CAMDEN — Celebrations of National FFA Week occurred in school districts across Preble County last month. Preble Shawnee FFA Chapter members began their celebrations Monday, Feb. 24, by raising money for a Kiss-a-Pig contest, which was held on Friday, Feb. 28.
The Preble Shawnee FFA Chapter Officer Team planned the entirety of FFA Week, seeking to make it more involved than past years.
“From start to finish, they had all of the events taken care of – they planned them well in advanced, they were responsible for the activities, and they brought new ideas to our chapter this year and enacted them. It was fun to see my students step up into leadership roles,” Advisor Sarhra Flinn said. “This week, I hope my students learned that they can be responsible and leaders, while having fun throughout the process.”
The celebration included:
•On Tuesday, Feb. 23, there was a milk mustache contest during lunch.
•Wednesday, Feb. 24 the chapter hosted a Ag Professional Development day, where they had chapter members teach staff how to properly show a market day. Following the staff portion of the day, Zach Stapleton from Stapleton Farms put on a small clinic surrounding everything market goats.
“This was a Professional Development day we did in place of staff-meetings. Instead of going to their staff meetings, they came down and we had four classes of four,” Chapter President Megan Roell said. “They got judged on their showmanship techniques and they had four students that were judging them. They had four minutes before they showed to learn the best they could and four minutes to see how they would do. We had the final drive at the end.”
Chapter Sentinel Jared Dunn added, “A lot of our teachers migrated to our area, so they’re not from a rural area, so this was an opportunity to see what we get to experience every year in a rural community.”
•Thursday, Feb. 25 featured the Staff Appreciation lunch, where the chapter had the opportunity to say thank you to the staff for their support throughout the year.
•Friday, Feb. 26 finished off the week with a school-wide assembly, where the chapter got to celebrate FFA with a variety of different activities, including the much-awaited Kiss-a-Pig contest, where several teachers were literally forced to kiss a big, including Superintendent Matt Bishop and School Resource Office Greg McWhinney.
The Chapter raised $167.22 through their Kiss-a-Pig contest. Their goal was originally $150, with the intention that if they met that goal, all 11 teachers would have to kiss a pig. Having surpassed it, all 11 staff were forced to partake in the event. The money was raised for the Student Food Pantry, so the money was donated back into the school district for kids in need.
All week they taught time management and personal growth lessons, interacting with over 400 students throughout the week.
There was also a trivia question for the school to try to answer throughout the week. They had over 40 kids participate every day.
Dunn believes it is important to celebrate FFA Week to show the entire school that FFA is about more than Agriculture and farming.
“FFA also teaches many other things than just agriculture. I have very little agriculture background, but I found FFA important because it teaches a lot of business materials you could use in the future. For example, we have competitions that demonstrate how to properly handle a business meeting, we also have a competition that teaches you how to conduct an interview professionally,” he said.
“We want to celebrate FFA as an organization that takes in anyone. Everyone can be involved in FFA and that is why it is important to celebrate it.”
Roell added, “I think it was such a good thing [to celebrate with the whole school], because a lot of students believe that if you’re not in FFA, then it is not for you and you don’t have to participate, but we promoted it extra so those kids knew they could be involved. Not only does FFA promote leadership and career readiness, but we wanted people outside of FFA to be promoting career readiness and agriculture.”
Flinn likes celebrating FFA Week as a way for her students to showcase what they’ve learned through the organization with the school and community as a whole.
“We had a lot of events this week that helped our community rally together, and also helped to embrace what agriculture means to our community,” she said. “
Ultimately, Preble Shawnee FFA Chapter is grateful to everyone who made this week and every week a possibility for them.
Roell said, “I would definitely like to thank our administration for allowing us all these opportunities to do so much in one week and the officer team for really stepping up, participating, and getting things done. Last but not least, Ms. Flinn for allowing us to do it all and helping us and pushing us to do our best.”
“I want to thank the school for being so active in FFA Week and making it a success,” Flinn said.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH