Columbus prepares for National FFA Week
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Columbus prepares for National FFA Week

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Upcoming events—District Speaking Contest: Columbus FFA members participated in the Leadership Development Event at Oakfield High School on Monday, Feb. 10. The middle school quiz bowl team has been practicing for several weeks to learn as many FFA facts, dates and names as possible. The quiz bowl team includes; Jamie Damm, Hillary Klubertanz, Ty Thorson, Billy Larson, and Caden Atkins. The parliamentary procedure team has been practicing their motions and abilities the past several weeks. The parliamentary Procedure team includes; Garret Baerwolf, Jordan Prosser, Hannah Dahl, Faith Baerwolf, Amanda Dunbar and Morgan Baerwolf. In addition to the teams the chapter also has individuals competing in various events: Hannah Dahl- Employability Skills (job interview), Morgan Baerwolf- FFA Creed speaking, and Corrina Larson and Cora Dahl- Discussion Meet.

Strawberry Sale: Columbus FFA’s annual strawberry sale is underway right now! Contact an FFA member or check out their Classmunity page to order your strawberries today! The order forms are due Feb. 13. The strawberries will be delivered sometime the week of March 9. Help support Columbus FFA members!

Proficiency Applications: Due Feb. 17. Every FFA member with an immersion SAE project and a full year of records can complete a proficiency application if it fits in one of the 48 categories. The proficiency award is a way for students to compete with their SAE projects against other students across the state. The proficiency applications are judged in early March and ranked as a gold, silver, or bronze. The gold rated applications receive cash rewards from sponsors. This is a great way for students to show off their SAE project and to receive recognition above the chapter level for their hard work.

Columbus FFA Meeting: Tuesday, Feb. 18! Date Change The chapter meeting date had to be moved due to a forensics meet being held at the high school on Monday, Feb. 17. This is an important meeting all FFA members should plan to attend to elect the new officer team. Make sure you mark your calendars.

FFA Alumni Meeting: Feb. 24 at 5:45 p.m. in the Ag room. Anyone that would like to support the FFA members can be part of the FFA Alumni. The alumni will be planning their upcoming event to support their scholarships.

National FFA Week Feb. 17-21, 2020: Columbus FFA will celebrate National FFA Week at the high school and middle school the week prior to National FFA week to fit the trimester schedule and avoid finals week for trimester 2. The FFA officers have plans to serve a farm breakfast pizza on Tuesday, a pie and ice cream social for staff on Wednesday, tractor drive in day on Thursday, and Boot and Truck Day on Friday. They have other plans in the works, so stay tuned!

Agribusiness Dinner: March 17, 2020 the Agribusiness dinner will be held again this year at Kestrel Ridge with a new comedian. See the event posted on the Columbus FFA Facebook page. Proceeds from this event are donated to the Columbus FFA and Ag Ed Program. Save the date!

Events this week

Crook Attends 3-Circle Summit: Columbus Agricultural Educator and FFA Advisor, Glenda Crook traveled to Indianapolis, Indiana with the Wisconsin Ag Ed and FFA team leaders to attend the Three Circle Summit. The Three Circle Summit is presented by the National Association of Agricultural Educators and National FFA. Crook was a guest speaker serving on a panel to share her implementation of the Foundational SAE. Crook spoke to an audience of 200 Ag Ed and FFA leaders from across the country. Crook’s initiative in creating lessons and resources for teachers to use in their classrooms to instruct all students about Foundational SAEs. Several states and the National FFA have shown interest in working with Crook to share her work. The Three Circle Summit included several other guest speakers and breakout sessions highlighting current topics in Ag Ed and FFA. Microsoft shared their new Ag Hacking Stem kits, Corteva shared its view on resumes and the Honorable Scott Stumpf, appointed to USDE, shared his views on the future of CTE and the new Perkin’s Funding. In addition, a speaker covered Inclusion, Diversity and Equity for FFA and Agricultural Education. There will be a new vision for Ag Ed – “Agricultural Education for All.” The conference provided time for team leaders to collaborate and an opportunity to learn about upcoming initiatives coming from NAAE and the FFA.

