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GMOs in the Agriculture World by Shelbie Mixon
Posted By: Chelsea Fewell   4/12/2019

In the world we live in today, we see new advancements in technology every day. One very famous and controversial advancements are GMOs. But what are GMOs? Simply put, the acronym ‘GMO’ stands for genetically modified organism. Therefore, a GMO is any living being, plant, or animal whose genetic material has been altered for any number of reasons. In the field of agriculture, GMOs are generally created to enhance the production of food. For example, a beef producer might decide to change the DNA material of his or her best cattles’ offspring to get a calf that is resistant to certain diseases, or a farmer might decide to genetically modify the corn in their field to get a crop that produces twice as much husks that are 10% bigger than the previous. Basically, it is technology that is big enough to change the entire face of agricultural farming and our knowledge of just how much our food has changed since agriculture became a means of life and business.

Even though GMOs are often in the news today, they have been around for a bit longer than recent generations may know. In the most definitive definition of the term ‘genetically modified organism,’ these crops have actually been around since the mid-1990s. When this reached the people of this country, a big debate has arisen. And that is whether or not GMOs should even be a reality. Of course, a person will believe what they want to when it comes to things like whether or not these organisms will be harmful to the environment; but it doesn’t hurt to understand both sides of it. On one hand, there are concerns about the possible health or environmental consequences, such as the development of a crop that is resistant to the insects that feed primarily on that specific crop. Though this may seem like an upside, it could end up being a downside as this might cause an area’s environment to lose too many insects and therefore upset the natural food chain.

On the other hand, by taking the risk of unknown consequences, using this practice could ultimately solve (or at least help for a while), the issue of hunger amongst the rapidly growing populations of the world. At the moment, the crops grown worldwide do provide a steady income of food for everyone able to afford it. However, it is estimated that by 2050, only about 30 years from now, there will be so many people that if the rate of output of crops stay roughly the same, there will not be enough food for those in the future. However, if GMO research is furthered right now and the human population is able to understand these plants more, then it is entirely possible to keep this crisis from becoming as overwhelmingly problematic as it’s expected to become. Furthermore, if GMOs are used, it could even be used to meet this problem head-on and prevent it from even occuring.

However, this is all in theory, of course. More research is needed on these crops and animals before anyone can really decide whether or not these genetically modified organisms are a good thing or not.


 
How to choose which Ag Class to take next by Michael Kettler
Posted By: Chelsea Fewell   4/11/2019

When you are trying to decide which Ag class to take next in your high school career I believe the most important thing to focus on is what is the most interesting to you and what will help your future career as well. I think it is a good idea as a freshman to obviously take Principles of Ag because you can get sort of a overview of all the Ag classes you will be able to take the next few years.  Also I think taking a shop class your freshman year is a good idea as well. Most of the shop classes are very similar as the Ag classes and are often taught by the same teacher. These introduction classes will open the door for different courses beyond the introductory level class. Like I said earlier I think it is best to follow your interest and follow your career path. What makes the agriculture classes so fun and enjoyable is the fact that they are teaching you stuff that interests you and you have a passion for. This is why you should take the particular courses that spark an interest or curiosity, you will end up being a more attentive student and enjoy the class more. Another thing you need to factor in is if you are planning on going into a agriculture career or field. If the answer is yes, you should do your best to figure out what that career will be in and take classes accordingly. That a way you will get to see if that is something you would really enjoy to do after high school or college. If you are more of a hands on kind of person and enjoy working on projects do not forget about the shop classes. They can teach you skills that will stick with you for the rest of your life and can always come in handy. Overall take the classes that are the most intriguing and can benefit your career plan as well.


 
Career Development Events: The Shining Star of FFA Competitions By: William Howe
Posted By: Chelsea Fewell   4/11/2019

 


Every spring, FFA members seemingly disappear from classrooms across the nation, but not in vain. These active members are competing in Career Development Events, more commonly known as CDEs to your average FFA member. These competitive events develop individual responsibility, foster teamwork and promote communication while recognizing the value of ethical competition and individual achievement. By competing against other FFA chapters across your area, the state, and sometimes the nation, students are encouraged to hone their skills in order be successful in their respective events. As students develop their skills they learn more about different career options that agriculture can offer.

