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Spotlight on Youth - Oct. 24, 2012
Miami East competes in district soils contest 
DAYTON, Ohio — On Wednesday, Sept. 26, members of the Miami East FFA Chapter competed in the District 5 Soils Judging Contest in Montgomery County at the Sycamore State Park. The Montgomery County Soil and Water Conservation District coordinated the event.
The Urban Soils team consisted of Braxton Donaldson, Daniel Everett, Levi Reid, Miranda Maggart, Hunter Sharp, Kelsey Kirchner, Katrina Bendickson, and Trent Church. The team placed eighth out of 20 teams. Trent Church was the highest placing individual from Miami East placing 22nd out of 131 individuals.

The Rural Soils team consisted of Haley Etherington, Kayden Gustin, Chase Fulghum, Jordan Inman, Haleigh Maggert, and Madeline Davis. The team placed 17th out of 26 teams. Haley Etherington was the high individual from Miami East placing 34th out of 182 individuals.

The contest consisted of evaluating four soils pit for slope, erosion, drainage, depth, and soil texture. Also, the contestants took a written test and answered questions from the Soil Survey of Montgomery County.

White House honors 4-H, FFA members
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, Oct. 9, the White House recognize 12 members of FFA and 4-H as Champions of Change. For over 100 years, youth and adults involved in 4-H have worked together to create sustainable change in their communities. Since 1928, FFA members have lived by the motto “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.”  The individuals honored carry on the tradition of service to communities and country that 4-H and FFA represent.

These individuals have devoted their time and effort to their communities across the country and will have the opportunity to share their stories with Administration officials and 4-H and FFA members around the globe. The Champions of Change program was created to honor ordinary Americans doing great work in their communities.  Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities. 

Jacob E. Dickey is currently a sophomore studying agricultural education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  As an active member of the FFA, Dickey has a combined seven years of FFA leadership experience in a variety of officer positions at the local and state levels.  He has led a volunteer initiative that involved over 10 regional schools, focused on the last line of the FFA motto: “Living to Serve”. He brought together a number of prominent businesses and civic organizations, including the Special Olympics and the United Nations World Food Programme, to develop a yearlong campaign that encouraged young students and future leaders to ‘live to serve’. The campaign reached nearly one-thousand agricultural education students and FFA members.  In 2011, Dickey was selected as a National Coca-Cola Scholarship recipient through the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation.  Dickey is currently continuing to bring together businesses and organizations in the agricultural community to promote leadership, service and agricultural education across Illinois.  After graduation from the University of Illinois, Dickey plans to become a high school agricultural instructor and agricultural advocate.

Kea Norrell Boyd is an educator for the Wayne County 4-H Mentoring Program, a part of the Children & Youth Institute at Michigan State University Extension.  Boyd has devoted her career to advocating for disadvantaged youth in Detroit and has spent the last six and a half years expanding the 4-H Mentoring Program to provide at-risk youth with positive adult role models.  
Boyd is a co-coach for the MSUE statewide Mentoring Team and served as a co-author for the Ready to Go: A Mentor Training Toolkit curriculum project.  

Dr. Pete Drisbach serves as director of the Kentucky FFA Leadership Training Center.  For 25 years, Drisbach has worked tirelessly to improve its programming and facilities while welcoming young people to the center.  Each year 1,500 students attend the camp to engage in team building activities and to learn lessons they take back to their own communities.