CANR student Jake Jones participates in the New Century Farmer program

September 3, 2013 under CANR News

jakejones306University of Delaware student Jake Jones was chosen as one of 50 students nationwide to participate in the FFA’s 2013 New Century Farmer Program, which took place July 14-20 in Des Moines, Iowa.

During the intensive five-day workshop, participants were able to network with industry experts, as well as with their fellow participants. Jones said that this networking was very helpful for him.

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” he said. “You get to go out and meet people from all around the country. You get to learn and to network, and you get to see those people that you wouldn’t normally have contact with.”

For example, Jones, who is a junior majoring in plant science with a minor in food and agribusiness marketing and management, was able to interact with apricot farmers from California, a far cry from the farm he grew up on in Milford, Del., where his family raised chickens and cows and grew grain.

Hearing about the program from his adviser, Arba Henry, instructor in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), Jones said the most informative part of the program was learning about how farm operations are passed down from one generation to the next.

Henry said of the program, “The New Century Farmer Program Jake experienced will benefit him in his future goals, whether it is in agribusiness or returning to his five-generation family farm.”

In addition to the educational opportunities afforded to the participants, such as listening to speakers talk about farm issues and learning about topics such as how banks view farm operations, there was also time for fun and bonding.

Participants took part in a leadership and team building ropes course, field and operation tours, and toured the DuPont Pioneer campus.

Jones has been involved in FFA since high school, and he currently works on UD’s research farm in Georgetown. Although he is a junior, Jones is hoping to graduate this year and is considering graduate school.

The New Century Farmer conference is sponsored by DuPont Pioneer, Case IH, CSX Corp. and Farm Credit with media partner Successful Farming as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

Article by Adam Thomas

Share

Collegiate FFA holds annual poinsettia and citrus fruit sale

October 22, 2012 under CANR News

As part of the holiday season, the University of Delaware Collegiate FFA will be taking orders for their annual poinsettia and citrus fruit sale from Thursday, October 18 to Wednesday, November 14.

The traditional poinsettia sale, with proceeds benefiting the Collegiate FFA Scholarship Fund, will feature red or white poinsettias in 6.5” pots with 4-6 blooms, and 8” pots with 12-15 blooms. Last year, Collegiate FFA was able to give out two scholarships through the support it received from the sale.

Delivery is tentatively planned the week of December 3.

The citrus fruit sale has a large variety of fruits to choose from, ranging from the traditional full and one-half cases of navel oranges, pink (red) grapefruit, and tangelos to variety packs of mixed fruit including apples, pears, tangerines and grapefruits among others.

Citrus fruit sales benefit the training, special activities, and community service efforts of the Collegiate FFA. Delivery is tentatively planned for the week of December 3 but on a different day than the poinsettias.

A Collegiate FFA member will be stopping by offices and/or departments.

Should you miss the FFA member, feel free to contact the FFA chapter advisors, Arba Henry at (302) 831-1320, or Alice Moore at (302) 831-2504.

Payment is requested at the time of ordering.

Share

Byers named FFA Agriculture Ambassador, Jones wins FFA Alumni Scholarship

September 13, 2012 under CANR News

University of Delaware student Jenna Byers has been named an FFA National Collegiate Agriculture Ambassador for the second year in a row, while UD student Jake Jones has received an FFA Alumni Scholarship.

Jenna Byers

One of only 20 students nationwide to be named a National Collegiate Agriculture Ambassador, Byers said that it felt great to be named for the second year in a row and joked that she was, “really happy to find out that I had done ‘Ok’ the first time around.”

As a National Collegiate Agriculture Ambassador, Byers is required to complete 30 hours of presentations, which she will give to high schools and clubs and organizations, in order to raise awareness of the importance of agriculture and develop and implement sustainable agricultural awareness programs to inspire and motivate local communities.

Through the FFA’s National Collegiate Agriculture Ambassador program, more than 103,700 people have learned the value of agriculture, with 88 students from 29 states having served as ambassadors giving 2,160 presentations in 34 states and three foreign countries.

