Illinois State Convention
On June 11-13th, 11 Elmwood FFA members traveled to Springfield, Illinois to attend the 2015 Illinois FFA State Convention. At the convention, the students listened to several keynote speakers, attended the state dance, and voted for the new major state officers. Students in attendance were: Jenna Musgrave, Maggie Harms, Emma Trone, Regan McFall, Galvin McQuellon, Matthew Jordan, Jared Roberts, Andrew Hall, Luke Windish, and Andrew Jordan.
The Elmwood FFA hosted a kiddie pedal pull on September 12th at the Elmwood Fall Festival. Children from around the community competed to see who could pull a weighted sled the farthest with a pedal tractor. The children were separated into weight classes and the winners were awarded trophies. The winners were as followed: 0-39 pound class- Lilly Pash, 40-55 pound class- Colton Clark, 56-70 pound class- Jesse Pash, and the 71-85 pound class- Cole Caldwell.
Throughout the summer, members worked hard on the FFA Garden that was planted last spring. After harvesting, the produce was sold every Friday night at the Elmwood Farmers Market. This was both a learning and profitable experience for the chapter.
The Elmwood FFA Alumni and current chapter worked together to set up booths at the Elmwood Strawberry Festival, Elmwood Farmers Markets, Elmwood Fall Festival, and the Elmwood Steer Show to sell hog raffle and Milwaukee drill set/Thirty-One bag raffle tickets. The alumni raised over $500 throughout the raffle and the chapter raised over $1,100 on the hog raffle that was donated by the Caldwell Family. The winners were announced Saturday September 12th at the Fall Festival. The winner of the whole processed hog was Shelly Brodine; the winner of the Thirty-One gift set was Tom Maier; and the winner of the Milwaukee drill set was Andy Windish.
Multiple FFA Chapters from around the area competed in the Ag Olympics, hosted by the Farmington FFA Chapter. The event was held at the Harvest Home Festival in Yates City on August 22nd. Throughout the competition, the chapters used leadership skills and teamwork
to successfully complete different tasks, such as tug-of-war and a three legged race. The Elmwood FFA finished 1st place and was awarded $100.
Yates City Parade
The Elmwood FFA Chapter constructed a float to pull in the Yates City Harvest Home Festival parade on August 22nd. This year’s float theme was “Organic Farming” and consisted of an actual outhouse on the float. Several FFA members, dressed in their official FFA jackets, sat on the float and tossed candy to children during the parade. Out of 10 total floats, the float placed 4th.
On Sunday, August 30th, the Elmwood FFA chapter participated in the Farm Bureau Young Leaders night at the Peoria Chiefs game. Members met with other FFA chapters at the game and listened to two speakers, Derrick McFarland and Scott Johnson. Members were also able to meet with the Farm Bureau Young Leaders and discuss many agricultural opportunities.
Members from the Elmwood FFA Chapter competed in the Section 5 FFA 3-D bow shoot in Metamora on August 29th. The members brought their own bows and arrows and shot at several different 3-D targets to simulate hunting. Isaiah Groeper and Colton Milliman both placed top 20 out of 40 total people.
On Friday, September 11th the Elmwood FFA hosted its 52nd annual steer show. Many people from around the area bought their steers to participate in the judging. Olivia Caldwell, of the Elmwood FFA, won Grand Champion. The winner of the Reserved Champion was Anna Webel from the Knox County Power Clover. The Rate of Gain winner was Ethan Emken from the Williamsfield 4-H and the Reserve Rate of Gain winner was Austin Mottaz from the Knox County Power Clover. The winner of the Jr. Showmanship award was Hayden Beard from the Williamsfield 4-H and Paige Collopy, also from the Williamsfield 4-H, won Sr. Showmanship. The annual Jerome Powers award was given to Josh Eastman from the Trivoli Tigers club.
On September 22nd, Elmwood agricultural classes were visited by Section 5 FFA president, Caroline Downey; Section 5 FFA Treasurer, Joseph Harmon; and the Illinois FFA Association State Treasurer, Jordan Johns. The officers constructed activities to complete with each class, focusing on leadership skills and goal setting. At the end of each class, students were given a goal card to fill out and keep in their wallets.
Members of the Elmwood FFA chapter competed in the Section 5 forestry contest on Tuesday, September 22nd which was hosted by Putnam County FFA. The team was tested in several different categories including tree identification, tree disease and disorder identification, forestry equipment identification, chainsaw part identification, and chainsaw troubleshooting. Members on the team were Gabe Buhl, Regan McFall, Jenna Musgrave, Matt Ricketts, and Emma Trone. The team placed 3rd and Matt Ricketts placed 4th individually.
