2021 Update: The winning name was "Sentinel Hall"!
Here is your chance to leave a mark on the Oswegatchie Educational Center and the New York FFA.
The New York FFA Foundation is looking for your help in finding the right name for this amazing new building!
It has been an incredible ride since the original funding of $2,000,000 was granted by New York State to start the project. There was another $1,600,000 of fundraising needed. A tremendous amount of design work was accomplished while working with Purcell Construction and Beardsley Architects. Lastly, a global pandemic shut down summer camp in the same month that we received the keys. Its been an unforgettable couple of years.
This is your chance to suggest a name that will adorn this building for decades. When you think about the thousands of campers to pass through these doors, that name will be on the mind of everyone.
What makes a good name? Before you submit your selection, brainstorm a dozen names that all sound good, and then pick the 1 or 2 that you like the best. You may want to do a google search to make sure that name is not already in use. For example, "Long Pond Lodge" is actually used 6 other times in the Adirondacks. If the name is too common, it will not be a good fit. Not only should the name pay homage to the "sense of place" , but it needs to be useful for online searches.
To submit your suggestion, please complete the form below. Please read the form thoroughly before submitting. Contest ends March 31st.
If you are the winner, you will receive a two night stay for in the "Victoria L. Pinney Gregory Suite" aka the Long Pond Getaway. (lodging only, no meals; donated by Vicky Gregory)
The New York FFA Foundation Board of Directors
This past fall, I had the pleasure to welcome Dr. Arthur Berkey and his son Neil to Oswegatchie. This was the first visit for Art to see the completed building. A full tour was preceded by a lunch in the building. We then headed out for a tour of the grounds.
While visiting I was reminded just how in tune Dr. Berkey is to what is happening. Still active as a member of Farm Bureau, he keeps up with the policies and decisions being considered that will have effects on agriculture and agricultural education specifically. Conversation swayed from politics of the day to the weather, to how our personal children are doing and calling them by name. It was abundantly clear that at nearly 80 years old, there are not many who are as sharp as Art.
In my role as the executive director of the NYS FFA Foundation, I have had the good fortune to be surrounded by benevolence for most of my career. I have witnessed it in the form of actions, from thousands of volunteer hours dedicated to making the FFA and Oswegatchie better. It is the giving of time, talent, knowledge, and resources, not to better ones own interest, but to make improvements for others. Webters defines benevolence as "the quality of being well meaning; kindness". I think this sums up Art Berkey in a perfect way.
The past 10 months have not been an ideal time to ask people to give. Yet, 2020 has been one of our most successful fund raising years in my career. As we prepare to bid 2020 farewell, I am happy to share that our fund raising efforts on the capital campaign are now down to $61,000. This number reflects two additional gifts from Dr. Arthur Berkey. The first is a matching opportunity, in which he will match up to $25,000 in donations to the FFA Foundation made in the month of December 2020. The second is a final commitment of $50,000 toward the new building to be given in 2021 and 2022.
My plea to those who are reading this today.......please consider your year end gift. Donate to the general fund to support FFA, donate to the capital campaign, or give because you can. Whatever is raised in this month, the first $25,000 will be matched by Dr. Berkey.
Funding Goals for this year end push include:
$61,000 to finish the Capital Campaign
$40,000 to support the NYS FFA Association- includes state activities, jacket program, SAE scholarships and more.
Choose your path to give below, and join me along with more than 500 donors in leveraging the benevolence of a great man through you own benevolent action. Best wishes for a prosperous new year, and the promise of better days on the horizon.
Alfred Chapin, Jr.; Supporter & Friend of Oswegatchie, Former Teacher of Agriculture and FFA Advisor Has Passed Away
Alfred Chapin, Jr., 82 yrs. old of New Berlin, NY went home to be with the Lord and his loving wife, Joan, on July 19, 2020. He was surrounded by family.
Alfred was born on September 9, 1937, in Georgetown, NY, the son of Alfred & Viola (Palmer).
After graduating as class valedictorian; he went into the Air Force. Once returning home, he started studying for his teaching degree. He received a master of arts in teaching from Cornell University in June 1967.
