BW/DACC FFA members attend National Convention
By SARAH NELSON
Big Walnut/DACC FFA News Reporter
FFA’s National Convention was held from October 24 through 27 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Several Big Walnut/DACC FFA Chapter members attended the convention, along with the Mount Gilead, Marion Elgin and Highland FFA Chapters.
Big Walnut/DACC FFA members Katelynn Cheadle, Shane Hanly, Nick Helber, Kristen Hill, Stephanie Little, Maggie Lacy and Sarah Nelson attended sessions, went on tours, and got to attend a concert.
At Hunter’s Honey Farm the students learned about the many different honey-based products that they make at the farm, how honey is extracted from honey comb, what hives look like on the inside and how the worker bees follow the queen bee around when outside the hive.
The students were also shown where barrels of honey are stored, and how bee pollen is harvested and sold to people with asthma and as an immune system booster.
While at the 2012 National FFA Convention, the Big Walnut/DACC FFA members, along with Marion Elgin, Mount Gilead, and Highland members, attended the Brantley Gilbert and the Band Perry concert at Lucas Oil stadium.
Big Walnut FFA Chapter members also visited the Indiana Downs Racetrack, where members toured the clubhouse, watched a several races, and had dinner with other visiting chapters.
Indiana Downs has both Standardbred and Thoroughbred racing, though the two are very different. Standardbred breeds are trained to pull a cart behind them called a sulky. They are born and bred to trot or pace, not to canter like a typical horse.
When Thoroughbreds are raced, they carry a jockey and they gallop. Horses in the racing industry are true athletes. They have to be in top shape 100 percent of the time to perform at their best and win. It was surely a great experience to watch those animals do work.
While at the racetrack, students and advisors got to cheer on their favorite horse, socialize with old friends and meet new ones.
Big Walnut/DACC FFA members also had the opportunity to visit many other Indianapolis area attractions.
One of the places many of the members enjoyed visiting was Not Just Popcorn, located in Edinburgh, Indiana.
In 1989, Carol Buck started her dream of making an assortment of popcorn with only 18 flavors. Today, Not Just Popcorn has over 240 flavors available. Buck not only makes popcorn, the students learned that she created each flavor’s closely guarded secret recipe. She refuses to let anyone know her secrets and is the sole possessor of the recipe book.
Beck’s Hybrids hosted numerous FFA members during National FFA Convention. In 1964, Beck’s Hybrid started conducting Practical Farm Research Studies designed to learn valuable agronomic practices that farmers could take back and use on their own farms. Over the years, Beck’s Practical Farm Research program has expanded to include over 300 acres of practical farm research at three different locations. Each year Beck’s shares the results with farmers through printed material, the company website, educational tours and annual agronomic meetings.
During the tour students saw not only the research and development that Beck’s Hybrid participate in, but also how seed is stored and packaged.
Students also viewed seed test plots, and a greenhouse where new types of seeds are designed. The greenhouse houses several hundred of the newest and latest plants.
Beck’s Hybrids is a family-owned and operated seed company that serves farmers throughout Indiana, Illinois and select counties in Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky. According to a recent media survey, Beck’s ranks as the sixth largest seed company in the United States and the only one in the top six that is family-owned, making Beck’s the largest family-owned seed company in the United States.