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FFA members, from Greenhands to seniors, are busy throughout the year.

As our members looks back and reflect on the school year that has past, they can’t help but think about all of our accomplishments and the great year that we have had so far. We have gained many new FFA members, had many activities and have had many achievements.

Some of these highlights are our Local Greenhand Night, Pancake Breakfast, National Convention, and our Animal Learning Lab. This year was the first year we held our own local Greenahnd Night. “Greenhand” means first year member in FFA, not just freshman. This night was on October 1st with many members attending. Our night consisted of the new members going around to various classes taught by our chapter officers and learning more about FFA and what it has to offer. We had many members attend this evening and plan to do it again in years to come.

The next highlight of our year was our first ever Pancake Breakfast. Our Pancake Breakfast was held on October 19th, at the V-S High School. The breakfast was a free will donation, with all of the proceeds going to local veteran’s organizations. Over the course of the morning, we raised $1,330, which was donated during the annual Veteran’s Day Assembly on November 11th.

This year the National FFA Convention was held in Louisville, Kentucky, for the first time in several years. This was a new and exciting experience for many of our members and chaperones as well. Our chapter had 19 members and 6 chaperones attend this years National Convention. While there, our chapter was recognized for receiving a 3 star rating at the national level, which is the highest rank a chapter can receive. We also had one member, Timothy Houtchens, have a proficiency application in the area of Ag sales receive a bronze ranking at nationals. And finally, we had one member receive their American Degree while at nationals as well. Stephen Stinson, graduate of the class of 2012, became the twenty-first member from the Vinton-Shellsburg FFA Chapter to receive their American Degree with the Supervised Agricultural Experience of being a hired hand at Nolan Farms. Overall we had a very good time at National Convention, and had many accomplishments.

Finally, the Animal Learning Lab. This project has been a long time coming, and is finally going to be here. The Animal Learning Lab will be a barn behind the school and be a part of the Ag department. The main goal of it is for hands-on learning. Being able to bring in larger animals and teach the students will change so many things, and open so many new learning windows for students. Fundraising is still ongoing for the Animal Learning Lab, but there has been enough raised to start the project. The blueprints are being finalized and they are hoping for it to be up and ready for use by the fall of 2014.

Overall we have had a very successful year this year. From Greenhands, Pancakes, Kentucky, and Barns, the Vinton-Shellsburg FFA Chapter has had a lot going on this school year. With the many months of school left and the many years to come, you just never know what the chapter will accomplish next, but we can’t wait to find out.

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