President Courtney Keaton, Vice President Maggie Pratt and Second Vice President Braxton Bishop recently discussed spring semester activities.
Keaton said FFA Week will run from February 20-26 with a variety of activities. First, on Sunday, the members will go together to the church in Buffalo Creek. Monday was originally a day off, but after a day of snow it became a catch-up day.
The McDonald County press was unable to learn from school officials before press time whether plans were made for that day. Tuesday is Hawaiian shirt day and the day you take your tractor to school. On Wednesday, FFA members will serve teachers’ breakfast from around 6 a.m., she said.
“It’s really a lot of fun,” she added.
During lunch on Wednesday, there will be lunch for all GA members, Keaton said.
“It’s also the day we wear our official dress so everyone can see what our official dress is and we’re proud to be part of this organization,” she said.
Thursday is blue and gold day and dirtiest truck day. Members will also put painted handprints on a banner with green handprints for first-year members, gold for second-year members, blue for third-year members, and blue and gold for fourth-year members. On Friday, the theme will wear flannels, and all FFA members and agricultural students will be invited to roller skate, she said.
Pratt said the annual manpower auction with chilli provided by FFA alumni took place on January 29. She and the other officers had discussed the event before the day it was held. She said the auction grew every year and was to move from a room in the farm building to the high school cafeteria. FFA alumnus Tyler Sprenkle was to auction off the volunteers, who would work in pairs or groups of three, she said.
Keaton said that at a previous auction, her grandmother had bid on her, and the band had cleaned her house and washed her windows. Also, a teacher made an offer on them and they helped clean up his classroom.
Pratt said she was sold twice at a previous auction and helped a lady get things done for a yard sale and at the yard sale.
Bishop said his experience from a previous auction helped clear brush and trees and cut wood for Diamond Tea Kettle Company owners.
Next, Bishop discussed contest season. He said there are a wide variety of teams, such as agricultural sales, horses, agricultural mechanics, nursery teams, forest, parliamentary procedure, etc.
“This year, I’m part of a team raising pigs, sheep, goats and cattle,” he said.
He added that all students are encouraged to be part of a team. They meet students and agricultural teachers from other schools, he said.
Keaton said competitions can help students develop their networks and broaden their horizons. She was part of a sales team and she never thought she could sell anything, but the process really taught her how to talk to people, she said.
Pratt said she is part of the nursery and landscaping team, which helps her with her landscaping work.
Bishop said he was on the poultry team his freshman year.
“I didn’t like the birds, but it helped me see that even if you don’t like the animal, they’re there for a reason,” he said.
He added that the students also work on supervised agricultural experiments.
Keaton said that for these projects, students must keep track of their hours and expenses and later submit a record book to be judged for the awards.
“It prepares you for future work,” she said.
The leaders summed up what FFA means to them.
“FFA taught me several things that I will take with me throughout my adult life,” Pratt said. “I learned things from the FFA that I never would have learned if I hadn’t taken that step in the first year. It helped me to get out of my box more, for sure. I’m able to talk to people more, when my freshman self couldn’t stand in front of people I knew, or people I didn’t know, without crying, honestly.”
Keaton said, “A lot of people think FFA is just about farming or animals. It’s helped me step out of my box and improve my leadership skills.”
“These mornings really show you who you are, but I love it,” Bishop said. “I love that we can go out and travel. I love that we can experience real life without the pressure of not being able to make mistakes. Our agriculture teachers are so good at helping us.”