MN FFA State Convention

By: Trump Vang

Between April 23rd – 25th of 2023, FFA members had the opportunity of attending the Annual MN FFA State Convention. Here, members can engage in a multitude of activities ranging from sessions to workshops provided by the MN State FFA Association. The convention lasts 3 days in particular, holding different events each day.

The State Convention:

On Sunday, April 23rd, members qualifying for specific competitions known as Leadership Development Events (LDE’s) would compete. The following LDE’s are as listed below:

  • Conduct of Chapter Meetings
  • Creed Speaking
  • Farm Bureau Discussion Meet
  • Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Parliamentary Procedure
  • Prepared Public Speaking
  • Best Informed Greenhand

Following these competitions, the first general session would be held at the Williams Arena. Essentially, these general sessions are to inform members about other outstanding members and chapters (schools with the organization) of FFA. They also present information about retiring officers, keynote speakers and talent acts.

The second day of the convention (April 24th) allows members to participate more within agriculture related activities and job fairs. Along with those activities, the rest of the competitions, being mainly Career Development Events (CDE’s), are held on this day. They are as listed below:

  • Dairy Evaluation
  • Farm Business Management
  • Fish and Wildlife
  • Floriculture
  • Horse Evaluation
  • Livestock Evaluation
  • Milk Quality and Products
  • Poultry Evaluation
  • Nursery Landscape
  • Soils
  • Vet Science
  • Crops
  • Forestry
  • Meats Evaluation and Technology
  • Companion Animal Science
  • Marketing Plan
  • Employment Skills (LDE)
  • Ag Issues (LDE)

All events are held on the State Fairgrounds, the St. Paul University of Minnesota campus or the Minneapolis University of Minnesota campus. If a member is free during this time, they may attend a wide array of activities.

During the early afternoon, the second general session will be held, followed by the third general session later within the evening. Both sessions covered talent acts, winning Agriscience projects, as well as retiring addresses for some officers. Members who had received their State Degree would also be recognized for their efforts at the end of the third general session.

There are leadership workshops on the State Fairgrounds that strive to help people grow in leadership and other communicative skills. Otherwise members can visit the colosseum on the State Fair grounds to enjoy Ag related activities or interact with other Ag organizations, colleges or jobs.

On the third and the last day of convention, the last two sessions are held for members to watch. During these sessions, members are recognized for their efforts through their Supervised Agricultural Experiences, or their competitions they’ve been competing for.

At the end of the 5th general session, new FFA members are elected to hold the positions of those who have retired. There are six current positions being held at the Minnesota FFA State Organization, being as follows: Sentinel, Reporter, Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President and President.

As of this year, the new elected positions are shown below:

  • President – Katelyn Ketchum
  • Vice President – Tyler Ratka
  • Secretary – Alison Murrell
  • Reporter – Miriana Eiden
  • Treasurer – Mason Grams
  • Sentinel – Alison Murrel

All In For All

Each year, FFA has a theme surrounding its convention, for example last year’s theme was “THRIVE”, expressing the want for growth within agricultural experiences, career opportunities and personal values. This year’s theme was “ALL IN FOR ALL”.

This theme exhibited diversity within FFA, and presented it with equal rights for all and throughout. Through the activities and sessions, these values were heavily expressed, ensuring that FFA was a safe place for everyone regardless of their backgrounds.

Highland Park FFA

Highland Park attended the state convention, with a varied number of members from 20 – 35 students attending the sessions and activities presented. There were many achievements made for our FFA Chapter this year.

Our FFA Chapter was presented with an award for being, a “Model of Innovation” for our work with diversifying FFA chapters through joint meetings with other clubs within Highland Park. Along with this recognition, we gained many other individual awards for those competing this year. There were many firsts on the competition scale for Highland Park Senior High’s FFA Members.

This year, we had a variety of students competing in 9 different competitions, which are as listed below with placements*:

Image taken by HPSH’s FFA
  • Ag Communications – 3rd placing team, 2nd and 4th placing individual.
  • Best Informed Greenhand – 10th placing team in state
  • Creed Speaking – Silver Ranked individual
  • Employment Skills – 6th placing individual
  • Floriculture – 15th placing team
  • Milk Quality – 4th placing team, 5th placing individual
  • Prepared Public Speaking – 2nd Individual in State
  • Soils – 8th placing in State
  • Vet Science – Gold Ranked Team

*There were many competitors competing within these competitions. There were nearly 40 teams at some competitions, and 180 competitors individually.

Overall, it was a great year of competition for Highland Park FFA through its CDE’s and LDE’s. This year at the state convention were many member’s firsts within the field, and stands as their first experience at a session with state officers. It stood as an experience for all members to be a part of the MN State FFA Convention whilst being “All in for All”.

‘The Barbie Movie’ trailer

By: Greta Johnson

Last month, the full trailer for ‘The Barbie Movie’ was released. Directed by Greta Gerwig and based on the Barbie toy distributed by Mattel, this movie has many people excited and planning to see it as soon as it’s released. It stars Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Issa Rae, Simu Liu, Michael Cera and many more celebrities. The trailer that was recently released has about 10.5 million views on YouTube and went viral on social media.

