FFA Fruit: The FFA members helped unload the truck on Dec. 18 and sorted the fruit for pick up. The students spent the week making deliveries to their customers. The Columbus FFA had a record sale this year. Thank you to everyone that purchased fruit and helped support the 121 Columbus FFA Members. The funds helped pay for the students’ membership dues to the Wisconsin Association of FFA and the National FFA Organization. The remaining funds will pay for registrations for conferences and awards for the FFA banquet.
FFA Holiday Workshop: The FFA hosted its second Holiday Workshop for fifth grade students. The event includes decorating cookies, making ornaments and learning about how the farm supplies a lot of our favorite Christmas items. There were 19 students present that enjoyed learning about Christmas from the farm in a lesson taught by FFA President Abbygail Hayes. Abby wants to be an Agriculture Educator in the future so this gave her a great opportunity to be the teacher. The students listed all of the things they associate with Christmas and then Abby had posters around the room with facts related to the items on the list. The students had to write the name of the item on a Post It note and stick it to the poster with the fact that matched. For example, Wisconsin producers harvest 600,000 of these each year ... Christmas trees! The fifth grade students had a lot of fun and took home some cookies and two ornaments.
FFA Speaking Contests: It is that time of year when FFA members select their speaking area and begin to prepare their speeches or start practicing for their Leadership Development Event (LDE) Communication skills are one of the most important skills employers are seeking in our young people. The events the students may select from include: The FFA Creed (7-9 grade), Quiz Bowl (7-8 grade), Prepared Speaking (9-12), Extemporaneous Speaking (9-12), Discussion Meet (9-12), Employability Skills (9-12), and Parliamentary Procedure Team (9-12). Columbus FFA has a very active group of members and have participants in almost every category. The middle school is still looking to add more quiz bowl members to make two teams of five and there is a spot open for Creed speaking. The high school has spots open in Prepared, Extemporaneous, Discussion, and Employability Skills. Encourage your student to sign up with Mrs. Crook. The District Contest is on Monday, Jan. 22 at Laconia High School in Rosendale.
FFA Jackets: Some of the Columbus FFA Greenhands and Middle School members received their FFA jackets this week. Thanks to the FFA alumni for their support in purchasing an FFA jacket for any member that works at their concession stand at Wedel’s Auction. Eight FFA members received jackets this week and they were very excited.
FFA Alumni Meeting: The next Alumni Meeting will be on Monday, Jan. 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the HS multipurpose room.
FFA Meeting: Monday, Jan. 15-7 p.m.; middle school meeting and 7:30 p.m. chapter meeting.
Agricultural Food Science: The students finished up their sweetener unit this week with labs learning about how the types of sugars affect the density of products. They measured the density of different flavors of sodas with a hydrometer to determine which had the most sugar. They also baked cakes using different sweeteners to observe the differences in how the cakes baked. Some of the synthetic sweeteners such as Sweet N Low and Equal were not meant to be used in baking so the cakes do not rise nor do they brown. Another lab demonstrated the sweetness level of various sweeteners. The students compared sugar to Equal, Sweet N Low, and Sucralose. Synthetic sweeteners are hundreds and thousands of times sweeter than sugar so less was needed to make the Kool-Aid sweet enough to drink. The students started the Fats Unit and began with a lab that helped them see what foods have fat in them.
Ag Careers and Leadership: After finishing up the unit on Global Agriculture, the students watched video clips from Heifer International to see how people in other countries struggle to make a living and how people from different tribes or religions have to learn to get along after fighting each other. This led into the Leadership unit and the students began to evaluate their leadership skills and how they can use their skills at the local, state, national and global level. The students have been challenged to take notice of needs in the community and think about what they can do to make a difference. On Etiquette Friday, the students practiced 30-second elevator speeches. We discussed how awkward it can be on an elevator and then brainstormed safe topics to have with strangers in an elevator. The students took turns being the person already on the elevator and the person getting on the elevator. They had a lot of fun. Their leadership training included a challenge to work with a team to build the tallest free standing balloon tower. It was a close match.
Food, Forests and Wildlife: The sixth grade students had a great week learning about Nature’s Recyclers. They identified eight recyclers that help clean up dead plant material in our gardens and forests. The rest of the week the students focused on the worm. They learned about the many different kinds of worms, worm anatomy, and worm facts. They did a lab with earthworms to find out if worms like moist or dry conditions, rough or smooth surfaces and light or dark. The students enjoyed applying their worm anatomy knowledge to their earthworms and they learned that worms prefer moist, rough and dark conditions. The students placed the earthworms in the worm motel to observe the worms as they make burrows.
Animals, Plants and Food Science: This class learned about the classification system and scientific names. The students got to name their own new species that was discovered by a friend. They had to use the classification system and Latin endings to make the name sound scientific. The students then learned about livestock breeds within each species. The students are currently working on a report about one livestock breed they selected to learn more about their origin and the characteristics of the breed. The students are focusing on why a producer would select that breed for production. The students learned how to use their observation skills to identify the various breeds as they all look very similar.