Tara L. Berescik, Agricultural Educator & FFA Advisor,
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
New York FFA Raises $16,500 in Tractor Restoration Program
Syracuse NY- March 15, 2012- On Friday February 24, the New York FFA drew a winning ticket for a fully restored 1946 Ford 2N Tractor. The winner of the tractor was Kerry Bell of Fort Ann, NY. The FFA raised $16,500 to support agricultural education and state level FFA leadership programs. .
The 1946 Ford 2N was donated to the New York FFA by retired agricultural teacher Bob Robinson. The tractor was originally purchased by Bob’s father, Don Robinson who was also an agricultural teacher. The tractor was fully restored by members of the Pioneer FFA Chapter in Yorkshire, NY and then turned over to the New York FFA. Ticket sales were kicked off at the Empire Farm Days and concluded during the FFA Alumni Toy Auction held during the New York Farm Show on Friday February 24. Tickets were sold across the state by members of the New York FFA and countless supporters.
The Ford 2N is the fifth such restoration and raffle conducted by the FFA since 2003. Former restorations have included two Ford 8N’s, an Allis Chalmers WD, and John Deer BR. With the conclusion of the Ford 2N raffle, just shy of $75,000 has been raised to support the New York FFA. Todd Lighthall, Exec Dir of the NY FFA Foundation shares that the value of this program is much greater than the monetary benefit. “The tractor restoration program not only provides an opportunity to raise much needed funds, it also provides a meaningful project to students enrolled in high school agricultural mechanics. Students, guided by their advisors and community volunteers do the work; from tear down, to parts research, to seeing the project through to completion. It is truly a win/win for all involved.”
And the project has a future. Currently the FFA has three tractors being restored for future raffles. These include an Allis Chalmers by Southern Cayuga FFA, an American Fordson by Morrisville State College, and a Ford Ferguson by the Tully FFA. All eight tractors have been donated to the FFA. The nex raffle is slated to kick off at the Empire Farm Days this summer. If you have a tractor that you want to contribute to this program, contact Todd Lighthall at 315-346-1222.
The New York FFA would like to recognize the following businesses and individuals who went the extra mile to promote and implement this event. Bob Robinson and Family, the Pioneer FFA Chapter, Jon Clayson, Marty Krause, Marylou Genaway, Larry Romance & Sons, Conroy Motors, Tim Havens - Falls Farm & Garden, Atticus Communications, and the New York Farm Bureau and its many members who supported this raffle
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 .
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