FFA prepare for State, annual floral sale

April 24, 2022


Photo by Jasmine Z. Allison

FFA spends weeks preparing for their annual floral sale. Plants are mostly grown by students of FFA and are sold to raise funds for FFA.

FFA has been busy in the past couple of months. Members have been busy competing in state-qualifying competitions and preparing for the 2022 Minnesota State Convention. While preparing for state, members have also been preparing for the annual floral sale, a public sale of plants grown by FFA.

FFA, or Future Farmers of America, won multiple top awards at the 2022 Region 4 FFA Proficiency Award competition and 2022 Career Development Events (CDE). Students across disciplines at CDE qualified for the state convention, including in livestock, small animal vet science, poultry, discussion, agricultural mechanics, agricultural mechanics, fish, and wildlife.

Senior Axel Bradshaw won the top individual score at his first CDE in the Agricultural Mechanics and Technology CDE. This discipline involves students working with agriculture, aquaculture, and horticulture technology. Points are awarded if they correctly identify, diagnose or apply the correct technology. Since Bradshaw placed 1st in this event, he will advance to MN FFA state.

“I actually joined FFA for this CDE,” Bradshaw explained. “It was very rewarding. I never intended to get into State. I just went into it for the fun of it, and it was kinda fun.”

Fellow FFA member and sophomore, Grace Grant, competed in the Fish and Wildlife Management CDE. This CDE is comprised of three parts: identification of specimens, exam of animals’ history and current management, and exam of current issues facing wildlife today. Individually, Grant placed before over 100 other students and will move onto state.

When asked why she chose this CDE to focus on, Grant explained that she definitely wants to work in wildlife management or conservation or possibly research.

FFA also won first place in the Meat Evaluation CDE. In this event, students evaluate beef carcasses for yield grade and quality and identify cuts of meat. Senior Abby Thibodeau won first place, and fellow senior Karley Rydeen won third.

Graphic by Ava Stein

Two other FFA students qualified for state in a separate competition, Region 4 FFA Proficiency Award competition. Two students, senior Morgan Delaney and senior Katherine Miller, both won first place for their respective projects. Delaney won first for her equine science project. Miller won first in wildlife management for her rainbow trout raising, stream monitoring projects, and other projects in the Environmental Learning Center.

The Minnesota State FFA Convention will be held on the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus on April 24-26. Students prepare for the convention in many ways. Many students utilize online resources such as the MN Department of Natural Resources web page. Others go to FFA advisor Glenn Boettcher, the FFA advisor, who helps them study and provides tools such as flashcards. Some rely on their everyday activities and past experiences to know their information.

“I’ve spent my entire life looking for random bugs and animals” Grant said.

Rydeen is a chapter co-president and is a leader helping direct this year’s floral sale. In the past two years, FFA had limitations placed on them on how they could run the floral sale. However, with COVID restrictions more or less lifted, the floral sale will run as usual.

“I think we’re going back to what we did before COVID happened,” Rydeen said. “I think it should be a good turnout.”

The floral sale preparation starts when FFA buys the plants when they are seedlings from a wholesaler. Then they transplant them into the greenhouses. FFA members and students from floral design help tend to the plants to get them ready for sale.

“I did a lot of volunteering,” Grant said. “I cared for the plants by deadheading and pruning and whatever.”

Most FFA members help out with the floral sale since it is a huge event. The floral sale is FFA’s largest fundraising event. The FFA treasury will direct the money from this event towards funding for trips and apparel for competitions. Plus, many students simply enjoy working with plants and getting their hands dirty. 

“I love to watch things grow,” Rydeen said. “I think that’s really cool. Because they come so tiny and then they can just get so big.”

A date or location for the floral sale has not been set. Last year, the floral sale was held on May 7, 2021, on the east side sidewalk of the high school.

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  • O

    Olivia KuslichMay 16, 2022 at 8:22 am

    This story is very well written with a variety of grounded research that connects well with the topic. This story is very informative in both facts about FFA and the members opinions.

  • B

    Brooke ElfertMay 15, 2022 at 7:58 pm

    Your article was very well organized and easy to read. The fact paragraphs were extremely strong and supported the story nicely. Great details, I really enjoyed reading this article.

  • S

    Sydney RoddMay 12, 2022 at 8:00 am

    This article included lots of well-researched information. You provided key info about the club and the quotes pair very well with your fact paragraphs. I wish there was a bit more information on the floral sale, as it was super cool to read about!

  • T

    Tyler QuadeMay 6, 2022 at 11:43 am

    Overall, this is a very good story! You were very descriptive and thorough with all of your information, which was greatly appreciated. I do wish that you spent a more equal amount of time on the plant sale, but you were still able to provide enough information to get the point of the story across so that was good

  • A

    Abby ThibodeauApr 28, 2022 at 1:53 pm

    The article did a nice job of providing key information about the club. The variety of quote structures helped make the story more interesting.

  • S

    Shannon PothenApr 25, 2022 at 9:06 am

    I can tell that you researched a lot of information and put in a lot of time to find the information. I liked that you had quotes about why people decided to join FFA and how they joined. I think that I was very helpful for the reader to know. I thought that your word choice was good and it sounded very professional and made the story flow.

  • G

    Gabrielle KnowlanApr 25, 2022 at 7:59 am

    This article had a lot of information, and it was organized well. The quotes also added a lot to the story.