The Sandoval FFA Chapter, re-chartered by the National FFA Organization and Illinois FFA in 2013, is a youth organization that prepares students for premier leadership and promotes personal growth and career success through agricultural education. FFA is not an extracurricular activity. The Sandoval agricultural program consists of a three-part model of agricultural education. The three parts are: classroom instruction, Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) and FFA. The Sandoval FFA Chapter is a club for students enrolled in an Agriculture Class at Sandoval High School. Member participation in the FFA results in tangible rewards. Throughout the year, students have the opportunity to compete in various Career Development Events (CDE’s) that relate directly to their classroom instruction. Activities include job interview contest, public speaking contest, livestock judging, dairy judging, soil judging, forestry contests, horticulture contests, States FFA Convention, National FFA Convention, as well as other activities.
The 2016-2017 Sandoval FFA Chapter is led by the following officers:
President- Mika Taylor
Vice President- Cady Williams
Secretary- Beth Pennington
Treasurer- Levi Brown
Co Sentinel- Brandon Phipps
Co Sentinel- Mack Weiss
Historian- Dori Brandt
Advisor: Mrs. Casey Bolin
Change a Child’s Christmas
Sandoval FFA recently coordinated “Change A Child’s Christmas” throughout the high school. Students and Staff donated money to help make local children’s Christmas a little bit brighter. Sandoval CUSD 501 collected a total of $2,986.41.
Sandoval FFA members then went shopping with the money to purchase gifts for the local children. The gifts were then given to the local fire department. The Sandoval Fire Department then sorts and delivers gifts.
Leadership Training School
The Sandoval High School recently attended the Section 21 FFA Leadership Training School. The event was held at the Nashville High School. FFA members were able to meet FFA members from several different schools while enjoying pizza. Members then attended power sessions that discussed leadership, communication and teamwork. To end the evening, a keynote address was given by State FFA President, J.C.Campbell.
State Officer visits Sandoval
The Sandoval FFA Chapter recently welcomed the State FFA President and the Section 21 Officer team into their school. During the visit members learned more about the various opportunities that are in the FFA.
At the end of the visit, the presenters asked the students to think about their very own short term, intermediate and long term goals. Students reflected on their goals by writing them on a goal card that they were able to keep to serve as a reminder. Bailee Dykstra is pictured as she is completing her goal card.
Teamwork was a large focus of the classroom visit. Students had to try and move cups to another location but were not allowed to physically touch the cups. Julien Duncan, Riley Thompson and Hope Beckmann were successful at this teamwork activity.
Freshman compete at Quizbowl
Sandoval FFA recently participated in the Section 21 FFA Quizbowl event. The quizbowl event is similar to a scholar bowl event where students answer agriculture related questions. Sandoval FFA’s quizbowl team was comprised of
Bailee Dykstra, Hope Beckmann and Jasmin Tarlton. Bailee Dykstra scored the most points within the quizbowl event for the Sandoval team. Their are sixteen schools in section 21 and Sandoval’s quizbowl team placed 6th.
Job Interview Career Development Event
The Section 21 FFA recently held a Job Interview Career Development Event at Nashville High School. Three FFA members represented Sandoval at this event. All participants had to create a resume and cover letter to submit ahead of time. At the actual event, FFA members participated in a mock job interview and had to create a thank you letter. In the varsity division, Levi Brown and Cady Williams placed 4th as a team. Mack Weiss and Brandon Phipps competed in the JV division and scored 2nd place as a team while Weiss finished 5th individually.
National FFA Convention
Sandoval FFA Members attended the 89th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. While in Indianapolis, Sandoval FFA Members were able to visit over 450 booths at the career and expo fair. While visiting the career and expo fair, members were able to talk to colleges, agriculture businesses, and many other individuals to gain a wider agriculture knowledge. Sandoval FFA Members also enjoyed visiting with other FFA members from all over the United States and Purto Rica.
