South Dakota FFA Foundation, Inc.
SD FFA Foundation Email Newsletter ~ | ~ Volume 7, Issue 10 ~ | ~ May 2017

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The SD FFA Email Newsletter highlights special projects of the SD FFA and SD FFA Foundation.  Please forward this newsletter to others you know who are involved and interested in FFA and agriculture education. Thank you for your support of the FFA in South Dakota!Transform

Director’s Message:

Spring is my favorite time of year – the smells, sights and excitement of fresh worked soil, lush green pastures, flowers poking up, tractors putting in crops and school nearing the end. Although summer break means fun, FFA members will continue to learn throughout the summer.  Local members and officers are getting ready for State Leadership Retreat and planning local chapter officer retreats. These students are preparing to lead their local chapter next year through leadership and chapter planning workshops.

Students are also working on their Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAEs) year-round. Whether it's working on a family farm, running a greenhouse or doing research, these students get purposeful hands-on learning with their projects. Remember, safety 1st at work or play!

While our students continue to learn and work, it's our responsibility to continue to work to support them. The SD FFA Foundation is working to grow FFA in more communities, get students plugged into the agriculture industry, support agriculture teachers and support statewide leadership capacity. Thanks for your part in all we do for our members

Gerri Ann Eide, Executive Director, SD FFA Foundation, Inc.

Students TRANSFORM their talents because of FFA!

Students are not always great about writing thank you notes. But they DO appreciate people that help them! This was obvious at State Convention when members visited one on one with their proficiency sponsors. CarolynObserving, it was great to see the connections happening between FFA members and supporters!  Know your sponsorship, great or small IS appreciated!

Carolyn Blatchford, Brookings FFA member shares, “Sponsors gave me the opportunity to attend State Leadership Camp.  This experience and FFA have given me leadership qualities to use personally in my future and bring back to my chapter.  Thank you!”

Your donation inspires students to transform into leaders!

Upcoming events:

  • June 20-21 Rangeland & Soils Days, Wall

  • June 27-30 East River Leadership Retreat: Swan Lake

  • July 11-14 West River Leadership Retreat: Custer

  • July 30 FFA Foundation Board meeting, Brookings

  • July 30 – August 2 SDAAE Conference, Brookings

  • August 15-17 FFA booth with SD Soybean Research & Promotion Council; Dakotafest, Mitchell

  • August 19 FFA State Fair exhibitor entries due

  • August 30 - September 4 SD State Fair, Huron

Connecting Students with Industry

This year at convention, 2,000 FFA members engaged with nearly 40 agricultural organizations at the SD FFA Career Carnival. The one-day career fair allows students the opportunity to interact and learn more about career opportunities in agriculture. One thing that the SD FFA Foundation Board is very passionate about is helping students to connect with those in the agriculture industry. The United States Department of Agriculture expects an average of 47,900 new agriculture-related jobs annually through 2020 and so our board takes the growing need for agricultural professionals and the need for those professionals in rural SD to heart. This career carnival is one way for us to support future leaders and the number one industry in SD - agriculture.


There were many other notable events and accomplishments recognized at this year's State FFA Convention. If you have time, I'd encourage you to check out the complete list of results listed on our website.

Summer Leadership Retreats

For us alums, that means CAMP!  This year the SD FFA is hosting 2 Leadership Retreats – one at camp Bob Marshall, Custer, and one at Swan Lake, Viborg.  State officers are excited and working on curriculum which focuses on defining leadership, identifying personal strengths, setting goals, respecting diversity, exploring opportunities available through FFA, and service learning. FFA members can earn one of the following scholarships to attend:

  • 5 Sioux Valley Electric scholarships for students from  Moody, Lake, Minnehaha, and Brookings counties
  • 2  Walt Johnson memorial scholarships - 1 for District 5 member, 1 for member from anywhere in the state
  • 2 Leonard DeBoer memorial scholarships - for member anywhere in the state
  • 4 West River Electric scholarships for students from Rapid City, Wall & Sturgis
Click here to see who received this year's Advisor Tribute Scholarships!

Ag Adventure Center – Still more to do!

Creating the dynamic, educational SD FFA Ag Adventure Center at the SD State Fairgrounds has helped empower consumers to value today’s agriculture!  Didn’t see it last year?  We shifted the focus from a “petting zoo” experience to interactive exhibits and displays that address food safety and the environmental impact of agriculture.  

The Mission: The FFA Ag Adventure Center showcases modern agriculture practices, communicates commitment to natural resources, and demonstrates wholesome, safe food production.

THANK YOU to all those who have committed to making it a reality, we have more work to do!  What to be part of it?  Contact

2017 additions include the Cargill Technology Center with apps highlighting food nutritional values, a robotics milking system demonstration, a hands-on soils display, theme days and more!   


Congratulations to These Ag Ed supporters!

Each year at State Convention, a few supporters are recognized for their commitment to FFA.  Congratulations to these individuals and thanks for your continued support of FFA!

