This is National FFA Week and the official Indiana kick off is Monday at 1:00 PM at the statehouse when Governor Mike Pence and Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann will meet the Indiana FFA Officers and more than 100 members participating in Page Day. State president Cameron Mann says their goal for the week fits nicely with the kickoff and the national theme of Grow.
“I think Indiana’s main goal this year is educating people on what FFA is. All of the pages in the statehouse will be FFA members so we’ll be wearing our official dress to the statehouse. That’s over 100 blue jackets and that makes a huge impact getting our word out about what our organization is how we’re about generating future leaders and not just farmers for the field. We’re trying to really spread that message throughout National FFA Week so I think that’s the main point for Indiana this year.”
Mann tipped her hat to Indiana FFA program specialist Joe Martin for making contacts at the page department to make this day a reality.
“He told them we could get enough for the day so we just reserved those days off the calendar. He’s done a lot of great work with the page department.”
The state officers are dividing up the state of Indiana and will individually be attending local chapter events and community service activities throughout the week. Northern region vice president Marshall Perkins will cover northwest Indiana, Tippecanoe County and north, and one event he looks forward to is the ABC’s of Agriculture day at McCutcheon schools in Lafayette.
“It’s pretty similar to something I did in high school with my FFA chapter, having a petting zoo in different areas for elementary students to come in and learn about agriculture. I’m also excited about a presentation that I’ll be doing at Southmont High School about recruitment and retention and trying to generate some interest for their FFA program.”
These state officers are not far removed from high school and the special memories of FFA week.
“My high school would always have a different dress up day or a day where maybe we got to drive our tractor to school and being able to show pride in our organization and show everyone in our school that we were part of something bigger than ourselves was very neat for me.”
The week of George Washington’s birthday was designated as National FFA Week in 1947 during an FFA board of directors meeting. FFA Week always runs from Saturday to Saturday, and encompasses February 22, Washington’s birthday.
Listen to the full HAT interview:Cameron-Marshall