The Sandoval FFA Members attended a general session. While attending this session, members were able hear a motivational address from Abrah Meyer, the Central Region Vice President as well as Jason Brown. Mr. Brown is a former NFL player who now owns a 1,000-acre farm called First Fruits Farm where he grows produce such as sweet potatoes and inyari. He donates these crops to local food pantries, having given away over 46,000 pounds of sweet potatoes and 10,000 pounds of cucumbers. Brown began learning about farming practices in 2012 by watching You tube videos.
Sandoval FFA members were amazed at the amount of FFA members present for the National FFA Convention- there were over 60,000 FFA members present for the National FFA Convention. FFA members attended many sessions and the career fair but also toured Indianapolis, Indiana while in town. Members toured the Falling Waters Farm where their mission is to provide the highest-quality, locally-produced fish, basil, leafy greens, and microgreens in an efficient, environmentally-responsible and sustainable manner.
Land Use Career Development Event
Sandoval FFA Chapter attended the Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District’s land use event where they placed 1st in the county! The team then went on to participate in the Section 21 FFA Land Use Career Development Event that was hosted by Kaskaskia College at Lutz’s Farm. There are sixteen chapters represented in Section 21 and Sandoval came home placing 9th as a team. Those participating from Sandoval included Falene Juarez, Cameron Gore, Summer Holt, Breanna Melton, Jasmin Tarlton, Steve Gordon and Christian Melton.
Volunteering at the Monsanto Ag Safety Day
The Sandoval FFA Chapter recently volunteered at the Monsanto sponsored Agricultural Safety Day event. The event was hosted for fifth through seventh grade students in the Centralia area. Over 500 young students were at the event to learn more about ATV safety, Power take off safety, tractor safety, ladder safety, hearing safety, chemical safety,
Sandoval FFA Members volunteering at the safety day included (picture L-R): Back Row Bailee Dykstra, Riley Thompson, Shane Wilkins, Christian Melton. Front Row Kenzie Gelsinger, Hope Beckmann, Savannah Estes.
the proper way to call JULIE before digging and much more. The Sandoval FFA Members were able to volunteer by leading the groups of students to each station and assisting with the specific stations. While this event was for junior high students, the Sandoval FFA members were able to learn many skills, too, that they will use in their everyday lives. FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premiere leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.
Agriculture Tour Day
Sandoval FFA members and agriculture education students recently ended the school year by visiting local agriculture related businesses. The trip was sponsored by the Marion County Farm Bureau Agriculture in Classroom. Sandoval students began the day by stopping at Durbin Vet Clinic in St. Peter. Hodgson Mill, where they make many grain type foods, was a very neat business that the students enjoyed. Every student was excited to receive their brownie mix from Hodgson Mill. Students enjoyed lunch at Culver’s. After lunch, students found themselves taking a behind the scenes tour of The Popcorn Company. Students were amazed to see the variety of popcorn flavors that are made in this small shop. The final tour of the day included visiting Sherwin Williams Distribution Center. While at the distribution center, students seen all the varieties of pain that is handled and how technology helps complete orders. All students had an excellent time learning more about the local agriculture businesses.
Section 21 FFA Banquet
Sandoval FFA members attended the Section 21 FFA Banquet that was recently held in Sandoval. At the banquet members enjoyed a meal, award presentations and elected section officers. Sandoval FFA member, Kade Gambill retired as serving as the 2015-2016 Section 21 FFA President. Mr. Gambill represented the local 16 schools at FFA events this past year.
Agriculture Day at the Grade School
Farm Bureau Ag Safety Day
The Sandoval FFA Chapter recently volunteered at the Marion County Farm Bureau sponsored Agricultural Safety Day event. The event was hosted for fifth grade students in the Marion County area. Over 300 young students were at the event to learn more about ATV safety, Power take off safety, tractor safety, fire safety, the proper way to call JULIE before digging and much more. The Sandoval FFA Members were able to volunteer by leading the groups of students to each station and assisting with the specific stations. While this event was for junior high students, the Sandoval FFA members were able to learn many skills, too, that they will use in their everyday lives. FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premiere leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.
