Rotarians learn about FFA

17 years ago

The Mars Hill Rotary Club met on Tuesday morning at 6:30 a.m. at the Aroostook Health Center in Mars Hill.
The special speakers were Alex Rothlauf – Mars Hill’s FFA advisor, Meagan McClay – incoming FFA president and Danielle Cropley – incoming FFA vice president. They spoke about the long history of the FFA in Mars Hill and what it means to them to participate in the club.
They spoke of the National Convention they attended this past year in Indianapolis, the State Convention they attended in Orono and the other activities they are involved in throughout the year. There were many in the Mars Hill Chapter that won and placed in the state competitions.
There are currently around 40 involved in the Mars Hill Chapter. Alex said that she plans to have community service be a focal point of the chapter this next year.

Bridgewater music jam
Bridgewater’s music jams take place each Thursday evening from 6 – 9 p.m. and feature old-time rock ’n roll, country, oldies and standards. Regulars are Denis Gagne (BHA president) on the drums, Jann Votaw (BHA secretary) on guitar and vocals and Simon Blawej Clair on guitar and vocals.
Trying to preserve a small town’s history is not an easy task, and the BHA thanks those who support their efforts. They hope to see everyone at their planned events.

Senior citizens’ meals
The Central Aroostook High School cafeteria will be a meal site for area senior citizens on Tuesdays, beginning Feb. 27. Senior citizens will be served at 12 noon each Tuesday that school is in session. The cost of the meal will be $3.25, payable at the meal site.
Please call Sylvia at 429-8464 by the Monday before each Tuesday to sign up.

Bridgewater Historical Association
The Bridgewater Historical Association meets the first and third Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Odd Fellows Hall on Main Street. For more information, please call Denis or Gloria Gagne at 429-8290, Jann Votaw at 425-7901 or at      

Ladies’ Stitch and *itch Group
The Bridgewater Recreation Department has formed a Ladies’ Stitch and  ‘itch Group. The group meets every other Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Bridgewater Civic Building. Ladies of all ages are invited to attend. There is no charge to attend.
This is an opportunity to bring whatever you are working on: cross-stitch, embroidery, scrapbooking, sewing, etc., and share good conversation while working on your favorite project. If you do not have anything to bring, that’s okay too, as others will be willing share and teach.
All are welcome – you don’t have to be a Bridgewater resident to participate, so bring your friends, too!
For more information, contact Chris Finemore at 425-6606. 

