National FFA officers visit BCHS

Published 8:45 am Friday, February 9, 2018

Boyle County High School had the honor of hosting the six National Future Farmers of America officers Wednesday afternoon, and shared this event with several other area high school FFA members.

According to Toni Myers, BCHS agricultural science teacher and FFA advisor, the six officers from across the country were elected to their national posts in October.

Myers said, “When they say cream of the crop, they mean cream of the crop,” because these six students rose above nearly 700,00 other FFA members to earn the honor.

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The national FFA officers are: Breanna Holbert of California, president; Erica Baier of Iowa, secretary; Gracie Furnish of Kentucky, eastern region vice-president; Bryce Cluff of Arizona, western region vice president; Ian Bennett of Georgia, southern region vice president and Piper Merritt of Oklahoma, central region vice president.

From left, Chase Bradshaw and Blake Carpenter demonstrate a unique handshake they had just created during one of the FFA special workshops that was conducted by a national FFA officer.

As part of their intense leadership training while in office, the officers are now involved with “Experience Week.” Myers said they were visiting 10 Kentucky high schools this week in order to practice and polish their keynote speeches and conduct workshops for local FFA members.

Myers said they (local and area FFA organizations) were “pretty excited” about the officers’ visit. FFA members from Boyle Middle School as well as from Mercer, Lincoln and Rockcastle County high schools also attended the event.

James Kash, a student teacher at MCHS who accompanied several of the school’s FFA members, said he thought Boyle was chosen as one of the host schools because of its “great program.” Kash said, “It represents what’s good about ag education in the state.”

Myers said, “It’s important to expose my students to excellence in leadership. This will make them better leaders because they are exposed to them (national officers.)”

In welcoming visiting FFA members, BCHS principal Mark Wade told the crowd, “FFA has a special place in my heart.”

Wade said he took his first agriculture class in 1994 and soon joined FFA. He said the was involved in all the things the organization offered.

“I wanted to fill up the outside and inside of my jacket with pins,” he said.

Wade said he credits the FFA in cultivating his leadership skills. 

He also said he encourages students to participate in FFA. “I know it’s making a difference in people’s lives.”

Mercer County High School student teacher Claire Waggoner takes a selfie with students from MCHS she accompanied to listen to and learn from national FFA officers who were visiting BCHS Wednesday afternoon.

These posters demonstrate a lesson being taught by Piper Merritt of Oklahoma, who is national FFA central region vice president.

National FFA president Breanna Holbert of California, center and Molly Crawford, right, pose for a photo after Crawford was presented with her iconic blue corduroy FFA jacket.