Greenon Schools’ FFA plans for annual farm day, state convention as ‘successful year’ winds down

Greenon Local School District's FFA chapter officer team of the 2022-23 year (from left to right): Macy Young, Mariah Longshore, Kaylee Smith, Jackson Wilhelm, Sydney Hartley, Allie Hundley, Sara Jewell, Tru Buddenberg, and Advisor Sara Casto. Contributed

Combined ShapeCaption
Greenon Local School District's FFA chapter officer team of the 2022-23 year (from left to right): Macy Young, Mariah Longshore, Kaylee Smith, Jackson Wilhelm, Sydney Hartley, Allie Hundley, Sara Jewell, Tru Buddenberg, and Advisor Sara Casto. Contributed

The Greenon Local School District’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter has had a successful year as members participated in various career development events and fundraisers while learning to operate in a new classroom and environment.

The district’s chapter has 77 members, and adviser Sara Casto said it’s rewarding to see the impact young people are making in the schools and community.

“These students are learning teamwork and communication skills, stepping our of their comfort zones, planning events and activities, developing work ethic and earning awards for their efforts and passions. It is exciting to see their success, as both individuals and as a whole,” she said. “These students are hard workers, communicators, problem-solvers and helpers, and they’ll keep you laughing along the way.”

The various career development events members participated in included job interviews, parliamentary procedures, public speaking, equine, dairy cattle and livestock judging, food science and technology, and agricultural power diagnostics.

Members attended the national convention with other county FFA chapters where students toured agriculture companies, explored career opportunities, celebrated successes of members across the nation and heard motivational speakers.

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The district also celebrated the chapter’s achievements at the 66th annual FFA banquet this month. They included the star greenhands award, outstanding upperclassmen, Star Chapter Farmer award and the Blue & Gold Gierke Award. Those who rendered outstanding service to the FFA were also recognized, retiring officers were awarded for their work over the past year, and 2022-23 officers were installed.

The chapter raised $37,000 from its fall fruit sale and spring strawberry sale fundraisers, Castro said. All proceeds go to the FFA and help support purchases of FFA jackets for students, financial support for FFA camp and Washington Leadership Conference, state and national FFA convention trips, and other activities.

“What is made is spent back on the students,” Casto said.

As the end of the school year approaches, members are planning the annual Farm Day on May 18, where they will teach elementary students in grades PreK-4 about the agricultural industry, and the State FFA Convention on May 5 and 6 in Columbus. At this year’s state convention, Morgan Paulus, Emma Bennett and Macy Timmons will receive recognition for earning gold ratings on their officer books, and Macy Young, Emily Hope and Tru Buddenburg will receive their state degrees.

Greenon FFA will also be recognized at the convention as a Silver Rated Chapter as they are in the top 40 chapters out of 350 in the state.

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In Ohio, chapters are ranked as Gold, Silver and Bronze. Each year, chapters complete the National Chapter Application (NCA), highlighting 15 activities the chapter and its members have completed over the past year, Castro said.

The NCA program is designed to recognize FFA chapters that actively implement the mission and strategies of the organization, and chapters are awarded for providing educational experiences for the entire membership.

Members are also starting their Supervised Agricultural Experiences, which will be completed and evaluated this summer. Members will be exhibited at this year’s Clark County Fair from July 22-29 with livestock such as rabbits, poultry, dairy cattle, beef cattle, sheep, goats and pigs.

To become a member of FFA, which is an intra-curricular student organization for those interested in agriculture and leadership, students must be enrolled in an agriculture education course at the high school each year.

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