FFA Events Hosted on St. Paul Campus This Spring

The University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus certainly has been busy with activities this spring! The Agricultural Communications Career Development Event (CDE), Roland Peterson Agricultural Education Science Fair, Change Lives, and the Minnesota State FFA Convention brought high school students from across the state to our campus in waves. Their energy, dedication and passion for learning about agriculture was refreshing and exciting!

Roland Peterson Agricultural Education Science Fair

Science FairThe 28th Annual Roland Peterson Agricultural Education Science Fair was held on March 17 and was once again a great success! This year’s fair involved 180 students and 144 agricultural science projects. Fourteen Minnesota schools participated.

The science fair is a competition for FFA members in grades 7-12 who are enrolled in Agricultural Education courses in public schools across the state of Minnesota. Students conduct research projects pertaining to agriculture and food science in any of the following categories: Animal Systems, Environmental Services/Natural Resource Systems, Food Products and Processing Systems, Plant Systems, Power-Structural and Technical Systems, and Social Systems. Students present their findings to judges with a display, a verbal report and a written report. The winners in each category and division are eligible to compete in the National FFA Organization Agriscience Fair held each fall at the National FFA Convention.

The Agricultural Education division and Minnesota FFA would like to extend a very sincere thank you to more than 50 judges and volunteers. Without the help of sponsors, faculty, and students, this event would not be possible!

FFA Agricultural Communications CDE

Ag Comm CDEThe FFA Agricultural Communications Career Development Event (CDE) was also held on the University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus this year on March 17. Five teams which consisted of fifteen high school FFA students competed in this event. The competition required students to submit a media plan and present it to the judges. The contest also included an individual practicum in which students designed a flyer, wrote a feature story and created a blog post. Students also had to take an AP style and writing mechanics test.

Our very own Dr. Rebecca Swenson served as the Communications CDE chair. She said the best part about chairing the event is “being able to meet high school students and watch their interest in Agricultural Communications grow during event activities. It is fun to watch the next generation get excited about potential academic programs and career opportunities.” The winning team from Staples-Motley High School will be advancing to Nationals in the fall. The first place individual was Rebekka Paskewitz from Staples-Motley High School. Congratulations to all of the students for their participation and hard work!

The University of Minnesota Agricultural Education division would like to extend a sincere thank you to the following students, faculty, and volunteers for their help in coordinating this event: Joe Ramstad (U of M student co-chair), Nicole Krumrie (U of M student co-chair), Brandon Roiger (U of M student), Pam Dahlman (MN Farm Bureau), Sarah Lindholm (Agricultural Education), Kari Schwab (MAELC), and Dr. Rebecca Swenson (Agricultural Education and chair of this CDE event).

Change Lives, Teach Ag

Change LivesDay one of the Minnesota State FFA Convention kicked off with a very special event, the “Change Lives, Teach Ag” workshop! University of Minnesota Ag Ed faculty, staff, and students put together this event for some of the best and brightest high school FFA members. Forty five of those members were in attendance this year! FFA advisors from across the state nominated these students because of the qualities they possess as potential future ag teachers.

This workshop provided insight into the Agricultural Education major and the many career paths that one can take with an Ag Ed degree. FFA members had the opportunity to meet and network with Ag Ed faculty, staff, and current students. In addition to that, there was a panel discussion of current U of M Ag Ed majors and agricultural educators. Participants received an inside look into the “everyday life” of an agriculture teacher, and they even created a song about agricultural education to perform as the final activity.

Many thanks are extended to U of M Agricultural Education faculty and staff, current Ag Ed majors Jacob Orren and Traci Block, Sarah Lee (Springfield High School), Jeff Lindeman (Chisago Lakes High School), and ACE Ambassadors for their help in preparing materials and assisting during the workshop.

Together We Host the 2016 Minnesota State FFA Convention

FFA OfficersThe University of Minnesota St. Paul community was ecstatic to welcome FFA members from across the state for the 87th Minnesota State FFA Convention on April 24-26. A record-breaking number of 3,655 FFA members, sporting the classic blue corduroy, were in attendance this year! A total of 222 advisors from 106 chapters were also in attendance, as well as numerous parents and guests. Countless University of Minnesota students, faculty, and staff volunteered throughout the event by planning, coordinating, and judging. An intern group of Ag Ed students also coordinated the communication, media relations, and social media efforts at Convention.

“Together We” was the theme for this year’s convention. Members, advisors, and supporters learned how together we can thrive, learn, influence, and serve.

We were especially proud to recognize University of Minnesota students PJ Aarsvold, Mariah Daninger, Madison Taylor, and Morgan Krause on completing their terms as 2015-2016 MN State FFA Officers, and to congratulate our very own Joe Ramstad (current Ag Ed major) on being elected to serve as the 2016-2017 MN State FFA Sentinel!

More information about the 87th Minnesota State FFA Convention can be found at mnffa.org.