For example, I have competed in the Livestock Judging competition for the past few years, learning about ideal animal traits in livestock. Through my training in identifying ideal production animal traits, for both breeding and market animals, I have developed the skills that would be necessary on a ranch to determine quality of livestock that is inside of a heard. Without CDE competitions I would have never had the opportunity to study livestock traits and characteristics, and use my hard earned knowledge to best other FFA members.

Though I have competed in Livestock judging competitions during my time in the FFA, there are many CDE options for students who have all kinds of interests that span the field of agriculture. Competitions like Horse Evaluation, Dairy Cattle Evaluation, and Poultry Evaluation all follow the same idea as livestock judging, just in different production animals. Other competitions such as Veterinary Science, and Meats Evaluation present students with problems that are unique to those careers. Competitions like those are extremely beneficial to students as it shows them what they could expect if they pursued a career in the field. Furthermore, competitions such as Ag Sales, and Marketing plan, create a simulated scenario for students to experience exactly what it is like to prepare and present a business style presentation, in the same situation as someone in those professions.

Overall, Career Development Events are extremely beneficial to agricultural education, as it does more than a classroom ever could for a student. CDEs are just another reason FFA students are miles ahead of their peers.


 
Drones are revolutionizing Agriculture by Dylan Hofferichter
Posted By: Chelsea Fewell   4/11/2019

 


A unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is what is more commonly known as a Drone, Drones are changing the way things are being conducted in agriculture through the use of new technology such as Drones. Drones can be used for many task such as planting, where the drone takes a pod filled with seeds and nutrients for the seed to take to the soil and able to sustain life. Drones are changing the agriculture world by storm giving farms an easier and  more efficient way to analyze their crops and what to give them to provide to produce the best crops possible.

The future of the drone is to have a swarm or a fleet of Drones to handle a wide variety and collect data and perform multiple task of agriculture through the use of drones. There are still kinks in the road to the production of the drones but soon they will become widespread throughout companies. The only issues that people are facing are the safety of drone operations, privacy issues, and  Insurance costs. Some of the biggest concern to other farmers is the quality of data the drones will collect and will it be sufficient enough to be able to make decisions on the farm.

In conclusion the world of agriculture is changing and becoming more advanced through the use of new technology such as drones. Soon who knows what kind of technology we could use for Agriculture. We could have tractors that plow fields by themselves or be even ran from tan office ethier at your house or ran by the company  Drones are just the stepping stones on the path to a new future of new way of doing things on the farm. In the end agriculture is revolutionising as we know it.


 
Fabulous, Fantastic, Amazing Scholarships: FFA Scholarships
Posted By: Chelsea Fewell   8/17/2018

by Kayla Seale Many people believe that the FFA is just cows, plows, and sows. They believe that this organization is not the National FFA Organization and rather the Future Farmers of America. However, these accusations about this organization could not be any less true. The FFA is a place where kids can learn to express themselves through speaking events or even judging events. As all good things must come to an end, these activities within the organization end when graduation day comes. After graduation, the members of this great organization go onto many different paths, including college.

Going to college can be a big expense, and often it can cost a lot for adolescents to pay for their schooling. Many people rely on scholarships to help lessen the burden the cost of college. FFA is a great organization that gives a variety of different scholarship opportunities. This National FFA organization alone offers $2.7 million in scholarships that are awarded to deserving candidates based off of their experience in the organization. Additionally, many major shows and state associations. The scholarships awarded through FFA are much greater than any other organization in the United States.

The fact is that college is expensive, and many organizations and do not offer scholarship opportunities. Most people think that athletic scholarships are the only way to pay for college, however this is not the case. In fact, a larger percentage of kids get a scholarship from FFA associated programs than from athletic scholarships. Athletic scholarships are hard to come by, and FFA scholarships are more abundant.

High school students should consider taking agriculture education courses and being enrolled in FFA because it gives them a wide variety of opportunities that prepare them for college. All of these experiences gained in FFA then go to help students gain scholarships to help pay for college. Scholarships are extremely helpful in paying for college, and it is great that the FFA can give back to students that may continue to help in growth of the agricultural industry.