Several new members to the Elmwood FFA chapter and members of the officer team traveled to Henry High School for the Section 5 Leadership Training School on September 24th. Chapters from throughout the section attended, learning about the fundamentals it takes to become a great leader. This was a great experience for the new members, since this was the first section-wide event that they had participated in. New members in attendance were Tanner Blum, Molly Christ, and Clay Coulter. Officers that attended were Maggie Harms, Jenna Musgrave, and Luke Windish.
On October 1st, members of the Elmwood FFA competed in the section 5 soil judging contest, hosted by the Roanoke Benson FFA Chapter. At the contest, members judged four different trenches that were dug in a cornfield. During the judging, the water capacity, slope, soil type, and permeability were supposed to be found. Members on the team were Maggie Harms, Jenna Musgrave, and Luke WIndish. The team placed 9th.
During October 5th through the 19th, the Elmwood FFA sold Puffin Pastries as a fundraiser. As a classroom activity, the Ag Business class calculated how much money the chapter should sell the pastries for in order for the chapter to make a profit. The pastries were sold throughout the entire week to friends and family of the FFA. From this fundraiser, the chapter made around $550. Thank you to everyone who supported our chapter throughout this fundraiser.
The Elmwood Ag Mechanics class toured the Mossville Caterpillar plant on Friday,October 16th. During the tour, the group was shown innovative technology that was new to the plant. The class also discussed job opportunities and employee expectations. There were 19 students in attendance.
During the week of October 12th, the Elmwood FFA chapter participated in many homecoming week activities. Throughout the week, students worked hard on their parade float. Since this year’s homecoming theme was holidays, the FFA float theme was “A Redneck Holiday”. On the float, Christmas lights were hung around an outhouse and corn stocks were duct taped together. The float was not entered in the float judging but was definitely a crowd pleaser.
On October 27th, the Elmwood FFA departed from Elmwood High School to travel down to Louisville, Kentucky for the National FFA Convention. During the three days of the convention, members participated in multiple tours including a tour of Chaney’s Dairy Barn, the National Corvette Museum, the Louisville Train Depot, and an underwater cave tour. Members also attended an inspirational session with motivational speaker, Rick Rigsby, and attended an agricultural career show. During free time, the chapter attended a Kip Moore concert and a Maddie and Tae concert. Members in attendance were: Andrew Hall, Maggie Harms,Chase Malone, Regan McFall, Galvin McQuellon, Jenna Musgrave, Andrew Naumann, Matt Ricketts, Logan Spainhower, Emma Trone, Chance Vicary, and Luke Windish.
Three students from the Elmwood FFA chapter traveled to Bloomington, Illinois to the Elite Conference. At the conference, the students learned about agricultural education by taking part in classroom activities and listening to different agriculture teachers tell stories from the classroom. Members in attendance were Maggie Harms, Jenna Musgrave, and Emma Trone.
On the night of November 12th, members from the Elmwood FFA Chapter traveled to Eureka, Illinois to compete in the Section 5 Meat Judging contest. During the contest, members judged retail cuts, identified retail cuts, and ranked and rated carcases. Members on the Elmwood team consisted of Andrew Hall, Matthew Jordan, Chase Malone, Colton Milliman, and Luke Windish. The team placed 8th.
The Metamora FFA Chapter hosted the Section 5 Agronomy contest on November 30th. Members from the Elmwood Chapter attended, identifying seeds and weeds, judging grain samples, and then taking a 25 question test about agronomy. Amy Christ, Andrew Hall, Chase Malone, Galvin McQuellon, Matt Ricketts, Luke Windish, and Chance Vicary were all in attendance. Amy Christ was the top individual on our team, helping the team place 5th overall.
Through a grant, the agriculture department was able to purchase a greenhouse.The chapter plans to use this greenhouse as a hands on learning experience for the horticulture class and also as a way for the chapter to raise money, as all the produce will be sold at the Elmwood Farmer's Markets during the summer. The chapter would like to thank Claude Keefer for his help in assisting the mechanics class with assembling the greenhouse!
On Thursday, March 3rd, the Elmwood FFA Chapter competed in the Section 5 Food Science CDE at Midland High School. Members competed against other schools in identifying aromas, creating a new food product and label, sanitation testing and recognizing unsanitary conditions. Logan Spainhower placed 5th individually, Chase Malone placed 6th individually, and Galvin McQuellon placed 8th individually. Other members were Matt Ricketts, Clay Coulter and Amy Christ. The team placed second with a total of seven teams competing.