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Spotlight on Youth - November 1, 2017

Culver’s essay winners at National FFA Convention

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — “Thank You Farmers” is all about supporting the next generation of agricultural leaders. One way Culver’s does this is through the annual FFA Essay Contest.

After reviewing more than 650 essays submitted by student FFA members across the country, Culver’s selected three winners to receive funds to help their chapters make the trip to Indianapolis for the National FFA Convention & Expo from October 25-28. They are Skylar Bloom of DeWitt, Iowa, Emily Sampson of Lincoln, Calif., and Morgan Johnson of Denver City, Texas.

Culver’s also recognized seven other essay writers with a certificate of achievement: Molly Hunt of Randolph Southern FFA in Indiana, as well as Jesse Corona and Yaritza Plata of California, Kassidy McClun of Wyoming, Cynthia Bateman of Arizona, Claire Pieper of Minnesota and Matthew Dunham of Massachusetts.

Bloom is a senior in Dewitt, and attended the convention with her chapter for the fourth time. FFA has taught her leadership skills, providing her with experiences that have helped shape her into a leader.

Sampson is a senior in Lincoln, and 2017 marked her second time attending the convention. She appreciates Culver’s support of FFA because she believes that promoting agricultural literacy is important to help the public understand more about the industry.

Johnson is a junior in Denver City, and 2017 was the first time both she and her chapter attended the convention. FFA has taught her responsibility, leadership, time management and the importance of agriculture.

In addition, Culver’s presented the convention’s Wednesday night concert, served Fresh Frozen Custard at the CSX booth and sponsored the Milk Quality and Products Career Development Event, which awards winning students with cash prizes.

Miami East-MVCTC excels in FFA soils competition

CASSTOWN, Ohio — On Sept. 27, members of the Miami East-MVCTC FFA Chapter competed in the District 5 Soils Judging Contest in Mercer County, on land owned by the Saint Charles Seminary south of Celina.


The Urban Soils team consisted of Jarrett Winner, Carter Gilbert, Zach Kronenberger and Jeffery Blackford. The team placed seventh out of 22 teams. Jarrett Winner was the highest-placing individual from Miami East, placing 10 out of 131 students. Additional close placers was Carter Gilbert at 29 and Zach Kronenberger at 50.

The Rural Soils team consisted of Tyler Laycox and Camrey Jordan. Tyler Laycox was the high individual from Miami East, placing 30th out 227 contestants. The contest consisted of evaluating three soils pits for slope, erosion, drainage, depth and soil texture. Also, the contestants took a written test and answered questions from the soil survey.


Tractor Supply recognizes regional student winners

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — This summer, Tractor Supply Co.’s Mobile Fair Tour visited 19 state and county fairs across the country and recognized FFA and 4-H youth who are making a difference in their communities.

Now in its third year, the nation’s largest rural lifestyle retailer sent its road team on a cross-country journey that began in June in Illinois and concluded on last weekend in Arkansas. New to the Mobile Fair Tour this year was Tractor Supply’s first “Great Neighbor” Essay Contest for FFA and 4-H students. The competition encourages youth to submit a short essay detailing how their participation in FFA or 4-H has empowered them to be a better neighbor.

“The ‘Great Neighbor’ essay contest has added a fun component to this year’s Mobile Fair Tour,” said Phil Reiter, vice president of marketing at Tractor Supply. “The students involved in 4-H and FFA play such important roles in the communities we serve, and we are privileged to have the opportunity to recognize them for their hard work and dedication.”

Tractor Supply reviewed more than 500 submissions and selected five local winners for each fair stop to be honored during a special ceremony at the Tractor Supply exhibit. In addition to a commemorative plaque, contest winners received a TSC gift pack.

Farm World area winners are listed below with their home state and the recognizing fair (sometimes in a different state):

Indiana: Makayla Mickle, Macon County Fair 4-H and FFA; Savanna Hogg, Macon County Fair 4-H; and Emily Zimmer, Preble County Fair 4-H and FFA

Illinois: Lauren Shae Jackson, Macon County Fair 4-H; Emily Basham, Callysta D. Borders and Abigale Osborn, all Illinois State Fair 4-H;; and Gwendolyn Fowler, Illinois State Fair 4-H and FFA

Iowa: Randi Short, Keegan Bethards and Kristian Sanders, all Wapello County Regional Fair FFA; and Jackie Carr, Wapello County Regional Fair 4-H

Ohio: Megan Beight, Davia Smith and Cariey Barickman, all Trumbull County Fair 4-H; Lizzie Smith, Dakota Brame and Riley Harris, all Perry County Fair 4-H and FFA; Nevach Ogle, Perry County Fair 4-H; Malaina Rickel, Haley Hyde and Parker Wildermuth, all Ohio State Fair 4-H and FFA; Hayley Richardson, Ohio State Fair 4-H; Cheyann Kendel, Preble County Fair 4-H and FFA; Eliza Jones, Preble County Fair FFA; and Chyanne Retcher, Preble County Fair 4-H

Michigan: Danielle Hysell, Illinois State Fair 4-H and FFA

Kentucky: Tanner Goodlett, Emery Moore and Trinity Sinkhorn, all Woodford County Fair FFA; Cyrus Bivens and Luke Jacobs, both Kentucky State Fair 4-H; and Katherine Buckler and Ronni Stanelle, both Kentucky State Fair FFA

ASA seeking candidates for soy scholarship

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — The application process for the Soy Scholarship 2018-19 academic year begins ends Nov. 20. This is a $5,000 one-time award presented to a current eligible high school senior who is planning to pursue a degree in agriculture at an accredited college or university.

