The Blanchester FFA kicked off an amazing trip leaving at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30.
The FFA chapter stopped for breakfast before arriving at their first tour stop — Fair Oaks Farms. Members enjoyed the stretching, and yummy food.
Four-and-a-half hours after leaving school, the FFA arrived at the farm. Members were so excited for the tour of the dairy and swine farms.
We first toured the dairy farm, about five minutes away from the area. We quickly learned about biosecurity — that is why the cows were located at a different site, so that we could not pass diseases to them or vice versa.
Members begin touring the farm via bus. We saw were the calves were kept, and how the cows were divided into groups by age. The members also learned about the recycling of waste, and the awesome milking parlor.
The milking parlor was a rotary parlor that could fit numerous cows at one time. We also learned about the milking process; first sanitized teats, put on milker, and lastly, dip teats. The members also learned that the cows are milked three times a day, and each milking takes about seven minutes.
The second tour we took was the swine tour. Here the members learned about the breeding, farrowing, and birthing of the pigs. The members saw piglets born the same day as our arrival while others were a couple weeks old.
We learned that the piglets were placed on a red mat for warmth and that a sow can have litters from four all the way to 14 piglets. The members also were exposed to where piglets could be found on an ultrasound. We would like to thank Fair Oaks for the amazing time!
Thursday morning the FFA members woke up bright and early to arrive at the opening session of the National Convention. Here the members heard an amazing speech from keynote speaker Bob Goff. We learned a valuable lesson: to be open to new things.
Later in the session we heard the national FFA president’s retiring address. We would like to thank Luke O’Leary for his service to the National FFA
Later on Thursday night the FFA members attended “The World’s Toughest Rodeo.” Here the members started off by watching bareback bronco riding. We also watched some pretty amazing bull riding.
We saw an awesome young woman who was able to ride two horses standing up, and then moved to four! She trusted her horses to take her for a ride over fire, and it was so awesome to witness. We also saw her partner do so amazing saddle tricks, including turning around and riding backwards!
The following day, the members woke up early to attend the third session. It was amazing to see all the agricultural teachers that make up the world today, and we would like to thank every one of them for everything they do.
After this session the members enjoyed lunch and the career mall and expo.
After the awesome lunch, Blanchester FFA attended their fourth session, where got to hear opening ceremonies done in Spanish, and it was so amazing to hear. Thanks to the brave people who did this in front of so many people.
Lastly, the members heard Laney Leblanc’s retiring address, which was also pretty awesome!
The next day, Saturday, the members had a pretty big day — up bright and early again, we were ready to take our seats to watch Jordan Stroud receive his American Degree. Congrats Jordan on this huge moment!