Students celebrate FFA Week
Rutherford County members of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) came up with creative ways to celebrate National FFA Week.
Students at East Rutherford, Chase and R-S Central high schools showed their FFA pride with special days and programs dedicated to promoting awareness for agriculture.
At R-S Central, students participated in a spirit week including camouflage day, dress like a farmer day, hat day and FFA t-shirt day.
"I think agriculture awareness is something a lot of people overlook sometimes," said Brandon Higgins, agriculture teacher at R-S Central. "It is not something they think of everyday, but it is something they take part of three times a day every time they eat a meal. It is important to realize that farmers feed our world three times a day."
According to the National FFA Organization, National FFA Week, Feb. 16-23, gives members a chance to educate the public about agriculture.
Bryson Smith, FFA president at East Rutherford, did just that by extending an invitation to many members of the community to tour the school's FFA facilities on Friday.
"Our job is to create community awareness and the best way to create that is to have your political leaders visit and show them the importance of agriculture and the uses of it," Smith said. "We need to show the importance of it and let people know that without agriculture, there is nothing to eat or wear. This is our week and time to shine."
Smith began the tour with a keynote presentation where he informed guests about the classes that East Rutherford FFA offers and the incentives to being a member. He then took them on a tour through the classes, agriculture shop and the greenhouses. Attendees included Senator Ralph Hise, County Commissioner Bill Eckler, School Board Chairman Dr. John Mark Bennett, Rutherford County Sheriff Chris Francis and many others.
"I think they all enjoyed it and seeing everything. A lot of them graduated from East but they haven't been back in 10 or 15 years. It is good for them to come back and see what we have improved on since they were here, and we are trying to keep improving," Smith said.
After the tour, guests enjoyed a free lunch of pork chops, cowboy beans, cabbage, potatoes and cobbler donated and prepared by Clay Smith and Wade Hollifield.
Chase High School celebrated with several exciting events for the student members including an ice cream social, movie night and a bonfire. Jeremy Bradley, agriculture teacher at Chase, says that the 150 members at the school use the FFA as an outlet to express themselves.
"The FFA and what the FFA stands for is more than just farming. We are all about agribusiness as well as farming, and we need to make the community aware," Bradley said. "I feel like the FFA was really strong years ago and we need to promote that and show people that we are still a strong organization. We probably have the most members in recent years than we have ever had, locally and on a national level. This week is a way to promote what we do."