NEW PARIS — National FFA Week kicked off on Saturday, Feb. 22, but National Trail Miami Valley Career Technology Center (MVCTC) FFA Chapter celebrated the week prior.
The chapter’s celebrations included:
•On Monday, Feb. 17, the students did not have school, so they got to visit Valley’s Edge Snow Tubing with a discount, due to the generosity of an alumni member.
•On Tuesday, Feb. 18, the chapter held FFA Fun Night, where the chapter came together to play games and compete among one another.
•On Wednesday, Feb. 19, all members got Twinkies they made to look like minions wearing FFA Jackets. They also gave treats to incoming eighth grade FFA students and lemonade to all faculty and staff at National Trail.
•On Thursday, Feb. 20, the chapter came into the school at 4:30 a.m. in the morning to prepare breakfast for staff and farmers in the community. In the afternoon, they sponsored a guest speaker — “In the Blink of a Fly” — for the entire high school.
•On Friday, Feb. 21, National Trail FFA Chapter held its annual FFA member appreciation luncheon, catered by another alumni member. Their lunch and learn guest was alumni member Danielle Thomas who talked about her experiences as an FFA member and now Assistant Superintendent of ADM in Michigan.
All week, there were games in the cafeteria for students to play during lunch. There was also a coloring contest for preschool through fourth grade.
On Saturday, Feb. 22 the chapter hosted an Ag Ball Tournament.
Leah Fullenkamp was the speaker for In the Blink of a Fly, which is a personal presentation she gives to schools and other groups to warn of the dangers of distracted driving. During her presentation, Fullenkamp explained, she is a newly single mom of four after her husband was killed while driving a tractor down a busy highway. The other driver was shopping online on her phone and hit his tractor. He was ejected from the car and passed away.
Fullenkamp runs a blog online, but she also visits various locations to do her best and prevent distracted driving, so what happened to her doesn’t happen to anyone else.
FFA Advisor Carmen Kennel explained, they wanted to bring the guest speaker in because students are driving early mornings in a rural community and need to be reminded of the serious consequences of distracted driving.
“This is a real life story. It wasn’t me or an officer preaching to them, it was a real life story with pictures and evidence. This is her life they are living now because of distracted driving,” Kennel said.
Fullenkamp added, she started doing presentations when the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office asked her and she decided to give back to the department that helped following her husband’s murder.
“Hopefully, nobody else will have to go through this. Hopefully, the kid’s today won’t be the reason somebody else has to live this life. If we all work together and nobody does it, you won’t be on either end of it,” she said. “I hope the kids learn to pay attention, to appreciate life, and that it can wait. Make time for what matters and put your phone down.”
The National Trail MVCTC FFA Ag Advocacy Committee is responsible for organizing FFA Week. According to Kennel, they try to brainstorm ways to give back to members, staff, community, and alumni members.
Sophomore Mykenzie Smith has participated in the snow tubing and the farmer’s breakfast in the past.
“The Farmer’s Breakfast, I feel like its a good way to give back to our teachers and community, because they do so much for us,” she said. “It’s actually kind of fun, even though you come in at 4:30 a.m. You get to eat after and the snow tubing is a fun way to bond with everyone in the chapter.
“This is a way to give back to our teachers, but we can also give back by doing it. We can enjoy the week by doing activities and give back at the same time. Which is what we do everyday, but we highlight it this week.”
Sophomore Emma Slade enjoys showing off the chapter and celebrating their many accomplishments during FFA Week.
“I love celebrating FFA Week to show how amazing of a group we get to be a part of. People from Columbus knows National Trail FFA Chapter. It’s amazing, because throughout the whole week you get to celebrate with everyone you’re around,” she said.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler | The Register-Herald