Search Site   
Current News Stories

Michigan counties get nod of support from USDA disaster designation

 ITC is expected to make decision on Turkish cherry import


Iowa conservation committee rejects proposed crop buffer 


 Helena Industries to construct new chemical formulation facility in central Iowa

Ohio Farm Bureau awards ‘Action & Awareness’ grants


Farm boy went from delivering milk to pointman at the Battle of Iwo Jima

AgriInstitute to host roundtable discussion at Farm Expo.





New soil sampler more accurate and efficient



Hemp seminar will help Indiana farmers navigate these muddy waters



New steel tariffs directed to Argentina and Brazil

 Lebanon, Ohio celebrates Christmas in unique equine style


News Articles
Search News  
Spotlight on Youth - July 17, 2019

THE FRANKLIN COUNTY 4-H Mustangers held their open show June 15 at the fairgrounds in Brookville, Ind. Logan Bockover of Rushville (on horse) patiently waits to show his gelding with the assistance of his uncle, Cory Bockover, in the Leadline Class.

Purdue Tick INsiders seeking students to help in research


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University’s Tick INsiders program is looking for Indiana high school students and other residents willing to roll down their sleeves to get involved in a citizen science project.

Cate Hill, a Purdue professor of entomology, leads this effort to analyze the bacteria and viruses in Indiana’s ticks to build an understanding of what they are carrying and how that might impact human health. To do that, she needs volunteers to collect ticks from all over the state.

This year the Tick INsiders program will provide training for up to 50 students. Citizen scientists are also now welcome to collect and send ticks to Hill’s lab. Three species – the blacklegged or deer tick, the Lone Star tick, and the American dog tick – are found in Indiana. These can transmit multiple pathogens, nine of which are known to cause human illnesses, though not all have been identified in Indiana.

Indiana residents interested in participating can collect ticks and send them to Hill’s lab for analysis. Videos on safe and proper collection techniques, as well as how to send ticks, are online at

CME, 4-H bring Commodity Carnival to state and county fairs

CHICAGO, Ill. — CME Group and 4-H have announced the seventh year of their partnership to bring the award-winning Commodity Carnival experience to more than 120 state and county fairs across the Midwest.

The highly engaging experience will tour across nine states, helping young players to learn the basics of risk management in agriculture. The mobile companion app, “Risk Ranch,” is available across multiple platforms for those unable to participate in person at one of the participating fairs.

Commodity Carnival is an interactive learning activity that guides participants through the process of growing a steer and selling it at market. The game aims to build greater agricultural literacy and awareness of the risks farmers face in bringing food to market.

CME and 4-H first collaborated in 2013, driven by the same mission to prepare future generations of farmers and food producers with respect to risk management in agriculture. To find a list of participating fairs hosting Commodity Carnival this summer and fall, visit

Farm Week introduces kids to ag-related career pathways

(photo in 6521)

CARMEL, Ind. — The Indiana Agriculture & Technology School hosted its first Farm Week on its 600-acre farm campus in Morgantown the week of April 28. Fifty-nine students enrolled at the tuition-free, online charter school attended the week-long, hands-on classes.

“The students loved getting their hands dirty and really learning about ag up close and personal,” says Keith Marsh, the school’s executive director and chief academic officer. “It was a busy week of learning, but the kids also found time to have fun – getting to know one another better. Real friendships were formed.”

In addition to their online learning, students spent the week exploring ag-related career pathways like forestry, wetland ecology, drone aviation, veterinary medicine, and invasive species. Career specialists from Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources, Monrovia Vet Clinic, Co-Alliance, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and Purdue extension of Marion and Morgan counties were on hand to lend their expertise.

Students stayed at the Indiana FFA Leadership Center in nearby Trafalgar where they were able to fish, shoot archery, and challenge themselves to ropes courses in the evenings. They also packed more than 10,800 meals for Kids Against Hunger.


FISHING is just one career pathway students like this checked out while at the Indiana Agriculture & Technology School’s first Farm Week this spring.

NFU, FFA cement partnership at MOU signing ceremony


MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — As the average age of the American farmer approaches 60, the National Farmers Union (NFU) and the National FFA Organization are working together to cultivate the next generation of American agricultural professionals.

