Midland chapter's schedule is filled with activities, contests

Midland chapter members who earned the prestigious American Degree, from left: Hope Saroka, Jensen Orr and Callie Petersen. Not pictured is Justin Agnitsch.

   A total of 103 Midland FFA members have been enthusiastically teaching and learning about our agricultural industry through a variety of events and activities over the past year.

   Last summer we had multiple members show their projects off at numerous fairs across the region as well as the Iowa State Fair. Wyatt Christiansen, Theo Baumer and Hannah Fishwild showed cattle locally with Hannah and Wyatt showing at the State Fair where Hannah was recognized as third in the Premier Exhibitor event. Jayde Martin, Karley Schaefer, and Kirstin Schaefer exhibited their skills with their horses. Kirstin was also crowned as Jones County Cowgirl Queen and competed at the Iowa State Fair. Alivia Buresh exhibited locally and at the State Fair with her goats, and Jayden Dirks exhibited photos at the State Fair. At the Wyoming Fair, Midland FFA also hosted a petting zoo, which included six different types of animals. Youth were taught intriguing facts about the animals and how to care for and hold them.

   Jayson Ruley represented Midland at the Washington Leadership Conference through sponsorship from Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative. He took on the venture of learning and exploring monuments like the Lincoln Memorial and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, as well as volunteering in a meal packing event. Jayson then returned to share ideas with the officer team as they started their year off with COLT (Chapter Officer Leadership Training) and the officer retreat. The officers spent time bonding as they planned for the upcoming school year. One of the many tasks completed by the officer team during the retreat was the creation of a school garden designed to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for the school lunch program.

   With the school year approaching, Midland FFA hosted many activities for new and current members including a meeting at Central Park and the Back to School Bonfire.

   With school starting, so did the activities to introduce FFA and agriculture to new students. With our Discovery Fire-Up for eighth graders, Greenhand Fire-Up for high schoolers, and M&M Ag Explore Day for Intro to Ag students, where more than 60 Midland students, as well as students from Monticello and Cascade participated in hands-on activities such as tractor driving, cheese tasting, and poultry judging.

   As an organization that has such outstanding support from the community, Midland FFA looks for opportunities to give back. This past year some of the community activities the chapter engaged in were helping at the Chicken Dinner, Ducks Unlimited Banquet, Highway Cleanup, and helping put up the Christmas lights on Main Street in Wyoming. FFA members also conducted the children's activities during Christmas City.

   The fun run during homecoming week was a bubble run with more than 100 runners registered. Proceeds were split between the food pantry and Wyoming Library. Also during homecoming week the FFA had a float in the parade with the theme “Agriculture, the real Gold Mine” where members passed out pork sticks, beef sticks, and cheese sticks.

   “We Care” packages were created again for youth and adults, and delivered to three food pantries to be available over the holidays. One of the favorite events of the year was Feed a Farmer, as members in partnership with Jones County Pork Producers were able to visit farmers that are doing the work every day to ensure we have food on our tables.

   Other activities that have been planned and carried out by Midland FFA members include hosting sub-district volleyball for area FFA chapters, where one of Midland’s teams came out on top. Our chapter also took 86 FFA members on an industry tour to visit John Deere manufacturing in Davenport and visited Moore Local in Maquoketa to visit the locker, shop and new cheese making facility.

   As the calendar year wrapped up, Discovery, Greenhand and Chapter Degrees were awarded at the FFA Banquet. The Greenhands (1st year high school members) also made and sold 187 wreaths to our community to earn their own iconic blue corduroy jacket synonymous with FFA.

   As Midland FFA looks toward the future there are countless items on their calendar. Upcoming activities include a ski trip, Sub-district Dodgeball, Sub-district and District LDEs, a polar plunge to raise money for Iowa Special Olympics, and Day on the Hill, where members can meet with state legislators.

   The grind of competition season is in full swing as 43 members compete in 11 events heading towards this year’s State Convention. There are many things to look back on with pride and many more to come.



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