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FFA activities, this week: Shepherds Fest – The Columbus FFA Officers had a display at the Shepherds Fest Sept. 7 promoting the FFA and the agricultural industry. The officers also helped out with the skit that was performed at the end of the event. They were great performers! The also assisted the down horse demonstration get their 800-pound horse model back in the trailer. It was great to see some of our local agriculture community at the event.

Club Day: The high school held its annual Club Day to expose the student body to the number of opportunities available for all types of interests at the high school. The FFA put up their display and offered candy to any student that followed the FFA Instagram. I think we have a lot more followers now!

Upcoming events

Ag Exploratory Day, Sept. 20: Columbus FFA will be hosting their annual Ag Exploratory Day for the third-grade students on Friday, Sept. 20 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Taylor farm. There will be 12 educational stations that the students will rotate through to learn about where their food comes from and the agricultural industry.

Sectional Leadership Workshop (SLW) Sept. 30: Sectional Leadership Workshop is required for all FFA officers to attend, but there are workshops for FFA members and middle school FFA members too! This is a great way to kick of the school year by meeting some new friends in the FFA from schools in Section 6. SLW will take place at Sauk Prairie High School starting at 3:30 p.m. If you would like to go sign up with Mrs. Crook and get a permission slip.

World Dairy Expo: The Dairy Judging Team will be competing at the World Dairy Expo Tuesday, Oct. 1. The team consists of three FFA members: Garret Baerwolf, Kyle Kilian and Faith Baerwolf. The team that wins the contest wins a trip to Europe to judge dairy.

FIRE Conference: Saturday, Oct. 19 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. This conference is for 7th, 8th and 9th grade students to learn about FFA. The workshops are focused on introducing young FFA members to everything FFA! This is a great way to learn about all of the opportunities available through the FFA and to meet new friends from other FFA chapters around the state. See Mrs. Crook for a permission slip.

National FFA Convention, Oct. 29-Nov. 2: Columbus FFA members that have applications need to turn them in on time. The chapter only has 10 seats on the bus to convention. Those that submit applications will be selected based on the completion of the questions and the chapter bylaws. This is a great trip with a lot of unique tours and events.

SAE: The students focused on getting their SAE Agreements completed this week. They decided on an immersion SAE project that they could keep track of their time they work and/or the income they make. The students wrote down their responsibilities and discussed the agreement with their parents. Both the student and the parent signed the agreement. Mrs. Crook is reviewing the agreements and signing them as well. The students also began their Foundational SAE projects by researching what courses they can take at the high school to prepare them for their future career they selected. The students are doing great things to prepare for their futures.

High school classes

Wisconsin Fish and Aquaculture: The students spent the week learning about fish anatomy. They made fish prints and labeled the external anatomy. They also colored a diagram of the fish internal organs and learned how to age a fish by the growth rings on their scales. The students created their own fish species and then did a project on one of the nine fish systems. They are also learning a fishing regulation and Wisconsin fish species every day.

Animal Science: The class focused on learning about Animals in Society this week and have established a pretty good sense of how important the bond is between humans and animals. It has been proven that a pet can reduce stress, anxiety and blood pressure, thus improving a person’s health and eliminating the need for medication. The students also learned about the many role’s animals perform for humans and the timeline of animal domestication. They are researching how much it costs to own a pet and justifying the cost of owning the pet for the benefits they provide. The students watched “The Extraordinary Dog” DVD on Friday and saw the many ways dogs help people.

Middle school classes

Food, Forests and Wildlife: The sixth graders explored the many different agricultural businesses in the Columbus area this week. They then turned their attention to Agricultural Careers. The students learned about the many types of careers in the agricultural industry and then selected one to research to find out more about it. The students held their Agricultural Career Fashion Show on Friday and dressed up as their career person and shared what they learned. The fashion show included a party light and music for the students to enter the room in their career outfits.

Pizza, Pets and Plants: Seventh grade began their soil unit with a pizza activity! The students enjoyed a piece of pizza and then identified all of the ingredients on their pizza. They related every ingredient back as far as they could, which took them all the way to the soil. Just about everything we eat grows in the soil or eats something that was grown in the soil. The students then participated in a demonstration using an apple as a model of earth. The students learned that only 1/32 of the earth’s surface is still available to grow all of the food for all of the people! The students learned about what makes up soil and did a comparison of sports balls to the soil particles; sand, silt and clay. The students learned that sand is the largest particle and was represented by a soccer ball, the silt was in the middle and was portrayed by a tennis ball, and the clay is the smallest particle represented by a ping pong ball. The students ended the week by learning about the soil horizon or layers. They completed a chart explaining each layer and on Friday made a soil (dirt) cake showing all of the layers. They enjoyed eating their cake!

Animals, Plants and Food Science: Eighth grade started their unit on U.S. Agriculture. They learned about the USDA agricultural regions and labeled a U.S. map. They selected a state to research the agricultural products, climate, soil and water resources to better understand why each state is suited to grow certain types of agricultural products. The students will share their presentations next week.

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