In March, 8th grade FFA member Emilee Thomas represented Fannin Middle in the FFA Creed Speaking competition. For this competition, she has to recite the 5 paragraph standards for all FFA members, as well as answering questions about the history. She advanced to the preliminary round at Ashworth Middle School and she placed fourth in North Georgia.
Middle School Recordbook
Annelise Hughes, a 6th grade FFA member at Fannin Middle, competed in the Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) Record Book competition. She received a silver medal for her hard work. For the competition, she created a video about agriculture in Blue Ridge. She toured around local chicken farms and even local agribusinesses such as “A Taste of Amish.” The Record Book competition teaches students how to keep records of their activities towards a single goal.
The Fannin FFA Livestock Show Team recently competed in the State FFA Livestock Show. The event was held at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry, Georgia February 20-23, 2019.
The Livestock Show Event allows agricultural education students the opportunity to exhibit their livestock in the areas of market beef, sheep, goats, and swine. Team members include Jacob Abercrombie, Brooke Crowder, Patrick Connor, Cody Dills, Blake Dockery, Noah Hess, Kayla Hipp, Layne Epperson, Ethan Long, Jordan Long, Samantha Patterson, Trinity Yohn, and Will Watkins.
In the area of market goats, Ethan Long exhibited his breeding doe in showmanship and the weight class. He placed 8th in his weight class.
In the area of market lambs, Cody Dills placed 9th in 12th-grade showmanship and weight class, Kayla Hipp placed 9th in 11th-grade showmanship and 10th in her weight class. Jordan Long placed 11th in 10th-grade showmanship and weight class.
In the state livestock show, there were 2,167 market hogs. This was the first time that students from Fannin County exhibited market hogs. A special thank you to the Fannin Board of Education for allowing us to house hogs in our new state of the art agriculture facility. Without proper climate controls, it would be very difficult to grow out and show hogs in our cold winter temperatures. The following students were first-time hog show exhibitors Jacob Abercrombie, Brooke Crowder, Patrick Connor, Noah Hess, Layne Epperson, Samantha Patterson, Trinity Yohn, and Will Watkins.
While students had 25 -30 exhibitors per heat per grade level in each class, all students gave a valiant effort showing their hogs in showmanship and weight classes.
FFA is a national organization of over 600,000 members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business, and technology of agriculture. FFA is an integral part of the agricultural education program in public schools. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
Ethan Long and his goat
Kayla Hipp, Jordan Long, and Cody Dill
Jacob Abercrombie and his hog
Jordan Long and his sheep
Kayla Hipp with mother Londa Hipp and sheep
Samantha Patterson and her hog
Back row: Picture is of high school and middle school students Left to right Ethan Connor, Jordan Long, Cody Dills, Patrick Connor, Blake Dockery, Ethan Long, Jacob Abercrombie, and Noah Hess
Front row left to right: Blake Nicholson, Chelsea Frye, Zoe Putnam, Trinity Yohn, Samantha Patterson, Layne Epperson, and Brooke Crowder
The Fannin FFA Nursery/Landscape Team recently placed 4th in the Area I FFA Nursery/Landscape Career Development Event. The event was held at Pickens County High School on February 26, 2019.
The Nursery/Landscape Career Development Event allows students to demonstrate their knowledge in plant materials, plant disorders, cultural practices, design and construction, supplies and equipment, safety, interpersonal relations, marketing and records and reports.
FFA is a national organization of over 600,000 members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture. FFA is an integral part of the agricultural education program in public schools. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
Cherie White is the Fannin County FFA advisor. The Nursery/Landscape Career Development Event is sponsored by the Georgia FFA Foundation.
Pictured from left to right: Kayden Couch, Samantha Patterson, Brooke Crowder, and Layne Epperson
Blue Ridge, Ga. – Feed Fannin is celebrating 10 years of serving Fannin County and throughout the years the all volunteer organization has grown and become a template for other projects across the state of Georgia.
Feed Fannin was founded in 2009 by Barbara Ferer who had a vision of bringing individuals together to “educate and encourage our community towards self-sufficiency while providing food for those in need”.
The very first garden planted in Fannin County was at Davenport Brothers Wood Yard and from there smaller gardens popped throughout the community.
“Our primary goal is to provide food or funds for the pantry,” Feed Fannin Board of Directors member Jane Kimzey said explaining the mission of the organization, and what Feed Fannin has provided to the Family Connection food pantry.
Through organically gardening a variety of produce, which varies year to year, Feed Fannin was able to raise and contribute 7,415 pounds of vegetables to the community in 2018. This large amount is predominantly attributed to, beyond the vast hours of work volunteers put in regularly, the Fannin County School System leasing a tract of land on Ada Street.
According to John Sugg, Chairman of Feed Fannin, acquiring the Ada Street property allowed the organization to grow exponentially.
“We are here today and we have one purpose, to tell you all thank you. This partnership means a lot to us,” Sugg spoke recently to the Fannin County Board of Education.
The Ada Street property was first leased from the school system in 2013, with the first garden being planted on site in April of 2014. The land, which is leased for $1.00 per year, not only allowed for Feed Fannin to move forward in their mission but also opened up an ongoing mutually beneficial relationship between the organization and the local schools.
