Spring is jampacked with activities for the Moffat County High School FFA Chapter.
For example, the State FFA Judging Contest was May 3 to 5 in Fort Collins.
Six Moffat County teams competed. The judging team members were:
• Soils - Clayton Kawcak, Jake Steele, Miranda Blomquist and Emily Wellman
• Horse - Taelor Stagner, Mary Penner, Whitney Wilde and Tirra Rieser
• Livestock - Ktista Maneotis, Jessica Wiseman, Abbie Reed and April Ethridge
• Floriculture - Chelse Mead, Gabby Miller, Anna McIntosh and Ashley Summers
• Meats - Nathan Chapman, Curtis Ellgen, Amanda Ellgen and Nate Moon
• Agriculture mechanics - Nick Chew, Alisha Camp and Stetson Shephard
All members of the meats and ag mechanics judging teams placed in the top five, and as a result, the judging teams received Gold Awards. The meats team also qualified to participate in a judging contest at the 2010 National Western Stock Show.
Results for the other judging teams were not available.
A big event for the Moffat County FFA Chapter is its annual Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry and Project Sale night. This year, the event was May 15 at Moffat County High School.
Nate Moon, outgoing FFA president, said the dinner cost $5 for visitors.
Some of the ranchers showed up for the event with their branding irons. They were ready to participate in a unique fundraising activity for the chapter.
The ranchers paid $15 each to heat up their branding irons and brand a picnic table that had been built by the FFA members. Besides getting to put their brands on the table, the ranchers also received two free meal tickets.
The table has 20 to 25 brands on it, Moon said.
This special table will be a "traveling table," which will be found at the county fair, FFA picnics and other events.
After dinner, the FFA members auctioned off projects they had worked on all year. The high school welding classes also sold their projects. Those items auctioned off included: coffee tables, a receiver rack, a lawn swing, picnic tables, bird houses, metal welcome signs, key racks, gate latches and lawn chairs.
Because the FFA members raise flower and vegetable bedding plants in their greenhouse, some of them were sold through the auction, too.
Moon reported that the auction brought in $6,000. The money will be used to keep the FFA Chapter self-sufficient. For example, the money will be used to buy more seeds for the greenhouse and to pay for FFA trips.
The FFA members still have plants in their greenhouse. Interested gardeners can find the greenhouse plants at Murdoch's Ranch & Home Supply through July 4.
A year-round project for the FFA Chapter is collecting aluminum cans, which are "cashed in" just before the National Western Stock Show. The proceeds from the cans are taken to the Ronald McDonald House in Denver at Stock Show time.
The FFA officer team also purchases cleaning supplies that also are given to the charity to help with maintenance of the house.
Lorrae Moon, FFA Alumni vice-president, said that visiting the Ronald McDonald House "hit a soft spot" for the FFA members.
"They saw what it does for people, " she added.
The annual FFA Awards Banquet was held at the fairgrounds May 12. It is a big end-of-the-year activity for the FFA Chapter.
Another end-of-the-year activity is election of officers. The officers for the 2009-2010 year are: Taelor Stagner, president; Alisha Camp, vice president; Jessica Wiseman, treasurer; Karissa Maneotis, secretary; and Amanda Ellgen, sentinel.
From June 2 to 4, 12 FFA members of the Moffat County FFA Chapter will attend the State FFA Conference in Greeley. While there, the members will meet with state officers and attend leadership workshops.
Supporting the FFA members in their activities are the members of the Moffat County FFA Alumni group. The officers are: Dave Summers, president; Moon, vice president; and Jennifer Stagner, secretary/treasurer.
The alumni help with various activities, such as sponsoring a Christmas party and providing some funding for trips.
"We're mentors," said Moon.
Copyright Diane Prather, 2009
Diane Prather can be reached at 824-8809 or by writing to her at P.O. Box 415, Craig, CO 81626.