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State FFA officer visit: Sam Jesse, the Wisconsin Association of FFA State Sentinel, came to CHS and CMS on Monday, Dec. 11 to visit the students in the Agriscience classes. Sam did some team building and leadership development activities with the students. He also shared opportunities available for students in the FFA and answered any questions the students had about FFA. Sam is from Lodi and was Mrs. Crook’s last FFA president at Lodi.

Eighth grade visit: The eighth grade students from CMS, Zion and St. Jerome’s came to the high school on Thursday morning to discover elective courses offered at the high school. The FFA officers shared information about FFA and the courses that the eighth graders can select to take as freshmen. The students learned about the Ag Careers class, Animal Science, Plant Science, Wisconsin Forestry and Wildlife, and Landscaping. They took a tour of the classroom and the greenhouse. They really enjoyed seeing the 300 gallon aquaculture tank and 50 Tilapia. In addition, they were able to see wildlife animal pelts, poinsettia plants and hydroponics units. The eighth grade students are excited to learn more about plants, animals and natural resources next year.

NICC gift wrapping: Columbus FFA members volunteered Dec. 14 to help wrap gifts at the NICC Foundation. The FFA members enjoyed practicing their wrapping techniques and helping support those in need in the community. The Columbus FFA Chapter promotes giving back to the community for leadership development and teaching students about their responsibility to help the community.

FFA officer half-time: The Columbus FFA officer team held their half-time meeting Dec. 14. The officers use this meeting to plan the rest of the FFA activities and events for the rest of the school year. The officers have a lot of new activities they plan to implement this year and will be very busy for the second semester of the school year. The new events include a grain adventures program for the fourth grade students, a Career and Technical Education Career Day for the MS students, a strawberry sale, and a Farm To Table Dinner. These activities will be in addition to their plans to celebrate National FFA Week, their annual awards banquet and a Farm Safety Program for the elementary school.

Holiday workshop: The FFA members are hosting a Holiday Workshop for fifth grade students on Thursday, Dec. 21 from 3:30—5 p.m. The students received invitations two weeks ago. The fifth graders will make ornaments, decorate cookies and participate in an activity called Christmas from the Farm!

Food Science Class: The students researched and prepared a presentation about one method of food preservation. This week the students have been sharing their presentation with their peers and conducting demonstrations about their preservation method. So far the students have learned about canning, freeze drying, freezing, refrigeration and food additives. They have made pickles, taste tested freeze dried fruits compared to dehydrated fruits, and tasted frozen broccoli. They have also been learning about how food scientists continue to research ways to prolong the shelf life of food for consumers.

Agricultural Careers and Leadership: The students finished their research on countries they selected from around the world in their global agriculture unit. They also role played individuals that worked for businesses related to wheat production and how a decline in wheat production in Russia and Germany and an increase in economic stability in China would impact wheat production and each of the related businesses in the U.S. Another activity they participated in was called Worldly Cattle. The students had to figure out how they would get a bull and ten cows from Columbus to Buenos Aires, Brazil. It was quite a challenge! The class finished up the week with their Food Symposium. On Thursday, they learned about proper table etiquette. Friday they presented their country profiles to the class. The students had to take note of each country’s imports and exports so that after all presentations they could find three countries to make a trade agreement with to exchange products. The students concluded the Food Symposium by sharing food items they prepared that represented their countries. The class enjoyed Chinese food, chicken alfredo and tiramisu from Italy, mashed potatoes and brats from Germany, quesadillas from Honduras, and cheese rolls, truffles and coconut dessert from Brazil. The students really enjoyed the Global Agriculture Unit.

Food, Forests and Wildlife: The sixth graders enjoyed the visit from the State FFA Officer on Monday and then spent the rest of the week sharing their Wisconsin Agriculture Commodity Presentations and their Wisconsin Wildlife Cards. The students researched these two projects last week and presented them to their peers this week. The students learned about apples, strawberries, chickens, mint, potatoes, trout, Christmas trees and so much more. The wildlife mammals included critters such as the river otter, porcupine, skunk, badger, cougar, coyote, wolf and many more. The students have learned Wisconsin is an amazing state that offers many ag commodities and nature provides a great variety of wildlife for us to enjoy.

Animals, Plants and Food Science: The students concluded their Food Science unit this week by sharing their research projects on food processing methods. They also enjoyed the activities they participated in with Sam Jesse, the state FFA officer. They spent the last part of the week learning correct animal terms and played games to help them learn the names. They learned about how animals got their names today from an old Native American folklore story and how the classification system is used to organize all living organisms.