Ohio to Texas
Clear Fork FFA’s Equine Judging team has been dominating the last few years. In 2016 four individuals traveled as a team to Massachusetts for the Big E livestock show to judge. This year those same four individuals went to State to represent and judge for Clear Fork FFA’s Equine Team. The team placed 4th in the state of Ohio which earned them a trip to Fort Worth, Texas to judge the American Youth Paint Championships.
The team members were seniors, Cora McConkie, Maya Staton, and Andy Littleton, and sophomore, Valerie Golden. At the end of June the team and their Agriculture teacher and coach, Mr. Adam Staley headed to Texas. This was a big trip for some small town people! They studied hard and worked on judging the specific breed characteristics of the Paint Horse and their disciplines. They went to a Paint Horse farm and learned about the characteristics and conformation of a Paint from the head trainer. Team members had to present oral reasons at the contest so they studied together and practiced saying them in front of Mr. Staley, which was intimidating, but made life easier in the long run.
The majority of the trip’s expenses were paid for, thanks to the Clear Fork FFA Alumni. Other than just going out to judge horses, the trip itself was quite the memory. For some of the team members going to Massachusetts in 2016 was their first time on a flight, so going to Texas was their second time on a flight. They laid over in Chicago O’Hare Airport. One of the biggest and fanciest airports they have been in! In count of eight Starbucks just walking plane to plane! The judging team arrived in Dallas and rented a car and drove through the craziest traffic they had ever seen on their way to Fort Worth. The teams first stop was the AT&T Stadium where they toured the Dallas Cowboys Stadium. It was one of the most incredible stadiums any of them had ever seen! They got to go into the cheerleaders locker room, the owners headquarters, and play on the field!!! That night the team traveled to a nearby ranch and rode horses through the woods. The woods of Texas is much different than Ohio! The guide told them that they usually see wild boars, bobcats, and lots of deer, but sadly they didn't get to see any. They went out to eat at a good Mexican restaurant and filled their stomachs full! The next day they went to the Reunion Tower GeO-Deck, which was a very tall tower that gives a 360* view of Dallas! It was pretty scary standing outside with just a railing and some thick wire but you could feel the breeze and be level with the city buildings! You could see all the crazy traffic and the cool bridges and construction along with the city buildings and the flat horizon. Next they walked through Dallas downtown to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, the museum explaining President John F. Kennedy’s death. On the sixth floor is where they found the gun and place Kennedy was shot from. This was about a two hour tour that was incredible to see and listen t all the theories about his death and how. They had models and digital representatives of how it happened exactly! The museum consisted of all movies and clips of evidence, news, and Kennedy's life and accomplishments. This was quite the eye opener tour! Afterwards we headed to George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. It was pretty cool seeing all the things he accomplished and how and why. One of the coolest things that stuck out the most was a beam of the Twin Towers was there, all burnt and bent. It was pretty sad, they also had minute by minute clips of all of it! They then headed to Whataburger for dinner, which is not in Ohio and new to them! They have pretty yummy milkshakes too! The next day was competition day so we went to bed early and prepared!
Saturday morning they headed to The Youth Paint Horse Championships show dressed in our western gear. They had to judge 12 classes on their own, taking notes on all the classes. It included eight riding classes and four halter classes. After judging they had lunch and worked on four sets of oral reasons. They than presented the oral reasons individually in front of judges. It was very intimidating listening to everyone else do theirs first and in front of prestige judges. It was a pretty difficult contest, but they all came out happy to be at such the level. That night we went to the Fort Worth Stockyards and shopped and ate. They ate at Riscky's Steakhouse with all you can eat ribs. The best ribs they have ever seen or ate! They ate so much that they went back to the hotel and swam and fell asleep.
The next day the team went to get results, Valerie Golden placed 32, Maya Staton got 46, Cora McConkie placed 51, and Andy Littleton placed 57 all out of 70! As a team the placed 15/18, which was not too bad for a National Competition. We were pretty excited. That day they went to Jack In The Box for lunch, which is not in Ohio either so it was cool to experience different fast food chains. They than hung out at the Stockyards, watched the cattle drive, and shopped more for T-shirts and souvenirs. The brick streets and stained train smoke was one of the best features of the stockyard market. This was an end to an awesome experience in our lives. When you get a chance you must take it, and this was something this team worked hard for!
Reporter: Valerie Golden
This year’s fruit sales was a success. As a chapter we brought in $25,550. The top three members who sold the most fruit got rewarded. In first place was Shelby Tedrow who sold $2,830, second was Valerie Golden who sold $1,830, and in third was Lauren Mellott who sold $1,000. Fruit sales is the FFA fundraiser to raise money for FFA activities. This money, along with the Alumni’s help, allows us to help cover cost, and make it more affordable for members who go on trips or other events. Thank you to all the members who sold fruit to support the chapter, and also congratulations to the three winners!
Reporter: Jaylynn Freeman
The 2016 Parli Team worked and studied very hard to compete at this year’s competition. The team consisted of: Hunter Tilton, Hayley Brown, Paige Walker, Kaitlin Wuertz, Cassandra Vaughn, Ethan Fowler, and Sierra Weese. The team placed first at both county and districts and went on to state. At the state competition, the team tried their best, but didn’t make it out of their seed. Great job to the team for all of their hard work.