He was employed at New Berlin Central School for 25 years as an agriculture teacher and Future Farmers of America (FFA) Advisor. He was passionate about teaching student’s leadership skills and taking trips to Camp Oswegatchie in Croghan, NY. He also mentored student teachers during his career. He took students to the National FFA Conventions, summer and winter sessions at Camp Oswegatchie, and attended retired agriculture teachers’ events at the camp. One of his passions was to raise money for the new dining and lecture hall at the camp. He was so proud of the Chapin Hall which was made possible by his donations and that of New York State FFA Chapters. The building was completed earlier in 2020. In June, he toured the Chapin Hall and was overjoyed at the results.
He was a member of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, New Berlin, NY where he served in various roles. He was also active in the Masonic Phoebus Lodge 82 serving as a past master and currently serviced as a junior warden. This would have been his 50th year. A recognition was being planned for the fall.
Alfred loved to travel in the motor home and took active roles in the Susquenango Chapter Family Motor Coach Association from 1987 to 2014. He traveled all around the United States with his wife and attended or organized many rallies.
On June 18, 1960, he married Joan Blake in Johnstown, NY. She predeceases him. Alfred is survived by his children; Debby Black, her husband Bill and children, Angela Black & Billy Beck, two great grandsons, Radley and Mraz of Bainbridge, PA, Cassandra Black & Rogine Preston of Harrisburg, PA, and Becky Brown, her husband Dwayne and children Emily, Tucker and Sarah of West Oneonta, NY. He is also survived by his brothers, Malcolm Chapin of Cocoa, FL, Milton Chapin of Liverpool, NY and sister, Anna Cruikshank of Sherburne, NY.
A graveside service will be held at St. Andrew’s Cemetery, New Berlin, NY for the family. Where he will be set to rest next his loving wife. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the New York FFA Leadership Training Foundation, Attention: Todd Lighthall, 9340 Long Pond Road, Croghan, NY 13327.
Greetings to our teachers, FFA Advisors, parents, and supporters,
Like all of you, I have spent the past two weeks, navigating a virtual roller coaster. Getting to the end of each day, thinking a good nights rest will bring a positive turn by mornings light, only to learn that there are more changes thrust upon us. We have all been witness to the emotional devastation left in the wake of tough decisions, and by now not one single person has not been impacted. Even way up here on Long Pond Rd, plans made one day seem sound, only to find out 24 hours later, we are totally off base.
This message is to bring you all up to speed on our plans as they look today. Below you will find information about our Annual Duck Race, and also a brief summary of where summer camp stands. We do not anticipate that either of these items even register a blip on your radar today, but more importantly just want you to know that when you are allowed to drift your thoughts to more pleasant items, Oswegatchie is working to make information available.
As of today, we are still planning to run the 26th Annual AdironDuck Race, with several major changes. This will be a CLOSED event, and it will be entirely run by a hand select group of skilled volunteers. All entertainment, food, and vendors have been cancelled. The core goal of this event is to allow FFA chapters to raise funds to support your trip to Oswegatchie Leadership Camp. To that end, this goal can still be accomplished without much effort from you or your students. Most FFA Chapters (especially those who have participated in the past) already have a portal on line that allows your local community to purchase a $5 duck. Half of this money is put into your camp account as a credit. It is a simple way for your community to support you, and do it from the safety of your own computers. No door to door sales, no handling heavy boxes of fruit or chocolate, very easy and streamline. You can check out a sample portal here. http://www.adironduckrace.com/duck-bucks.html
If you do not have a current portal, you can contact Bill Waite at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will ask for some chapter photos, and can get your page up and running. Not many organizations in your schools can raise money during this time. With this event you can be still supporting your activities for when we reach the other side of this unprecedented situation.
Duck credits can be used for the following:
1. summer camp registrtation
2. winter weekend trips
3. camp store credits
4. Meeting your chapter pledge for the Capital CAMPaign. (NEW option)
To the general public that supports our race: Thank you for your support over the past 25 years. The duck race has been an annual right of passage, and a day many look forward to in an attempt to shake the winter dull-drums. It is always our pleasure to welcome our friends and neighbors to Oswegatchie. We hope that you can still find a way to support this event even though you will not be here to enjoy the day.
Lastly on this topic, Oswegatchie needs your support more than ever before. The reaction to dealing with COVID 19 has us dealing with financial situations we have not seen in 20+ years. All groups for the month of March and April have been cancelled out. Combine this with the near completion of our new Kitchen and Dining Hall, supporting the Duck Race this year, is vitally important. We have 10,000 ducks that can be turned into essential cash over the coming six weeks. Your support through promotion is greatly appreciated.
