With Saturday, the 27th of February, came the conclusion of the 2016 nation-wide convention known as FFA Week.
Many Harrison students are familiar with this weeklong celebration, but few realize the impact that is truly has nationally.
FFA Week, a tradition which began in 1947, serves to bring awareness to the magnitude of influence that agriculture has on the daily lives of Americans.
FFA (Future Farmers of America) branches exist in establishments across the country, and each branch celebrates the week differently within their school.
Regarding this convention, Harrison is most recognized for its “Kiss the Animal” petting zoo event, in which educators and other school staff volunteer to kiss an animal at a zoo which our FFA group constructs itself in the Agriculture Building.
A number of other schools also have many popular events, including Page High School’s “Drive Your Tractor to School Day” in Tennessee.
Other interactive events include farm machinery shows, spirit wear days, and even teacher appreciation days.
Additionally, many schools go all out in the process of decorating their hallways, even selling t-shirts which don the slogan “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.”
Endorsed by companies such as John Deere and Culver’s, the National FFA Organization continues to grow exponentially, reaching out to a variety of students no matter their location within the United States.
While some simply denote FFA week as a week in which Harrison plays country music over the PA system, the reality is that the FFA Organization encompasses not just local agendas but also national ones.
Since the first convention in 1947, the small ensemble has spiraled into a large-scale movement whose expansion is predicted to progress even further.
Although this year’s FFA Week has officially ended, Harrison’s FFA branch and other branches across America will continue to promote the importance of agriculture in today’s society and recruit others to join the “ag” movement.
“FFA is important to me because it lets students who have grown up farming make friends and have new experiences with each other,” said Harrison FFA president Morgan Donahoe.
Many members are even looking to next year’s event, and are exploring what other ways they can bring awareness to agriculture’s influence as well as to integrate the accompanying “farming culture” into the lives of their fellow peers.