FFA Events Hosted on St. Paul Campus This Spring

Every spring, the University of Minnesota St. Paul’s campus welcomes high school students participating in the The Roland Peterson Agricultural Education Science Fair, Agricultural Communications Career Development Event, the Change Lives, Teach Ag Workshop, and the Minnesota State FFA Convention. These events kept faculty, staff, and students on their toes as thousands of students from across the state ventured to our campus. The energy, dedication, and passion for agriculture these students displayed was exciting for us to see!

Roland Peterson Agricultural Education Science Fair
Science FairOnce again a great success, the 29th annual Roland Peterson Agricultural Education Science Fair was held on March 16. This year, 108 students participated with 98 agricultural science projects. Project titles ranged from “Battling Malnutrition with Glucose” to “The Science of Bubbles.”

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 Agriscience Fair held each fall at the National FFA Convention.

We would like to extend a very sincere thank you to more than 45 judges and volunteers, in addition to Cargill who sponsors the event. Without the help of faculty, sponsors, 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 March 16 on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul Campus. Two teams which consisted of eight high school students total 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.

The winning team was Martin County West High School and the first place individual was Lindsey Bettin from Martin County West High School. Our very own Dr. Rebecca Swenson served as the Communications CDE chair. She said, “I enjoy working with such talented high school students and watching their interest in Agricultural Communication careers, activities and programs grow as they participate in the event.”

A sincere thank you goes out to the following faculty, students, and volunteers for their help in coordinating this event: Rebecca Swenson (AECM, Faculty chair), Joe Ramstad (AECM, Student chair), Sarah Ellertson (AECM, judge), Juleah Tolosky (MN FFA, judge), Kelsey Gunderson (ACM alum, Exponent PR, judge), Theresa Twohey (ACM alum, Midwest Dairy, judge), and Trish Scorpio (Midwest Dairy, judge).

Congratulations to all of the students for their participation and hard work!

Change Lives, Teach Ag Workshop
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 Agricultural Education faculty, staff, and students put together this event for some of the best and brightest high schoolers in the state. Roughly 50 students were in attendance this year! FFA advisors from all over Minnesota 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. Students had the opportunity to meet and network with Ag Ed faculty and staff. Additionally, participants received an inside look into the “everyday life” of an agriculture teacher. One participant commented on the post-event survey, "The faculty panel was very informative and gave me more of an idea of what I will be getting myself into in the future."

Many thanks are extended to the AECM faculty, staff, and students for their help in preparing materials and assisting during the workshop!

Going “All In” at the 2017 Minnesota FFA Convention
ConventionThe University of Minnesota St. Paul community was ecstatic to welcome FFA members from across the state for the 88th Minnesota State FFA Convention on April 23-25. Over 3,600 members, sporting the classic blue corduroy, were in attendance this year! Countless University of Minnesota students, faculty, and staff volunteered throughout the event by planning, coordinating, and judging. An intern group of AECM students also coordinated the communication, media relations, and social media efforts at Convention.

“All In. Our Legacy Starts Now” was the theme for this year’s convention. Members, advisors, and supporters learned how we can thrive, learn, influence, and serve by going all in.

We were especially proud to recognize University of Minnesota Ag Ed students, Wendy Bauman and Joe Ramstad on completing their terms as 2016-2017 State Officers, and would like to congratulate Katie Benson and Emily Pliscott, incoming AECM freshmen on being elected to serve as 2017-2018 State Officers!

More information about the 88th Minnesota State FFA Convention can be found at mnffa.org