Benefits of Ag Research

National centre for genetic engineering and biotechnology (BIOTEC).

Read this article

Who maintains statistics with regard to ag trade?  What has happened to the value of agricultural exports in the last several decades?  What are the benefits of expanded ag trade?  What risks?  How can those risks be minimized?  Why might you be asked if you’ve visited a farm recently when boarding an international flight?  What has happened to the number of people flying on commercial airlines?  What is a controlled entry point – what does it do, provide a couple of examples.  Does weather impact the spread of plant or animal diseases?  How?  Where was Ug99 Wheat Stem Rust first identified, how far has it spread?  What risk is associated with Ug99?  What is being done to minimize the risk associated with Ug99?  With regard to animal diseases, how can a treatment that was once effective become ineffective against the same disease?  What is H5N2 – what species does it affect?  What effect has it had?  How can plant and animal diseases affect our economy?

Your post is due Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 8:15 a.m.

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What’s COOL?

Today we’re going to talk about all things COOL!
What is it? What’s the history of the issue?  What legislation has been discussed, passed, signed into law?  What states have been involved in the issue?  What government agencies, if any, are involved with COOL?  Has South Dakota had legislation regarding COOL?  If so – what, when etc.  Finally – what is your opinion of COOL?  How does the legislation impact the parties involved: Producers, government agencies, consumers, marketers, exporters, etc.

It might be wise to begin by reading this.

Your post is due Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 8:15 a.m.

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The Half-Hearted Kamikaze

Today we’ll be spending a bit of time with the Habitudes series.  We’ll be focusing on the book The Art of Telling our Story.  The series focuses on images that form leadership habits and attitudes; hence the name “Habitudes”.

This material has been made available through the National FFA Organization and the Growing Leaders Program.

Please note due date is stated (AS USUAL) at the end of this post!

Kamikaze pilots are only useful if they are committed to their mission. You cannot have involvement without commitment and be effective. It goes with the territory.

What’s the difference between involvement and commitment?

Where in life is commitment a life or death situation?

View these clips from the movie Apollo 13:


I love the story of the kamikaze pilot, who flew in World War II for the Japanese air force. He was interviewed by a newspaper reporter after returning from his fiftieth mission. The reporter asked the pilot if he was actually a contradiction. How can someone be a kamikaze pilot–whose mission is to fly into military bases and give up his life in the process—and still be alive after fifty missions?
“Well, its like this,” the pilot responded. “I was very involved. Not ever committed, but very involved.”
A true kamikaze pilot only flies on ONE mission. He gives his life for that one mission. He cannot be involved without being committed. There is NO SUCH THING as a half-hearted kamikaze. Commitment goes with the territory. And so it is with US! If we have any hope of being a successful person, much less an effective leader in our church, we must be committed. Leaders possess commitment. They cannot be involved without being committed. The rest of the world may enjoy involvement without commitment, but WE CAN NOT!
So, what’s the difference between involvement and commitment? Just think of a pig and a chicken after eating a ham and egg breakfast.

