The Soybeans on the Land Lab were recently planted and should be on the grow soon. Thank you to K and H grain for planting this year. Students will soon be out studying the rate of growth, population levels, scouting and other activities during the summer to monitor progress of this project.
On Monday, May 22nd, fifteen members attended a Meeting at the Coopersville FFA/Alumni Land Lab on Cleveland. This 54 acre living classroom/laboratory is provided by a group of Alumni members and local Agricultural business partners for the purpose of giving students “hands-on” lessons about Agronomy and crop production. This year we will be having 18 acres of Soybeans and 36 acres of Corn produced. The first lesson learned this year was about timing and how germination of wheat is determined in part by seed planting and placement. The wheat that was started late last fall was unable to thrive and was sprayed down for the purpose of planting corn instead. Speakers at the meeting told students about soil sampling methods and the fertilization program was discussed based on the testing that had been done earlier. These meetings will continue throughout the summer with regular scouting and monitoring being done as needed. Thanks to our Alumni and the Land Lab committee for their continued help.
On May 15th, a group of 44 students from Coopersville High school were able to tour 4 local companies for some insight into what career options are out in the world for someone with an Ag Industries interest. The tour started at Zeeland Farm Services where our students got to meet with the program manager (Gary Brower), recruitment coordinator (Carol Webb) and others from on their staff. They told students about their current production of Soy products and the future opening of their Ithaca plant that is currently under construction. That plant will be triple the size of Zeelands current plant.
Our next tour stop was at Wilbur-Ellis chemical plant in Grant. Here members saw and heard about how fertilizers and spray chemicals are stored, formulated and applied to local farms. Manager, Kevin Schoenborn and Syngenta Rep. Trevor Clayton explained much about the day to day operations as well as many safety aspects to this part of our Industry. There are numerous careers available for students from applicators to sales positions and all require various amounts of technical training.
Our third stop was at Dietrich Orchards, where owners Mike and Lorraine Dietrich and manager gave us an overview of what their system includes. Students were shown the operation of the packing line and just how sophisticated it was. There are numerous cameras and detection devices included to examine each apple as it passes through the operation of the packing line. Food safety and security is an ever present concern for american consumers and this state-of-the-art facility reflects just how devoted producers are to meeting those needs.
After a great picnic lunch provided by Donna’s Catering at Chester Park in Conklin, we went on to our final destination of Continental Dairy in Coopersville. Here Plant Manager, Steve Cooper and Projects Coordinator, Chloe Pakalnis gave students a tour of their facility. There are currently 4 product lines in operation including dried milk powder, milk fats and butter production. Students were suited up and took a walking tour of the facility where they were shown first hand the Biosecurity practices associated with current food production standards. There are many well paid careers available in their industry as well and they are constantly looking for dedicated and hard working people.
All in all our group was able to see first hand what the Industry of Agriculture holds in store for them. We hope that this trip was “eye opening” for them and that they will consider all facets of Agriculture for future employment. Thank you to the FFA Alumni and Land Laboratory committee for their financial support of this and other activities that our program conducts on behalf of our students. It wouldn’t be possible without you!
Darren Kulicamp recently presented Ted and Matt Crowley with a token of Appreciation for their continued support of the Coopersville FFA Chapter. It has been their donation of Seed and expertise that has helped our Land Laboratory be successful. They were chosen this year by our officers to be recognized along with Langeland Farms for their help with product and services. Crowleys were unable to attend our banquet this year, so we decided to do the next best thing and bring the award to them. Our programs are strengthened by the local support of many in our community. Thank you to all who lend a hand for our students! As part of our educational use of the Land Lab, we will have a Twilight meeting at the plot on May 22nd at 7:30 pm. All members are invited to attend, the plan for this years cropping will be discussed and activities updated.
Our High School and Middle school members were spending their afternoon preparing for Ag Skills contests to be held on Friday April 21st at Michigan State University. Here you can see the members constructing a Corsage thanks to the instruction offered by Karen Kulicamp. Thank you for your help with this Mrs Kulicamp.
Members will also be competing in Veterinary Sciences, Land Conservation and Forestry.
Elections were held last evening for the 2017- 2018 Coopersville FFA Chapter Officer team. Thirty Eight voting members and 6 guests were in attendance. The election results came out as follows:
Arden Bouchard – President; Andrea Serba, Karla Willcome and Ben Trosper as Vice Presidents; Clayton DeVos – Secretary; Tyler Rozema – Treasurer; Daisy Kober – Reporter; Trevor Dietrich – Sentinel; Tyler Davis – Student Advisor; Audrey Schoenborn – Historian; Brittany Kamstra – Chaplin.
You can see the group of officers for next year below with a picture of the election night meeting. Our retiring Senior officers evaluated the applications and slated the officer candidates as they saw fitting based on applications and past experiences. The newly elected officers will be installed at the Annual Chapter Banquet on April 25th in the HS Cafeteria and Auditorium. They will then attend Regional Leadership camp the following day in Juggville at “The Shack” where they will begin to plan their year of service. Congrats to all and Good luck with the coming year.
State Leadership contests saw our Middle school students with a good deal of Success. In Public Speaking, Jack Kluting received a Gold Award with a 5th place finish in the State. The two Conduct of Meetings Teams also competed with the “B team ” competing on Wednesday in the semi finals and the “A team” competing on Thursday morning in the finals. The A team placed 3rd in the State with a Gold award, while the B team placed 9th with a Silver award. Congrats to all for your accomplishments!
Six members of our chapter attended the Celebrate Coopersville dinner on Thursday, March 9th as the guests of Representative Roger Victory. Members were able to enjoy the recognition of many of our community members and volunteers for their numerous contributions to our town and school district. This gives them a good insight to the fact that community service doesn’t end after graduation and that what they are learning from FFA is more than just academics and contests. Representative Victory has a strong commitment to Agriculture and the students that are served by Coopersville and other schools. Thank you Representative Victory!
Our chapter along with the cooperation of our local Family Fare store collected over 400 non-perishable items to donate to Coopersville Cares Food Pantry. Our FFA members approached local community members with a short list of high need items for Coopersville Cares Food Pantry asking them to provide one item if possible. Over 6 hours we were able to collect 16 large boxes of items thanks to the kind donations of our community members. The donations were handed over to Coopersville Cares Director Leann Rosel the following week and made an immediate impact on the Food Pantry. Thank you to the community for your support once again in this annual event that is usually organized around the week of National FFA Week (last full week of February).
The following results were received by our High school members at State Convention last week. Congratulations to all:
Academic awards were given to Andrea Serba, Macinze Knuth, Jessica Zahm, Beka McDonald and Darren Kulicamp.
Outstanding Junior awards were received by Karla Willcome, Arden Bouchard and Reese Watson.
State FFA Degrees recipients were Macinze Knuth, Beka McDonald, Jessica Zahm, Darren Kulicamp and Heather Johnson.
The Parliamentary Procedure team was State Runner up with a Gold award from judges. This is the highest award in the history of Coopersville in this contest. Team members were Beka McDonald (chair), Macinze Knuth (secretary), Jessica Zahm, Darren Kulicamp and Ben Trosper with Reese Watson as alternate. Thank you to coach Christina Hehl .
Thanks go out to Andrea Serba and Trevor Dietrich for serving as delegates. Also Congratulations to Brittany Kamstra and Daisy Kober for participating in the State FFA Chorus. The chapter was recognized for the Tons of Tabs program as well as receiving an award from Syngenta Corporation for our community garden efforts. A big thank you going out to the Coopersville FFA Alumni for sponsoring our lunch on Wednesday at Brody Hall Cafeteria. It was great as always.