Byers, pictured in the front row, third from the left, with her fellow FFA National Collegiate Agriculture Ambassadors

Arba Henry, instructor in the Department of Applied Economics and Statistics and faculty advisor for the University of Delaware’s Collegiate FFA, said of Byers being named for the second year in a row, “Jenna was the first member of our chapter to be so honored. She is an excellent representative of our chapter, College, and University at the national Level.”

As a second year ambassador, Byers, who majors in food and agribusiness marketing and management, said that she is able to not only learn from her experiences the first time around, but also to share those experiences with her fellow ambassadors. “In addition to being able to do the presentations to different schools and different audiences, I can also work with first year ambassadors and help them.”

It also helps that she can reflect on the presentations she conducted during her first year in the program as she said, “I can pick out probably something from every presentation that I did that I wish I had done differently.”

The most important lesson that she learned, however, was that flexibility is key. “When you’re working with kids, nothing is going to go exactly the way that you planned it but if you have an idea of what you want to talk about in general, you can go in and have a good time and make sure that the students come away with the information. You don’t always have to stick right to the plan.”

Last year, Byers was able to talk with preschool students about how milk gets from a dairy farm to their refrigerator, and had a Girl Scout Troop make ice cream in a bag, which was a good tie in for the UDairy Creamery, where Byers works as marketing manager.

Although she plans to conduct talks at schools and with younger kids again this year, Byers also said that she wants to incorporate more talks geared towards civic organizations. These talks will be more conversational and aimed at addressing topics currently going on in the country, like the drought farmers faced over the summer.

“I’m hoping to be able to talk a lot about the drought situation and the fact that corn prices because of the drought are going to be spiking soon and the effect that we’re going to see from that,” said Byers.  “A lot of people who aren’t directly involved in agriculture just see the prices fluctuating and they don’t know the reasons behind it, so I’m hoping to be able to bring some light to that situation.”

Byers also said that being named a National Collegiate Agriculture Ambassador has had a great impact on recognition for the First State. “The cool thing now is that we have someone from Oregon so now our little slogan is ‘Reaching from Oregon to Delaware.’ So Delaware got a little shout out there, and every time somebody says it I’m like, ‘Yeah, that’s me.’”

Jake Jones

Jones, a sophomore studying plant science in UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, explained that the award he received was “a scholarship awarded to a Delaware high school senior or college student who is studying agriculture.”

Jones has been involved with FFA for four years, three in high school and one at UD, and he heard about the opportunity through an e-mail sent out by Henry.

Henry said of Jones receiving the award, “Jake has been and continues to be an active member of our chapter. Over the summer, Jake interned at the UD Carvel Research Center in vegetable research. During his freshmen year, Jake maintained the highest GPA of all Collegiate FFA freshmen members.”

Jones said that his favorite part about FFA is, “the opportunity for scholarships and community involvement.”

Article by Adam Thomas

Share

UD’s Keenan one of 50 students named a New Century Farmer

September 12, 2012 under CANR News

Jacqueline Keenan didn’t find out about the FFA’s New Century Farmer program until her senior year at the University of Delaware, which happened to be the last year of her eligibility. Better late than never.

Through an email forwarded to her from Arba Henry, instructor in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Department of Applied Economics and Statistics, Keenan learned about the program and decided to enroll, eventually ending up as one of only 50 students from across the country accepted.

She said that it was a life-changing experience. “If anybody is really serious about going back to production agriculture after graduating, they really need to look into it. I learned so much in that week,” said Keenan.

Having grown up on her family’s farm — Vincent Farms in Laurel, Del. — Keenan, who graduated in 2012 and majored in agricultural education and agriculture and natural resources, was able to learn from and network with industry professionals at the New Century Farmer conference held in Des Moines, Iowa, in July.

As part of the workshop, Keenan and her fellow New Century Farmers learned about topics such as discovering how producers can profit from value-added products and the use of technology and toured facilities including the DuPont Pioneer campus.

Perhaps the best part about the conference, however, was the lasting relationships she created with her fellow farmers from all over the United States.

“Probably half of the kids that were there, I still talk to on a regular basis, whether it’s through Facebook or email. Several of them became close friends and we text almost every day,” said Keenan.

