enable students to pursue their educational goals. Scholarships support either two-year or four -year degrees as well as vocational programs and range in size from a $500 to full tuition for four years. … Continue reading

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West Holmes FFA members recognized as State Proficiency Finalists

By Chloe Shumaker, chapter reporter

On Tuesday May 5th, 8 of the West Holmes FFA members were recognized as State Proficiency Finalists during the state proficiency award recognition during the Ohio FFA Celebration.  They were announced as finalists in early March and would have been on stage at State Convention if the COVID 19 situation had not occurred.

Jayme Pennell Placed 1st in the Environmental and Natural Resources Management category. His SAE involved planting pine and hardwood trees and creating water holes and food plots for wildlife.

Chase Stitzlein placed 1st in Dairy Production – Entrepreneurship.His SAE involved raising dairy cows, heifers, and feeders, as well as working on two dairy farms.

Ethan Drzazga placed 2nd in Agricultural Sales – Placement. His SAE involved being a salesman at Moore’s Country Store, he stocks shelves, assists customers and delivers products.

Brayden Shumaker placed 2nd in Agricultural Services. His SAE involves being an operator at Application Specialties.… Continue reading

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Miami East FFA Alumni Sponsors Scholarships

By Libby Carpenter, Reporter

The Miami East FFA Alumni Chapter recently recognized graduates of Miami East High School that had been enrolled in Agricultural Education and members of the FFA Chapter. In order to qualify for the scholarship, the applicants completed an essay on “The Benefits of Agricultural Education” and been active in the FFA Chapter for at least one year. Each recipient received a cash scholarship to be used for their further endeavors.

Michael Bair is the son of David and Annette Bair. He is a three time Top 4 in the State Proficiency finalist in three different areas (a chapter record) and was on the Dairy Cattle evaluation team. Michael said, “While farming and providing food is the essence of agriculture there is so much more to agricultural education than farming.  Agricultural Education involves a wide variety of activities.  There are many opportunities in Agricultural Education.”

Luke Gilliland is the son of Matt and Heather Gilliland.… Continue reading

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Miami East-MVCTC FFA Sponsors Coloring Contest

By Libby Carpenter, Chapter Reporter

The Agricultural Literacy Committee of the Miami East-MVCTC FFA Chapter recently sponsored a coloring contest at Miami East Elementary. The event was held to celebrate National Agriculture Week.

Members of the Ag Literacy Committee challenged the students in third grade and were given a farm-themed picture to color.  FFA members evaluated the pictures and awarded first place to each homeroom. The results are as follows:

Ms. Katie Mason – Ava McGaharan

Ms. Elizabeth Fields – Josie Shane

Ms. Megan Noll – Alivia Johnson

Ms. Stephanie Blackton – Claire Antonides

Each student participating received a prize complements of the Miami East-MVCTC FFA Chapter and Culver’s.  The first place picture in each homeroom was awarded a special prize of an official FFA T-shirt.  Congratulations to the winners!

Members of the Agricultural Literacy Committee involved in the project were Luke Brunke, Katelynn Dill, Kylie Haught, Jillian Niswonger, and Alivia Wade.Continue reading

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Milton-Union MVCTC FFA Chapter Elects New Officer Team

By Kelsie Tomlinson, chapter reporter

As our school year comes to an end, we would like to recognize our new 2020-2021 officer team for the Milton-Union MVCTC FFA chapter. Our new officers include:  President– Emmie Bohse, Vice President- Darby Welbaum, Secretary- Tayor Falb, Treasurer- Tyler Kress, Reporter– Kelsie Tomlinson, Sentinel- Tyler Leffew, Student Advisor- Carter Tinnerman, and Historian– Cammy Shook. These new officers will each receive a new FFA jacket and an officer pin to display on their jacket. The new jackets were donated by Hale-Sarver Family Funeral Home. Congratulations to all and we cannot wait to see what you do next year!… Continue reading

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Zane Trace FFA Members Recognized during Virtual State Convention

Several members of the Zane Trace FFA were honored for their accomplishments during the 92nd Ohio FFA Convention the week of May 4th – 8th. The Convention moved to an online format due to restrictions on large gatherings in place because of COVID-19. Special guest speakers and award sessions were still part of the Convention lineup in the videos posted through Facebook, Instragram and the Ohio FFA Website ohioffa.org.

