This past year the Van-Far FFA Chapter has been involved in many activities. At the end of the school year we went on a few trips. We went on our annual Six Flags trip. We also took the twenty-five members who were the most active in the FFA Chapter to a St. Louis Cardinals’ game and visited the St. Louis Zoo. Nick Barnes, Chevi Windland, and Sarah Motley went to the Washington DC Leadership Conference. Over the summer some of the FFA members have participated in fairs. A few show livestock in fairs like the Vandalia Fair, Ralls or Audrain County Fair, North East District and State Fair. Those members included Abilene Gatson, Renee Nelson, and Parker Wallace. The FFA Chapter also helped park cars at the local Vandalia Fair.
In August we held our annual fun meeting. We played mud volleyball and the crops were turned into Ms. Fischer to be judged at the State Fair.
This year the trapshooting team had a good year; the team competed at a few meets and made it to the area shoot. There were thirteen members on the trapshooting team.
Senior FFA member, Abilene Gatson, is the area V First Vice President. She spoke at the Area V Leadership Conference, which was attended by Hailey Hopke, Klayton Haddock, and Matty Northcutt.
The National FFA President, Brian Walsh, came and spoke to the class in September about setting and achieving goals.
At Prairie Days we had a booth to sell chrysanthemums that were grown in the greenhouse. We also participated in the Food for America program, where we went to the Elementary school and taught the students why agriculture is important.
The FFA Chapter took several field trips this fall. We went to Bradford Field Day. At Bradford we learned about different job opportunities within the agriculture field. We also took part in Preview Mizzou. During this field trip we took a tour of the Collage of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CAFNR) at the University of Missouri. In October sixteen members went to the FFA National Convention held in Louisville, Kentucky. We toured the Louisville Slugger Factory and the Kentucky Horse Park. While there we had the opportunity to go to a Rodeo and saw country singers Justin Moore and Easton Corbin in concert. At convention three of the FFA members Ethan Gooch, Brian Kurz, and Ryan Nelson received their American Degree.
We prepared for the annual Barnwarmin’ by participating in line dance lessons. At Barnwarmin’, seniors, Abilene Gatson and Logan Fowler, were crowned king and queen.
The FFA Chapter has been fortunate to have guest speakers. Brian Walsh, National FFA President spoke, and we also had the Missouri State FFA Vice President Samantha Marre, who talked with us about leadership skills. Jessie Fowler a previous Van-Far FFA member, who is an ambassador for CAFNAR at the University of Missouri, also spoke with us about what our plans are after high school.
The Area V Greenhand conference was attended by Christian Thurmond, Cody James, and Trey Atkinson.
In December the fruit for fruit sales arrived and was delivered. In January FFA members began working on their State Degree and Proficiency Award applications. The State Degree candidates for this year are Renee Nelson, Kayleigh Kohl, Kayelee Harrower, and Chevi Windland. Matty Northcutt was the Area V Proficiency Award winner in Environmental Science and Natural Resources Management.
We have started preparing for CDE and LDE contest. This year the Chapter has several teams. Abilene Gatson, Kayleigh Kohl, Kayelee Harrower, and Renee Nelson make up the Meats team. Hailey Hopke, Courtney Jennings, Blake Harris, and Matty Northcutt make up the Floriculture team. On the Agronomy team we have Anthony Cole, Jayda Borgmeyer, and Cody James. The Ag Mechanics team consists of Logan Fowler, Billy Picton, Trenton DeTienne, and Austin Speagle. On the Knowledge team we have Tarayn Adam, Paul Schambach, Parker Wallace, and Mackenzie Kurz. This year’s Creed speaker is Mackenzie Kurz.
We also began planning for FFA week. FFA week includes the annual FFA BBQ, on Saturday the 21st. FFA Sunday will be held at the First Baptist Church in town and dress up days throughout the week at school.
This year Area V Leadership Contest will be held at Van-Far on March 18th. We are also getting ready for State Convention, in hopes that some of the contestants will advance on to state and members will receive awards.
The greenhouse plant sale will be held the week before Mother’s Day.
Area and Chapter officer interviews will be held later in the school year. Before the year comes to a close, Area and Chapter banquets will be held. FFA members appreciate Ms. Fischer, faculty advisor, for all the time and hard work she has put in.