Friday, October 29, 2010

It’s Halloween time! In America, that usually consists of dressing up for trick-or-treating, classroom parties, and fall break for youngsters and teens!  At the Jay County FFA Chapter, it means something much different! Every year, they hold their Greenhand Initiation and Induction Ceremony around the time of Halloween! Along with this, they also have a pumpkin carving contest, which gets pretty competitive! Though I was not there last year, I was told that a member brought a motorized knife to carve his pumpkin – he was clearly in it to win it! 

Luckily I, along with Megan Klotz, Kelly Blackburn, and our new Program Specialist, Ms. Lindsey Calhoun were able to attend and join in on the celebration this year with Jay County FFA!   During the pumpkin carving contest,  we got to hang out and carve pumpkins with members as well as be the judges at the end! The creativity the members exhibited in carving their pumpkins was phenomenal! The first place pumpkin had the face of a pig with “FFA” coming out of its mouth! Another had a pirate symbol on the front with the word “ARRRRGRICULTURE” on the back! Combining my inexperience with carving pumpkins and my lack of creativity and imagination, mine simply had “FFA” on it! Ha! It was so cool to have fun while carving pumpkins and be able to share the positive message we are consistently striving to share…agriculture!

Along with enjoying fellowship with members, we also were given the opportunity to tour the Jay County Agricultural Department!  WOW! What a facility! With three agricultural education teachers, three classrooms, a computer lab, two shop areas, an animal and aquatic center, and an SAE study room, it is evident that they are supported and they are investing that support in the future of their students!  While we are hearing everyday that agricultural education and FFA is in danger due to budget cuts and lack of support, it is extremely encouraging to see programs like Jay County’s that are growing and prospering despite hard times!

It was once again a blessing to visit the Jay County FFA Chapter and just hang out with the advisors and members, which is definitely my favorite part of being an Indiana FFA State Officer! The enthusiasm and excitement for FFA that their Chapter Officers and younger members possessed was yet another reminder of how purely blessed I am to be in the position I am this year and why I thank God every day!

I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable Halloween! I advise you to take the opportunity to share with a child how a pumpkin grows or what their candy or costume is made from! Share and spread the message of agriculture – whether it be with a trick or a treat!
From FFA: Following the Future of Agriculture

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