Three ZT FFA Officers were honored with Gold Rated distinction for earning scores of 90% or higher on their respective officer books. These included Reporter Olivia Hettinger, Treasurer Hallee Scott and Secretary Briana Fetters. Six members were recognized as recipients of the Ohio FFA Degree, the second highest degree that members can earn in the FFA.  Gabby Gwinn, Bree Morrow, Hallee Scott, Laine Abbott, Brenden Naumovski and Alyssa Houser each earned their gold pin by earning over $3,000 in their Supervised Agriculture Experience Program, participating in state and national leadership events and completing 30 hours or more of community service during their FFA careers.… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast |Ep. 154 | Winter in May

This week during the quarantine chronicles, we have Matt, Kolt, and Dusty host Adam Sharp from the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation while he talks about their response to COVID-19. Interviews by Matt this week include Charlie Kail, Mark Loux, and Sam Custer. We wrapped up the Ohio FFA Celebration last week, and our fantastic Student Reporters talked with National FFA President, Kolsen McCoy after his keynote speech.… Continue reading

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Miami East-MVCTC FFA members recognized during virtual Ohio FFA Celebration

Due to the closures of school and cancellations of all Ohio Department of Education activities, the 2020 Ohio FFA State Convention moved to a virtual, online format. During the week of May 4, several members of the were recognized for their accomplishments at the state level.

The highlight of the celebration was the recognition of Ohio FFA State Degree recipients. FFA members may apply as a junior, senior or graduate with over $3,500 in earnings from their Supervised Agricultural Experience, participation in FFA chapter and state activities, and community service. Members of the Miami East-MVCTC FFA Chapter earning the 2020 degree were Elizabeth Bair, Natalie Bair, Adam Bensman, Makayla Brittain, Libby Carpenter, Paige Pence, Rylee Puthoff, and Lauren Wright.

Several members were recognized for having outstanding Supervised Agricultural Experience Programs through the State FFA Proficiency Award program.  In the area of Poultry Production Michael Bair was named the state winner for his production and marketing of pasture-raised chickens.

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Ohio FFA State officers announced

The new leaders of the Ohio FFA Association were announced on the final day of the Ohio FFA Celebration. Newly retired State FFA President Holly McClay read the names of the new team of Ohio FFA state officers on Friday via Facebook.

President: Bethany Starlin – Chief Logan

Vice President: Paige Teeters – Fairfield

Secretary:  Joe Helterbrand – Hillsboro

Treasurer:  Allison Engel – Ayersville

Reporter: Bailey Lowe – Felicity-Franklin

Sentinel: Victoria Snyder – Lincolnview

Vice Presidents at Large:

  • Olivia Coppler – Carey
  • Kyra Davidson – Felicity-Franklin
  • Kyle Hicks – Amanda-Clearcreek
  • Jacob Zajkowski – Anthony Wayne-Penta
  • Riley Jacobs Bell – Tri-Valley
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Shining a light on the Class of 2020

By Meredith Oglesby, OCJ FFA reporter

Think back to the first time you put your FFA jacket on. As you slid one arm in and then the other, you were filled with excitement for the future, wondering what your FFA journey would be like? As you smoothed out the jacket to be able to zip it up for the first time, it felt a little awkward and uncomfortable. You soon realized these feelings would become all too familiar as you became more involved and your advisors pushed you outside your comfort zone. The more you wore the jacket, the more you learned, and the more you became invested in growing through your FFA family.

Fast forward three years to your senior year where you felt nervous about the uncertainty of the future but were excited to see what it would hold. You appreciated the “lasts” of high school as the months crept closer to May.… Continue reading

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FFA members and advisors making due during COVID-19

By Madi Kregel, OCJ field reporter

FFA chapters all over the state have felt the sting of canceled competitions and a canceled state convention this spring, but advisors and chapter officers have adapted to online learning and virtual engagement.

Three of the Oak Harbor Penta FFA officers laughed as they recalled the different ways they have stayed busy and connected with each other during quarantine. After the online schooling began, FFA advisor Noah Neiderhouse said the students already knew what they were doing.

“When this all came about, it happened really fast, but we’ve been using Google Classroom,” he said. “All of the students are one-to-one in our school which has really been a godsend.”

Three Oak Harbor FFA officers, Trey Helle, Bailey Dusseau, and Emily Lutman talked about the different ag classes they are in and the activities they have during quarantine for the classes. Some of the activities involve worksheets about ag business or swine diseases, others are more hands on.… Continue reading

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