State FFA Degree Applications: Two Columbus FFA members completed their Wisconsin State FFA Degrees this week. Steven Taylor and Jordan Prosser submitted their applications based on their SAE projects. Steven and Jordan have met all of the requirements to receive their state degrees including, 360 hours of Ag ed, the hours or income from their SAE project, 25 hours of volunteer time, and five activities above the chapter level. Their applications will be reviewed at the state level and then they will be notified when they are approved to receive their Wisconsin State FFA Degree at the Wisconsin State FFA Convention in June at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. Congratulations, Steven and Jordan!

SAE- The high school students participated in the Week 9 SAE lesson this week. They worked on finishing up their career research for their Foundational SAE and updating their hours in the AET. The middle school students continued to look up courses they can take at the high school that will help prepare them for their future career.

Columbus High School

Ag Careers and Leadership: The students worked on learning FFA history this week and finished the movie “Pay It Forward” as part of their leadership development. The class took two field trips this week. On Thursday the class visited the Columbus Countryside Veterinary Clinic. They learned about the various careers related to the veterinary industry and saw some interesting items related to the work the vets do at the clinic. On Friday, the class visited Midstate Equipment. The students learned about 19 different careers in the implement sales and service business. They toured the shop area and saw maintenance and repairs being conducted on John Deere tractors. The students were shocked to learn how much a piece of equipment costs a farmer and how much a repair bill can be for the farmer. The class watched a video showing technological advancements coming to agriculture that makes the farmer and farming more efficient. Thank you to Columbus Countryside Veterinary Clinic and Midstate Equipment for taking time out of your busy schedules to teach CHS students about careers in your fields. The students appreciate your time.

Agricultural Food Science: The students began their Sweetener Unit this week. They learned the difference between natural, processed and artificial sweeteners. They conducted several labs comparing sweeteners density and level of sweetness. The Coke Float lab demonstrated the density of soda is impacted by the type of sweetener used in the soda. The artificial sweeteners require less substance so the cans float higher in the water. The students measured the density of diet and regular soda to demonstrate the difference. The students also conducted a lab called, “The Sweeter it is” to further look at density. The students used a hydrometer to measure the density of known sugar solutions and then used those measurements to determine the density of four sodas; cola, orange, citrus and lemon-lime. The students finished the week with a lab called, “How Sweet is Sweet?” The students worked in small groups and each group tested how much of a sweetener they needed to make Kool Aid the perfect level of sweetness. The students tested; Sweet N Low, Stevia, Sugar, Equal, Splenda, and Kroeger’s artificial sweetener. The students really enjoyed the lab even though some of their test samples didn’t taste very good!

Columbus Middle School

Food, Forests and Wildlife: The sixth grade students shared their Farm Safety promotions this week. They shared a lot of great safety tips and ways to stay safe on the farm. The students learned about Wisconsin’s Agricultural Commodities by completing an A to Z search for Wisconsin products. On Friday they were introduced to Wisconsin’s Ag Fun Faces! The students created a list of the products Wisconsin is the number one producer, which they learned is a lot more than they thought.

Pizza, Pets and Plants: The seventh grade students became scientists this week as they put on their lab coats and safety glasses to conduct a lab on soil pH. The students were challenged to find out how soil pH can change the color of hydrangea flowers. The students learned that by adding lime to the soil the pH increased and the color of the flowers changed from blue to pink. They also learned that making the soil pH too high can be unhealthy for the plant. The class discussed the lab on Friday and learned that even though their lab was a good experiment to learn the effects of pH and the relationship of lime to pH and flower color it was not accurate enough for them to give lime application rates to customers. In analyzing the lab, the students realized they would need more information from a customer about their garden soil and climate before they could recommend the amount of lime to add to their soil to change the hydrangea flower color.

Animals, Plants and Food Science: The eighth graders shared their U.S. State Agriculture presentations. The students are learning about the different state climates, soils, and water resources that affect the agricultural products they can produce. The students are also practicing their speaking skills and supporting each other as they present in front of their peers. The class began their Food Science unit by researching the many careers in the Food Science industry. The students prepared for the root beer lab they will conduct this coming week. They are learning about fermentation processes and how it will help carbonate their root beer.

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