Tuesday, June 19, 2018  
 
Charts |  Futures |  Options |  Portfolio |  Weather 
 Home
 Home/Michigan Corn
 Headline News and Commentary
 Weather Station
 Futures & Cash Prices
 Local Cash Grain Bids
 Admin Login
 
- DTN Headline News
Comeback Kids
Monday, June 18, 2018 11:14AM CDT

By Russ Quinn
DTN Staff Reporter

NELIGH, Neb. (DTN) -- There's no reason to be blue about FFA. In fact, it appears the national student organization, along with its iconic blue corduroy jacket, is making a comeback.

The nation's largest student-led organization in the nation is getting bigger. School districts are adding agriculture and FFA back into the curriculum again. In some cases, they work closely with the community with the long-term goal of showing that there's still opportunity in rural areas.

Neligh-Oakdale Public School is an example of the revival. The rural school district of 383 students, located 150 miles northwest of Omaha, relaunched its FFA chapter this year after a 13-year hiatus. The program was discontinued in the 2003-2004 school year because of funding issues.

Scott Gregory, superintendent of the Neligh-Oakdale Public Schools, told DTN the community had "a desire to restart" the FFA chapter as the district was in a better financial situation than when the program was dropped. The Board of Education began to explore the possibility in the fall of 2016 and after much consideration, hired Kali Bohling as agriculture teacher and FFA advisor for the 2017-2018 school year.

Local farmer Kenny Reinke is an alumnus of the Neligh-Oakdale FFA program. While not everyone favored rekindling the dormant chapter with roots back to 1931, Reinke said he, as well as many others of the community, pushed hard for a return.

Reinke said even the older women in his church would quiz him on the subject. "They definitely had a passion about it," he said.

For Reinke, he said the skills the kids learn in FFA could help them find a career and allow them to live and work in the community. Like many small towns across the Midwest, a shrinking population has been a major issue, especially in rural school districts with fewer children attending class.

NEW CHALLENGES

Bohling, the teacher hired by the district, graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) in May 2017 with a degree in agricultural education. The first-year teacher had the challenge of being a new teacher, in a new area and restarting FFA all in the same school year.

"It certainly has been a learning opportunity for me, but I have great support here," Bohling said.

The first year, she had 16 students join FFA, with membership made up of a few seniors and juniors, but mainly sophomores.

All junior high students are required to take a nine-week exploratory agriculture class in both seventh and eighth grades. Bohling's hopes this first taste will encourage students to continue sampling agriculture and FFA once they reach high school.

Bohling said most of her FFA students live in town and have a limited ag background. While a few are from farms, a majority are town kids getting an introduction into agriculture.

JOINING THE RANKS

Kristen Snodgrass and Hannah Schrader joined the FFA ranks. Snodgrass, who will be a senior this fall, will be president of FFA in the 2018-2019 school year. Schrader will be a junior and will be the FFA secretary.

Snodgrass said her family operates a corn and soybean farm, but has no livestock. After taking some animal science classes, she has decided she'd like to become a vet tech.

"I was always kind of jealous of schools who had FFA as it always appealed to me," Snodgrass said. "I have two older brothers who went to school here and they didn't get to take part in FFA."

Schrader said her experience in FFA has led her to believe she would like to be an agriculture teacher. The legacy is important too, as her father was an FFA member at this high school.

THE FUTURE

Bohling said her vision for the future of FFA at Neligh-Oakdale is not defined by how many students join the organization.

She hopes to increase the number of competitions the chapter attends in future school years after limiting the number during this first year. The group did attend the state FFA convention, held in Lincoln. This event was eye-opening for the kids as they saw how many kids in the state are involved with FFA.

The Nebraska Agricultural Education website (http://www.neaged.org/…) listed the Nebraska FFA Association with a membership of more than 8,000 members in 184 chapters across the state. Bohling said the state actually has 189 chapters at this time.

More than 4,500 FFA members attend the state convention each year. Roughly 7,000 members, advisors, parents and guests participate in the event each spring.

"One thing I really hope happens in the future here is these students have an opportunity to perhaps find viable careers from joining FFA," Bohling said.

A National FFA Organization (http://www.ffa.org/…) factsheet stated the group has 649,355 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to 7,859 local chapter throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

Russ Quinn can be reached at russ.quinn@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN


(PS/ES/SK)
Copyright 2018 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.
FD Source:
FD Page :
Page Member(s): 0804C11E, , , ,
Slash Commands:
Summary Page Member:

(CC/AG)


blog iconDTN Blogs & Forums
DTN Market Matters Blog
Editorial Staff
Monday, June 18, 2018 11:42AM CDT
Friday, June 15, 2018 9:12AM CDT
Monday, June 11, 2018 12:18PM CDT
Technically Speaking
Darin Newsom
DTN Senior Analyst
Monday, June 18, 2018 2:03PM CDT
Monday, June 18, 2018 1:38PM CDT
Monday, June 11, 2018 12:52PM CDT
Fundamentally Speaking
Joel Karlin
DTN Contributing Analyst
Thursday, June 14, 2018 12:52PM CDT
Friday, June 8, 2018 7:16AM CDT
Tuesday, June 5, 2018 10:52AM CDT
DTN Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor
Tuesday, June 19, 2018 3:37PM CDT
Tuesday, June 19, 2018 3:37PM CDT
Sunday, June 17, 2018 1:36PM CDT
Minding Ag's Business
Editorial Staff
Wednesday, June 6, 2018 1:55PM CDT
Friday, May 25, 2018 7:03AM CDT
Monday, May 14, 2018 1:16PM CDT
DTN Ag Weather Forum
Bryce Anderson
DTN Ag Meteorologist and DTN Analyst
Tuesday, June 19, 2018 2:03PM CDT
Friday, June 15, 2018 1:49PM CDT
Tuesday, June 12, 2018 2:25PM CDT
Tuesday, June 19, 2018 1:15PM CDT
Monday, June 18, 2018 1:16PM CDT
Wednesday, June 13, 2018 1:36PM CDT
DTN Production Blog
Pam Smith
Crops Technology Editor
Friday, June 15, 2018 6:01PM CDT
Friday, May 18, 2018 10:58AM CDT
Friday, May 4, 2018 4:29PM CDT
Harrington's Sort & Cull
John Harrington
DTN Livestock Analyst
Friday, June 15, 2018 5:51PM CDT
Friday, May 25, 2018 5:44PM CDT
Friday, May 18, 2018 6:40PM CDT
South America Calling
Alastair Stewart
South America Correspondent
Tuesday, May 29, 2018 6:08PM CDT
Tuesday, May 29, 2018 10:50AM CDT
Thursday, May 24, 2018 6:44AM CDT
An Urban’s Rural View
Urban Lehner
Editor Emeritus
Tuesday, June 12, 2018 5:17PM CDT
Monday, June 4, 2018 3:19PM CDT
Tuesday, May 22, 2018 3:21PM CDT
Machinery Chatter
Jim Patrico
Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
Tuesday, June 19, 2018 11:56AM CDT
Monday, June 11, 2018 3:00PM CDT
Wednesday, May 30, 2018 1:59PM CDT
Canadian Markets
Cliff Jamieson
Canadian Grains Analyst
Monday, June 18, 2018 4:52PM CDT
Friday, June 15, 2018 4:28PM CDT
Thursday, June 14, 2018 4:56PM CDT
Editor’s Notebook
Greg D. Horstmeier
DTN Editor-in-Chief
Wednesday, April 25, 2018 1:24PM CDT
Thursday, March 29, 2018 4:58PM CDT
Friday, January 19, 2018 5:45PM CDT
 
Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN