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"THE ADVISOR" Newsletter- August 2017





The Tri County FFA Chapter is hosting a Farmers Merchant  in DeWitt, NE.  The location is in front of the DeWitt First State Bank of Nebraska.  The members are cooperating with the DeWitt D.A.R.T. program.  Upcoming remaining dates are  August 19th and Sept. 9 & 23rd.  The Saturday morning markets will be from 9:00 am to noon.  


The FFA welcomes produce, homemade goods and crafts.  Perhaps there are Tri County students who have items they want to offer.  There is no booth fees and vendors are welcome.  Set-up is on concrete, no tables are provided and questions can be forwarded to Dave Barnard, FFA Advisor at 402-879-5584.



There are basically three areas of contests for agricultural education students to participate in.  Each contest has it’s own guidelines and deadlines so review the rules or ask the advisor.  Some are team events and some are individual.  Some have junior divisions (9th &10th graders) and senior divisions (11th & 12th graders).  Some require official dress and some require special protective clothing.

  1. NRD Contests- Sponsored by Natural Resource Districts; they include range judging, Envirothon and land judging.

  2. Leadership Skills Events (LSE)- FFA Contests; compete at districts and qualify for state.  See the neaged.org site for complete list.  Some contests are parliamentary procedure, creed speaking, ag demonstration and natural resources speaking.

  3. Career Development Events (CDE)- These contests are based on curriculum content.  They have district & state contest with qualifying in most events.  Contests include horticulture, livestock judging, ag mechanics, agronomy, ag science, floriculture, biotech and vet science.  Visit neaged.org for the guidelines and rules.   Questions?-See the Advisor.



  • Thank-you Mrs. Ann Freese for putting together the blue display table drop cloth for the Chapter.

  • The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation has opportunities for ag education students and their families to become “pen pals” with elementary children in the state.  This is a great agriculture literacy project.  Mr. Barnard has more information.  Perhaps two or three students could team up on being a “Pal”.

  • Congratulations to FFA Secretary Kailey Weichel for her participation in the Miss Jefferson Co. Contest in July.  She was named first runner-up and also Miss Congeniality!  Great job representing our community, school and chapter.

  • The Tri County FFA membership voted last spring to set the 2017-18 local, state and national dues at $20.00.  Of this $18.00 is forwarded on beyond the local treasury.  The national organization should be sending you a quarterly FFA New Horizons magazine. (If not tell the Advisor)  Graduated members need to pay also to receive advanced degrees and continue their livestock showing eligibility.  Dues need to be paid by Sept. 15 2017.

  • If you have not visited with the Advisor, asked him to come to your workplace or introduced yourself, summer is going by fast.  Mr. Barnard would love to meet with you.

  • For FFA members showing livestock or static exhibits at the NE State Fair, make yourself aware of the entry deadlines and fees.  FFA Fairbook is the best way to start.  It is on line. Go to neaged.org   to  FFA on the toolbar and drop to FFA State Fair.  There is a code of ethics that needs signed for livestock.  August 10th is a big deadline date.

  • If your busy summer time permits visit the national FFA website at ffa.org

  • The Advisor encourages all livestock showpersons and their families to go to the neaged.org website to FFA to State Fair and view the video on Parade of Champions!  The Champions are the students, not the animals!

  • Thank you Farmers Cooperative for the opportunity to harvest the alfalfa near the DeWitt Agronomy Center in 2018.  It means an SAE or Chapter project.  Interested students should visit with Mr. Barnard.



There are several August dates early in the school year to mark on your calendars.  The first is the 125th Plymouth Celebration August 12th and 13th.  There is more FFA involvement later in the newsletter.  On Tuesday, August 22nd after sports practices the FFA Officers are hosting an Ag Orientation Night for all Ag Education freshman and all 8th graders interested in the Ag program.  The activities will be held in the Ag Dept.  Parents are asked to attend also.  If the folks are busy I bet Mr. Barnard can find an alumni to attend with you!  This is not a sit and listen activity… you will be engaged.  Saturday, August 26th is the State FFA Dairy Judging Contest and the State Dairy Food and Products Contest at the Nebr. State Fair in Grand Island.  If you would like to be on a team talk with Mr. Barnard by August 6.



Thank you FFA Officers for your work in hosting the Cub Creek annual picnic.  By the Advisor’s count over 30 ag education students and two foreign exchange students attended.  It was a beautiful night July 31st and the water was calm.  A special thank-you to the Weise Family for providing watercraft!!  Vice-President Spilker provided sweet corn to roast.



The Tri County FFA will be very involved during the 125th Plymouth Celebration on August 12th and 13th.  The activities, cooperating business, times and FFA contact are:

-Little Tuggers- Sat., 6:00, Peter Spilker

- Petting Zoo- Sat., 2:00-6:00. Kailey Weichel, Plymouth Vet. Clinic

- Gatling Gun Reenactors- Sat., 3:30-5:00, Officers, Plymouth Museum

- FFA Float- Sunday at 1:00, East Park, Mr. Barnard, FFA Float Theme-”County Schools Rock”;  all members can participate



Last issue of the Advisor I visited about types of Supervised Agriculture Experience Programs.  Since that issue several more S.A.E.’s have been observed.


There are basically three types of SAE’s: placement, exploratory and entrepreneurship.  Placement is working for someone.  This could be a family member or a business.  Examples of current student’s placement SAE’s I have visited since the last Advisor issue are: Bonnie- Dell Dairy, Evan- Huls Farms, Logan- Huls Farms,


An exploratory may be a paid or unpaid position; Alexx Malchow- Deshler Vet Clinic.


The entrepreneurship or ownership SAE is when you own the enterprise.  This could be livestock, crops or your own business.  Students enterprise’s in this area I have seen are Bonnie-Beef, Evan- Swine, Logan- Swine, Cole-Beef, Haleigh-Horses, Emerson-Equine, Caden-Swine, Jacob-Swine


Please mark the following dates on your calendar and plan accordingly.

  • August 22  7:00 pm  Ag Orientation Night in Ag Dept. for 8th & 9th graders

  • Sept. 1-4   Nebraska FFA State Fair @ Grand Island

  • Sept. 19    Area 6 Range Judging @ Pawnee Co.

  • Oct. 4        Southeast Area Land Judging

  • Oct. 24-28  Nat’l FFA Convention @ Indianapolis, IN

  • Nov. 8       District Livestock Judging @ York

  • Nov.           Leadership Night  TBA

  • Nov.           FFA/FBLA Thanksgiving Night  TBA

  • Jan. 17     Leadership Skills Events @ York

  • March 6    Career Development Events @ Beatrice

  • April 4-6   Nebraska State FFA Convention



As the county fair season winds down the Advisor would like to thank the following Ag Education students and families for representing the Tri County Ag Education Dept., school and our communities in such a positive manner; Alexx, Bonnie, Creighton, Logan, Evan, Lucas, Kynlee, Reagan, Savannah, Chad, Haleigh, Cole, Jacob, Hannah, Carter, Brevin, Kailey, Cassidy, Taylor, Shelby, Ella, Cody, Alexis, Josie, Emmett, Gavin, Emerson, Caden and Carter.  


It is extremely satisfying for me as your instructor and advisor to see students “take the high road” when things do not quite go your way in competition and to see gratitude shown when things go your way.  We call this life and county fair experiences are character builders.  Adults can learn from your actions!  When you chose to be involved in competitions you represent not only yourself but our chapter, school and communities.  Look back… what did I learn.  Again, thank-you students and “Grow On”.  Mr. Barnard



On July 24th Mr. Jay Seaton helped Mr. Barnard conduct a tree inventory of the Tri County School campus.  The inventory will help wil horticulture class and future tree plantings.  The list includes: Flowering Crabapple, Pin Oak, Sycamore,  Green Ash, Silver Maple, Magnolia, Northern Red Oak, River Birch, Colorado Blue Spruce, Thornless Honey Locust, Swamp White Oak, Bald Cypress, Smooth Sumac, Bradford Pear, Bur Oak, Eastern Cottonwood, Norway Spruce, Common Hackberry, Vibranium, Gingko, Serviceberry, Norway Maple, Austrian Pine, Sugar Maple, Eastern White Pine, Paper Birch, American Elm, Black Cherry, Smoke Tree



This summer, I was an ambassador for the Washington D.C. Youth Tour. On June 9th, twenty eight of my soon-to-be best friends and I left Omaha in search of adventure in D.C. and oh did we find it! The first few days were spent touring Gettysburg, many memorials such as the Vietnam and Korean, the Holocaust Museum, receiving a night tour of the Capitol building with Congressman Smith, Arlington Cemetery  and much much more! A minute in D.C. was never wasted! On Wednesday morning, we were invited to the Nebraska Breakfast in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. As we sipped coffee and ate our bagels, we heard  members of delegation such as Congressman Jeff Fortenberry and Senator Deb Fischer discuss topics prominent on Capitol Hill. Later that day, we visited the Library of Congress, which was personally my favorite building on Capitol Hill because of the beautiful architecture and deep thought that went into every single detail of the building.

It’s difficult to find words to describe exactly how impactful this trip has been on me and how many wonderful things we saw every single day without writing an entire book, but what I know is that this trip was a once in a lifetime opportunity. In just seven short days I learned more about my country, my fellow Americans, and myself than I have ever before. I met some of the utterly best people I have ever met in my entire life and I discovered exactly how amazing our nation really is.  From the absolute bottom of my heart, thank you so much to Norris Public Power and the Halsey Energy Camp for presenting me with this marvelous opportunity, I will be forever grateful.            Tiffany Pearson



FFA members helped make the 2017 Jefferson Co. Progressive Safety Day a success for 90 area youth.  On August 2nd Tiffany Pearson, Pete Spilker, Jacob Kapke, Ethan Paxton, Kailey Weichel, and Alexis Gerritse helped set up the county fairgrounds for the safety event.  On Aug. 3rd Tiffany and Hannah Holtmeier served as group leaders for the day.  Alexis Gerritse assisted the Farmers Coop demonstration on grain safety.  Advisor Barnard and Kynlee Uher were one of nine presenter groups.  Their topic was, “Lawn Equipment Safety”.  Each member received a T-shirt and a lot of personal satisfaction for making a difference in our rural communities.