Boyle chapter celebrating National FFA week

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, February 22, 2022

The Future Farmers of America chapter at the Boyle County School District is celebrating National FFA week today through Friday.

FFA in Boyle County is one chapter of the national FFA organization. Its goals are to promote premier leadership, personal growth, and career success in and through agriculture.

Member of the Boyle County FFA Logan Kirkland wrote, “FFA week is a time for FFA members to raise awareness about the role that the National FFA organization plays in developing agriculture’s future leaders and the importance of agricultural education.”

Jake Lyons, who is the chapter president and a senior at Boyle County High School, helped plan events for FFA week. Each day this week has an event and dress-up theme.

With no school on Monday, the week starts off on Tuesday with a staff appreciation breakfast.

On Wednesday, the high schoolers will take members to Bowlarama after school. Thursday is a degree ceremony, and Friday is Club Day.

FFA has three types of degrees that members can earn by meeting different requirements. The Discovery degree is for middle schoolers, the Greenhand degree is for freshmen, and the Chapter degree is for sophomores through seniors. The ceremony will be at 6 p.m. in the Boyle County Middle School cafeteria on Thursday.

A food drive is happening all week to benefit New Hope Food Pantry in Danville. Students can bring non-perishable foods, like pasta, granola bars, peanut butter, etc., every morning to their first period classes. Lyons said there will be a prize for the first period class with the most donations.

“FFA is really big on community service and community outreach,” Lyons explained. “FFA is the biggest club at the high school, and our agriculture program is something that Boyle County is really known for.”

Lyons said students get excited for the dress-up days at the high school. Just like other spirit weeks, every student can get involved in the celebration, not just FFA members. Tuesday is flannel day, Wednesday is pajama day, Thursday is sports vs. clubs day, and Friday is blue and gold day.

“I would argue to say that the majority of the student population is currently enrolled in an agriculture class, so they always get really pumped up about that,” Lyons said. “FFA week is really just a time for all of us to come together and support the accomplishments of what our awesome members have done the past year.”

Boyle County Clerk Trille Bottom poses with FFA students in celebration of the Kentucky “Ag Tag” license plates, which benefit local FFA chapters across the state. – Photo submitted

The chapter was recognized by the Boyle County Fiscal Court on Feb. 8, and Judge-Executive Howard Hunt signed a proclamation for National FFA week. FFA also met with Boyle County Clerk Trille Bottom to promote the Ag Tag program.

When farmers renew their farm license plates on agriculture vehicles, they can donate $10 to the “Ag Tag” fund. The state’s Department of Transportation splits the fund equally between 4-H, Kentucky Proud, and FFA. The state’s FFA disperses the money to each chapter through grants and other things.

Boyle County has been able to use those funds in several ways, including with their FFA leadership training camp over the summer. The state usually pays for one member to attend the camp free of charge. Lyons said they select someone who might not be able to afford the camp.

FFA members get the chance to not only attend leadership conferences, but hold their own conferences. Students compete in competitions to prepare for future careers and leadership in agriculture.

FFA contests consist of parliamentary procedure, record keeping, and speeches. Speech competition categories include a prepared speech, which is an eight-minute speech to discuss anything in agriculture; an extemporaneous speech where students draw topics out of a hat and speak without preparation; and impromptu speaking contests, where students are given areas of focus beforehand, then they pick specific topics out of a hat and have 20 minutes to write a speech.

Lyons said their members usually excel in the impromptu contests. He said Boyle County Schools students have won in quite a few state competitions over the years.

“Boyle County, I would argue to say without a bias, is one of the top-performing programs in the state of Kentucky,” Lyons said. “We’ve always been fortunate enough to have some awesome members that really excel in these contests.”

FFA has a chapter meeting every month, and other events throughout the year. Boyle County will be competing in a state contest at UK’s College of Agriculture this spring.