In conclusion, the FFA is a wonderful organization that gives many opportunities to its members. It also provides scholarship funds for many deserving students. Any student that is looking ahead for college should consider becoming an FFA member. Scholarships are just one aspect of this wonderful organization. The National FFA organization and all the lower state organizations are truly a great experience and time investment for all of its members.

WORD COUNT: 407


 
Space Is The New Face Of Agriculture
Posted By: Dylan Cochran   3/18/2015

Hey Y’all! I’m Dylan Cochran with the China Spring FFA. A growing topic in the agricultural industry today is technology that makes everyday life easier for farmers and agriculturalist across the globe. This new newfangled technology would be Space and the objects in it like satellites!

You may be wondering what Space has to do with agriculture… Although we may not be in Cape Canaveral, Florida nor are we staring in the movie Astronaut Farmer, there is a growing topic in farming; this being satellites. Satellites aren’t just for NASA anymore; they are becoming more and more popular in tractors and the farming industry. This may be one of the biggest historical changes agriculturists have ever seen. It’s right up there with the cotton gin and the reaper.

Driverless tractors are a part of precision farming. It IS the future and the future is now! Many of you may be wondering… what exactly IS precision farming? Precision farming is a new approach to crop management. It’s a strategy that allows farmers to optimize their operation, in search of the most economic production. What does this mean to you? The most profit! It’s not just something you can buy at the hardware store! It’s a little more complicated than that. To understand fully how precision farming works, you first have to become familiar with the tools and techniques that are the building blocks of this modern form of agriculture management. It all starts with the GPS. No, it’s not quite the one you have in your car. It’s a little more complicated than that. The heart of the precision agriculture is the GPS, or Global Positioning System. A GPS receiver is a device that uses a satellite up in space to track and In fact, researchers at the University of Kentucky use a GPS system that is accurate within 1 inch. So, there is no need to worry about tractors plowing through your back door.

You may be wondering how it can really be beneficial to a small family farm. Which raises the question, why do it? Why would you put an automatic guidance system on a tractor when you’re perfectly capable of driving a straight line without help? It turns out that, no matter how good of an operator you are, eventually fatigue starts to take its toll. But if you have the satellite to keep you in line, it doesn’t matter if it’s nighttime, if the conditions are dusty or even if the crop is overlapping the row. You can still get more work done in less time. According to Purdue University, potato farmers can schedule their machines for 22 hours a day, allowing two hours a day for maintenance. Now THAT couldn’t have been done in the past. Even with the best lighting systems, no one operates their equipment in the dark.

Also industry experts cite so-called “overlap” as a key problem for farmers. Studies show that when driving a tractor from row to row, operators often overlap the previous row by an average of 10 percent. This means that they use 10 percent more fertilizer and chemicals and do 10 percent more work.  Also it means that they’re losing 10 percent of their potential profit. So in order for them make the most out of the precision farming, they would need to invest in VRT.  Not, Visual Rhapsody Tortoises nor Ventilation Radio Transistors.  VRT is Variable Rate Technology. These machines can automatically change their application rates in response to their position in the field. VRT systems are able to apply a variety of substances including fertilizers, pesticides, seed and even irrigation water. Some VRT machines can control up to 11 different materials at one time. And, with all those government regulations on fertilizer use, VRT can virtually fill out the forms for you. People have asked if there is any proof that this newfangled contraption actually works.

This newfangled contraption has stirred up a lot of debates recently in the news and agricultural industry all over. To find out more about this topic and why it may not be just one small step for man, but one giant leap for agricultural tune in next time to see another new and exciting edition of the China Spring FFA Blog!


 
Ag classes are as cool as cute glasses!
Posted By: Melana Villa   3/17/2015
         Being able to participate in ag classes at school has to be a pretty great experience! Doing different types of classes freshmen to senior year. Although your first years you won’t get to do some of the upperclassmen classes its worth the wait! Starting your freshmen year you are able to take the class principles of agriculture. This prepares you for the variety of classes you will take later on. Your sophomore year you can take classes like livestock production, wildlife, ag mechanics, and floral design. Your junior year get ready for small animal management, equine science, horticultural science, and agricultural structures design and fabrication. Last but not least you can take some of my favorite classes! Join agribusiness management and marketing if you want to be affiliated in the agricultural business in the future. Want to be a vet? Then you need to join the advanced animal science class. Also greenhouse operation is good for nursery jobs. I hope you get to enjoy all these wonderful classes throughout high school!
 