Horticulture Career Development Event
Sandoval FFA Members recently participated in the Section 21 FFA Horticulture Career Development Event that was hosted by the Mt. Vernon FFA Chapter.
The event is a competitive event in which FFA members test their knowledge and skills in horticulture practices and landscaping. Participants must complete a general knowledge exam testing horticultural principles including plant anatomy, production, marketing, turf, landscape design and maintenance. The third part of the event is where members look at four plants of the same type and place them in order from healthiest to least healthy.
The FFA Chapter placed 5th as a team. Sandoval FFA members participating were Levi Brown, Kaylee Winegarner, Abby Shaffer, and Alyssa Atchison.
Ag Business Management Career Development Event
Sandoval FFA Members recently participated in the Rend Lake College Agriculture Department’s Section 21 FFA Agriculture Business Management Career Development Event. The event was held at Rend Lake on the main campus.
The Agriculture Business Management Career Development Event participants applied problem-solving skills and critical thinking to analyze business management information. The event format includes a written examination with three parts: true/false questions, multiple-choice questions, and problem-solving questions. These questions are related to principles of management, record keeping, credit, budgets, costs, and break-even problems.
Sandoval came in as the 2nd place place team. Sandoval FFA member, Levi Brown did receive an individual 2nd place trophy. Beth Pennington brought home a 3rd place trophy. Mika Taylor and Brandon Phipps also participated in the event.
Dairy Career Development Event
Sandoval FFA Members recently participated in the Section 21 Dairy Evaluation Career Development Event at Bond County Fair grounds. FFA Members participated in the Dairy Evaluation Workshop that was presented before the actual contest began. Members were taught what character traits are favorable for dairy cattle to have that will allow for more production. Sandoval FFA members did receive 6th place as a team Hayleigh McClaren placed 14th individually in the Section 21 contest. Other Sandoval FFA participants included Levi Brown, Mack Weiss, Kaylee Winegarner, Mika Taylor, and Brandon Phipps.
Kaskaskia College Agriculture Department held the State FFA Dairy Evaluation Contest, which Sandoval FFA also participated in. The event was held at Kaskaskia College on the main campus. Levi Brown was Sandoval’s high scorer for the event.
The Dairy Cattle Evaluation and Management Career Development Event helps students develop skills in dairy cattle selection and herd management. Participants evaluate the cattle’s physical characteristics explain their various classes and analyze a herd record as a team.
Farm Bureau Youth Conference
Imagine 450 FFA members hyped up on caffeine and good old-fashioned motivation! That’s right, this two-day conference in April is FUN! Recently two Sandoval FFA members attended the Farm Bureau Youth Conference that was held in Peoria. While at the event, students took part in the career fair, college booths, leadership sessions, personal development sessions, team activities, networking with other FFA members and so much more! Marion County Farm Bureau sponsored these two students to attend the life changing event.
FFA participates in Envirothon
Sandoval FFA recently attended the local Envirothon competition that was sponsored by the Marion County Soil and Water District. The Envirothon program combines classroom learning with hands-on field experiences focused around five major topics – Aquatics, Forestry, Soils, Wildlife and a Current Environmental Issue. The five member team rotates through five outdoor testing stations, where their knowledge is evaluated and scored through written examination.
Women Changing the Face of Agriculture Conference
Six Sandoval FFA members recently attended the Women Changing the Face of Agriculture conference in Bloomington. The event is hosted over 500 young women in high school and college who are interested in a career in agriculture.
Public Speaking Career Development Event
The Section 21 FFA Public Speaking Career Development Event was recently hosted by Kaskaskia College’s Agriculture Department staff and students.