At a ceremony in Minneapolis, NFU President Roger Johnson and National FFA CEO Mark Poeschl formalized their joint commitment to agricultural education and cemented the two organizations’ longstanding partnership by signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU). This summarizes the ways in which they will continue to encourage youth engagement and leadership, share resources, and elevate each other’s roles within farming communities.

“It’s clear that NFU and FFA have similar goals and values when it comes to youth education,” said Poeschl. “We are excited to be working hand-in-hand with NFU as we both continue to foster youth engagement and leadership in agriculture.”


NFU PRESIDENT ROGER JOHNSON (center) and FFA CEO Mark Poeschl sign an MOU summarizing how NFU and FFA will continue to work together for youth in agriculture.

Five FFAers named to 55th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Five FFA members were recently named U.S. Presidential Scholars – one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students – for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education. Each year, up to 161 students receive this honor.

The FFA members named as scholars are: Justin Chan, Middletown FFA, Delaware; Jaxon Mullinnix, Lone Tree FFA, Iowa; Megan Niewoehner, Sumner-Fredericksburg FFA, Iowa; Katrina Eileen Pokorny, Waupun FFA, Wisconsin; and Matthew E. Ryherd, Reedsburg FFA, Wisconsin.

Established in 1964 by executive order of President Lyndon B. Johnson, the U.S. Presidential Scholars program was created with the intent to recognize the nation's most distinguished high school graduating seniors. In 2015, the program was expanded to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education.

The 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of two students from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large. There are also 20 scholars in the arts and 20 in career and technical education.

Students receive honors at National History Day Contest

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) announced several Indiana students placed in the top 10 in their respective categories and/or received special awards at the National Contest for the National History Day program in Washington, D.C., June 9-13.

Category awards for Indiana students included:

•Fourth Place, Senior Group Exhibit – Morgan Ye and Nanditha Kolur of Carmel High School, “Playing God with People’s Lives: Leilani Muir”

•Fifth Place, Senior Individual Website – Janini Eswaran, Carmel High School, “The Creole Slave Revolt of 1841”

•Sixth Place, Junior Individual Documentary – Sophia Winters, Zionsville Middle School, “The Perfect Horse”

•Seventh Place, Senior Group Website – Grace Hong and Jessica Zhang, Carmel High School, “Frances Hamerstrom: Saving the Prairie Chickens”

•Eighth Place, Senior Individual Documentary – Laura Jannetta, North Central High School, “Lewis Hine: How One Man Used Photography to Combat Child Labor in America”

•10th Place, Junior Individual Website – Emmett Tuason, Eastwood Middle School, “Crispus Attucks: A School that Unified a City”

Each year at the National Contest, officials also choose one junior and one senior project as Indiana's outstanding state entries. This year, the Outstanding State Entry for the Junior Division went to "The Perfect Horse." The entry for the Senior Division went to Faith Austin of Carmel High School for her senior individual documentary, "Ernest Shackleton: Overcoming Adversity Through Great Leadership."

The 2019 National Contest hosted 3,000 students, and more than half a million students globally took part in the 2019 National History Day program. Less than 1 percent of projects advanced to the National Contest.

Bellmont FFA picks officers, hands out annual awards

DECATUR, Ind. — The Bellmont FFA chapter recently held its 25th annual Awards Banquet at Bellmont High School. Attending were nearly 100 alumni, family, and supporters, as well as FFA members.

The gathering included a delicious dinner, silent auction, the announcement of honorary members, and the exciting introduction of the new officer team. The silent auction is always greatly appreciated, as its donations are used to raise money for the alumni to be given back to the Bellmont FFA chapter. The banquet also recognizes honorary members for the chapter – this year’s were Howie Girod and Todd and Tina Hoffman.

There were four FFAers presented well-earned awards. The Star Greenhand award was presented to Claire Fuelling, a first-year member actively involved in FFA and the classroom, expressing leadership qualities beneficial to the chapter.

The Star Chapter Farmer Award goes to a second-year member who excels in all areas of the Agricultural Education Program – Classroom, FFA, and Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE). This year’s Star Chapter Farmer was Andrew Fuelling.

