Hello everyone! It was a pretty nice week and almost all of the snow melted away. Temperatures dropped towards the end of the week, though. It also was the 75th annual National FFA Week.
National FFA Week was from February 15-22. FFA use to stand for Future Farmers of America, but now, it is just called FFA since the organization is not only for farmers, but also for non-farmers. FFA is a nation wide organization where there are chapters throughout many parts of each state.
In the early 1920's, Virginia formed a Future Farmers club for boys in agriculture classes. This innovation caught fire across the country and the national organization was established in 1928 at the Baltimore Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri. This year is a very special one because FFA is celebrating its 75th anniversary. By 1934, the only states that had not chartered associations were Rhode Island and Alaska. The National FFA Center is located in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In the picture above, you can see the official FFA emblem. The different parts of the emblem and what they stand for are:
There are different offices for an official FFA chapter meeting. At the meeting, each office has a sign, or the paraphernalia. Here are the different signs and what they mean:
Quoted from the 2002-2003 Official FFA ManualThere are even National Presidents. There is a new President elected every year. One of the past National Presidents was from New Hampton. It's really something to think that a National FFA President was a student in the same high school that I am attending now. FFA is open to all students from grades 9-12. Dad was in the New Hampton FFA Chapter when he was in high school. Mom and Dad involved the local group by having them serve food at our past farm field tours. They were recognized in 1996 with an Honorary Chapter Degree award for their support. They continue to participate in the chapter fundraisers and Dad attends meetings with me.
Why should FFA members show up to meetings? "To practice brotherhood, honor agricultural opportunities and responsibilities, and develop those qualities of leadership which an FFA member should possess." The FFA motto is:
Learning to do, Doing to learn,Earning to live, Living to serve.(What a positive example to follow!)
Since it was National FFA Week, the New Hampton FFA Chapter that I belong to celebrated by participating in different activities. All week, we had the halls decorated with posters and a trophy case decorated with farm toys. Monday, I decorated our school bus with posters. On Tuesday, some of the members drove tractors to school. It's a tradition. I even drove one! I was not allowed to drive one of Dad's tractors because our farm is too far away. Instead, I drove one from our nearby John Deere implement. I drove a John Deere 8420 tractor. It was FUN to drive!!! On Thursday, all of the FFA members wore their official FFA jackets or shirts. I own a jacket, so that's what I wore. On Friday, a few members and I went to the elementary school to read farm books to students and show a real lamb and puppy. I had a fun National FFA Week and can't wait until next year! Some of the members, including myself, have been practicing for sub-district competition. I am involved in the Conduct of Meetings Event. This is where you conduct a meeting properly using parliamentary procedure.Throughout the week, Dad fixed the apron on the manure spreader. Remember last time we used it, the apron fell apart? He also replaced the metal that the apron runs on and the frame that supports the floor. Dad also took the beaters off since we're only hauling manure to the compost pile. On Thursday and Friday, Dad cleaned out a hoop building. On Saturday, Dad and I bedded the hoop building up with straw using the power box to do the job, but first, we lined the floor with eggshells. Eggshells form a base and we placed the straw on top of them. Afterwards, Dad and I moved 10 sows and 70 pigs out of the farrowing barns and into the hoop building.
Jess came home Saturday noon. In the afternoon, Jess and I started to build a bookshelf that she wants for her classroom. We did not get finished, though. Jolene came home Saturdayevening and made supper for Jess, Dad, and I. Mom was working. It was nice to see my sisters, even though it was a short visit. Jolene went back to campus late Saturday night and Jess went home Sunday forenoon.
I am so happy to receive responses from last week's journal on naming my pet white hen. I'm glad you're reading my journal. Many readers have e-mailed me suggesting a variety of names for my pet chicken that is totally white in color. I will decide on a name in a week or two; so you still have time to come up with a name and e-mail the idea to me! To e-mail you may use this address or just click here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farm Fact: Iowa State University has a compost specialist. This person encouraged us to unload our manure without having it torn up by the beaters on the manure spreaders. This change in the handling method will produce better compost as it leaves the pile with more access to oxygen. It also takes less power to unload and reduces the wear on the equipment.