Three Sandoval FFA members took part in the event. Mika Taylor participated in the Extemporaneous division. In the Extemporaneous Public Speaking CDE, participants are given 30 minutes to deliver a speech on one of three assigned agricultural topics. Students must learn to think on their feet and develop an argument quickly and persuasively. Taylor’s topic to speak on was “Indoor Landscaping”. Levi Brown presented a prepared 6-8 minute informational problem solving speech at the event.
Sandoval freshman, Alyssa Atchison and Hayleigh McClaren participated in the FFA Creed division. Students must present the FFA Creed from memory and answer questions about its meaning and purpose. The event boosts self-confidence, develops their ability to communicate in a powerful, professional manner.
FFA members who demonstrate outstanding speaking and communication skills are enhancing their ability to lead and be successful in the work place.
FFA heads to the State Capitol
The Sandoval FFA Chapter recently attended Illinois Agriculture Legislative Day at the State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. Over 700 FFA Members gathered at the state capitol to talk to legislators about their love for agriculture and the FFA. Sandoval FFA Members arrived in the State Capitol to help create agriculture commodity baskets that would then be given to all legislators. After the baskets were created, all FFA members gathered on the steps of the capitol for a group photo with Lieutenant Governor. The Sandoval FFA Members then continued their busy day at the capitol by meeting Senator McCarter and Representative Cavaletto. Some of the Sandoval FFA members had not met their local legislators therefore this was a great opportunity for each FFA member to meet the legislators and find out a little bit more of what their job at the capitol really is. FFA members then proceed to the House’s session. Members then enjoyed sitting in the balcony and watching the legislators at work. Sandoval FFA members toured the Secretary of State’s office while at the capitol. Sandoval FFA Members that attended this event included Kaylee Winegarner, Kaitlyn Bates, Jalynn Day, Cami Lyons, Dori Brandt, Paige Ralidak, Levi Brown, Brandon Phipps, Beth Pennington, Haleigh McClaren, Mack Weiss, Cady Williams, Garrett Bates, Kade Gambill and Mika Taylor. FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premiere leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.
Sandoval competes in Proficiency Awards
The lllinois FFA Association recognizes 52 proficiency award winners. FFA members are involved in proficiencies as part of the agricultural program and the FFA. These proficiencies range in the areas of Agricultural Communications to Agricultural Mechanics and from Dairy Production to Wildlife Management. Proficiency Award winners have excelled in their Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) Programs. These awards encourage members to develop specialized skills that will apply toward a future career. Section winners then advance to districts in hopes of also then advancing to state.
The Section 21 FFA Proficiency Awards were conducted at Carlyle High School. Section 21 FFA is made up of Benton, Carlyle, Centralia, CORLHS, West Frankfort, Mt.Vernon, Nashville, Odin, Patoka, Salem, Sandoval, Sesser, Thompsonville, Waltonville, Bluford, and Woodlawn.
Sandoval FFA competed in 8 of the proficiency areas and had great success. All 8 areas competed in placed in the top three. Garrett Bates received second place with his Turf Grass placement project where he works at the local golf course and has a lawn mowing business. Kade Gambill raises a few chickens and collects eggs in his Poultry Production Supervised Agricultural Experience Program where he placed 3rd. A third place finish also went to Christonia Saddler with her small animal care project where she cares for the pets in her home.
In addition to working at the golf course, Bates has a second Supervised Agricultural Experience program where he collects recyclable paper from each classroom in the Sandoval High School. He then delivers this to the Centralia Recycling Center. Garrett Bates Environmental Sciences & Natural Resources project placed second at this section event. Kade Gambill also has a second project that is his Home & Community Development Supervised Agricultural Experience where he helps the local township road commissioner take care of the roads. Gambill placed first in this area at the section level.
