The North Polk FFA Chapter has been actively involved in many different activities during the 2013 calendar year. North Polk FFA members greatly appreciate the support and cooperation from our community, school, and other FFA chapters. We look forward to future successes and take time to reflect on our activities from 2013.

In February, FFA members competed in the Sub-District and District Leadership Skills CDEs. The chapter had representatives in radio broadcasting, conduct of meetings, extemporaneous speaking, chapter program of activities, public speaking, and creed speaking. Erin Hammond was also elected as a South Central District FFA Officer at District Convention in early March. At the annual banquet in March, the new 2013-2014 FFA officer team was installed. The officers included president Chandler Smith, vice president Ethan Ley, secretary Natasha Johnson, treasurer John Washington, reporter Amy Lund, and sentinel Allison Vincent. Senior FFA members Garrett Ley, Michaela Powell, Kayla Meeker, Maggie Zimmermann, and Katlyn Kahler earned their Iowa Degrees. In April, North Polk FFA members competed in the Farm Business Management CDE at the State FFA Convention. The spring semester was wrapped up by FFA members hosting a Farm Safety Day in May for elementary students to learn about proper safety precautions around machinery.

The summer season brings new activities and responsibilities for many North Polk FFA members. Many students are busy working with SAE projects and preparing for both the Polk County and Iowa State Fair. The chapter took a leadership camping trip to Sibley State Park near New London, Minnesota in June. The chapter competed in the Floriculture CDE, Agronomy CDE (14th place) and Nursey/Landscape CDE (9th). Our chapter organized and ran the Avenue of Breeds Exhibit at the Iowa State Fair. This is a tremendous responsibility and much effort is required of FFA members before and during the state fair. North Polk FFA members care for the exhibit animals 24 hours a day for the duration of the 11-day Iowa State Fair.

In August, the meat’s evaluation team comprised of John Washington, Ethan Ley, Erin Hammond and Ben Lehman placed 7th overall in the state competition earning a gold rating. The success was followed by the soils judging team with a 2nd place finish at the South Central District Soils Judging Contest and Erin Hammond earning of the overall individual championship. The district performance earned the team of Erin Hammond, Ethan Ley, John Washington, and Emily Washington a trip to the State Soils Judging Contest. The team earned a gold rating at state, placing 10th at state out of 30 teams.

October was full of activity including fruit sales and the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. North Polk FFA was represented by 14 FFA members including: Jaclyn Miller, Lauren Determann, Lori Dvorak, Mahliah Ingersoll, Ali Teig, Shannon Daugherty, Olivia Ewing, Ben Lehman, Josh Krehbiel, Grant Alleman, Nash Huebner, Luke Jacobs, Damon Erickson, and Zac Allen. Our chapter had a successful fruit sales season and would like to thank the community for their support. We could not have provided all our leadership opportunities without the support from our largest fundraiser.

The chapter helped the North Polk Music Boosters with their annual wreath fundraiser. FFA members cut down pine trees and constructed over 200 wreaths for the music boosters to sell. In December, our chapter organized and facilitated our annual blood drive and collected 35 pints of blood. At the South Central District Review Night the chapter had Allison Vincent (Goat Production) had her Proficiency advance to state and Amy Lund (Sheep Production) was an alternate to state. Amy Lund and Chandler Smith earned their Iowa degrees, which will be bestowed upon them at the State FFA Convention in April

The week is full of Ag Leadership CDE competitions. Our Sub-District competition is Thursday February 20th at Newton High School. Teams and individuals competing include: Creed Speaking Mahliah Ingersoll, Conduct of Meetings team comprised of Emma Larson, Matt Selof, Kate Shoemaker, Lauren Determann, Grace Huebner, Noah Fields, and Ben Lehman; Chapter Program of Activities including Allison Vincent, Maddie Nelson, and Clay Elwell; Public Speaking Libby Presnall, Job Interview Erin Hammond, and Extemporaneous Speaking Josh Obernolte, and Radio Broadcasting Ethan Ley. Good luck to all North Polk FFA competitors and congratulations on a successful year!