Elmwood FFA serves community, develops leaders | Community

Elmwood FFA was busy this fall, conducting community service activities, fund raising and studying and participating in numerous contests.

One of the basic purposes of FFA is to perform community service. One of the largest undertakings of the chapter was in October when members cooperated with other organizations to conduct an Elementary Fall Festival. Over 200 elementary students participated in tractor safety education, farm animal care and safety such as beef cattle, dairy cattle, rabbits, chickens, sheep, horses, pigs and goats, and then fall agriculture Olympics games.

Another deep-rooted asset of FFA members is leadership skills they strive to develop. The chapter engaged inactivities to hone this quality. The chapter attended the National FFA Convention in late October in Indianapolis. Students attended leadership sessions where they listened to inspiring speeches from national officers, spent time at the career show and expo, and spent time together as a chapter. Zach George and Anthony Wise received the highest degree the FFA has to offer, the American FFA Degree.

In November students attended the Ohio FFA State Leadership Night where they focused on enhancing skills. Students were encouraged to work with others from their own FFA chapters on specific tasks to build public speaking, communication and teamwork.

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 Creed Speaking and Grain Merchandising CDEs in January. There are still over 10 more CDEs students will be participating in between now and the end of the school year. Some of those are Ag Power, Farm Business Management, Greenhand Quiz, Ag Mechanics and Outdoor Power.

Elmwood held its annual fruit sale fundraiser in December. This is the largest chapter fundraiser where the group sells citrus products along with the sale of Ohio Signature Beef, Florida’s Best Nuts and DB Yummers BBQ Sauce.

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 funds to allow the chapter to make donations to the Children’s Hospital in Columbus, 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. Hundreds of volunteers run the stand for the week. 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.

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 treasurer, secretary and reporter also have to put together a book with all the records for the chapter for 2021. Those books will be evaluated in early February in addition to all degree and proficiency applications.

Six Elmwood FFA members receive American FFA Degree

On Oct. 30, Elmwood FFA members Zachary George and Anthony Wise received their American FFA Degree. In order to achieve the American FFA Degree, FFA members must be at least 12 months removed from high school, must have completed numerous FFA and Community Service activities, and must have earned a minimum of $10,000 from their Supervised Agricultural Experience projects.

George had projects working for George Farms, Benschoter Hay and Straw, raising Market Hogs, and Dairy Cattle. He was treasurer and historian during his time in the chapter. He was a member of the Parliamentary Procedure team, Ag Power team, Ag Mechanics and Soil Judging Teams. He works for Benschoter Hay and Straw and on the family farm.

Wise had projects working for Wagner Farms and operated his own machinery business. He was vice president and student adviser during his time in the chapter. He was a member of the Parliamentary Procedure team, Ag Power team, Ag Mechanics and Soil Judging teams. He works for Long Electric, still operates his mechanic business.

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