The chicken was involved. The pig was committed.
The word “mediocre” was first used to describe rock (or mountain) climbers who were involved but not committed. The word literally means “middle of the rock”. It was used to describe climbers who didn’t finish the climb but stopped halfway.
Our schools are filled with students who want to be involved but not really committed. They want to keep all of their options open, and often don’t make a decision until the last minute because a better opportunity may arise at the eleventh hour. In fact, because our world offers us so many options, we tend not to commit ourselves because we prefer a wide focus. We want to do it all! The problem is—we can’t do it all. Leaders can do SOMETHING but they can’t do EVERYTHING. Nearly every great leader in history accomplished something memorable because of a narrow focus and a great commitment to the cause. Even young leaders have figured this out and make their mark because they are committed.
Joan of Arc knew her life mission by the time she was fifteen years old. At seventeen, she led 3,000 French knights in battle. On one occasion, she told a military general: “I will lead the way over the wall.” The general replied, “Not a man will follow you.” Joan replied, “I won’t be looking back to see if they’re following me.”
At nineteen she was burned alive because she would not recant on her commitment to France. The British gave her a chance to regain her liberty if she would only change her allegiance, but she would not. In choosing to die at the stake, she said, “Everyone gives their life for what they believe. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing, and yet they give their life to that little or nothing. One life is all we have, and we like it, and then it’s gone. But to give up what you are and to live without belief is more terrible than dying, even more terrible than dying young.”
John Wesley founded the organization that later became the Methodist Church when he was seventeen. He could have done many other things. He was educated at Oxford and enjoyed horticulture, medicine, journalism, and politics. But he saw the great spiritual need of England during the 18th century and committed himself to spiritual renewal. He traveled over 250,000 miles on horseback, teaching and organizing churches more than fifty years. Unlike Joan of Arc, Wesley died of old age, but not until his movement had impacted Great Britain. One history book reported that John Wesley almost single-handedly saved England from bloody revolution.
So…how does this relate to you?
Today, people talk about commitments they’re going to make, but often fail to keep them. New Year’s resolutions last until February or March, at best. We say we believe in something or make a promise—then we drift from it. Half-hearted kamikazes are a dime a dozen. The reason other folks live such quality lives and possess such great influence is that they do more than make promises. They’re committed to some ideals and values, and they live them out. They move from a “wish” to a “lifestyle” by surrendering to a cause along the way.
Your commitment will mean something when you act on it for an extended period of time. When you become committed, you will notice something wonderful. The moment you make a commitment you will find all kinds of wisdom, energy, and resources at your disposal that weren’t necessarily there before you made the commitment.
Many people want to see everything in place before they get committed. Unfortunately, they will never act if they are waiting for the perfect conditions. They are half-hearted kamikazes, waiting for a feeling before they act. They want to “feel” led to do something. Once again, they may be waiting for a while. We are much more likely to act our way into a feeling, then we are to feel our way into action. Get committed long enough, and eventually that commitment will become a conviction you’ll be willing to die for.

All that being said – for today:

Define the following on your blog: Sacrifice, Purpose, Determination

As you consider your involvement in Church, activities, and athletics, which is most difficult for you to live out: sacrifice, purpose, or determination?

Why must advocates  keep clarifying their commitment and refining their message?

Is it difficult for you to make long-term commitments? Why?

Review the five phases of building personal convictions: ideas, opinions, beliefs, commitments, convictions.  Now reflect on two decisions you’ve made recently for a project.  the decisions should involve some future plan.  Was it difficult to follow through on them?  Where do you stand on those two decisions?  List these two decisions and state which of the five stages you think you are in regarding each decision.

Finally: Think about a goal you want to accomplish this year.  It could be associated with a project your chapter is working on or a personal goal.  You could also choose an idea such as planning and sponsoring a project or event.  Once you have selected your goal, write out a detailed action plan with target dates for completion.

Your post is due, Monday, March 13th at 8:15 a,m.  Continue working on CDE Prep!

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Spring CDE Prep

It’s time to get serious about preparing and studying for Spring CDEs!

uuid-b2e565ab-6674-4cd6-be4f-4b414eca6b46-groupid-4403449-t-1381173172898_origAll updated rules for Spring CDEs can be found on the new SD Ag Ed website.


All rules are here.

There is a Google Classroom for each of the Spring CDEs – if you need a join code or need me to invite you, let me know. Each classroom has quite a few resources for studying.

When it comes time to select teams to go to state – if you’ve never joined your respective classroom, taken any sample tests, etc – don’t expect to beat someone out for a spot that HAS put in the TIME!

There are old tests and answer keys in the CDE tubs.  Use them to make your test banks.

Read this post and follow the directions.

Your first test bank is due to me via email Monday, March 6, 2017 at 8:15 a.m.  Do it now


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What is Equal?

I’m still waiting on The $50 March 1 deposit from most of the people going to National Convention.

Sign up on the door for Flandreau and Lennox CDEs.

Let me know if you need to be added to a Google Classroom for CDE preparation.


I know you’ve heard it or said it at least once in your life!  This isn’t fair, or equal!  Take a few minutes to really look at the image above.  On your blog, discuss the difference between Equality and Equity.  Should your teachers treat you equally or with equity?  What’s the difference? Tell me about a time when you were treated equally rather than with equity.  What happened, how did you feel, how did you do with whatever the challenge was?

Your post is due today; February 28, 2017 at 12:20 p.m.

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True or False

It’s National FFA Week.  A time when we celebrate the history and traditions of American agriculture and leadership.  Part of that responsibility is to be sure that we are adequately educated and can speak intelligently about our industry.

