Award reminds reporter of job’s importance


Seeing Crothersville FFA members preparing and serving breakfast to local first responders on Sept. 11 was special.

Offering grain bin rescue training to firefighters, farmers and others in the community was a great service.

Watching members of the organization and others in the community come together to deliver more than 9 tons of food and toys to 96 Vernon Township families as part of the annual Toy and Food Drive was spectacular.

Sharing how members celebrated National FFA Week by conducting a variety of activities to educate their classmates about FFA and agriculture was important.

It also was nice to share photos of 2016 Crothersville High School graduates Madison Isenhower and Derrick Maxie receiving their American FFA Degrees during the National FFA Convention & Expo and chapter members participating in a district leadership contest.

This school year, Crothersville FFA members have accomplished a lot, as has been the case in the 30 years Linda Myers has been the group’s adviser.

As a reporter, I have been more than happy to share all of the good news with Tribune readers. In today’s society, we need all of the good news we can get.

On Thursday night, I was asked to be at Crothersville Junior-Senior High School to report on another FFA activity, the annual awards banquet. I was told Myers was receiving a special career award for all she has done over the years.

As the program started in the cafetorium, I was jotting down notes in my notebook when it came time to present honorary chapter FFA degrees. When they began reading information about the first recipient, I stopped what I was doing.

I couldn’t believe what I heard. Then they said the recipient’s name: Zach Spicer. I was baffled.

I walked up to the stage to receive a plaque, and then information about the other recipients, Brian Clouse and Scott Teipen, was shared. The FFA officers shook our hands before we made our way off of the stage.

First of all, I do not do my job for awards or glory. It’s nice when you receive awards or thanks for a job well done, but you don’t go to work every day expecting them.

I sincerely appreciate the award. When Myers told me afterwards that the recipients are chosen by the FFA members, the award meant even more to me.

As I reported on the FFA’s activities, I always enjoyed talking to Myers and her students. She certainly runs a great FFA program, and she’s fortunate to have students who are excited to be involved and are very active in the chapter. I witnessed this at every event I covered.

At the breakfast, they arrived early in the morning to cook food and happily prepared it for those to bravely serve the community.

I covered the Toy and Food Drive before, but it had always been activities leading up to the delivery day. This time, I chose to see how delivery day works. Arriving at the school, I saw boxes lined along the hallways and in classrooms. When I learned all it takes to organize everything and make it all run smoothly, I was amazed.

The fact that 65 volunteers, including FFA members, alumni, firefighters and community members, showed up to help speaks volumes.

I was so impressed that I felt called to help. Putting the camera and notebook aside, I carried boxes of food and placed them in the back of my vehicle. Immediately, FFA members helped me, and some of them even went along with me to deliver to homes in the town.

It made a big impact on me that day, and I not only did a story about the Toy and Food Drive, I also chose to share my personal experience in a column.

Again, I wasn’t doing it to draw attention to myself. I did it to shine the spotlight on the FFA members and Myers and the great work they do.

During the awards banquet, a lot of awards were handed out, and several of the members walked up to the stage multiple times for different types of recognition. That was great to see. It definitely was evident that these students are serious when it comes to FFA and the organization means a lot to them.

When I arrived at work Friday morning, I proudly displayed my plaque in my cubicle. Again, it’s not for glory. It’s a reminder to keep doing what I’m doing — sharing the good things that people are doing in Jackson County. It makes me realize why I do what I do.

Thank you, Crothersville FFA. I am truly humbled and honored. Keep up the great work, and I will keep on sharing it with our readers.

Zach Spicer is a staff writer for The Tribune. Send comments to [email protected].

No posts to display