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group of FFA members
GOOD COOKS: Here is part of the FFA crew that cooked breakfast for Ripley County’s no-till breakfast. Pictured are state FFA Sentinel Eion Stephens (left), Carly Zoller, Lanie Nicholson, Grace Einhaus, Hailey Mills, Dreama Nuxall, Jessika Thomas and state FFA President Dillon Muhlenkamp.

FFA chapters celebrate agriculture in different ways

Indiana FFA members support local groups and spread the word about agriculture within school communities.

Indiana FFA chapters and members support their schools and communities and spread the message about FFA and agriculture in different ways. Here are two examples:

Rise and shine. Several South Ripley FFA members were up before the crack of dawn on March 5, traveling to Hopewell Church near Holton to prepare breakfast for the 27th annual Southeastern Indiana No-till Breakfast. Sponsored by the Ripley County Soil and Water Conservation District, with help from Purdue University Extension, farmers gather each year to learn about no-till practices and topics related to weed control.

“Our kids do the cooking, preparing pancakes, sausage, biscuits and gravy, and more,” says Erin Padgett, South Ripley FFA advisor. A Ripley County native, she was an Indiana FFA state officer in the early 2000s.

This year, two special guests joined the breakfast crew. Two members of the 2019-20 Indiana FFA state officer team, Dillon Muhlenkamp and Eion Stephens, helped out, making gravy and flipping pancakes.

“Our kids were excited they joined us,” Padgett says. “We have a hardworking core group of FFA members.”

Hamburgers and tractors. Franklin FFA members filled the ag shop with antique tractors and parked larger, newer models outside on FFA Tractor Day.

“We prepared hamburgers and the fixings, and invited teachers to come down during their lunch break,” says Alicia Geesey, Franklin FFA advisor. “Several came by, looked over the tractors, and sat and ate lunch alongside FFA members in the shop. Our goal was to thank teachers for their support, but also help give them a better idea about what we do.”

One of those who stopped by was Laura Mattox, a former teacher and now assistant principal. She even climbed aboard a 1951 Massey-Harris 44 just to get a feel for what it was like to sit in the seat. Travis Drake, a former Franklin FFA member, drove the tractor to school for FFA Tractor Day.

Travis Drake standing in front of 1951 Massey-Harris 44 tractor
SCHOOL TIES: The Franklin FFA opened the school ag shop on FFA Tractor Day and served hamburgers to faculty and staff while they could check out tractors at the same time. Travis Drake, a former Franklin FFA member, drove this 1951 Massey-Harris 44 to school for teachers to see.
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