By Hannah Steinmetz, junior
Almost every US citizen knows that the first president was George Washington, but what they don’t know is that each year, there is a full week dedicated to his agricultural legacy.
Edgewood High School’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) celebrated National FFA week Feb. 20 through the 24 with other FFA chapters across the country, and it was a big hit.
“I think it went pretty well,” EHS FFA chapter leader Ms. Ferguson said, “the animals during lunch really got everyone coming down to the ‘ag (agriculture) room and seeing what it was like.” According to the national FFA website, “the local chapter is the heartbeat of FFA,” and local chapters strive to keep members active and provide students with opportunities for leadership.
The week has been celebrated annually since 1948, and each year, it falls on the week of Washington’s birthday, Feb. 22. Washington was well-known for constantly experimenting with new ways to improve farming, and he developed a seven-year crop rotation that rejuvenated soil better than the three-year rotation that had been used.
FFA week at Edgewood consisted of the whole school participating in different activities, and one was dressing up each day for a contest between homerooms to see who would get the prize of a breakfast the following week. Monday began with a theme of wearing overalls; Tuesday was blue and gold, the FFA colors; Wednesday consisted of students dressing as animals; Thursday was boot day, and Friday was Flannel Friday.
In response to the dressing up, Ferguson said, “Everybody did well. Flannel Friday went over the best; I think I saw about ten teachers with flannels on, so I appreciated the participation from people outside of our chapter.”
Another activity that took place was the opportunity for students to pet a different animal each day in the ‘ag room during lunch. In all, students were able to see chicks, piglets, calves, goats, and on Friday, Ferguson brought in her pony.
Ferguson said that there was very little that went wrong other than the minor interruption of the dress up contest due to school delays.
“In the future, I’d like to get more of the school involved, because we had two, two-hour delays, so we only had homeroom twice, and we were supposed to have the dress up [contest] all week, so it was kind of hard because we only had two days to count points, which gave people less motivation to dress up, so hopefully in the future it lines out better and we can get more school involvement.”
Overall, Ferguson was very pleased with the turnout of the week. “I think it gave people a little bit more awareness about how we are a chapter and we’re here and doing stuff, and we do have a national week throughout the US, so it’s not just an after-school club per say,” Ferguson said, “it’s a chapter and it’s a big deal.”
With the remainder of the school year, FFA will have more events. “Our closest event is that we have two livestock judging teams and one dairy judging team, and they will be going to their area contest on April 28th, where they will go compete against other chapters and other teams in the state of Indiana and see who does the best,” Ferguson said.