With almost 17 weeks between today and the start of Week one of FFA leadership camp, we remain alert to any conditions or announcements that may impact our ability to either start on time or have an adjusted season. It is much too early to speculate what is coming. As of today we are operating on the premise of business as usual, and ask that our FFA Chapters with group holds, still promote your students to register for camp. As of today, there have been no announcements by the NYS Department of Health (permit issuing agency) regarding the operation of childrens camps in NYS. In the meantime we are working on contingency plans that include but are not limited to extended payment deadlines, shorter stays, and smaller camp sizes, among other options. We realize that thinking about camp is also not a high priority, but for many of our young people having access to camp will be vital once we get beyond this situation. So to that end we want to instill confidence that we are ready to do the right thing, whether that mean adjust dates, issue refunds, or hopefully welcome our first group on July 12. Please do not hesitate to contact our offices at anytime if you have questions or concerns. You can also let parents know that they can also call if they have questions. 315-346-1222.
Lastly, I personally want to say that these are tough times, the likes most people alive today have not experienced. Perhaps for many of us struggles like this have not been seen or felt since the days of our great grand parents or grandparents. Certainly almost all of us are learning how to adapt and cope in this new reality, and undoubtedly some mistakes will be made. Hopefully we come out of this with a new sense of what is important. Perhaps we find ourselves thinking more about how our actions will impact others. Certainly I think we can all relate and we can all agree that no single personal discomfort or inconvenience can be worse than our neighbors.
Todd Lighthall, Executive Director
NY FFA Leadership Training Foundation, Inc.
We have all heard that success is seldom attained without a solid plan. Whether we are striving to achieve the ultimate goal in relationships, careers, or our crazy lives, success is most often defined by accomplishment. Along the way you quietly work at it, sometimes you stumble, other times you proudly share a small success. It is with this ideal in mind that I share this Capital Campaign and building project update.
On Monday October 7, we reset the clock. After 30 months of planning, meeting, fund raising, celebrating; we are now at day one of construction. Footers and foundations do not typically warrant excitement. They are seldom given a thought, buried deep in the ground, never as eye catching as roof lines, entry ways, and shiny finishes. To say we are excited at the pictures below, is a gross understatement. 267 more days until July 5, 2020, our anticipated date to open this new kitchen and kick off the 75th Oswegatchie FFA Camping season.
Since May of 2018, the FFA Foundation has experienced unprecedented success in raising support for this project. 18 months and nearly $1,170,000 later, we are on the edge of achieving our financial goals for this project. More than 450 donors, individuals and businesses, have given their financial support to this project. FFA chapters, FFA Alumni, current and former teachers, past state FFA officers, current and former camp staff, and even a few complete strangers turned friends of OEC have made the impact of a financial contribution. If you are among those whom have given, we offer our sincere thanks.
In the coming days, weeks, and months, the FFA Foundation Board of Directors will be embarking on a plan to close the door on our capital campaign. Our goal is to end the campaign by April 26, the date of our 26th annual AdironDuck Race. Our efforts will include reaching out to our friends we have not heard from, RFP’s to grant makers, unveiling the wall of recognition for our donors who have given at the $1,000 level or higher, and continued outreach to tell the story of this campaign. Along the way many of you may be asked the question, “Why do you revere Oswegatchie as your “special place”?”
Without a strong foundation this building and this campaign would be failures. Thank you for taking the time to read this post, and please take the time to learn more about the campaign, the project, and more at the links below.
Stay tuned to our Facebook Page (New York FFA Leadership Training Foundation) for project updates, and to learn more how to give either a one time gift or make a monthly, quarterly, or annual pledge to the campaign visit our website at: www.nyffafoundation.org
One of my favorite New York FFA projects has been the making of these 2 videos. It was an honor to travel the state and see inside different classrooms, shops, greenhouses, and barns. You would be impressed by the diversity and skill being put to work at the local FFA chapter level. I am always impressed by the knowledge base FFA advisers and agricultural educators bring into the classroom.
These videos are some of the best FFA videos. Yes, I am biased since New York is the FFA I call home, but the people in this video are making a difference in the world everyday.
The first video is an overview of agricultural education in New York State.
The second video is a snapshot of the New York FFA Association and the grassroots efforts happening statewide.
