Hillcrest Academy FFA Year in Review (as of February 2021)
by Josiah Beachy, HA_FFA Reporter
Regardless of restrictions, Hillcrest Academy’s FFA is thriving and is continuing to do what we do best, agriculture. This fall, Kennedy Roth ‘21 participated in a Horse Evaluation Career Development Event. (CDE). In October, Dominic Bouse ‘21, Madeline Fox ‘21, and Roth competed in a Soil Judging event. The FFA hosted a Harvest Party event for fifth through eighth grade prospective students which included a bonfire, games, and a meal. The party was a huge success and involved a large number of kids. 2020 was a successful year for our annual fruit sales, with over $5,000 worth of fruit being sold to local members of our community. Josiah Beachy ‘23 sold the most fruit, totaling over $1,000 sold. In January, the FFA had a Christmas party which included a gift exchange. The FFA plans to celebrate National FFA week by involving our school in multiple ag-related events like a FFA kahoot and the popular Ag Olympics. The Hillcrest FFA plans on competing in sub-districts and districts and will travel to Ames in April to attend the State Convention. We will also do a ditch cleanup on Hwy 22 and host the annual Farmer Feed Breakfast, a free breakfast for local farmers. London Schrock ‘21 is our President of the Hillcrest Academy FFA chapter along with Noah Miller ‘22 as Vice President.
Photo taken of the HA FFA 2020-21 on ‘Drive Your Tractor To School Day’
Left: Kennedy Roth ‘21, Madeline Fox ‘21, Julia Boller ‘22, Kyleigh Dolan ‘22, Josiah Beachy ‘23, Luke Schrock ‘23, Dominic Bouse ‘21, Noah Miller ‘22, London Schrock ‘21, Mike Severino-Patterson, Advisor (not pictured Titus Neuschwander ‘22)
Photo of Mike Severino-Patterson, Advisor with his Plant Science class
Our plant science class both fall and spring are in charge of our school greenhouse, newly planted orchard and compost pile. Here Mike Severino-Patterson, FFA Advisor and Science & Ag Instructor, checks on the growth of turnips planted in the greenhouse. Our turnips did well and many students enjoyed the taste — for many their first time trying turnips!
Photo of Josiah Beachy in Plant Science
Here Josiah Beachy ‘23 hooks up a hose attachment to water our school compost pile while classmate Jorge Canchola ‘22 looks on. We have a compost bucket out at lunch and Plant Science students make periodic announcements to encourage all to compost and educate on what can and cannot be composted. The compost is put in a cement bin constructed by the Ag Construction class in Fall 2018, where it is mixed with shredded paper and leaves and turned manually and with a tractor. Josiah is in his 2nd year as an FFA member and has stepped up this year into an officer role, serving as Reporter.
Photo of Dominic Bouse in Independent Ag Projects
Dominic Bouse ‘21 is in his first year as an FFA member but brings considerable experience to the group, and is a hard working student up for any project ag-related. He took an Independent Ag Projects class where he assisted in various outdoor projects at the school and then did a fair amount of his own woodworking 2nd quarter. Here he is making a baseball bat on the school lathe.
Photo of Madeline Fox with a llama
Madeline Fox ‘21 is also a first year FFA member with a strong interest in agriculture. Here she is in our Fall Intro to Agriculture class (CASE/AFNR). Despite COVID we had the opportunity to take several field trips in that class — here we are at a local dairy goat farm which also had guard llamas. We were told that the llamas were very defensive against anything canine (dogs, coyotes, etc) but we found they were very friendly to humans.