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Mulhall-Orlando FFA Hosts Chapter Awards Banquet

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On Saturday May 7th, members, families, and friends gathered together at the annual banquet of the Mulhall-Orlando FFA Chapter. Members were able to show off their impressive projects and countless accomplishments from the past year. 

Numerous members of the Mulhall-Orlando FFA chapter were rewarded for their hard work this year. Chapter Star awards are given to outstanding chapter members who are active and have strong Supervised Agricultural Experiences. Star in Agribusiness was awarded to KayLea Taylor, Star in Agriscience was awarded to Hannah Schmidt, Star in Placement was awarded to Callen Oldenburg, Star Farmer was awarded to Casyn Larman, Star Greenhand was awarded to Kaylee Blagden, and Star in Discovery was awarded to Jace Taylor. Hanna Schmidt and Lora Golay were recognized as National Agriscience Finalists. Casyn Larman was recognized for gaining the number one spot in the State Reporter’s Book Contest. Members who had Proficiencies for their SAE projects were awarded. The Honorary Chapter Degree is awarded to those in the community who portray outstanding service to the agricultural education of students. This year Mr. Roland Taylor and Mrs. Kristen Brown accepted this award as they are leaders of the community who are always willing to give a helping hand. Many other awards were given as well. 

After seniors Baylee Brown and KayLea Taylor made their retiring addresses as President and Vice President, the 2022-2023 Mulhall-Orlando officer team was announced. This team includes Callen Oldenburg as President, Casyn Larman as Vice President, Hannah Schmidt as Secretary, Lora Golay as Reporter, Willie Schoonover as Treasurer, and Kaylee Blagden as Sentinel. 

“Mighty but small” were words used by member Lora Golay to describe the local chapter. This is believed to be true by many as another school year comes to an end. Although it may be a small chapter, Mulhall-Orlando FFA has been very active and successful not only in the past year, but in the past few years. Members are excited as they look to another year of learning, opportunities, accomplishments, and so much more.

Congratulations to all of the award winners for their achievements and thank you to those who joined us as we recapped the past year.

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Country Lifestyle

Summer Squash and Corn Chowder

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By Lacey Vilhauer

Total time: 40 minutes

Servings: 6-7

Ingredients

  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled and 1 1/2 Tbsp rendered bacon fat reserved
  • 1 1/2 lbs yellow squash, chopped (about 3 medium)
  • 2/3 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 3/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 5 cups canned or fresh cut corn (from about 6 ears corn), divided
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 3/4 tsp salt, then more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, then more to taste if desired
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, for serving
  • Chopped green onion for garnish (optional)
  •  

Instructions

Heat 4 tsp reserved bacon fat in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add celery and onion and sauté 2 minutes then add the squash. 

Saute until tender, about 6 minutes, adding in garlic and flour during last 2 minutes of sauteing. Reduce heat slightly.

Add 1 1/2 cups milk, 2 cups of the corn, thyme, salt and pepper to the sauteed veggies. 

To a blender add remaining 3 cups of corn, remaining 1 1/4 cups milk and the cream. Process in blender until nearly smooth (about 30 seconds). 

Add pureed mixture to pot and stir to blend. Cook until mixture reaches a light boil. 

Serve warm with shredded cheese, crumbled bacon and sliced green onions if desired.

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Country Lifestyle

Holding the Ball

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By Brandon Baumgarten

Did you play basketball in high school? Did you ever notice how some teams would hold on to the ball for extended periods of time? The strategy is to eliminate as much time off the clock as possible and close out the quarter with the lead. Some teams do this. Other teams do it more frequently than others. It’s grueling to watch as a spectator as you watch the game evaporate as the team just holds possession of the ball. However, things are changing.

In fact, in Oregon, things are about to change when it comes to high school basketball. Their state just voted on adding a 35 second shot clock for the 2023-2024 season. No doubt, this move will increase the pace of the game and create more scoring opportunities.

The problem has become many people want to hold on to the ball too long without doing much with it. I could not help to think this week of how this scenario relates to our faith in God. It is one thing to have opportunity, but it is another thing to make the most of it.

There are many Christians who are holding the ball. God has literally changed them from the inside out, but instead of sharing that power and influence with others, we often don’t. We allow the clock to run down and limit our chances of scoring for God. Imagine if the empowered church of God not only felt changed, but lived changed too. Have you been keeping the life changing power of Jesus Christ to yourself? I’ve been there before. I don’t always share as much as I should, but I do know time is quickly ticking and the shot clock is counting down.

What we will do from here depends on our faith and action? Imagine if the disciples would have kept all their accounts of Jesus’s life to themselves, we would have never known what happened. Instead, they shared and chose to take what God had given them to the world. Will we choose to share the life changing power of the Gospel? Will we take our shot before our time expires?

The lights are on. The game is going. The world is watching. The clock is ticking. Warriors for Christ: The ball is in your court. May we choose to make the most of it!

“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” -James 4:14 (NIV)

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Country Lifestyle

No Bake Reese Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Cream Pie

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From Lacey Vilhauer of Laceys Pantry

Time: 25 minutes + 6 hours chill time

Serves: 10

Ingredients:

Crust:

2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup melted butter

Filling:

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup cream

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter

1 cup half and half

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tbsp cornstarch

2 tbsp smooth peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla

2 bananas, sliced

whipped cream, extra banana, mini peanut butter cups and peanut butter for garnish

Crust:

Stir together graham crumbs and melted butter and press firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-9 minutes, until it looks slightly dry. (This step is optional and just helps the crust to hold up better)

Filling:

In a medium bowl, combine chocolate chips, cream and peanut butter. Microwave on high in 20 second intervals, stirring each time, until melted. Pour into the bottom of the crust.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together half and half, sugar, eggs and cornstarch until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened — this can take up to 10 or 15 minutes but don’t rush it.

When the filling has thickened, stir in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Stir in sliced bananas. Pour this mixture into crust over chocolate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight until set. Top with sweetened whipped cream, sliced bananas, Reese’s peanut butter cups, and peanut butter drizzle as desired. (To drizzle peanut butter, simply heat in the microwave until it can be poured, then use a spoon or put in a decorating bag and drizzle over the pie).

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