Ms. Hain Builds Local FFA Chapter
I BELIEVE in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds – achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years…
This first line of the “FFA Creed” is lived out by the group of men and women, who serve as FFA advisors and/or teach agricultural education. This small but mighty group is moving the needle toward an educated, innovative new generation of agriculturists.
Heidi Hain of Nora Springs, Iowa, is one of the new teachers shaping the next generation of agricultural leaders. Ms. Hain is in the middle of her second full year as a full-time Ag Education teacher. She teaches the 7th through 12th grade agricultural classes in the Nashua-Plainfield school district. Because agricultural classes and the FFA made such a profound impact in her life, she chose to become a teacher.
“Rockford Senior High had an Agricultural Education program, which is something my previous school had lacked. My older cousins had taken agricultural classes and were active in the same FFA chapter, so I decided to add that to my schedule,” explains Ms. Hain. “I was immediately drawn into the FFA, and Intro to Ag was my favorite course that year.”
In high school, Ms. Hain served as a Co-Reporter and Vice-President for her FFA Chapter. She also served as the Auditing Committee Chair for her State during senior year. In college, she was involved with Iowa State’s Collegiate FFA/Ag Ed Club. She participated in the parliamentary procedure team and placed 3rd Nationally!
“I’ve been blessed to have three supportive Agricultural Education instructors over the course of the last decade,” adds Ms. Hain. “Each one has challenged me in a different aspect to use my leadership abilities and they continually pushed me to be a better person. They constantly shared their passion and purpose for agriculture.”
Today Ms. Hain strives to push her students to use their talents to the fullest. As an FFA Advisor, she oversees Career Development Events (CDEs), helps plan a variety of events and continually pushes her students to become better. She appreciates this part of her job the most as it’s the real-life application of what she teaches in the classroom.
She feels blessed to have roughly 62 FFA members in her chapter. She also teaches about 47 students each semester in courses that include agri-business, plant science, animal science, natural resources, and a junior high exploratory. No two days are the same, and every class brings a new learning experience.
“I’m constantly pushing my students to be better people. I tell them that no ‘magic’ can happen when you stay in your comfort zone. I find so much joy when they leave their comfort zone and acknowledge the growth they made!”
Ms. Hain is a prime example of doing what she loves. She shows the support on her social media pages to promote agricultural education and how she is contributing to developing the next generation of ag. Lastly, she shares the why behind what she does:
“To me, being ag Ag Education Teacher is being able to exert an influence in my home and community which will stand solid for my part in that inspiring task. At the end of each day spent at county fair, prepping a contest or doing a fetal pig dissection is just as inspiring as the next task because I know it will make a difference in someone’s life.”
Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup
Yield: 8-10 servings Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 4 hours
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice blend
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 3/4 cup celery, chopped
- 3/4 cup carrots, chopped
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons of Mrs. Dash's Original Blend
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse rice under running water. Place uncooked rice, chicken breast, onion, celery, carrots, garlic, chicken broth, water, and seasoning in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high setting for 3-4 hours (or on low 7-8 hours). 30 minutes before the serving, remove chicken from slow cooker. Allow chicken to cool slightly before using two forks to shred chicken.
- When the rice is done cooking, add the chicken back into the slow cooker. Melt the butter and oil in a saucepan. Add the flour and let the mixture cook for 1 minute. Whisk the mixture slowly while adding in the milk. Continue to whisk until all lumps have dissolved. Allow the mixture to thicken and become creamy.
- Add the creamy mixture into the slow cooker. Stir to combine. Add additional water or milk to preferred consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.