FL FFA members are busy at the State Fair

Amber McCarthy
FFA Chapter Reporter

Forest Lake FFA members were hard at work preparing for this year’s “Great Minnesota Get Together” well before the fair even began on Thursday, Aug. 23.

Students began constructing the display the Sunday before the fair’s start and continue their work through Wednesday, Aug. 23. Their efforts were recognized as the design took Reserve Grand Champion honors.

“This is a fun experience,” explained junior Ben Plautz who served as the landscape booth committee chair. “We are able to use the skills that we learn in our plant science classes and create an exhibit for fairgoers to see.”

Each year the chapter competes in the annual Landscape Design competition sponsored by the state fair where students demonstrate their knowledge of plants, design principles and construction skills. The theme this year was “Minnesota Biomes” and students had to select plant materials naturally found in a prairie environment.

This didn’t happen without some help from agriculture advisory board members as local landscaper, Kurt Schrader, assisted with the design and plants were donated by Abrahamson Nursery of Scandia and Waldoch Farms of Lino Lakes.

The chapter’s booth is located in the Horticulture Building for the duration of the fair.

CHS Center

Once again the Forest Lake FFA is well represented at the CHS Miracle of Birth Center as two chapter members are serving as barnyard attendants.

Senior officers Zach Christensen and Amber McCarthy are working the last six days of the fair as they care for animals, answer questions and share their animal agriculture knowledge. Their teachers, Mike Miron and Ann Tauzell are also working as part of the building’s management team.

“I’m excited to visit with fairgoers,” Christensen said. “I look forward to discussing with our guests the importance of animal agriculture and the farming community.”

Other Fair Duties

Forest Lake also has two state officers with Nathan Daninger, a 2012 graduate, serving as the Minnesota FFA State Treasurer and current senior Rachael Anderson as Region IV President. They’ll be working in the FFA Chapter House and Leadership Center which is connected to the CHS Miracle of Birth Center. In their role they will be visiting with fairgoers about the importance of agricultural education and FFA, and are also looking to reconnect with FFA alums.

The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 523,309 student members – all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture – as part of 7,487 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

The National FFA Organization changed to its present name in 1988, in recognition of the growth and diversity of agriculture and agricultural education. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

The Forest Lake High School Agricultural Education Department offers courses and internship opportunities in the areas of animal science, plant science, natural resource science, mechanics, agri-business and leadership development. Students are also members of the Forest Lake FFA.

For more information about the Forest Lake Agricultural Education Department and the FFA chapter, or to enroll in courses, contact an agricultural education instructor at (651) 982-8495 or visit the FFA’s web site at http://flhs.forestlake.k12.mn.us/FFA.