Reporter: Jaylynn Freeman
Chicken BBQ Project
You know that mouthwatering aroma you detected when you walked near the Ag hallway? Well, this year, the Clear Fork FFA chapter hosted a chicken barbeque at the high school. For eight dollars you could get a hearty meal that consisted of a quarter of a chicken, green beans, a roll with butter, and cheesy potatoes. Held in the Ag shop, the BBQ was a huge hit for students and teachers. All 100 tickets were sold! The reason we did this project was to learn what an SAE was and how to complete one successfully from start to finish. Our SAE was raising the chickens and taking care of them and learning how to budget, finance, and journal. We kept track of all of our finances, budgets, journal entries, and other important records in our online record keeping system called the Agricultural Experience Tracker (AET). We purchased the chickens when they were just chicks and nurtured them to healthy adults in six weeks. The students fed and watered the chickens and cleaned out the pen when dirty. Thanks to Clear Fork staff and students we raised $808.00 from this project and all profit will go to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
FFA Member: Sydney Wolfgang10/24/16
2016 National Convention
Twelve FFA members attended the 2016 National Convention on October 19-21, along with our advisers Mrs. Haydocy and Mr. Staley. This year’s convention was help in Indianapolis, Indiana. A charter bus picked us up and we went down with three other schools, Crestview, Northmor, and Seneca East. On the way down we stopped at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. After that we drove a couple more hours to a sheep embryo transfer farm. This tour was very informing and was a great opportunities to see more about the world of agriculture. We arrived at the hotel and were ready to get up the next morning for a busy day at convention. In the morning we spent most of our time talking to different colleges, attending workshops, and shopping in the shopping center. We attend two sessions that day, the first Joe Potoczny and Jaylynn Freeman walked across stage to receive a national chapter award, and the second to listen to motivational speakers and watch award being given out. It was a great experience to all who went!
Reporter: Jaylynn Freeman
State Urban Soils Team
The Urban Soil Judging Team attended the Ohio State Soil Judging Contest on October 8th. They met at the school early Saturday morning and headed off for Baltimore, Ohio. The contest consisted of judging four different pits and taking a soil survey and a general knowledge test. The team took 14th overall out of the 43 teams that competed in the event. Joe Potoczny led the team placing 22nd overall out of 156 individuals. Following him was Hunter Tilton (48th), Cassandra Vaughn (73rd), and Hayley Brown (97th). The team hopes to continue its success next year and build from this positive experience!
Secretary: Cassandra Vaughn
Equine Team Heads to the Big E
The national equine judging trip to Massachusetts was a great experience filled with extraordinary and educational events. We started the trip off with a flight from Cleveland to Hartford, Connecticut. Upon arriving we picked up the rental car and headed to the prestigious Holyoke Equine College. After being walked through the stables, we were shown their areas of training and where they gathered to learn new techniques for riding. Finishing up the tour with a stroll through their collective winnings and awards, we made our next move to the Big E States Fair. The Big E is a state fair for all the New England States such as Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Maine. At the fair each state was represented with a replica of its state’s federal building, filled with items and attractions unique to that state. Ending the day at the hotel, brushing up on oral reasons and final judging techniques, we hit the hay early so that we were prepared for Saturday’s adventures. Early Saturday morning we drove to the fairgrounds, to be buses to the University of Connecticut's equine center, where the competition was held. When the competition was finished we relaxed our brains and rewarded ourselves with some authentic seafood from Captain Jack’s restaurant. The seafood was delicious, but to top it off we were awarded second place at the Big E National FFA competition banquet. At the height of our glory we departed for home to share our great experiences.
This year is our second annual chicken BBQ in the shop. We purchased and raised the chickens ourselves. They stayed in a pen in the shop until they were large enough to be butchered. On October 12th for $8 a ticket, students and staff can enjoy a quarter of freshly cooked chicken, cheesy potatoes, green beans and a roll. All proceeds from this event will be donated to Children’s Hospital. We hope to sell 100 tickets, raising around $800 to be donated.
District Soils Team
On September 27, 2016, our top five for urban and rural soils judged at the district contest. Participants included Paige Walker, Hayley Brown, Cassi Vaughn, Hunter Tilton and Joe Potoczny for the urban team. For the rural team, Braeden Feeman, Nick Hicks, Lauren Mellott, Megan Raudebaugh, and Alysia Miller. The urban team placed third overall individual rankings were as follows: Cassi Vaughn 1st, Hayley Brown 7th, Paige Walker 26th, Joe Potoczny 12th, and Hunter Tilton 21st. The rural team placed 8th overall and individual placings were: Braeden Feeman 13th, Megan Raudebaugh 27th, Nick Hicks 43rd, Alysia Miller 44th, and Lauren Mellott 53rd. The urban team will advance to compete at the state contest on Oct. 8th and sadly the rural team will not. Congratulations to everyone who completed!
2016 Bellville Street Fair
This years 2016 Bellville Street Fair was a success for our FFA members. Various FFA members won awards for showing their animals at the livestock shows. The officer team was in charge of setting up and decorating the vegetable table. Members brought in vegetables to help supply the table with enough vegetables to decorate it. The vegetable table competed with Lucas FFA and an individual table. The individual table won first, our chapter’s table won second, and Lucas won third. Our chapter wanted to make sure every member in the FFA participated in the fair by working two hours. These jobs consisted of announcing and recording data from the livestock show, handing out ribbon to the winners, and helping hold animals for participates. Also, one of our officer, Hayley Brown, won the 2016 fair queen competition. She was awarded the crown and had the opportunity of meeting other fair queens from around the area.
Reporter: Jaylynn Freeman
2016 Vegetable Table
Our 2016-2017 Officer Team set up this years vegetable table at the Bellville Street Fair. Vegetables were brought in by other members in the FFA. The table was decorated in a variety of vegetables, herbs, seeds, nuts, dairy, and various other items. This year we competed with Lucas FFA and an individual table. As our table took second, Lucas FFA took third, and the individual table won first. Congratulations on the awards and to everyone who worked on setting up these tables!
Reporter: Jaylynn Freeman