Local chapters celebrate National FFA Week


It wouldn’t be National FFA Week without Seymour High School chapter members serving up some of that famous cherry delight.

It also wouldn’t be National FFA Week without members driving their tractors to school one day.

Those were among the activities conducted last week to celebrate the youth organization that prepares members for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture.

Jackson County boasts six chapters at local schools: Brownstown Central High School, Crothersville Junior-Senior High School, Medora Junior-Senior High School, Seymour Middle School, Seymour High School and Trinity Lutheran High School.

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This year, SHS Adviser Jeanna Eppley said they changed some things due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The chapter usually hosts a teacher and staff appreciation lunch and serves cherry delight as dessert.

“Since we can’t do the large gathering or have buffet-style food, the advanced food science class (made) individual cherry delights,” Eppley said.

The chapter also usually does ag trivia games for all students to get involved. With social distancing protocols this year, though, members offered an FFA emblem hunt. Emblems were hidden in different teachers’ rooms each day for students to find and turn in for a prize.

Fortunately, Drive Your Tractor to School Day remained the same since it’s naturally socially distanced, Eppley said.

Despite some differences this year, SHS FFA President Kourtney Otte said the week still had the same purpose.

“It’s definitely the education aspect because a lot of times, people think of cows, sows and plows, like we’re all ag kids,” she said. “In reality, we’re not. We’re a pretty diversified group, and just having opportunities for kids to go out and see like ‘Wow! I can join this. I can be active,’ it’s a really great thing.”

Otte, a senior, has been in FFA since seventh grade. She plans to major in ag education in college and wants to become an FFA adviser.

“I actually am a district officer, as well, so it has given me that opportunity, and I’ve been a counselor for a lot of the camps, which allowed me to meet a lot of our younger members,” she said. “Especially with college coming around the corner, it has really shown me how to act around adults and what things I need to have to be ready for college and things like that. It’s a pretty incredible experience.”

Fellow senior Charlotte Rust joined FFA in eighth grade to participate in her favorite event, parliamentary procedure.

She has looked forward to National FFA Week each year.

“I love that it draws the rest of the school into FFA and they get to experience the fun that we have year-round,” Rust said.

While she said her roots will always be based in ag, Rust said she’s considering going to school to try to become a doctor.

Sophomore Wyatt Wischmeier, a sentinel for SHS FFA, said Drive Your Tractor to School Day is his favorite part of National FFA Week. On Thursday, he drove an old International Harvester Farmall tractor to school.

Doing that and also spreading the word about FFA with activities like the emblem hunt help other students have a better understanding of what the ag industry does, Wischmeier said.

At Trinity, the FFA chapter had special dress-up days throughout the week for all students to participate in, including a day to dress like Adviser Bryan Schroer.

“We’ve been wanting to do that one for the past few years. He finally let us this year,” junior Hannah Kerkhof said, smiling.

The big day was Friday when an assembly was conducted in the Bollinger Athletic Complex, consisting of cornhole, mini tractor races, a toy tractor and farm equipment display, a guess the country music song contest and a guess how many soybeans are in a jar contest.

Brownstown also had themed dress-up days. Other activities included a lunch for FFA members, riddles with prizes, a spot the difference activity and guessing a song played backwards during morning announcements. The FFA chapter also conducted a Battle of the Brands contest to collect donations for the Shed for You community building.

At Crothersville, students and faculty were encouraged to get in the spirit of National FFA Week with themed dress-up days.

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Meet your Jackson County FFA advisers

Brownstown Central High School: Blake Hackman

Crothersville Junior-Senior High School: Linda Myers

Medora Junior-Senior High School: Ashley Shoemaker

Seymour Middle School: Mikayla Applegate and Sheridan Elswick

Seymour High School: Micah Dillman and Jeanna Eppley

Trinity Lutheran High School: Bryan Schroer


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