Working side by side with Fannin County’s Future Farmers of America (FFA), Feed Fannin is excited to see the school system’s new Agriculture Center completed adjacent to their gardens.
“We work closely with their new Ag Center which is a jewel in this community,” Sugg said of the relationship shared with Fannin County schools.
Assistant Superintendent Robert Ensley spoke of the school system’s appreciation for Feed Fannin, “They have been a great partner to us. Through our STEM program and different things, they have helped us financially and been a partner in the community. They do a lot of great things.”
Since their beginning in 2009 Feed Fannin has provided the local food pantry and community with 64,797 pounds of produce. Along with this produce Feed Fannin works to raise money for the Family Connection food pantry.
“We either give the money directly to the food pantry in some cases, but in some cases we use it to purchase milk and eggs,” Kimzey spoke of the use of the funds raised each year.
Since 2009 Feed Fannin has raised over $320,000 to support area projects. Besides general upkeep of gardens and equipment, all money raised goes directly into the community, as there is no paid staff and the organization runs on a volunteer basis only.
Much of the funds raised for Feed Fannin come from the annual Bowls of Hope fundraiser. 2018 saw record breaking numbers as this fundraiser alone was responsible for bringing in almost $32,000.
So what’s in store for the future of Feed Fannin? Currently more than 168 volunteers work to provide services to the county. These services include year long educational classes, working with local elementary schools on gardening programs, continuing a relationship with Fannin County’s FFA program and stocking shelves with home grown goods for the local food pantry.
Feed Fannin has recently added a research and development team to keep up with the latest methods in gardening and to look into ways to improve an already successful program. An experimental garden has also been added to the Family Connection property and is being funded by an independent organization.
There is work being done to expand Feed Fannin’s allotment garden where individuals with less than ideal conditions for gardening can make use of the community land and plant their own small gardens.
Chairman of the Fannin County Board of Commissioners Stan Helton read from a proclamation acknowledging the work done by Feed Fannin, “Where as hunger in Fannin County continues to be problem, Feed Fannin, a group of individuals have joined forces to eliminate hunger in Fannin County by helping others help themselves through community gardening, education and shared resources.”
Feed Fannin invites all citizens of Fannin County to celebrate with them as they mark 10 years of service in our area. The annual fundraiser, Bowls of Hope, will be held on April 27, 2019 at Willow Creek Falls and Vineyard.
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The Fannin County Young Farmers Association held its first annual statewide Holiday Classic Breeding Ewe and Breeding Doe Show on December 1, 2018 starting at 10:00am at the new Fannin County School System Agriculture Facility. There were over 43 breeding doe entries and 45 breeding ewe entries. The exhibitors were 4-H and FFA members from across the state. Over $2000.00 was given out in prize money as well as $400.00 worth of awards sponsored by Ag Georgia. Kip Williams, Agriculture Teacher and Young Farmer Advisor from Murray County, served as the judge for the day.
On October 4th-7th, the Fannin County High School Livestock Show Team competed in Perry,
Georgia at the Georgia National Fair. The show team participated in sheep, goat, and cattle
weight classes and showmanship. The team members were Jordan Long, Kayla Hipp, and
Bretton Williams. Jordan long placed 11th in the weight class and Kayla Hipp received 9th in
her Ewe weight class. Bretton Williams placed 1st in his weight class with his Dexter steer.
Besides competing with sheep, goats, and cattle, team members also enjoyed time at the fair,
viewed the new animal birthing barn, and viewed many educational exhibits.
Fannin County Young Farmers Association members traveled to Moultrie, Georgia to attend the Sunbelt Agriculture Expo on October 16-17. The Sunbelt Ag Expo 2018 celebrated its 41st year and had over 1200 exhibitors that encompassed 100 acres of exhibit space with over 4000 different product lines. The group also toured the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association in Macon, Carroll’s Sausage in Ashburn, The Museum of Georgia Agriculture, The Georgia Peanut Commission and Rutledge Farms all in Tifton. This trip is an annual event.
*Pictured front row left to right: Rhonda Mathews, Sandy Dungy Gilda Lyons, Jeff Queen, Eli Queen
Back row left to right: Mark Wollschlager, Nick Wollschlager, Darrel Davis, Kenny Holland, Bill Bragg, Kenny Queen,
Fannin County Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) attended their Fall Leadership Conference on September 12-13 at the FFA/FCCLA Center in Covington, GA. Thirty-one students attended the conference where they learned about leadership growth and development by participating in team-building events and leadership seminars hosted by Georgia FCCLA State Officers. The Fannin County chapter brought home several awards from the conference.
The chapter placed 3rd in the Lapel Pin Design Competition, designed by senior, Jordan Chance, and 3rd place in the Membership Recruitment Board, created by sophomores Sierra Reynolds, Kaylee Scarbary, and Sydney Tarpley. Freshman, Kathryn Young, and Junior, Bobbi Pippin, both earned the Statesman Award for their scores on an assessment of their knowledge of FCCLA. Hollie Bruggemeier, freshman, was recognized for her completion of the four leadership training sessions while at the conference. Pictured are the 31 students who attended the conference and the students who received awards. From left, Bobbi Pippin, Kathryn Young, Kaylee Scarbary, Sydney Tarply, Chloe Clemmons, and Hollie Bruggemeier.