Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

Pine Bluffs FFA reflects on a busy 2017


February 8, 2018

For the Pine Bluffs Post

Left: Members Alex Graves, Alison Mickelson, and Clayton Gross stand by the town sign of Haxton before delivering the fencing supplies to the local FFA Chapter.

As we looked back on our 2017 year, we have realized that we have accomplished many great things as a chapter. One of the first things that kicked off our 2017 year was the state officer visit. With their arrival, they brought with them different activities that let us as members learn how FFA can better our lives and how we can use agriculture to progress in life. After the excitement of the state officers, the members of the Pine Bluffs FFA went to the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado. It was a great time to bond with other members and to just enjoy being apart of the agricultural life.

Before we knew it, January turned into February and for the freshmen that were giving the FFA Creed at the District Speech Contest. We also held our National FFA Week Activities in February and everyday was something different. One of the most memorable was when members Jo Langlois and Kelby Eastman rode their horses to school.

With the month of March, along came our trip to Powell and Casper judging events.

Even with the the weather that slowed us down, we still were able to attend these competitions.

It was a great time to bond with other members and be able to create great memories with friends. This trip was also a great opportunity to get in some practice before state convention, which was a month away.

April brought state convention "State convention was a great experience. I encourage all of our members to form a team so they can attend. My favorite aspect of state convention is the camaraderie that happens each and every day; you meet many new people and form new connections and friends that can turn out to be long friends that help make great memories." said Clayton Gross.

Alex Graves, Jordan Langlois, Sierra Shelit, and Tristen Lind received their state degrees during convention. Alex was recognised as a Regional Star in agriculture placement for his work on their family farm. Kenzie Graves also won Grain Production Placement proficiency.

"My favorite memory from Convention would have to be winning my Proficiency. My proficiency was in Grain Production Placement. I had gotten second place in a different proficiency the year before, but it was pretty neat to win the first place award this time. I got to pin a gold award pin onto my jacket and retire the silver one. It was such a great feeling." stated Kenzie Graves

April was our busiest month by far. Between state convention and our labor auction, you could say that we had our hands full. All of our members sold and we sold a pair of individuals that would be willing to get any job you throw at them done. Along with the funds from the labor auction, we had a silent auction for a community benefit to raise money for families in need after recent catastrophes.

Highlight of our year was the opportunity to deliver the fencing supplies to the FFA chapter in Haxtun Colorado. The fence post drive lasted 5 weeks, started with a day spent at Murdochs in Cheyenne, and in conclusion members took barbed wire, posts, and other supplies, and delivered them to the FFA chapter in Haxtun Colorado. It took members one whole day to separate posts, wire, and other supplies before loading them up on a trailer andleaving on a Friday morning. This required communicating with the chapter and arranging the delivery. They were more than happy to deliver the supplies to farmers and ranchers in need in their area. After delivery members of the Pine Bluffs FFA chapter were able to have lunch and talk about the agriculture in two different areas and network with FFA Members from another community. "This was probably the neatest experience that I have had as an ag teacher, setting up the delivery with the members of the Haxton FFA, and working together to help farmers and ranchers in need. We had the opportunity to eat lunch with several members and had fun talking about agriculture from two different states. It was rewarding to know that we had done something neat for people in need." said Mr. Cox. "Without the support from Murdochs and Alco Fence this project would not have been as successful as it was!" added Cox

Even with school out for the summer June brought the officer retreat for the newly selected officers. Officers traveled to Estes Park, Colorado to discuss important matters and plan the upcoming chapter events.

In July, members were called upon to help with the Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce Pardners N' Prosperity event. It was themed "Feel the Western Spirit" and was the first "Farm to Table" experience to serve 600 guests in Laramie County. The Pine Bluffs chapter wasn't the only to help with this important event, all five laramie county chapters were present.

August rings in the County and State Fair. Many members exhibit different things. Most are cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs. Some of our members even entered projects in the non-animal related competitions. As the excitement of fair slowly left, and school began, our FFA chapter got ready and sent out invitations to our Welcome Back BBQ. This was yet another great opportunity to catch up with friends and others. It was a great way to start the new school year.

As we got adjusted to our new schedules and getting used to having to get up early in the morning for school, our older members started to plan our Farm Safety Day. This event was on a nice day in September and was a great experience for the elementary students. We taught the younger students about different animals, farm equipment, and how to be safe when working with and around them.

Only a couple months into school, along came our first practice judging competitions.

The first one was in Cheyenne at LCCC and we had 10 members attend this competition. The next day was an early morning. We attended the Casper judging competition and only four members were willing to leave at 5:00 in the morning to attend.

October also holds the NILE (Northern International Livestock Expo) in Billings, Montana. We had three members attend this to show their cattle. Justus Golding was the reserve champion market animal showman, Grace Steenburgen took the grand champion Balancer bull, and two division winning animals. She was also a reserve champion showman. Jeffrey Langlois also exhibited prospect calves at the NILE.

In November, we had 16 members, freshman through seniors, attend the Fire and CPC conference in Douglas, Wyoming. This was a great experience to meet and connect with new people from around the state and discuss different matters that happen across our great state of Wyoming. Five of the members, all upperclassmen, attended the CPC conference. The Chapter Presidents Conference lets members participate in the delegate process, leadership workshops, and the ability to train with the state officers. The Fire part of this conference is to let the younger members of the various chapters from around the state learn what FFA is all about. They meet new people, learn about FFA, and most importantly, learn about themselves as a person involved in agriculture.

Wrapping up our year, we had a wagon in the Christmas at Home Parade, held our annual Canned Food Drive, and our Holiday BBQ, formerly known as the Wildlife BBQ. With the parade as the first event in December, we didn't hesitate to participate. We had a member that is close with the Messenger family, who owns a team of wonderful show Percheron horses, ask if we could use a team and a wagon for the parade. We were able to get a team of horses to Pine Bluffs. After the parade was over, we had many compliments on how beautiful the team and the wagon was. We would like to thank the Messenger family for helping us make that possible. The day after the parade, members stayed after school to help hand out bags for the food drive. Between three groups of people, we covered the town in about two hours. Not long after, the higher ag class went around town to collect the boxes that we dropped off at various business. In the end, we were able to help feed 90-100 families in the town of Pine Bluffs.

Right before school got out for Christmas Break, we held our Holiday BBQ. Members, their families, and anyone else in the community were invited to this event. This BBQ is a great time for the members parents catch up and talk to each other while their children are talking to their friends. We served brisket, pork loin, ribs, and a variety of salads, side dishes, and deserts to the guests.

As you can see, the Pine Bluffs FFA chapter is willing to do whatever we need to do to help support our community. Our members are ready for another year packed full of different events and to be able to attend state convention. We have been practicing our different CDE's, and are ready to try our hardest. Throughout our 2018 year, we as members will continue to follow our motto. Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, and Living to Serve


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