Honorary State FFA Degree

The following individuals received Honorary State Degrees:
• Dr. Scott Smalley
• Nora Kohlenburg
• Charlene Weber
• Shirley Thompson
• Maureen Wobig
• Suzanna Sousa
• Kevin and Patty Larson
• Jason and Alicia Knutson
• Eugene and Julie Streff
• Allen Schmeichel
• Kira Schmeichel
• Jeff and Deanna Hoffman
• Steve and Darcie Peters

Distinguished Service

The following individuals received the Distinguished Service Award:
• Sylvia Wolters, Sioux Falls, SD
• Brookings High School, Brookings, SD
• Kendal Thompson, Everly, IA
• Security State Bank of Chancellor, Chancellor, SD
• Darin and Troy Zoellner, Groton, SD
• Marvin Wastell, Omaha, NE
• Heidi Selken, Colton, SD
• Mitchell Technical Institute, Mitchell, SD

SD FFA members package 52,032 meals for those in need

The blue corduroy jacket is a familiar symbol, worn as part of official dress during most FFA activities. At convention this year, for the SD FFA Living to Serve Day sponsored in part by DuPont Pioneer, members removed their jackets and replaced it with an apron, hair net and plastic gloves to help fight hunger. SD FFA members measured, poured, sealed and boxed 52,032 meals in assembly line fashion throughout the day-long event. Members stopped in between workshops and competitive events throughout convention and left the event knowing that by giving a few minutes of their time they would make a significant difference in the life of a person less fortunate then themselves. The 52,032 meals will be distributed across SD by accredited food bank partners.

SD FFA members bound for Washington D.C.!

The Washington Leadership Conference (WLC) is a service orientated National FFA program. Members take part in a service project, gain a better understanding of their own personal leadership styles, and develop a community service action plan to implement back home. SD FFA has many members attending, and the South Dakota FFA Foundation awarded four $500 travel scholarships to help.  Congratulatinos to:

Danika Gordon, Sturgis
Kaylen Stearns, Hot Springs
Alicia VanderWal, Sioux Valley
Dalton Howe, Redfield


Meals of Hope

It’s more than Cows, Sows, Plows – IT’S SCIENCE!

Agriculture education teaches lots of science in classroom curriculum, and a growing number of students are showcasing what they learn through the SD FFA Agriscience Fair.  Thanks to Grain Millers, Eichacker Simmentals, Monsanto, Florence FFA, McCook Central FFA, and Jim Chilson for sponsoring this event! This year 111 SD FFA members competed with 88 projects in Division 1-2 (7-8th), Division 3-4 (9-10th graders) and Division 5-6 (11-12th graders). The top projects advance for a chance to compete at the National FFA Agriscience Fair at National Convention in Indianapolis, IN. Top exhibits were:

Animal Systems
Division 1- Ella Stiefvater, McCook Central
Division 2- Abby Blagg and Sophia Kaffar, McCook Central
Division 3- Hadley Stiefvater, McCook Central
Division 4- Summer School and Blake Pulse, McCook Central
Division 5- Callie Mueller, Florence
Division 6- Trenton Weber and Jared Tiede, Parkston

Environmental and Natural Resource Systems
Division 1- Kayle Lauck, McCook Central
Division 2- Gabby Feterl and Sadye Roesler, McCook Central
Division 3- Hunter Eide, Gettysburg
Division 4- Trey Anderson and Cole Grasma, McCook Central
Division 5- Morgan Kohl, Watertown
Division 6- Rachel Muth and Brianna Schock, McCook Central

Food Products & Processing Systems
Division 1- Griffin Stoffel, McCook Central
Division 2- Catherine Whaler and Megan Stiefvater, McCook Central
Division 3- Shelby Ruland, Wall
Division 5- Elvie Kahnke, Florence
Division 6- Lee Kampshoff and Hunter Matthaei, McCook Central

Plant Systems
Division 1- Hannah Schentzel, Northwestern Area
Division 3- Nathan Buisker, Sioux Valley
Division 5- Will Knudson, Florence
Division 6- Faith Houghtaling and Danielle Houghtailing, Doland

Power, Structural & Technology Systems
Division 1- Jace Haven, Northwestern Area
Division 3- Kobe Doane, McCook Central
Division 4- Tanner Peterson and Rylee Klinkhammer, McCook Central
Division 5- Tyler Braun, Northwestern Area
Division 6- Seth Keszler and Logan Barker, Sturgis

Social Systems
Division 1- Madisen Koepsell, McCook Central
Division 2- Sydney Grasma and Emma Heinz, McCook Central
Division 3- Brandon Lauer, McCook Central
Division 4- Makayla Busskohl and Kaylee Sumner, Florence
Division 5- Kadon Leddy, Milbank

Featured Fundraiserlicense plate

Drive with FFA Pride!
Put FFA License plates on your vehicle!

  1. When getting the new license plate this year, ask for "organizational plates" at your County Treasurer's office.
  2. Purchase a set of SD FFA license plate decals from the SD FFA Foundation at 39393 133rd St., Bath, SD 57427, 605-765-4865. Decals are $15, checks payable to the SD FFA Foundation.
  3. Put the decals on your organization license plates!

Red Brand fence provided Home Grown support for local chapters
Ag dealers throughout the country who stock Red Brand fence are helping to financially support local FFA chapters. The initiative is called Home Grown. How does Home Grown work? For every roll of Red Brand field fence, sheep and goat fence, barbed wire, and horse fence a participating dealer orders, $1.00 is donated directly to your FFA Chapter. It’s the easiest money that a chapter can receive! But to make it successful, people need to know about it. To share this exciting program, go to for details. You will find all the information you need along with downloadable materials to distribute to local ag stores, chapter members, friends and family. The potential for funds is unlimited - the more people in your community who know about Home Grown, the more money local chapters can receive.

SD FFA Foundation

Plan a gift to the SD FFA Foundation
in your annual budget.

You can donate online here or mail a donation to: SD FFA Foundation, 39393 133rd St., Bath, SD 57427

For more information, please contact or call (605) 765-4865
© 2017 South Dakota FFA Foundation, Inc. 

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