By Colin Foster
MIAMI COUNTY — Whoever said school couldn’t be fun?
Next week promises to combine education with a little fun on the side as National FFA Week kicks off. According to the National FFA Organization website, the week, which is always held during the week of President’s Day, provides an opportunity for FFA members, alumni and sponsors to advocate for agricultural education and FFA. It’s a time to share with local, state and national audiences what FFA is and the impact it has on members every day.
“I’m super excited,” said Casey Copeland, a junior from Miami East who is in her third year with FFA. “This is probably one of the best weeks of school … there’s so much to do — everything is so fun.”
Local chapters at Miami East, Covington and Newton have prepared a laundry list of fun activities for the entire week.
In Casstown, the Miami East FFA Chapter has many fun-filled events — some for charitable causes — throughout the entire week. Students will be able to pie an officer in the eye for $1 with proceeds going to the Children’s Hospital. Other week-long activities include a soybean guessing contest and a school-wide FFA emblem hunt.
Spirit Day and teacher appreciation are also held all week. Some of the spirit themes are boot and camo day (Tuesday), Hat Day for Children’s Hospital (Feb. 19), Blue and Gold/FFA T-shirt Day for the entire school (Feb. 20) and dress like your favorite animal day (Feb. 21).
On Tuesday, the ME FFA will hold the Lunch Ag Olympics — with a milk chugging contest — and The Lunch Ag Olympics will continue Wednesday, this time with a dizzy horse race in the gym. Also on that day, there will be a chapter food carry-in welcome to all students.
It’s Doughnut Day Thursday, as all FFA member and MEHS staff are welcome to the ag room before school starts for doughnuts and juice. The Ag Olympics will continue with a three-legged feed sack race in the gym.
On Friday, the Ag Olympics conclude with an egg toss, and there will be an All-School Assembly, where the total donation for the Children’s Hospital is revealed and the Monsanto’s Grant donation is given to the chapter by Jeff Knoop.
“We come up with most of the things we do in the classroom,” Copeland said. “We bounce a lot of ideas off each other. A lot of what we do is stuff that we’ve done in the past, and we try to bring a few new things in each year … We really do a lot to make sure everyone is involved.”
At the other area chapters — Covington and Newton — FFA Week will get a jump-start this Friday with a visit from Maddy Buschur, state FFA president. Buschur will speak at both schools about FFA opportunities and exciting experiences that lie ahead for them through FFA.
Students from both schools will also hold dress up days — and will celebrate on Feb. 19 with cupcakes, punch and a visit from Roland Fisher, a former FFA member and current FFA supporter.
Jessica W. Helsinger, agricultural education instructor and FFA adviser at Covington, Newton and satellite of Upper Valley Career Center, said each school will hold an FFA emblem hunt. Other contests and events being held include “Guess How Many” jars and a door decorating contest with a agricultural/FFA theme.
Down the road, the Newton FFA chapter will be hosting a dodgeball tournament at 6 p.m. Feb. 28. The tournament has a $2 fee and is open to the public. Earlier this year, the Newton FFA Chapter began Project: Revive the Ranches, in support of the ranchers that were hit by Winter Storm Atlas in September. According to the Cattle Business Weekly, as of October the death lose of 13,997 cattle, 1,257 sheep, 287 horses and 40 bison. All proceeds from the dodgeball tournament will go to Project: Revive the Ranches.
The Covington FFA officers will dine with the Covington Optimist Club on Feb. 26 and will share their experiences and opportunities with FFA as well as the chapters accomplishments this year.
National FFA Week kicks off Feb. 15 and lasts through Feb. 22.
Colin Foster may be reached at 937-440-5208 or followed on Twitter @colinfosterbg or @Troydailynews