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  Oklahoma FFA Outlook Spring 2021  
     
Published: 04/19/21
 

Camp is Back Full Throttle    

ALUMNI CAMP IS BACK AT FULL THROTTLE

Registration for the 49th Annual FFA Alumni Leadership Camp has opened and is sure to be a highlight of the summer!  You will not want to miss it!  We caught up with State FFA President and soon-to-be Camp Director, Tanner Taylor to talk all things camp.  Get the inside scoop below.

What do we need to know about Alumni Camp this summer?

Well, our plan for alumni camp this summer is to run things full throttle.  Each session is open to full capacity. We will be open to 400 students per session. The last time I checked, three out of the four sessions were sold out. We are just eager to get back to what we consider to be normal and to transform camp back into the happiest place on earth with the help of what we consider to be the nation’s best FFA members.

Why will this summer be the best ever?

I think that this summer’s camp is going to be the best one we’ve seen in a while because we’ve had a year to realize what really matters about camp.  One thing I’ve realized is the FFA members really value those small moments in those small groups.  One thing I’m really excited to focus on is to keep those sessions really engaging and to keep those special.  What we’ve found over the last year was when we condensed camp down to just the small groups really being the focus, FFA members got a lot more out of it.  We saw a year of what we don’t want and now we really know what we want. And that’s what will make camp the best this year.  

What are some of the most-loved camp events that will be back this year?

There’s a lot to love about camp! If you’ve ever been you understand that. Unfortunately, given the circumstances last year we weren’t able to have a lot of them, but we are bringing them back full throttle this year.  We are bringing back the hypnotist show with Dr. Al Snyder.  That’s always a crowd favorite. The ultra-competitive dodgeball tournament that we host will be back in full force. And for my personal favorite, we are bringing back the ropes course. You know that team building event for our small groups.  I’m super excited to see that back in action.  All three of those things will be back and in full force this year.

What is the camp theme this year?

The theme for camp actually has not been chosen this year.  It is actually up to the newly elected state officer team. Prior to camp taking place they will select your theme. The camp themes really depend on what the state officer team wants you all to get out of it and correlates to the curriculum that will be covered in the small groups.  So, once you all elect new state FFA officers, it’s going to be totally up to them. I’m super excited to get to work with them to select that theme.

 



Eight cannot-miss convention highlights    

BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER

The 95th Oklahoma FFA Convention and Expo is fast approaching, and there's plenty to get excited about. Guests will be safely welcomed to an in-person event, and live streaming is now available for all aspects of convention, even workshops, free of charge. Additionally, state convention has moved locations. General sessions will take place in the Chesapeake Energy Arena, and workshops, the Expo and more will be held at the brand-new Oklahoma City Convention Center! Whether you are attending in person, or tuning in via live stream, the 2021 Oklahoma FFA State Convention and Expo is sure to impress. Hear what the 2020-2021 Oklahoma FFA State Officers are most excited about.

State FFA President, Tanner Taylor:

State convention is where eight candidates become eight teammates. As my role as a state officer is coming to a close, I can't help but be excited to pass the torch to some of the best and brightest that our association has to offer. If this year has taught me anything, it's how essential leadership really is, and the 2021-2022 state officer team will provide just that, essential leadership!

State FFA Secretary, Koda Oller:

I think the 360-degree stage will be an amazing opportunity for Oklahoma FFA members to experience something new. Being able to change the layout of convention to allow proper social distancing is definitely a must. I am super excited to have the opportunity to experience the 360-degree stage. I think it will add and awesome feature to state convention!

State FFA Reporter, Dalton Rogers:

The Ford truck giveaway is arguably one of the most anticipated aspects of state convention. It gives FFA chapters the opportunity to win a brand-new ag truck, which is such a vital piece of any FFA chapter. Plus, the whole chapter receives major recognition and gets a new vehicle to drive home in!

Northwest Area Vice President, Tate Ott:

The FFA Experience Booth is a really cool opportunity for FFA members. This booth allows members to learn a little bit more about the FFA organization and what it has to offer for future generations.

Northeast Area Vice President, Karstyn Cantrell:

New year, new set up, and two new locations! The Chesapeake Energy Arena and the Oklahoma City Convention Center will be housing the state FFA convention this year, and we are so excited to share this new and improved experience with you. Get ready to hear the tap of the gavel in the largest venue we've ever been in, and enjoy an amazing expo and workshops in the new convention center.

Central Area Vice President, Jacob Nunley:

A big convention highlight is watching the chorus sing some of our favorites during sessions. Although this year's chorus will look different, we are thrilled to be hearing their voices sing in a synchronized virtual platform. Thats right, much like National FFA Convention, we will be playing virtual, synchronized tunes for all to hear during the 95th Oklahoma FFA State Convention and Expo. 

Southwest Area Vice President, Caden Schaufele:

I am super excited to hear from Charlie Plumb! Despite what he says, he is an American hero and I know he will have a message that will inspire anyone who listens to it.

Southeast Area Vice President, Jaycie Shelburne:

Just about everything we do at convention this year will be live-streamed! This will be an amazing opportunity for members who are unable to attend in person, or even family members of students who will be receiving awards.



Meat Processing Curriculum    

MEAT PROCESSING LABS AND CURRICULUM PREPARE FFA MEMBERS FOR INDUSTRY CERTIFICATION

When the COVID-19 pandemic created a shortage in the meat processing workforce, Oklahoma Career Tech and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture acted quickly to offer online meat processing classes targeted at providing the knowledge needed to pass industry certification exams.

The CARES Act funded 11 meat processing labs in high schools and career tech sites across the state, as well as a mobile meat processing trailer designed to travel the state educating students interested in the industry. The meat processing curriculum in conjunction with the labs will prepare students to enter the meat processing workforce immediately.

Oklahoma FFA members have joined the action, taking the self-paced online courses either on their own or in their agriculture education classrooms.  To date, 83 programs are teaching the meat processing curriculum. Chapters such as Marlow and Drummond have received recognition from state officials like Governor Stitt, Secretary of Agriculture, Blayne Arthur and State Career Tech Director, Dr. Marcie Mack.

Governor Stitt received a tour of the mobile meat processing lab by Drummond FFA members who have completed the curriculum and passed the exam while Secretary Arthur and Director Mack toured the Marlow FFA facility. 

The online curriculum is available to anyone in addition to being used in classrooms,"  Mack said. "Knowing the equipment and how to use it opens doors to job opportunities."

The curriculum develops knowledge and skills in the following areas:

  • meat science and food chemistry principles
  • animal harvesting procedures
  • carcass and cuts evaluation
  • USDA beef grading
  • food handling, packaging and storage procedures
  • retail cut fabrication and identification
  • food safety and sanitation methods
  • hazard analysis critical control point systems 

Clark Long, Southeast Area Program Specialist shared, "This is a golden opportunity from Oklahoma CareerTech to provide AGED students with a hands-on experience to learn the labor skills needed for a career in today's meat processing industry and put into practice the words of the FFA motto, 'Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve'."

When completed and passed, students earn certifications from the American Meat Science Association. According to the Oklahoma Department of Career Tech’s website, the meat and poultry industry is responsible for 5.4 million jobs and is the largest segment of U.S. agriculture.  If you have questions regarding the program contact James Gordon at james.gordon@careertech.ok.gov.



 
   
 
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