A roundup of FFA news for the week of July 4, 2013:

MILLERSBURG, Ohio —The West Holmes FFA Chapter sent their 2013-2014 Officer Team to Ohio Leadership Camp at Camp Muskingum in Carrollton, Ohio June 15-21.

Members who attended this camp were Mandy Taylor, Atlee Miller, Hannah Schlegel, Shyann Kick, Paige Miller, Clay Armstrong, Jason Jenkins, and Grayson Miller.

On the first day of camp, members were separated into camp chapters. After being separated into camp chapters, everyone gathered together in the meeting hall for a short meeting about rules and what to expect at camp.

While at camp, we spent time working to improve our leadership capabilities by attending 360 degrees workshops put on by National FFA represents.

Members participated in a mock underground railroad which taught them the hardships that people endured during the time in which slaves were trying to free themselves.

Graduate member Aaron Clark and advisor Jaime Martin of the West Holmes FFA had the chance to go Costa Rica for nine days with the National FFA Proficiency and Stars Travel Seminar. Clark earned this opportunity by being a national finalist in the Diversified Agriculture Proficiency last November. He was selected along with 46 other students for an expenses paid trip to Costa Rica to tour their country and agricultural areas. The student’s advisors may also join them on the trip.

While in Costa Rica, they toured a variety of agricultural operations and tourist areas. The first stop was La Paz Waterfall Gardens where there are many waterfalls flowing through rain and cloud forests.

Next up was Dole Banana Farm, where they learned about the growing, harvesting, and the storing process for bananas. Finca Corsicana, which is a pineapple plantation that produces organic pineapples for DelMonte, was exciting as they were able to consume fresh pineapple straight from the field.

The educational tours were put on hold for a whitewater rafting trip through the rain forest and a stop at Ecotermales Fortuna, a hot spring swimming pool owned by the Hidalgo Family. The next morning they toured the Arenal Hanging Bridges, consisting of paths and bridges built to maintain harmony between man-made structures and nature in the rain forest.

They also visited the Central Highlands, which is a combination of organic greenhouses and organic gardening that illustrates the harmony of nature and human needs that come together. The last tour was at the Doka Coffee plantation, a large scale coffee producer that has been operating for nearly four generations. The main theme through all of the agricultural operations was the need to conserve land and soil.

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