The New York FFA along with Cornell University worked with Cameron Gallagher of Black Mountain Visuals to make this project happen. Cameron is an accomplished videographer and a talent to watch. His creative process and editing skills make it all look good.
People who should be recognized in making this happen include Derek Hill, Shari Lighthall, Catie Rowe, and everyone else in the New York FFA's Team Ag Ed. Other important people to recognize are Dr. Steve A. Brown, National FFA Advisor and Commissioner Richard Ball from NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets, who took time out of their busy schedules to help. Additionally, all the FFA advisors and members who put on a great presentations for recording.
For more FFA videos, check out the National FFA's Video Center. Some of the other best FFA videos can be found at their online directory at www.ffa.org/ffa-video-center/ .
Granville FFA Alumni
2017 -2018 NYS FFA State Vice President
2018 - 2019 NationalPAS Vice President
New York FFA Foundation Program Development Specialist
Portion of Ticket Sales to Benefit NY FFA Members and AgEd
On January 5th, 2019 the Syracuse Crunch will take on the Toronto Marlies at the War Memorial Arena. The NY FFA Foundation is excited to again be partnering with the Syracuse Crunch as a portion of the ticket proceeds from the game will benefit FFA Members and Agriculture Education in New York. Tickets are only $20.00 and can be purchased online at www.syracusecrunch.com/ffa , using Promo Code: FFA. You can also pre-order your tickets by contacting (315) 473-4444 ext. 127, no later than December 28th. Additionally, if you plan on attending the NYS Maple Conference in Syracuse, why not enjoy a hockey game before you venture home!
About the NYS FFA Leadership Training 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. The NYSFFALTF is the owner and operator of the Oswegatchie Educational Center.
Mediocre golf. Good food. Better friends. The day kicked off with a rising sun on the horizon and a full day events to follow. 25 teams set off to play 18 holes as well as competitive competitions like hole in one, longest drive and closest to the pin. With over 100 FFA Alumni and Supports participating, the tournament raised a record $10,000 in support of NY Agriculture Education and FFA. The mission of the New York FFA Foundation is to coordinate sustainable, long-term funding for agriculture education and the New York FFA. Through events such as this, The Foundation can provide financial support for the NYS FFA as they prepare youth for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success. We are very appreciative of the growing support we continue to see across the state, and we look forward to a the 2019 Golf Tournament next year.
CLICK HERE to learn about the Capital Campaign at Oswegatchie.
New York Agriculture Education and Outreach Announces 2017 Grant Program for School-Based Agricultural Education Programs
Ithaca, NY: Cornell University’s Agriculture Education and Outreach program is excited to announce the 2017 “Agriculture Education Incentive Grant for New and Growing Programs.” This program will provide local school-based agricultural education programs with grant awards to secure necessary resources for a high-quality agricultural education program. These resources may include, but are not limited to: curriculum development, professional development, program development, resource acquisitions, and program coordination. Shari Lighthall, Director of the Agriculture Education and Outreach program stated, “The procurement of these funds will allow our programs to improve the technology available in their classroom, to purchase equipment that would otherwise be too expensive, and to offer students additional opportunities to experience leadership workshops and conferences across the state.”
The application for the Agriculture Education Incentive Grant for New and Growing Programs is available under the “Teacher” section of the New York FFA Association website. Applications will be accepted throughout the fall of 2017 and awards will be announced in January 2018. For inquires and questions, interested schools should contact Kaylie Siddall, grant program manager, at email@example.com . The Agriculture Education Incentive Grant would not be possible without program supporters such as Cornell University, New York State Farm Bureau, NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, and New York State Education Department.
Agriculture education is a unique part of career and technical education that strives to enhance student education through the three-circle model of agricultural education. The three-circle model includes: Classroom Instruction, FFA, and Supervised Agricultural Experiences (work-based learning). Currently, there are 176 schools offering agricultural education programs to over 10,000 students across New York State. In addition to schools that are already offering agriculture education programs, there are over sixty additional school districts hoping to start an agricultural education program. For more information regarding New York Agriculture Education, please visit our website at www.nysffa.org .
To apply as a New Program, click New Program application
To apply as a Growing Program, click Growing Program application
Agricultural Education Specialist
New York Agriculture Outreach and Education (AOE)
300 Kennedy Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .