I Believe Impacts Stuart FFA Along with Over 70 Other Chapters

Nebraska FFA Chapters have began collecting funds for the “I Believe in the Future of Ag” campaign. Every chapter in Nebraska is eligible to raise funds to be sent into the Nebraska FFA Foundation to be apart of the campaign. Last year, 74 chapters across the state raised over $301,000! 40 of those chapters raised over $1,000. The chapters that take part in the “I Believe” program to receive 100 percent of their local donations back and a portion of the $35,000 matching pot. 23 corporate partners are participating in the “I Believe in the Future of Ag” campaign to provide these funds to FFA chapters all over Nebraska. A great example of this campaign is the Stuart FFA Chapter.


The Stuart FFA Chapter is halfway to their fundraising goal of building a greenhouse thanks to their donors and the “I Believe in the Future of Ag” campaign. By 2019 they hope to have constructed a greenhouse to provide Supervised Agricultural Experience opportunities to their FFA members. The food they grow will be produced to supply school lunches with fresh foods or donated to their local nursing home and food pantry. Other funds they raise go towards state and national convention fees and travel expenses for their 40 members. 100 percent of their high school is a part of the agricultural education program. The school sends out a monthly newsletter to parents, businesses and patrons in the district that includes information about what the chapter is currently working on or accomplishing. The newsletter is also a way to promote the “I Believe in the Future of Ag” campaign at their school.

Many other FFA chapters across Nebraska are doing projects or activities like Stuart with their funds they earn. If you would like to donate to the “I Believe in the Future of Ag” campaign contact your local FFA chapter or click here. 



Poeschl Coming to Innovation Campus January 10th

Everyone is welcome to attend Mark Poeschl’s presentation for the UNL Heuermann Lecture series titled Leadership and Sustainability | Sustainability and Survivability: The Balancing Act to Feed the World. The presentation will take place on January 10th at 7:00 p.m. at Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center. 

Poeschl was a FFA state president here in Nebraska in 1978-79. He graduated from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln and then moved to St. Louis to begin his career at Purina. Later he moved to Lewisburg, Ohio to work for an animal nutrition firm named Carl S. Akley, Inc. In 2007, he then became the CEO of North American Nutrition, and then in 2011 began working for Cargill Animal Nutrition. Poeschl is now the Chief Executive Officer of the National FFA Organization and the National FFA Foundation. He is in charge of the long-term success of both the FFA organizations. He also assists in overseeing the family farm operation in Nebraska.

As you can tell he has had a big impact on FFA and Nebraska. You can  click here to find out more information about his presentation. Hope you can make it to Poeschl’s presentation on January 10th, but if not you can watch the presentation live if you  click here.


Nebraska National FFA Convention Results

Many FFA members, advisors and guests attended the 89th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis on October 19-22. Nebraska FFA members competed in contests during the Convention along with attended the career fair, listened to speakers and went sight seeing.


Here are the top results of Nebraska FFA members for the 2016 National FFA Convention:

  • Kourtney Kempkes of the Palmyra FFA Chapter was in the top 10 for the Dairy Cattle Handlers Activity.
  • Samuel Gifford, Benjamin Harms, Aaron Deunk and Adam Oldermeyer of the Norris FFA Chapter were the ninth place team in Farm Business Management.
  • Leigh- Anne Lehman, Colton Thompson, Riley Eisenhauer and Ayden Boller of the Eustis- Farnam FFA Chapter were the sixth place team in Meats Evaluation and Technology.
  • Colton Thompson of the Eustis- Farnam FFA Chapter placed as the second place individual in Meats Evaluation and Technology.
  • 147 American Degrees were awarded to Nebraska FFA members.
  • Jordan Paine of the Southern Valley FFA Chapter was an American Star Finalist in Agriscience.
  • Seth Janssen of the Waverly FFA Chapter was an Agricultural Mechanics Repair and Maintenance Entrepreneurship Proficiency Finalist.
  • Brent Miller of the Lyons- Decatur FFA Chapter was an Agriscience Research- Integrated Systems Proficiency Finalist.

You can go to https://www.ffa.org/events/convention/2016-results to see the complete list of results.


(Photo credit: National FFA Organization)


265 Jackets Donated to Blue Jackets. Bright Futures. Program

This year, the Blue Jackets. Bright Futures. Program had over 600 applicants! Of those applicants 265 were selected to receive a donated jacket from this years’ program! Thank you to all of the donors of this program. Your donation has now changed an FFA members life forever for them to be able to have their own FFA jacket to wear.

The FFA Blue Jackets. Bright Futures. Program selection committee met to review student applications. The committee saw a wide array of need and potential in these students, ranging from a rough home life, a strong financial need and a desire and potential to do more in FFA.

Thank you for support ing the 2014 Blue Jackets. Bright Futures. program.

Each student answered four questions and their advisor sent in a statement. Here are some experts from the students applications:

What does FFA mean to you?

“FFA not only gives us the ability to learn about agriculture, it gives us more life skills, such as communication and leadership. There might be a lot of information to take in, but you pick up a lot of friends along the way. FFA is an experience you would probably never forget. To me, it means the chance to learn new things and experience things that will help me to achieve my goals and dreams now and in the future.”

“FFA means the opportunity to meet new people, learning more about agriculture, expanding my knowledge on the FFA topic and opportunity to be a leader. By meeting new people I can better my presentation and communication skills. Learning more on agriculture could help me better my knowledge on how to be a successful farmer. Expanding my knowledge on the FFA topic would better my opportunity to be a successful FFA member and a sponsor. Being in FFA would give me the opportunity to be a leader.”

How will the FFA jacket help you make an impact?

“My FFA jacket will not only help me to make an impact, but will also give me a great sense of pride as I display my FFA chapter’s name. With my jacket I will be able to reach my full potential in FFA and devote much of my time to my chapter.”

“The jacket will help me make an impact because it represents my state and chapter. I will be able to do great things in FFA while wearing this jacket because it will allow me to learn more and to participate in events for me and my chapter.”

Transform at the 2016 National FFA Convention October 19-22

In 1928, only 33 students attended the first National FFA Convention from 18 states. Those 33 young men elected Leslie Applegate as the first National FFA President. In 1929, the FFA colors officially became national blue and corn gold. The jackets worn today were adopted as official dress in 1933. Now, FFA programs are in all 50 states and two US territories. Across the United States there are 7,575 chapters. In Nebraska, there are 175 chapters with 7,400 FFA members.
Nebraska FFA members have transformed over the years to excel in their Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE), Career Development Events (CDE), Leadership Skills Events (LSE), community service projects and leadership in their communities.
Nebraska FFA has many members and chapters competing in events at National FFA Convention October 19-22 in Indianapolis.


  • 147 American Degrees will be awarded to Nebraska FFA members.
  • Jordan Paine of the Southern Valley FFA Chapter is an American Star Finalist in Agriscience.
  • Seth Janssen of the Waverly FFA Chapter is an Agricultural Mechanics Repair and Maintenance Entrepreneurship Proficiency Finalist.
  • Brent Miller of the Lyons- Decatur FFA Chapter is an Agriscience Research- Integrated Systems Proficiency Finalist.
  • 15 Nebraska FFA Chapters will be awarded with Star National Chapter Awards.

Today is National Teach Ag Day


Today is National Teach Ag Day. This is a day to celebrate school-based agricultural education and to encourage agricultural education advocates, especially current agricultural educators (middle school, high school, post-secondary, pre-service programs, etc.) to share with others the great career opportunities in agricultural education.

Many of you are aware of the shortage of teachers, which has been affecting Nebraska, among other states, for the last several years. So in addition to saying thank you to our agriculture education teachers, I wanted to share a few facts from Matt Kreifels, Nebraska’s State Director of Agricultural Education, about the ag teacher supply and demand as it stands today.

Here’s the update he gave me:

  • Nebraska schools posted 44 openings for teachers this last spring.  Compare that to 21 openings in 2011.
  • Nebraska has added 45 new agricultural education programs since 2010.
  • Nebraska now has 14 schools that have two agricultural education teachers on faculty.
  • UNL graduated 11 student teachers in the 2015-16 academic year with 100% teaching placements.
  • UNL expects to graduate 10 student teachers for the 2016-17 school year.
  • UNL is expecting between 25-30 UNL students  completing their student teaching semester during the 2017-18 academic year.

While there are many factors contributing to the growth of agriculture education teachers as a profession, we attribute part of the growth to the National State Teach Ag Results (STAR) initiative. This was a program that Nebraska’s Team Ag Ed engaged with three years ago. It included a collaborative support for pre-service teachers to engage with current teachers in professional development, retention programs for teachers and Teach Ag internships. The Nebraska FFA Foundation and its partners have helped make this program possible and we are excited to see the successes of the initiative.

I Believe in the Future of Ag Campaign Kicks Off


September marks the official start of the seventh annual I Believe in the Future of Ag fundraising campaign. This campaign serves as an outlet for local FFA chapters to raise money for innovative projects in their classrooms, leadership programming, community service projects and field trips to advance agriculture education in their schools.

This year, Aurora Cooperative, BigIron Auctions, Central Valley Ag, CPI, DEKALB/Asgrow and Verdesian committed $20,000 each to the campaign. Other sponsors, contributing $10,000 each, include Bayer CropScience, CoBank, Country Partners Cooperative, CHS Foundation, GrainBridge, FMC, Farm Credit Services of America, Farmers Cooperative, First National Bank Omaha, Frontier Coop, Koch Fertilizer, Lindsay Corporation, Nebraska Farm Bureau, Pinnacle Bank, Producers Livestock, Valley Irrigation and WinField Solutions.

100 percent of each local donation will be sent back to the designated chapter at the end of the campaign and the Nebraska FFA Foundation, along with its corporate partners, will provide extra incentives to participating FFA chapters. This year, $35,000 in matching funds will be distributed to participating chapters.

“Nebraska FFA chapters have raised over a million dollars for their local agriculture education and FFA programs since the inception of the I Believe in the Future of Ag campaign. Seeing the growth of agricultural education and the many innovative and educational programs that chapters are fundraising for makes me proud of the work of this campaign and I encourage everyone who has been impacted by agriculture education to make a donation to their local FFA chapter to enhance learning for every student, in every classroom, every day,” says Stacey Agnew, Nebraska FFA Foundation Executive Director.