Levi Brown works in his garden, growing fruits and vegetables, as part of his projects. Brown placed 1st at section with his fruit production and 3rd with his vegetables. Beth Pennington raises horses in her Equine Entrepreneurship where she finished in second at the section level. Levi Brown and Beth Pennington recently also represented Sandoval in the Star Greenhand Interviews where they gained valuable interviewing experiences that will help them greatly in the future.
Pictured is Beth Pennington and Levi Brown.
Students earn State FFA Degree
On February 17th, two Sandoval FFA member’s competed for their State FFA Degree. This degree is an honorable prestige in Illinois. Only a small percentage of Illinois FFA members ever have the chance to obtain it.
To be eligible to receive the State FFA Degree from the Illinois Association, the member must meet the following minimum qualifications: 1. Have received the Chapter FFA Degree. 2. Have been an active FFA member for at least two years (24 months) at the time of receiving the State FFA Degree. 3. While in school,
have completed the equivalent of at least two years (360 hours) of systematic school instruction in agricultural education at or above the ninth grade level, which includes a supervised agricultural experience program. 4. A student after entering Agricultural Education must have earned at least $1,500 or worked at least 750 hours in excess of scheduled class time in a supervised agricultural experience program. 5. A student after entering Agricultural Education must have productively invested at least $1,000. 6. Demonstrate leadership ability by: a. Performing ten procedures of parliamentary law. b. Giving a six-minute speech on a topic relating to agriculture or the FFA. c. Serving as an officer, committee chairperson or participating member of a chapter committee. 7. Have participated in the planning and completion of the chapter Program of Activities. 8. Have participated in at least five different FFA activities above the chapter level. 9. The member’s local chapter must certify that it has held not less than twelve (12) meetings during the preceding twelve (12) month period. 10. Be in the upper 40 percent of the class in scholarship or have an average of a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale in all school subjects during the entire period of application for the State FFA Degree. 11. Have participated in at least 25 hours of community service activities that are not a part of the member’s supervised agricultural experience hours.
Garrett Bates and Christonia Saddler, Sandoval FFA members, has met all the above requirements and has interviewed with the Section 21 FFA State Degree committee. Bates and Saddler has been recommended by the committee to receive this award at the State FFA Convention in June 2016. Garrett Bates is the son of Darena Bates and the late Bub Bates. Christonia Saddler is the daughter of Ken and Sonia Saddler.
Students attend 212 Conference
Students from FFA chapters across Illinois attended the 212° Leadership Conference. This conference is an activity of the National FFA Organization made possible by title sponsor Syngenta as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. Dori Brandt, Paige Ralidak, and Kaylee Winegarner, members of the Sandoval FFA Chapter attended the event January 29-30, 2016 in Collinsville, IL.
212° – the temperature at which water boils – focuses on taking students to the boiling point of personal leadership. At 211° water is extremely hot, but just one more degree gets us to the next level. The two-day 212° Leadership Conference is focused on student development and helps FFA members become aware of all aspects of personal growth. FFA members attended sessions on mental, emotion, physical and social growth. Students leave this experience with a personal plan for self-improvement.
This school year, more than 7,500 students across the nation will participate in a 212° or 360° Leadership Conference. The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 629,367 student members who belong to one of 7,757 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Sandoval community attends State conference
A few “Friends of Sandoval FFA” members recently attended the Illinois FFA Alumni Conference in Decatur. While at the conference, attendees were able to meet with FFA community supporters from around the state. Ideas were shared on how the community can help with FFA chapter programs. Attendees also enjoyed hearing guest speakers and participating in a Trivia Night. Friends of Sandoval FFA did donate an auction basket to help raise money for students to attend FFA leadership camp this summer. Sandoval’s basket received 1st place and was awarded a free registration for leadership camp where they will be allowed to send one member for free this summer.
Helping at the Food Pantry
Sandoval FFA members recently volunteered their time to help set up and organize food and clothing. The items will be distributed at the Sandoval Methodist Church at the Sandoval community’s Shalom food and clothing giveaway.