Roundup of FFA news for Oct. 22, 2020

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COLLINS, Ohio — Six members from Western Reserve FFA competed in the online Ohio FFA Forestry CDE Oct. 6. This CDE included timber cruising, equipment ID, forest products, map reading, timber pricing questions, tree and forest problems, tree ID and an exam. There were 52 teams and 404 individuals that competed.

The Western Reserve FFA team placed 22nd. The top finisher was Harley Johnson, who placed 115th. Joselyn Charville placed 133rd, Lane Wetzel placed 162nd, Holden Nuhn placed 195th, Kelsey Lasch placed 237th and Colton White placed 390th.

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OBERLIN, Ohio — Keith Cornwell, Firelands Agricultural Science Program alumnus, earned the Ohio AgriBusiness Association Agribusiness and Production Systems Certification during the 2019-2020 school year.

The Ohio AgriBusiness Association provides an industry-recognized, agribusiness credential that verifies high school student expertise in the areas of agriculture, agribusiness and production systems. To be eligible for the program, a student must be enrolled in a career-technical agricultural program and complete four required courses.

Supervised Agricultural Experiences — a student project that involves real world agricultural activities done by students outside of the planned classroom and laboratory time — are also integral in attaining the OABA credential.

Cornwell maintained SAE projects at James Born Farms, Schoepfle Gardens, Abraham Farms, Lorain County Junior Fair Board, and raised market hogs each year. He is currently serving in the National Guard.

For more information about the Ohio AgriBusiness Association student credentials, visit

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CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — The Zane Trace FFA chapter had 10 members participate in the Ohio FFA Legislative Leadership Conference Sept. 30. The event normally takes place in the Ohio Statehouse with FFA members having lunch with their local representatives. Due to the pandemic, this year’s event was delivered virtually through a Zoom meeting.

Nine members logged on to the meeting at Zane Trace and one accessed the meeting from home. During the first session of the conference, members listened to Ty Higgins, Tony Seegers and Jenna Beadle from the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation regarding current agriculture policies and legislation.

U.S. Congressman Troy Balderson and Ohio Senator Bob Peterson also addressed the students on the importance of legislative efforts to support agriculture and the importance of FFA in developing future leaders.

Students then split out into five different workshops led by Ohio FFA Association officer team members. These breakout sessions helped students to share their opinions on current agriculture issues and build their awareness of lobbying and policy change efforts.

During the first week of March, FFA members started seedlings in the chapter greenhouse, just before schools closed for the pandemic. Advisors and officers cared for the plants during the school shutdown, and the garden was established in May.

Since then students have picked tomatoes, peppers, strawberries and tomatillos from their raised beds to supplement the cafeteria lunch program. An average of 20 pounds of vegetables was processed each week during the first two months of school.

As fall approached, students started cold-weather crops, including carrots, snow peas and spinach, to provide fresh produce items for lunches in the coming months. They hope to continue the project by starting beds of greens in their greenhouse for harvesting over the winter.

FFA members worked Oct. 5 and 6 to process 159 quarts and 12 half-gallon jars of grape juice. The students started by picking, sorting and washing the grapes. They combined grapes, sugar and boiling water into sanitized mason jars and added the lids and rings.

The jars were then processed for 20-30 minutes in a water bath canner to ensure sterilization and a tight seal of the lids. After this the jars were allowed to cool and rest so the flavors could blend.

After four days, the members performed a quality check on the jars and found that all of them had correctly sealed. They also labeled each jar and cleaned them. The jars were sorted into boxes and stored until they can be donated to the Church Triumphant and Kingston Food Pantries this November.


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