It's not every day you see dozens of blue jackets surrounding the two politically most important people in Indiana in the middle of the statehouse floor. That happened on Monday when The Indiana FFA state officers gathered around Gov. Mike Pence and Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann to officially note the beginning of FFA Week in Indiana.
Many of the FFA members were pages, serving in the legislature for the day. In fact, word was that all pages on Feb.18 were FFA members, clad in official dress and serving the lawmakers from their regions.
Gov. Pence and Secretary of Agriculture Ellspermann reaffirmed their support for FFA. It is especially important for them to do so this year, when their campaign featured several details about improving vocational education training in the state. The governor is hopeful that a number of changes will come out of the long session now underway which will eventually lead to more vocational training for students, not just for those bound for college.
FFA Week activities will vary by chapter all this week. From Farmer's Olympics to spaghetti dinners for families and friends to a whole host of other events, it will be a busy week for most FFA chapters.
Tractor days – when kids drive tractors to school – are still popular, even though some believe it sends the wrong image that agriculture is only about farming. That's hardly the case. Truck day brings a variety of trucks at some schools. Last year a 1939 restored Dodge panel truck took first prize at truck day for the Franklin FFA.
The best gift Indiana FFA could receive would be a line item from the Indiana legislature that would provide funding to upgrade the Indiana FFA Leadership Center at Trafalgar. Now in its 45th year, the center is in need of repair, with no funds available to do it. Since it is owned by the Indiana FFA Foundation, a non-profit group, Foundation members can't lobby for funds. However, the Board could accept funds if appropriated by the legislature.