Iowa FFA Leadership Conference

We’re a day late posting about the Iowa FFA Convention. Their festivities wrapped up yesterday. We hope everyone had a great time and learned a lot! (We did hear that you had a killer smartphone app.)

In honor of their conference, here are some amazing facts about agriculture in the Hawkeye State.

• Iowa ranks 1st in the U.S. in corn and soybean production.
• Iowa farmers harvested 13.9 million acres of corn (2.37 billion bushels) in 2007. Iowa corn crop
values $9.47 billion.
• Iowa harvested 8.52 million acres of soybeans (439 million bushels), in2007, which valued $4.78
• Livestock in Iowa consumes 400 million bushels of Iowa Grown corn annually.
• Iowa leads the nation in hog and egg production.
• Over 147 million pounds of cheese are made in Iowa per year.
• There are 19.2 million hogs (almost 27% of the nation’s hogs), 4 million cattle, 260,000 sheep and
66.9 million chickens in Iowa. Iowa chickens laid 13.9 billion eggs in 2007.
• Iowa’s dairy industry produced an estimated 4.28 billion pounds of milk in 2007. The average
milk produced per cow was 20,146 pounds.
• Iowa ranks second nationally in red meat production. In 2007, 6.6 billion pounds of red meat
were produced.
• The 200,000 sheep shorn in 2006 produced 1.23 million pounds of wool valued at $295,000.
Iowa ranks ninth in wool production.
• Iowa’s cash receipts of $4.15 billion from hog markets in 2007 was greater than the total of the
next two largest states–North Carolina ($1.41 billion) and Minnesota ($1.07 billion).
• In 2007, a little more than 4 million turkeys produced nearly 274 million pounds of turkey was
produced at a value of $123 million.

For more information about the Iowa FFA Association, check out their website and Facebook page.

The Minnesota FFA Convention

The Minnesota FFA Convention is wrapping up today. We hope everyone had an unforgettable time!

You can check out all of their convention sessions on iHigh:

(If your state would like more information about broadcasting its convention online contact Billy Frey,

Here are some fun facts about agriculture in Minnesota:

-  Corn and soybeans are the state’s top producing crops. Nationally, Minnesota ranks third in soybean and fourth in corn production.

•    Minnesota has 19 ethanol plants and three biodiesel plants. Total projected ethanol production  for 2008 is nearly 1 billion gallons. The state currently has a 10% mandate for ethanol blend and  5% for biodiesel. The state hopes to boost those blends in the next few years.

•    Minnesota leads the nation in producing sugarbeets, turkeys, oats and sweet corn and green  peas for processing. The state is second only to California in wild rice production. The state is also  a major producer of spring wheat, canola, hogs, dry beans and milk cows.

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From convention stage to farm gate: Good times in Tennessee

Earlier this month, the Tennessee State FFA Convention wrapped up with the recognition of over 550 State FFA Degree recipients and election of the 2012-2013 state officer team: Stephen, Kristy, John, Hannah, Maryanna, Grant, Mitch, Jessie, and John. This team will provide leadership and direction for the Tennessee FFA Association in the coming year, they have what it takes.


It's all business with this crowd, between the fun moments of course.















The day after convention ended I hit the road to visit Aaron Loy, the State Star in Agricultural Placement. While state conventions are high-energy and a whole lot of fun, it was sure nice to be on a farm! Aaron and I looked through the cowherd and the pastures his family has owned since the late 1800’s. Aaron’s Ford pickup was a welcome ride compared to a rental car! He started a Supervised Agricultural Experience by working with his father to raise hogs and cattle. Actually, he can tell the story in this video:

Even though my morning on the Loy Stock Farm was short, it was apparent Aaron has invested a lot of time and effort into his SAE. My favorite part was to hear Aaron say he intends to have a career in production agriculture. Undoubtedly we need the business, communications, and science sides of agriculture, but the need for producers is fundamental. Way to go Aaron, congratulations on your star award. Thank you so much for touring me through the farm. Hopefully we meet again at the New Century Farmer Conference!

By Seth Pratt, Western Region Vice President

The California FFA Conference is in full swing!

Greetings to our friends in The Golden State! We hope you’re having an amazing conference!

Most people think of sunny  beaches and movie stars when they think of California. But, did you know that it’s actually our nation’s top agricultural state? Here are some other interesting facts about California ag:

  • California produces more than 350 crops. Of those, the following are commercially-produced
    only in California: almonds, artichokes, dates, kiwifruit, figs, olives, persimmons, pomegranates,
    dried plums, raisins, clingstone peaches, pistachios, sweet rice, ladino clover seed, and walnuts.
  • California grows more than half of the nation’s fruits, vegetables and nuts.
  • The second leading commodity, grapes, account for $2.99 billion in cash receipts annually.
    Livestock and poultry account for about 27% of California’s gross cash income, with a combined
    total of $10.6 billion.
  • California leads the nation in milk production with over 1.8 million dairy cows, $6.92 billion in
    cash receipts.
  • Over 5.3 billion eggs are produced each year by 19 million hens and pullets of laying age.
  • Bee colonies, of which there are over 650,000 in the state, are included in the category of livestock. They are used both for pollination and production of honey, and their value is over $25 million.
  • California is the nation’s top agricultural state, and has been for more than 50 years. Agriculture
    generates approximately $36.2 billion a year, more than any other state.
  • More than 60% of the state’s farms are less than 50 acres in size, one indicator of the growing
    number of specialty crop operations.
  • More than 90 percent of California farms are family farms or partnerships.
  • The top 10 commodities include: milk and cream, all grapes, nursery products, almonds, cattle
    and calves, all lettuce, strawberries, all tomatoes, hay, and rice.

For more information about the California FFA Association visit their website and Facebook page.

It’s convention time in Missouri!

The Missouri FFA Convention starts today. We know you’ll all learn a lot, make tons of new friends and have a great time!

Here are some interesting facts about agriculture in The Show Me State:

  • Corn, soybeans, cattle and calves, hogs, and turkeys are Missouri’s top crops.
  • Missouri ranked nationally 5th in rice, 6th in soybeans and cotton, 8th in grain sorghum and 9th in corn production in 2009.
  • Cotton and rice are grown in South East Missouri.
  • Missouri produces a variety of fruits, vegetables and specialty crops.
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