She also added that the networking aspect of the conference was incredibly helpful, as she got the opportunity to pick the brains of industry professionals. “Talking to people who have been there and done it just really added a huge amount to my education.”

In addition to this year’s conference, there are other future opportunities afforded to alumni of the program and Keenan said she plans to take advantage of them. “Every year, they have an alumni conference, and then they have other activities scattered throughout the year,” said Keenan. “So you’re constantly going to learn more and go back and network, and that’s such a great thing that you need.”

Though she went to school for agricultural education, Keenan said that she now realizes that the place she is meant to be working is not in a school but on her family farm.

“Honestly, when I was graduating, I was so gung-ho that I was going to be an agricultural teacher, but as soon as the packing shed opened up and we got into full swing back into the melon season and the corn season, I realized I don’t want to do anything else,” said Keenan, a decision that she said will no doubt please her father.

“I know my father, he was devastated, saying, ‘So you’re really serious about being a teacher? Who’s going to work for me now?’ He wants me to be here, and I just feel like this is where I’m supposed to be. I went to school for it, I really enjoy this, I want to do nothing else. I love it.”

For those interested in the New Century Farmer program, visit this website.

Article by Adam Thomas

This article can also be viewed on UDaily.

Share

Poinsettia, Citrus Fruit Sale

October 31, 2011 under CANR News, Events

As part of the holiday season, the Collegiate FFA will be taking orders for their annual poinsettia and citrus fruit sale from October 31st to November 18th.

The fruit last year was excellent and the varieties available have been tremendous-ranging from the traditional full and one-half cases of naval, pink (red) grapefruit, and tangelos to variety packs of mixed fruit including apples, pears, tangerines, navels, grapefruits, etc., all conveniently and attractively packaged. Best news yet – prices remain the same as last year! Citrus sales benefit the training, special activities, and community service efforts of the Collegiate FFA. Delivery is tentatively planned for the week of the December 5th.

The traditional poinsettia sale, with proceeds going into the Collegiate FFA Scholarship Fund, will feature red or white poinsettias in 6.5” pots with 4-6 blooms and 8” pots with 12-15 blooms. We were able to give two scholarships last year through your support. Delivery is also tentatively planned the week of December 5th, but not the same day as fruit.

A Collegiate FFA member will be stopping by CANR departments beginning this week. Should you be missed, feel free to contact our chapter advisors, Dr. Arba Henry (Rm 228, X1320) or Mrs. Alice Moore (Administrative Office, X2504). Payment is requested at the time of ordering.

As always, we thank you for your support of our chapter and its events.
Submitted by: Lindsey Cook, Chapter President

Share

Collegiate FFA Holding Annual Flower & Fruit Sale

November 9, 2010 under CANR News, Events

As part of the holiday season the Collegiate FFA will be taking orders for the annual poinsettias and citrus fruit sale from November 4th-22nd.

The fruit last year was excellent and the varieties available have been tremendous-ranging from the traditional full and one-half cases of naval, pink (red) grapefruit, and tangelos to variety packs of mixed fruit including apples, pears, tangerines, navels, grapefruits, etc. all conveniently and attractively packaged.

Citrus sales benefit the training, special activities, and community service efforts of the Collegiate FFA. Delivery is tentatively planned for the week of the December 6th.

The traditional poinsettia sale, with proceeds going into the Collegiate FFA Scholarship Fund, will feature red or white poinsettias in 7 1/2” pots with 8-12 blooms and 8 1/2” pots with 12-15 blooms. Collegiate FFA was able to give two scholarships last year through CANR’s support. Delivery is also tentatively planned the week of December 6th, but not the same day as fruit.

A Collegiate FFA member will be stopping by your department beginning this week. If you are not in, they will leave a door hanger and make a return visit. Should you be missed feel free to contact Dr. Arba Henry (Rm 228, X1320) or Dr. Pat Barber (Rm 110, X 4232). Payment is requested at the time of ordering, or email Collegiate FFA President, Ashely Kinsley at akinsley@udel.edu.

Share