Thank you for making the 2012 State FFA Convention a success!
Convention would not be possible without the concerted and significant efforts of several individuals. I hope you’ll join me in thanking them for all they’ve done to provide a rich, engaging and organized experience for your students.
First and foremost, Keith Schiebel, VVS FFA and the VVS Community went above and beyond every request to make sure they provided an experience that screamed hospitality, preparation and spirit. From outstanding meal service to turning their red and white school to blue and gold. There were an abundance of judges, a wealth of volunteers and efforts made by every single person to assure that the convention was better than ever. Because of VVS, nearly 80 jackets were hung, props were raised and lowered, volunteers stayed late into the night to manage lights and sound and much, much more.
Todd Lighthall and the FFA Foundation worked diligently to return the FFA VIP Reception to convention again this year. On the heels of last year’s exciting event, this year’s showcase of our retired teachers created a real sense of community. I strongly think this is going to be a key event for the future of our foundation efforts and am so proud of the work Todd does to make it possible.
Tina Miner-James and Kaylie Ackerley worked together to prepare materials for and manage Career Development Events this year. On site, Aubrey Whittaker (Cornell Ag Ed Major) and Cathy Jones-Brimmer (executive treasurer) joined Kaylie and spent hours organizing, collecting and managing results so information could be provided quickly and accurately.
Cornell Students Amber Wynkoop, Danielle Sanok and Morgan Shaver took major leadership roles during the convention, organizing and managing components of the sessions and other volunteers. On site, a team of volunteers from several states took responsibility for running pre-sessions, helping with seating, organizing and overseeing nominating committee and running information throughout the convention. SUNY Cobleskill’s Brandon Aldous, Josh Draves, Mary Foote, Tracee Schiebel and Maggie Smith joined Nick Feidt from SUNY Morrisville and Corinne Ogle, Joe Killian, Corey Reed and Matt Sweeney from Cornell as our team of diligent and enthusiastic volunteers.
CDE Coordinators ranging from industry representatives to ag teachers worked hard to provide students with a challenging and engaging CDE Experience. With as many contests as we have, it’s impossible to think our office could organize them all. CDE Participation is the number one activity by participation at the State FFA Convention (aside from sessions) and more than 25 coordinators devoted time and attention to making them valuable.
Last, but certainly not least I’d like to thank Shari Lighthall. Shari is the longest-standing member of our team and her organizational skills, commitment to students and untiring ability to multi-task are essential to our success in any event – but especially the convention. Without her, none of this would have been possible.
“State FFA Convention Challenges Local Students”
More than 1200 students, teachers and guests from throughout New York descended upon the Vernon Verona Sherrill community to participate in the New York State FFA Convention on May 3-5, 2012. The Oneida County destination was filled with teenagers participating in leadership and agricultural competitions, receiving awards and running for state level leadership positions.
The event theme, “The Signature of Success,” outlined six qualities that serve as markers of quality in individuals that are successful. Throughout the three day event, students were recognized and challenged to build up the characteristics of Generosity, Hunger, Vision, Growth, Dignity and Tradition. Students competed in Career Development Events, earned scholarships, received cash prizes and were recognized onstage.
“Whether it’s serving communities, winning Career Development Events or making lasting contributions to the food, fiber and natural resources systems, FFA could not claim to be successful without the accomplishments earned by its individual members,” State FFA President and senior at Belleville Henderson Central School, J.W. Allen explained. “The world we live in needs us to be successful now, more than ever before. We hope to recognize students and help them to see the things they’re doing have real impact.”
Allen’s intentions were fulfilled. Throughout the convention, over five hundred awards, degrees and other forms of recognition were distributed to FFA members. Students and teachers were recognized for the influence they have in their schools, communities and the agricultural industry.
State Treasurer Elizabeth Bracken of Tri-Valley Central School delivered a speech entitled “Inexhaustible Magic” Saturday morning. “The words we say go straight to the heart of an issue, of a community or of a person,” she insisted. “Imagine the impact we could have as 1000 teenagers who go back to our communities and speak inexhaustible encouragement, inexhaustible belief, inexhaustible affection, humor, love, life… Let’s get serious about changing the world and changing people’s lives by taking OUR magic straight to their heart.”
“This is what FFA is all about,” said State FFA Executive Secretary Juleah Tolosky. “FFA provides opportunities for these teenagers to challenge themselves and accomplish something significant that is individualized and preparing them for careers and community leadership.”
The FFA is a national youth leadership organization for students enrolled in agriculture classes in their middle and high schools. Students pursuing careers in agriculture will be meeting the global challenges of a growing population, shrinking farm land and changing energy needs. Agricultural education is proven to improve student performance in math, science and language arts. For more information, go to www.ffa.org.
Media Contact: Juleah Tolosky
Adiron-Ducks Raise $30,000 for Oswegatchie Educational Center
Croghan, NY- May 2, 2012- Sunday April 29th was the date of the 18th Annual Oswegatchie Adiron-Duck Race and pancake breakfast held at the Oswegatchie Educational Center in Croghan, NY. It was a record breaking day, as over 100 volunteers worked tirelessly to provide a full day of fun activities, satisfying food, and entertainment for the whole family.
Oswegatchie has been hosting this event for the past 18 years with the primary goal of providing camperships for FFA members from around the state and generating the funds to purchase much needed programming supplies. This year all records were broken as the center served 1000 pancake breakfasts, hosted 1477 guests, and sold 6034 ducks. In addition to the 100 volunteers that pitched in the day of the event, twenty four FFA Chapters from around the state also took part in selling ducks in their communities.
During the day visitors took part in a delicious pancake breakfast served with homefries, sausage, eggs, and pure maple syrup made at the Oswegatchie Sugar Bush. Free entertainment included an ecumenical church service provided by Pastor Ray Lighthall, the Troy Wunderle One Man Circus show sponsored by Key Bank of Croghan, and a presentation by Adirondack Storyteller Bill Smith sponsored by the Accounting Firm of Hirschey and Associates. Additional support was provided by AmeriCU of Lowville as an advertising sponsor. Other free activities included a Kids Zone with face painting, bounce house, 18 ft. slide, and the Croghan Fire Dept. Engine 1. The Adirondack Artisans Guild and many other vendors provided opportunities for participants to shop and tickle their taste buds with delicious treats.
The day was highlighted with the dumping of 6034 rubber ducks into the chilly waters of the Oswegatchie River. The numbered ducks raced their way around the bends in the river toward the finish line, where 24 ducks were plucked and placed in corresponding slots to award prizes. A total value of nearly $4000 in cash and prizes was awarded. The winning duck was purchased by Beaver Falls resident Dick Green.
The Oswegatchie Educational Center is owned and operated by the New York FFA Foundation, Inc. Our mission is to provide both youth and adults opportunities to develop leadership skills, learn about our natural world, and engage in healthy outdoor recreational pursuits. Our property exists of 1200 acres of forested lands and four bodies of water that make up the Oswegatchie River. Oswegatchie is open year round for all groups, and provides a Summer Leadership camp for five weeks each summer. The camp is open to teens ages 11 and up. Affiliation to the FFA is not a requirement to enjoy Oswegatchie. To learn more about Oswegatchie you can visit us at www.oswegatchie.org.
The New York FFA Foundation
The NYSFFALTF, Inc., chartered in 1946 by the New York State Board of Regents, is a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) charitable organization that provides businesses, associations, other foundations, and individuals the opportunity to contribute to the growth and success of our New York youth. Our mission is to build and maintain a financial base that will allow the New York FFA to generate well-educated and career focused productive citizens. Email our Director at email@example.com .