This trailer is about 1 minute and 45 seconds long and it shows Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken. The general summary says “After being expelled from Barbie Land for being a less than perfect-looking doll, Barbie sets off for the human world to find true happiness.” We don’t know a lot more about this movie but many people are counting down the days until its release.

In total there are over 41 Barbie movies. Most are animated and made by the same production studio. They show Barbie and her friends adventures and are more low budget films.

This Barbie movie has a budget of 100 million dollars and has been “in the making” for awhile. First announced in 2019, it is set to release July 21, 2023. This movie seems like the most awaited movie of the summer. Surprisingly, the movie is rated PG-13 and it’s directed more for adults and “big kids” than younger kids.

Currently that’s all the information we have on this new movie but I’m sure in the coming weeks more information will come out regarding storyline, actors, and general information on the film.

Race against time in Sudan: The looming crisis presents recurring issues in the region

By: Aeden Evenson-McDermott

Image taken from: -warns-of-civil-war-that-would-be-nightmare-for-the-world

With the recent natural disasters to the conflict of two generals fighting for control, Sudan finds itself caught in the crossfire of a serious combination of issues.

Going back to the fall of 2020, heavy rains brought flooding which caused much destruction to homes and resulted in people dying and many being displaced.

Over the last few years, rainfall is becoming more mainstream; it has increased the odds of further flooding and even drought. With the increase in temperatures, it also limits the water that does fall to evaporating and therefore reduces the normal amount of soil moisture.

With the reoccurring global warming issues, the flood waters have separated communities and created islands where families and communities are no longer necessarily connected.

It has furthered the call for various agencies to help with providing aid but is also creating challenges to getting around to reaching people. This also is impacting the current political crises at the moment.

The fierce fighting in Sudan has made civilian life all the more challenging. The two opposing generals are challenging each other for control with civilians being caught in the middle.

With over 450+ killed and thousands injured, according to the World Health Organization, Khartoum is essentially a war zone with intense fighting and much unrest.

The U.S. managed to broker a peace deal between the sides to stop the fighting while also allowing for civilian and government personnel to try and evacuate.

The diplomatic strategies are designed to ramp up evacuations along with trying to get both sides to negotiate a peace deal.

Officials and health agencies have become more concerned with what the effects of this will be to many already struggling. Healthcare facilities have been attacked and the current crisis is only deepening. A biological lab was also seized and this is quite concerning as there are many biological hazards that could occur if something were to go wrong. The World Health Organization (WHO) has spoken out and has expressed deep concern on this matter.

As the armed conflict escalates and deepens the unfortunate circumstances in Sudan, there has been no shortage of various foreign government involvements. The Russian mercenary group Wagner, headed by Yevgeny Prigozhin, has provided the RSF’s (The Rapid Support Forces) surface-to-air missiles. It has deepened the ties between Russia and the RAF.

Egyptian and American influence has also grown as it is a way for the two countries to eliminate instability in the region while also providing ways of brokering a peace deal and offering resolutions to end the conflict in diplomatic matters. The SAF (Sudan’s Armed Forces) has been backed more by Egypt, than the RAF, due to the RAF’s history of humanitarian violations and terrorism. The U.S. has stayed more distant from the groups but is still trying to help broker the peace deal.

Sports schedule for: May 8-13

3:30pm Boys JV Golf Conference MatchHighland Nine
3:30pm Girls Varsity Golf vs. HumboldtHighland National GC
3:45pm (JV) 4:00pm (V) Tennis vs. St. Thomas AcademyV: HOME JV: St. Thomas Academy
4:00pm Softball vs. HardingHOME
4:30pm / 4:30pm 7:00pm Baseball vs. CentralV: Toni Stone Stadium JV: HOME C: Jimmy Lee Rec Center
1:00pm Boys Golf 9-Hole TournamentComo Golf Course
3:00pm Track and Field True Team MeetMounds View High School
3:30pm Girls JV Golf vs. HardingCedarholm Golf Course
4:00pm Softball Conference TournamentHOME
4:30pm / 4:30pm V/JV Baseball vs. Como ParkV: Como Park High School JV: HOME
3:30pm Boys JV Golf Conference MatchHighland Nine
3:30pm Girls Varsity Golf vs. CentralHighland National GC
4:00pm / 4:00pm2:45pm | 7:00pmBadminton Conference TournamentV: Harding High School JV: HOME
4:00pm Softball Conference TournamentHOME
4:30pm Tennis vs. MPLS SouthwestLinden Hills Park
4:30pm Baseball vs. St. Paul AcademySt. Paul Academy
  Boys Varsity Golf Conference MatchHighland National GC
3:30pm Girls JV Golf vs. HumboldtCedarholm Golf Course
4:00pm2:45pm | 7:00pmBadminton Conference Tournament Harding High School
4:00pm JV Softball vs. HardingHOME
4:30pm / 4:30pm 4:30pm Baseball vs. KennedyJV/C: Home V: Kennedy High School
4:00pm / 4:00pm Tennis vs. St. Paul AcademySt. Paul Academy
4:15pm JV Softball vs. St. AgnesHOME
4:30pm C-Squad Baseball vs. HumboldtHumboldt High School
9:00am Track and Field InvitationalSimley High School
12:00pm Softball Twin Cities GameUniversity of Northwestern