This week marks National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Week as area chapters celebrated with multiple events.
“We started off with Farm Day, that was on Tuesday,” said Charlee Hines, the Florida FFA District III president and a senior at Trenton High School. “And kids from the [Trenton] elementary school came over, the preschoolers and kindergarteners, and we just shared a little bit about what goes down on the farm.”
Hines said they had stations that displayed pigs, goats, sheep, cows, horses, chickens, rabbits, cane syrup, and vegetables.
“We incorporated fun activities into [each station],” she said. “Personally, I did the beef. So we brand cattle for identification, so I showed the kids how we brand the cattle. They got an opportunity to use the branding iron, and we put paint onto a board for them to use.”
Other events for the District III chapter at Trenton High School included dress up days for the opening and closing ceremonies.
On Wednesday, it was “Here by the Owl,” which involves dressing up as ag teachers, because the owl represents the adviser with wisdom and knowledge.
On Thursday, the chapter celebrated “Stationed by the Flag,” and the members wore red, white and blue.
Friday wrapped up the week with the “Stationed by the Ear of Corn,” which Haines said is the secretary’s part, where the members wear blue and gold and will celebrate with a cookout.
Haines said the Dixie County FFA chapter was doing a beach cleanup and a farm day, along with incorporating area heritage by adding blue crabs. Williston did a hay bale decorating contest with the community decorating the hay bales.
Haines, who has been with FFA since the 6th grade, said her district includes Madison, Taylor, Suwannee, Columbia, Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties. Her family owns a farm where she plans to continue staying involved.
“We grow watermelons and we raise cattle,” she said. “And then we ship [the cows] off to Texas and Kentucky for slaughter and to be sold out. But the watermelons get shipped to local stores, like Publix and even Costco.”
The FFA, founded in 1928 with its headquarters in Alexandria, Va., is a national youth organization for middle and high school students interested in agriculture and leadership skills.