LDES
Posted By: Kyle Hutchinson   3/17/2015

    LDEs stand for Leadership Development Events. This allows people to demonstrate their abilities in public speaking, decision making, communication and their knowledge of agriculture and the FFA organization. Team and individual event are used to reinforce what is taught in agricultural science classrooms. All LDEs events have elimination rounds at the district and area before the state level competition.

I have been on an LDE team for three years and two out of those three years we made it to the state level. I participated in ag issues, in ag issues you must pick an issue that is a problem to agriculture and discuss the pro’s and con’s of the issue. My favorite part of ag issues was coming together as a team and becoming close friends.
 
By Tyler Clifton
Posted By: Chelsea Fewell   3/17/2015

I just recently started making pens for shop class,I made two to take to regionals and they were made of buffalo horn and a type of wood called zebra wood it's not black and white it is a real distinct wood type. When I took them to regionals I won first in all categories that they were placed in. State is in early May at the convention center and I hope to do week there like I did at regionals. 

 
Our first podcast!
Posted By: Chelsea Fewell   3/4/2015
Download Matthew & Koltan's podcast at the bottom of this page!!
 
What's a CDE? Why should I care?
Posted By: Megan Day   3/4/2015

Hey Y’all! I’m Megan Day, with the China Spring FFA! Last year, I was part of the entomology CDE team. Anytime I think of CDE teams or contests, I remember a former area contest. As the land team was getting off the bus, a new member was holding the box filled to the brim with papers and scantrons. Suddenly, everyone feels a HUGE gust of wind, and we see the new member drop the box and catch his hat from flying off his head. A bad move on his part. While he caught his hat, every paper, scantron, land sample, and towel went flying! As I look out the window, all I can see is the land team sprinting to catch their supplies as everyone on the bus throws their head back laughing. Later we find out that this land team did FANTASTIC at the contest, even though they lost a few scantrons in the process.


Are you part of the FFA but not involved? Are you looking for a fun activity that prepares you for the future? Want to be prepared for your career? Want to win? Want to get out of school? Want to make great memories like mine? Then join a CDE team! The FFA offers a variety of Career Development Events, and China Spring FFA offers 13 of these! Check out all those teams and our 3 NEW TEAMS!


Mr. Day coaches 5 teams, such as:

Land (practice Monday during 9th period)

Homesite (practice Monday during 9th period)

Entomology (practice Tuesday at 3:45)

Livestock (practice Monday at 4:30) and

Horse (practice Thursday at 3:45)

Mrs. Fewell coaches 4 teams, including:

Milk Quality (practice Monday at 3:45)

Vet Tech (practice Thursday at 3:45)

*Food Tech (practice Wednesday at 3:45) and

Farm Business Management (practice Tuesday at 3:45)

Ms. Prause coaches 2 teams, which are:

*Floriculture (practice Thursday at 3:45) and

*Nursery Landscape (practice Thursday at 3:45)


These teams have had a HUGE amount of success in the past, and the China Spring FFA is hoping for even more success in the future! CSFFA wants YOU to join a CDE team! Already this year CSFFA has had multiple high individuals in TWO DIFFERENT contests! Who knew that a chapter that is barely 6 years old could have so much success so quickly!?! And with 219 members, 2 agriculture science teachers, and a student teacher, China Spring FFA strives for and achieves success.


Last school year, the China Spring FFA set four goals for the Area VIII CDE contest. Those goals were: to take six teams to the Area contest, to have four teams qualify for their respective state contests, to have zero loss due to scantron errors, and to award pins to state qualifying team members. But guess what?! China Spring FFA achieved EVERY GOAL SET for the 2013-2014 school year!


Isn’t that AWESOME!? If you want to be part of this growing success and want to have fun, then join a CDE team today!
 