The scholarship is managed by the American Soybean Assoc. (ASA) and is made possible through a grant by BASF Corp. The scholarship is awarded in $2,500 increments (one per semester) for the 2018-19 school year. The student must maintain successful academic progress and be in good standing with the college or university to receive the full amount of the scholarship.

High school seniors may apply online through Nov. 20. Final selection will be made in early December during the ASA board meeting. The student will be notified mid-December, with an official announcement made during the Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif., Feb. 27-March 1, 2018.

In addition to the scholarship, BASF will provide the winner and one parent or guardian with a trip to attend Commodity Classic, where they will receive special recognition at the BASF booth and the ASA Awards Banquet. See for specific requirements.

Corn contest prizes based on big ears meaning big yields

CASSTOWN, Ohio — Members of the Miami East-MVCTC FFA Chapter were challenged to participate in the annual Chapter Corn Contest. The rules of the contest were to bring in one ear of corn and earn a corn-related prize.


All participants received a can of soda because corn syrup is a major ingredient. Overall winners were presented an FFA T-shirt from the FFA Chapter. A winner is chosen based on the predicted yield of the corn.

The grand prize winner was determined by the highest yield estimate, based on plant population per acre. Agriculture Education students in Plant and Animal Sciences took time in class to figure the predicted yield of corn ears as part of their continuing education of agronomy.

The overall winner was Paige Pence. Her corn was predicted to yield 312.3 bushels to the acre, with a 35,000 seed population per acre. Her corn was a Channel product. Second place went to Kearsten Kirby, who presented an ear of corn that is predicted to produce 283.6 bushels per acre with a 30,000 seed population per acre.

Third place went to Adam Bensman, with an ear of corn predicted to yield 281.6 bushels to the acre with a 36,000 seed population per acre. His was an Ebberts product. Fourth went to Jacob Sweitzer with a predicted yield of 270.7 with a 30,000 seed population per acre. Fifth went to Lauren Wright with a predicted yield of 270.6 bushels to the acre, with a 33,000 seed population per acre. Her corn was an AgriGold product.

Participants included Elizabeth Bair, Adam Bensman, Abigail Covault, Kearsten Kirby, Paige Pence, Jacob Rife, Jacob Sweitzer, Caleb Taylor and Lauren Wright.


Turn the Bag Blue & Gold program helps FFA students

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — How can a seed bag help FFA students raise funds and learn? Mycogen Seeds is partnering with the National FFA Organization, local chapters and select retailers to promote a 60th anniversary edition blue-and-gold Mycogen Seeds bag.

Mycogen’s Turn the Bag Blue & Gold program will work with select retailers and local FFA chapters in corn-growing regions to implement a comprehensive learning program that provides foundational agronomic principles and professional selling training. Chapter members will apply the training in the field by selling special blue-and-gold bags of select Mycogen brand corn hybrids to local farmers as part of a fundraising program.

“We’re excited about this opportunity – not only the fundraising opportunities it offers local chapters, but also the career and educational development these young leaders will receive as part of the program,” said Zach Ferguson, Mycogen Seeds corn product manager. “To top things off, farmers will receive seed in an FFA blue-and-gold Mycogen Seeds bag.”

Chapter members will begin the curriculum this fall and, throughout the next few months, will work with local Mycogen sales, agronomy and retailer teams to call on local corn farmers to position and sell select Mycogen brand corn hybrids. For every bag of corn sold, the local chapter will earn funds for their local chapter.

Mycogen is piloting the program with seven retailers and FFA chapters. To learn more, visit or contact your local Mycogen Seeds sales representative or retailer. This region’s farmers interested in supporting the program and their local FFA chapter can contact one of the following participants or Mycogen retailers:

•Bureau Valley FFA Chapter, Manlius, Ill.

oCPS, Sheffield, Ill.

•South Newton FFA Chapter, Kentland, Ind.

oCeres Solutions, Rensselaer, Ind.

•Eastern Hancock FFA Chapter, Charlottesville, Ind.

oHarvestland, Wilkinson, Ind.

“We look forward to our first year in this program,” Ferguson said. “FFA members are a driven group of young leaders with high aspirations of a future career in agriculture.

“We’re a proud sponsor of the National FFA Organization and excited to celebrate 60 years of sponsorship with the Turn the Bag Blue & Gold program. We hope it inspires FFA members and showcases the exciting opportunities available in the agricultural industry.”