Christmas spirit should be alive and well. It already seemed like Christmas when Indiana FFA state officers and staff, Indiana FFA Leadership Center committee members, and honored guests — including retired ag teachers and former state officers — gathered for their annual Christmas lunch. The FFA center came alive with good conversation, good food and good music.
Lisa Chaudion, executive director of the Indiana FFA Foundation, says the event has been held for the past several years, and will be held again during the next Christmas season. It’s a time of getting together to celebrate both the holidays and FFA with friends, many of whom seem like family, Chaudion notes.
Famous FFA pork chops alone would make the occasion memorable. Not too many people are likely featuring smoked pork chops as their Christmas specialty today, but they hit the spot anytime. Jimmy Clark, a member of the FFA center staff, grilled the smoked chops and chicken breasts.
Mark Russell, head of the Purdue University Youth Development and Agricultural Education Department, which includes the ag education and ag communication programs, attended and brought greetings from the school and Purdue. His early Christmas gift to everyone was the news that student enrollment in ag education is picking up, and there should be enough, or nearly enough, trained ag teachers to go around this year. A severe shortage has caused some schools to turn to nonlicensed ag industry professionals to fill teaching positions.
Chaudion mentioned the only other business of the day: “We want everyone to remember our ‘Pay It Forward’ campaign,” she said. “Our goal is to pay off the rest of the mortgage so that for the first time, the Indiana FFA Center will be totally owned by FFA without a mortgage.”
The amount yet to be raised is just over $50,000. Chaudion hopes to hold a mortgage-burning ceremony at the 2018 Indiana FFA Convention in June. Learn more about the campaign and how to donate.
Take a few moments to view the pictures from this year’s FFA gathering and catch the Christmas spirit, just in case you haven’t already today!