Scholarship Opportunities with China Spring FFA
Posted By: Jennifer Stanley   3/4/2015

Hey Y’all! This is Jennifer Stanley with the China Spring FFA bringing y’all some scholarship opportunities through the FFA!


Scholarships are a great way to help pay for college without getting buried in student loan debts like 60% of college graduates are. Former high school students across the nation have reported that being active in the FFA gave them access to scholarships that ended up paying for 70% of their college tuition! Be in the lucky 40% who don’t graduate college with student loans and apply for scholarships now!


The following scholarships are those that the due date has not passed yet:


Heart O’ Texas Fair Scholarship

Deadline MARCH 20,2015

The application can be found at the bottom of the scholarship page on the CSFFA website.


Texas Farm Bureau Scholarships

If you’re part of the Texas Farm Bureau Family, there are several scholarship opportunities available. The applications can be found by clicking the link on the scholarship page of the CSFFA website


McLennan County Go Texan Scholarship

This scholarship is open to graduating seniors from high schools in McLennan County and must be completed with all requested information and attachments for our consideration. (Any student that receives a Houston Go-Texan Livestock Show and Rodeo Scholarship is not eligible.) The application can be found at the bottom of the scholarship page of the CSFFA website.

Scholarships are valid for 2-year, 4 year or technical schools (TSTC).

Postmarked no later than Friday, March 6, 2015

For more scholarship opportunities visit texasffa.org and ffa.org!

Click here for access to the scholarship page


 
Learn the Rules Like a Pro So You Can Break Them Like an Artist: It’s Time to Prepare for Our April Fundraiser
Posted By: Madie Prestwood   3/4/2015

Hey y’all, Madie here! As we begin this rather unnaturally, bitter cold March, it’s time to start thinking about the latest fundraiser opportunity!


The China Spring FFA chapter will be selling Gourmet Nut products to raise funds for upcoming spring and summer travel expenses. This fundraiser will last from April 1st to April 16th. Be ready to pick up your forms toward the end of this month and listen to the morning announcements for updates.


While the fundraiser may be a month away, you can begin thinking about who to sell to and how to sell. The most ideal people to sell to is obviously your immediate family, such as your parents or your grandparents. Close family friends or neighborhoods are also excellent choices, but as you go around selling keep your personal safety in mind. Here’s some helpful tips to get you started and keep you safe!

Before we get into the tips of sales, just keep in mind how difficult it may be to connect with your consumers and how important it is to relate to them. When I worked at Journey’s Kidz in the Richland Mall, the first thing I was instructed to do was to find something about the customer to relate to, even if it was a lie. I’m not telling you lie to your customer, but if they’re wearing Corrals or have a Texas A&M shirt on, compliment them! It will ease the tension between the two of y’all and the sale will be almost guaranteed.

Also, If you’re the kind of salesperson that needs a challenge, Corey Ludwig has made the top sales for 3 years in a row! Challenge yourself to sell more than him and become the new top person in sales!

THE DOs and DON’Ts OF SELLING

Don’t sell to strangers (AKA door to door selling). Instead ask your parents/guardians to take the forms to their work places if you want to expand your sales.

Be mindful of who you’re selling to, don’t sell to someone who you know may not pay for their items. You don’t want to end up paying for someone else’s products they decided last minute they didn’t want!

Be respectful to your potential customers, don’t be rude and remember that they’re helping your cause SO REMEMBER YOUR BASIC MANNERS (please, thank you, yes sir/ma’am, etc.) Being polite and respectful can be the difference in making or breaking a sale.

As they’re looking through the product lists, explain what these proceeds will be used for so they’re not weary of a scam or useless means of their money. Don’t forget to mention why you’re there in the first place! State your cause, but respectfully.

Not everyone is going to buy the products you’re displaying to them, be prepared for rejection. Don’t push the customer, it is their money after all.

Make sure you’re audible, don’t mumble. Maintain eye contact, don’t appear timid. This is supposed to be a fun experience and you’re helping your FFA chapter at the same time!

For more information go to GourmetNut.com or see Mrs. Fewell!
 
 
 

Documents

NameOwnerDate AddedSize
Matthew & Koltan podcast- county show 2015
Chelsea  Fewell
3/4/2015 460 KB


 

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