National Convention

USDA announces Conservation Stewardship Program sign-up for 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the 2016 sign-up period for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), the nation’s largest working lands conservation program. CSP supports farmers and ranchers as they introduce and expand conservation on their land in agricultural production

Farmers and ranchers have until March 31 to complete the initial CSP application, which consists of a simple form that asks for basic information regarding land ownership, type of production, and contact information. While applicants can sign up for CSP anytime throughout the year, those who miss the March 31 deadline will not be considered until 2017.

This year’s sign-up deadline carries particular significance, as a major program overhaul is scheduled for 2017. In order for producers to enroll in CSP under its existing structure, ranking process, and current conservation activities, they must apply by the March 31 deadline.

Existing CSP participants with contracts set to expire later this year also have until March 31 to apply to renew their five-year contracts.… Continue reading

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2012 National Convention Recap

The 2012 National FFA Convention set a record for high attendance, with many Ohio students among the 56,176 attendees in Indianapolis. As always, the Buckeye state was well represented throughout convention. Visit the links below to take a look at scenes and stories from the 2012 National FFA Convention, and get ready for  the 2013 convention in Louisville!

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FFA Convention Broadcast To Launch Digital Television Network Partnership, Alltech & RFD-TV Join Forces In Support Of Rural Youth

For the first time, those interested in viewing the National FFA Convention & Expo will have both broadcast and digital viewing options, thanks to a new partnership between iHigh.comAlltech and Rural Media Group, Inc., who have joined forces to launch on

The site on offers the world’s largest library of rural-based programming, which is made available at no charge to the viewer.  More than 140 independent program producers anchor the site with 5,000+ hours archived at this time.   The site is updated weekly with additional offerings coming from both the RFD-TV and RURAL TV broadcasts, which break the site down into separate channels for agriculture, equine, rural lifestyle, and traditional music & entertainment.  MyRURALTV is supported by advertising that can be targeted for regional spots down to the viewer’s zip code.

“The FFA Convention is the perfect opportunity to unveil this new technology, as it will allow us to showcase exactly how major rural events can now be covered,” stated Patrick Gottsch, Rural Media Group’s founder and president. 

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Hall of Fame figure skater Scott Hamilton to inspire more than 55,000 students at 2012 National FFA Convention & Expo Wednesday

While one contingent of blue hits the road this weekend to take on Tennessee, another will converge on the city to be inspired, compete for scholarships, perform community service and help shape the future of the National FFA Organization.

More than 55,000 student members of FFA and their teachers from throughout the U.S., Puerto and the Virgin Islands will attend this week’s annual National FFA Convention & Expo. This year’s event – the 85th consecutive gathering since FFA was founded in 1928 – runs Wednesday through Saturday.

Nine general sessions will bring tens of thousands of FFA members together at a single time under a single roof during the four-day event at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium. They will also flow through the aisles of the Expo, an event that showcases nearly 400 corporations, businesses, organizations and colleges Wednesday through Friday at Indiana Convention Center.

Figure skating star Scott Hamilton will be the keynote speaker during the convention’s opening session.

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National FFA Organization launches long-term plan to help eliminate hunger

FFA members from all 50 states will take the first swing Wednesday of a long-term fight to help eliminate global hunger.

As a kickoff event of the 2012 National FFA Convention & Expo, more than 10,000 FFA members, teachers, alumni and volunteers will work hour-long shifts from Wednesday through Friday and pack meals during the “Rally to Fight Hunger.” The rally kicks off at 12:45 p.m. with public remarks at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Their collective goal: Create 1 million meals by Friday night. Half will be distributed in the Indianapolis area and half will be shipped overseas in coordination with Kids Against Hunger, a humanitarian food-aid organization.

“No one is better positioned to address hunger than FFA members who are tomorrow’s leaders who will provide food and nutrition for a growing planet,” said National FFA Organization CEO Dwight Armstrong. “Hunger is the right issue for FFA and it is fully aligned with our values and vision.

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Fort Loramie FFA Chapter Receives National Ranking

INDIANAPOLIS—The National FFA Organization recently selected the Fort Loramie FFA Chapter as a 3-star winner in the National FFA Chapter Award program from a pool of more than 660 candidates nationwide. The chapter members have been invited to attend the 85th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind., Oct. 24-27, where they will be recognized for this honor.

The award program is sponsored by John Deere as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. The National FFA Chapter Award program recognizes FFA chapters for developing and conducting a detailed Program of Activities (POA). Each activity provides opportunities for members to excel in one of three areas: student, chapter, or community development.