The 110 Percent award goes to a third-year member who excels in the Classroom, SAE, and FFA, and positively influences others to be successful in all that they do. This year’s went to Ethan Short.

The Dekalb Top Senior award is presented to the top senior of the chapter who is skilled in many areas, including scholarship, leadership, and SAE. A big congratulations to Katie Melcher for being this year’s Top Senior.

At the end of the ceremony members serving on the 2019-20 officer team were announced. Officers include Andrew Fuelling as president, Olivia Conrad as vice president, Victoria Fleming as secretary, Claire Fuelling as treasurer, Mia Singleton as reporter, and Ethan Short as sentinel.

Three FFA chapters finalists in Pioneer Big A Challenge

JOHNSTON, Iowa — Pioneer announced three Iowa FFA chapters have been chosen as finalists in the Pioneer brand A-Series Soybeans Big A Challenge. Each winning chapter will receive a cash prize and will have their decorated statues prominently displayed at the 2019 Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill.

Judges selected the Mount Ayr FFA, North Tama FFA (of Traer), and Wayne FFA (Corydon) chapters as the top three finalists from 15 participating FFA chapters in Iowa and Illinois. The Big A Challenge teamed Pioneer and FFA to focus on the next generation of soybean varieties and the next generation of farmers.

The winners, to be announced on August 28 at the show, will receive $2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second, and $1,000 for third. FFA chapters showed their creative talent by decorating a 7-foot-tall Big A statue highlighting A-Series soybeans’ game-changing performance while celebrating their communities.

Pioneer also would like to congratulate the other 12 chapters participating in the Big A Challenge: Atlantic FFA of Iowa; Clay City FFA of Illinois; East Marshall FFA of LeGrand, Iowa; Farmington FFA of Illinois; Maroa Forsyth FFA of Maroa, Ill.; Massac County FFA of Metropolis, Ill.; MMCRU FFA of Marcus, Iowa; Mulberry Grove FFA of Illinois; Newell-Fonda FFA of Newell, Iowa; Sibley-Ocheyedan FFA of Sibley, Iowa; Stewardson-Strasburg FFA of Strasburg, Ill.; and Wilton FFA of Iowa.

The 15 Big A statues will be displayed at the Farm Progress Show and all 15 FFA chapters are eligible to win the People’s Choice Award. The public will vote online for their favorite Big A statue from August 26-30; for a sneak peek at the statues, look for #FFAseries on Facebook and Twitter.

DNR announces Conservation Teen Advisory Council members

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that 31 students representing 20 counties were selected to serve as founding members of the Conservation Teen Advisory Council (ConTAC) for the upcoming school year.

ConTAC will serve as the voice of Ohio’s youth to DNR and help expand the reach, impact, and quality of the agency’s youth initiatives. Members will spend approximately 10 hours per quarter developing and implementing youth-focused strategies, resources, campaigns, and events, advising DNR on issues important to teens, and working to empower others to enact conservation-focused initiatives in their communities.

Students will have the opportunity to gain a comprehensive understanding of DNR through hands-on activities and discussions with professionals from the agency’s divisions. High school students interested in natural resource conservation, outdoor recreation, wildlife, and making a positive impact are eligible to serve. Members serve one-year terms and may serve for a maximum of two terms.

A list of the 2019-20 Conservation Teen Advisory Council members and additional information about ConTAC can be found at

National FFA Organization names New Century Farmers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — This summer, 36 FFA members were selected to participate in the 2019 New Century Farmer conference in Indianapolis. This exclusive, highly competitive program develops young men and women committed to pursuing a career in production agriculture.

Participants took part in an intensive seminar July 7-12 and heard from industry experts during a series of workshops and sessions. New Century Farmers learn ways to overcome common challenges faced by farmers and how they can grow personally and professionally.

The program is designed to provide participants with valuable skills and knowledge applicable to their farm/ranch operations. In addition, participants build a network of colleagues to access throughout their careers.

The 2019 New Century Farmers from this region included, from Kentucky, Jacob Mattingly and John Wood; from Ohio, Robert Christman, Carley Coppler, Lauren Grover, and Tanner Matthews; and from Tennessee, KayLee Robinson.