View this Chipotle ad from 2012

And this one from 2014

And this video from an opposing viewpoint

One more, this time from Panera Bread

A reaction from an opposing viewpoint:

Read this article.

Check out Chipotle’s website and read their key messages with regard to the food the buy and serve.

On your blog – What are your thoughts about the video messages from Chipotle?  What recent issue plagued Chipotle restaurants in the last couple of years?  Have there been other restaurants that have faced similar issues?  Who are they, what was their obstacle?  How do Chipotle’s videos make you feel about American agriculture?  What things in Chipotle and Panera’s adds are misleading? Is there a fast food restaurant that is particularly supporting of farmers?  What can you do to support agriculture and get your voice heard with regard to some of these advertisements?

Your post is due Friday, February 24, 2017 at 8:15 a.m. – Snow day or not!

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Life is like a camera

15940966_1306818986007086_9093406466643135688_nLife is like a camera!  What do you focus on – what’s important to you?  What are some of your shining moments that you would capture in a photo if you could?  What negative things have happened in your life that you have learned from?  What things have you tried multiple times, hoping for a better result?  Tell me all about it!

Your post is due TODAY at 12:20 p.m.

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Raising children differently

462How do you think you might raise your kids differently than the way your parents raised you?  How will technology affect the way you parent?  Will you have rules about the allowable age to begin dating? When will your kids get a cell phone?  Will it be a smart phone or the cheapest one you can find?  How do you feel about your daughter wearing make up?  Is there an age below which you won’t allow that?  How old will your children be when you allow them to drive?  What rules do your parents have for you that you think are pointless or that you won’t impose on your children?

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How would you rank these things?

We’ll be changing gears, finishing up Proficiency application work, and moving on to Spring CDE Preparation.

We submitted 16 proficiency applications yesterday.  Last year we submitted 36.  We won 7 areas and had 12 students place in the money. Judging is Thursday, February 16h.

The requirement for this class was for each of you to submit/complete one application.  Those of you who were in class last year, were required to submit/complete two applications unless you had won your area last year.  Did you meet the requirements? **Address this in your blog post.

There are several State FFA Scholarships that you may be eligible for.  I am attaching the applications to this post.  Deadline for submission is Monday, February 13, 2017.  This is a postmark deadline.

Bob Redder Scholarship APP 2017

AgEd Application 2016

B&G Application 2016

Each of these applications require a letter of recommendation from me.  Please don’t wait until 3:25 p.m. on Monday to let me know that you are applying!

I’m working my way through entering missing/late work.

For today:
469Respond to the image above on your blog.  Give me your ranking and why you rank them the way you do.  Are there other things that are important to you that you might rank ahead of one of these things?  If so, share that with me.

** Address the statement above regarding proficiency applications.  Also – give me some insight on why deadlines and due dates don’t matter. How should my grading reflect what you either did or didn’t do?

Your post is due Monday, February 13, 2017 at 8:15 a.m.

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Personal Pages – Proficiency Apps

Personal Page and Resume

Each proficiency application has attachments that need to be included.  The two attachments required are an instructor’s statement – that one’s on me.  The second, is “your” personal page.

  • Attach one page of additional information, of your choice, supporting your application for this area. (i.e., Newspaper clippings, additional statements from employer, student work, etc.)
  • Write a personal story even with a little background on their family (especially if not a farm background) then talk about all phases of their SAE and how/what FFA activities they have enjoyed the most etc.
  • For some we will do ads, collages, certificates of attendance at marketing workshops, an additional letter from an employer, inventory pages for some breeding livestock, Newspaper articles scanned in to a page, etc.

For our purposes, we’ll do one page, single spaced, 12 pt font.  Talk about your SAE – all phases, not just the one in the proficiency app you’re working on (this way the personal page could be used for more than one area of proficiency apps.)  Talk about your FFA Experiences – things you’ve done, plan to do etc.  Talk about your future plans for education, SAE and FFA involvement.

We also need to spend some time working on your Resume for your proficiency app.  AET will build a lot of it, we just need to make sure you’ve got things entered.

I’m attaching two examples of personal pages and resume’s from former National Finalists.  Use them as a guide.

Personal page 1

Personal page 2

I also have quite a variety of personal pages from last years’ applicants.

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