The application highlighted several activities in which the Fort Loramie FFA participated. Activities include promoting scholarship among FFA members, encouraging students to enter agriculturally-related fields, providing opportunities for financial literacy, participating in leadership development activities, showing appreciation for school employees, growing and selling flowers in the chapter’s greenhouse, having a food stand at local festivals, and helping to make consumers aware of current agricultural industry issues.… Continue reading

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Miami East Chapter Recognized by National FFA

The National FFA Organization recently selected the Miami East FFA Chapter of Casstown, Ohio as a 3-Star National Chapter for the National FFA Chapter Award Program. A 3-star is the highest award a chapter can be recognized for in the National Chapter process.  In order to be considered for such an honor, the Miami East FFA Chapter had to place in the top 10% in the state of Ohio. In May, the chapter learned that they were in the Top 10 in the state and would have their application forwarded to national evaluations.
This is the 12th straight year that the Miami East FFA Chapter will be recognized at the National FFA Convention in their National Chapter Award program. Two students will receive the plaque on stage during the National FFA Convention, October 25th in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The National FFA Chapter Award program recognized FFA chapters for developing and conducting a detailed Program of Activities (POA).  
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West Holmes FFA Members Earn National Recognition

By Audrey Ivers, West Holmes FFA Chapter Reporter

Aaron Clark- National Proficiency Finalist

Aaron is the son of Chris and Julie Clark and has worked at Loder Farms in Millersburg for four years. Aaron was named the winner of the Diversified Agriculture Production Placement for Ohio back in May. Throughout this summer, Aaron has been competing and made it to the finals at the National level. With this title Aaron is in the top four of the Diversified Agriculture Production across the United States. Aaron’s hard work and dedication for working at Loder Farms and Kick Farms has finally paid off. Aaron did work such as milking cows, working in the fields, scraping barns and feeding calves. Aaron will be on stage in Indianapolis in October. There will be 196 members recognized in 47 different proficiency areas out of over 500,000 members Nationwide. Aaron is currently a sophomore at the OSU ATI where he is studying Agronomy for two years, and plans on transferring to the OSU Main Campus for Crop Science.… Continue reading

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National FFA Announces Proficiency Finalists

The following Ohio FFA members have been named National Proficiency Award Finalists by the National FFA Organization. They will represent Ohio at National FFA Convention this fall.

Maddison Buschur, Versallies FFA – Agricultural Communications, Entrepreneurship/{lacement

Rebecca Faverty, Marlington FFA – Agricultural Processing, Entrepreneurship/Placement

Taylor Kruse, Pettisville FFA – Agriscience Research, Plant Systems

Kira Andre, Wauseon FFA – Dairy Production, Entrepreneurship

Ashley Wilker, Marion Local FFA – Dairy Production, Placement

Aaron Clark, West Holmes FFA – Diversified Agricultural Production, Entrepreneurship/Placement

Cody Adams, Fayetteville FFA – Diversified Crop Production, Entrepreneurship

Jakob Wilson, Fairbanks FFA – Diversified Crop Production, Placement

Saul A. Triana, Wauseon FFA – Diversified Livestock Production, Entrepreneurship/Placement

Justin Pursel, Pettisville FFA – Environmental Science and Natural Resources, Entrepreneurship/Placement

Elizabeth Hayes, Marysville FFA – Equine Science, Entrepreneurship

Amanda Koch, Botkins FFA – Nursery Operations, Entrepreneurship/Placement

Garrit Austin Sproull, Harrison FFA – Swine Production, Entrepreneurship

Nick Rutschilling, Versailles FFA – Swine Production, Placement… Continue reading

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Ohio brings home 5 national proficiency awards



Chelsey Keiser’s work as a local farm broadcaster helped her win the agricultural communications award




Cory Ostings worked at three different places to earn the top award in agricultural services





Dulton Moore’s work doing home improvements and community service led to his win





Clayton Miller was suprised by his win in the Turf Grass Managment category




Mallory McDevitt shares details on the vegetable operation that earned her the top prize in the nation.




Watch as each of the winners are announced.

The following members were top four finalists in their SAE areas:

Agricultural Mechanics Repair and Maintenance – Chad Hoersten, Delphos
Diversified Livestock Production – Kayla Finton, Ridgewood
Emerging Agricultural Technology – Jason Michel, Delphos
Fiber and/or Oil Crop Production – Cody Adams, Fayetteville
Food Science and Technology – David Glass, Zane Trace
Fruit Production – Diana Stacy, Old Fort
Nursery Operations – Lindsey Koppin, Anna
Poultry Production – LIbby Bender, River Valley







 … Continue reading

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Siferd national winner in Agri-Entrepeneurship


Ashley Siferd of the Cory Rawson FFA was a national winner in the Agri-Entrepreneurship award.

Name: Ashley Siferd
Age: 19
Chapter: Cory-Rawson FFA
Parents: Jamie and Teresa Siferd
Advisor: Lindsey Regula

When Ashley Siferd of Bluffton, Ohio, began raising goats, she soon discovered that she had extra goat’s milk that didn’t have a use. Not wanting to waste anything, she began to research what options might be available to her to maximize this product.

She soon discovered that the milk was a perfect fit for natural soaps and lotions. After some research, Siferd learned that people used goat milk soap for health benefits, such as treating psoriasis.

It was with this discovery that her business, Old Homestead Soaps and Lotions, was created.

“I realized this could be a unique way to expand my goat business, and I liked the idea that it could help people,” she said.

After making a few batches of soaps and lotions, Siferd went to the local farmers market.… Continue reading

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Ridgemont FFA national Models of Innovation winner

The Ridgemont FFA was named the national winner in the Models of Innovation, chapter development area.

The chapter wanted to celebrate International Education Week to teach cross cultural traditions to students of all grade levels. The members exceeded their education for the nationals goal by puppet shows, writing experiences and music classes for young students and by using lunch periods to build awareness through various activities for older students. Their efforts concluded with an assembly. They also won a civic education contest for their efforts.

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