    FFA Banquet 2007
The 71st Annual Mars Hill FFA Banquet was held at Central Aroostook High School on Tuesday, April 24. The Chapter officers began the evening with the opening ceremonies, Chapter President Ashlee Pryor welcomed all members and guests, Olivia Grow sang the “National Anthem” and  Michelle Tweedie gave the invocation. Following a delicious meal, the yearly reports were presented.
Miranda Lento began with the treasurer’s report. Expenses for the year included the National Convention, Grass Farms and the State Convention. Income came from the potato harvest, a bake sale and Winterfest. The Chapter came out over $4,045 ahead at the end of the year.
Greg Cousins gave a report on the Maple Syrup project. Five members, Caleb Grass, Travis McDonald, Ethan DeGraw, Lee Gagnon and Greg tapped about 25 maple trees. They made about two gallons of maple syrup for all their hard work. They want to thank the DeGraw family and Boyd Bradbury for their help with this project.
Meagan McClay reported on the Northern Maine Fair. Several members competed in horse judging, livestock judging, tractor and gator driving, potato judging, veggie planes and ag-science fair. The Chapter did very well at each event, with individuals placing in each event.
Lauren Faulkner reported on the Springfield, Mass. Big E. Peter Gerritsen, Shaun Walling, Derek Smith, Rachael Donahue, Miranda Levesque and Lauren Faulkner were among the FFA members throughout the state that participated in the Big E. Mars Hill and Easton shared a bus for the long ride. They toured the state buildings and participated in all the events that were open to them. They all had a great time!
Duska Grass reported on the potato project. The Chapter planted seven acres of Russet Burbanks. The Chapter wishes to recognize Grass Farms for their continued support with this project. They donate seed, land, time and equipment for spraying, cultivating, harvesting and delivering the crop to McCain Foods in Easton and Basic American Foods in Mars Hill. Maine Potato Growers and UAP Northeast also donated to the Chapter. From the seven acres planted, the Chapter averaged 267 hundredweight per acre, delivering 1,640 hundredweight to McCain Foods and 209 hundredweight to Basic American Foods. The chapter’s total income from this project was a little over $7,476.
Ashlee Pryor reported on the National Convention, which was held in Indianapolis in October, 2006.
Deanna Lawrence, Danielle Cropley, Meagan McClay, Duska Grass, Miranda Lento, Greg Cousins, Lee Gagnon, Ethan DeGraw, Caleb Grass and Ashlee Pryor attended the convention with Mrs. Rothlauf and Joe and Amyee Pryor. The trip was all amazing, with many experiences – the first flight for some, sightseeing, competing in Prepared Public and Creed Speaking, competing in hay bale throwing, concerts (Jason Aldean, Heartland, Carrie Underwood, Trent Wilmon, Jamie O’Neil and Blake Shelton), a creamery and the PRCA Extreme Bull tour (a rodeo). A very tired bunch headed home with many memories. The only blip in the trip was the first night when they tried to go to the Hanna Haunted Acres for a hayride and bonfire. With Joe driving, they got turned around in Indianapolis and by the time he stopped to ask directions, they were two hours away! I’ll refrain from saying the obvious!!
Deanna Lawrence reported on the Maine State Convention. The Chapter competed in many events.
Placing third was the Ag mechanics team; In Creed Speaking, Danielle Cropley placed first; Meagan McClay, second; Miranda Lento, third; and Deanna Lawrence, fourth. The Dairy Judging Team placed second; in Dairy Judging, Shaun Walling placed second and Ashlee Pryor placed fourth; the Dairy Foods Team placed second; in Dairy Foods, Jeanette Hallett placed fourth and Rachael Donahue, sixth. Shaun Walling placed first in the Discussion Meet; Danielle Cropley placed second in Extemporaneous Speaking; the Farm Business Management Team placed third. In Farm Business Management Laura Grass placed second, Whitney Grass placed third; the Floriculture Team placed third. In Floriculture Megan Pryor placed fourth, Whitney Grass – fifth; the Forestry Team placed third; the Horse Judging Team placed second. In Horse Judging Shaun Walling placed third, Ethan DeGraw placed fifth; the Livestock Judging Team placed third; in Livestock Judging Caleb Grass placed sixth; Megan Pryor placed sixth in Nursery and Landscape Management. In Prepared Public Speaking Danielle Cropley placed first and Miranda Lento placed fifth.
Ethan DeGraw reported on the Winterfest activities. The Chapter served baked potatoes, hot dogs, French fries, beans during the day at the school and baked goods and hot chocolate later at Big Rock.  Thanks go to all those who helped with this event, which made over $770 for the Chapter.
Caleb Grass reported on the Shriner’s Parade, held in June. Our own Dick Hallett was introduced as the Potentate of the Anah Shrine Temple. The Mars Hill Chapter of the FFA was asked to have a float in the parade. Shelby Hallett, Ryan Kilcollins, Ashlee Pryor, Greg Cousins, Meagan McClay, Jordan Robinson, Danielle Cropley, Travis McDonald, Deanna Lawrence, Duska Grass and Caleb Grass participated in this event.
The following guests were  introduced – current and former FFA members, SAD 42 administration, school board members, faculty and staff, supporting area businesses and the visiting chapters from Easton and Presque Isle. Rachel Donovan recited the FFA Creed. Remarks were heard from Principal Kevin Grass, who was the former FFA advisor for the Mars Hill Chapter.
The Greenhand Degree was awarded to several first-year members who are enrolled in an agricultural class and show great understanding of the FFA organization. They received a certificate and bronze pin and included Carter Grass, Brian Faulkner, Logan Thomas, Will Delong, Cody Alexander, Nathanael Donovan, Jeff Devoe, Tim Lawrence, Carl Delong, Thomas Pickance, Kassie LeClaire, Amanda Sam, Rachel Donovan, Lauren Antworth, Brittni Mosher, Olivia Grow, Bree Taylor and Marci-Rae Mean.
Chapter Degrees recognize those members who have two years of membership in the FFA and two semesters of agricultural course work. In addition, they must have the FFA Greenhand Degree, a satisfactory SAE program in operation, have earned $150 or worked at least 45 unpaid hours of class time in an SAE program. They are required to have effectively led a group discussion for 15 minutes, have demonstrated five procedures of parliamentary law, have shown progress toward individual achievement in the FFA Award program and have a satisfactory scholastic record. Those members receiving Chapter Degrees were: Greg Cousins, Ethan DeGraw, Megan Delong, Lauren Faulkner, Lee Gagnon, Caleb Grass, Shelby Hallett, Amber Bradley, Miranda Levesque, Travis McDonald, Ashlee Pryor, Shaun Walling, Jordan Robinson and Michelle Tweedie.
Following a PowerPoint presentation, FFA Advisor Mrs. Rothlauf presented some special awards.  Named the Star Greenhand was Jeff Devoe, for far surpassing what is usually expected of first-year members. He helped with most the year’s activities.
Named the Star Chapter among second-year members was Duska Grass, for all her hard work and for being such an asset to the chapter.
Named the Star Chapter Farmer, for his dedication to agriculture, which is the major focus of the FFA organization, was Peter Gerritsen.
Named the Star Agri-businessman was Lee Gagnon, who has already begun his own business.
Named Outstanding Member for the year was Greg Cousins. He is a member that has participated at
every event and was a key component to many of the chapter’s activities.
The Blue/Gold Award was presented to the CAHS cafeteria staff for all their help throughout the year. They  have willingly helped the Chapter with many of their events, becoming a big part of the success of the Chapter.
There were many gifts of appreciation given out to area businesses, parents, teachers and friends. Rothlauf recognized the Chapter officer team.
Incoming officers were then inducted. Meagan McClay – president, Danielle Cropley – vice president, Ashlee Pryor – junior advisor, Duska Grass – secretary/treasurer, Miranda Lento – reporter and Lauren Faulkner – Sentinel.