The Adair County High School FFA chapter is celebrating National FFA Week with five straight days of agriculture-related activities. Held across the country every year the week of George Washington’s birthday, FFA Week serves as a reminder of the great work the program does and allows the ACHS chapter an opportunity to interact with both alumni and future FFA members.
“The main purpose behind FFA Week is to make the public aware of what’s going on in ag,” says FFA advisor and agriculture teacher Kirby Hancock. “It’s a fun opportunity for the kids to do some things. People in ag are not usually the type to tell about what they do all the time, so it’s a good chance to get it out there about all the activities we’re involved in.”
The week kicked off at ACHS with an appreciation lunch Monday for local farmers and people involved in agribusiness. More than 100 people showed up for the occasion. “It was completely the students’ idea,” Hancock says. “They came up with it last fall but the dates didn’t work out so we did it Monday. It was the first time we’ve done something like that but we’ll probably start doing it every year.”
Other activities throughout the week included themes for each day, including Thursday’s Tractor Day, which mostly consisted of students wearing the apparel of their favorite tractor brands, but a couple students took it a bit more literally. “We just decided driving our tractors to school would be a neat thing to do,” says junior Preston Cundiff, who – along with Sam Baker – did not take his usual means of transportation to school.
Thursday night, the ACHS chapter held its annual Greenhand Ceremony at the Adair County Extension Office. More than three dozen freshmen FFA members were formally inducted, and the night also featured speeches, contests, and a reception. Ty Cheatham won the FFA Quiz Contest and Emily Farmer won the FFA Creed Contest. Both winners will move on to state competition later this year.
Hancock hopes FFA Week will clear up some commonly-held misconceptions about FFA. “It’s not Future Farmers of America anymore,” Hancock says. “It doesn’t only train you to be a farmer. There are over 300 ag-related careers available, so FFA gives kids a lot of options in that field.”
By Wes Feese
Media Relations, Adair County Schools