If you have ever been in FFA, especially if you have attended the Indiana FFA Center at Trafalgar in recent years, you might recognize this man. If you attended Indian Creek High School or if you were a participant in FFA parliamentary procedure contests at various levels while in FFA, you might also recognize this man.
Do you have any clues? Have you ever eaten smoked pork chops at the Indiana FFA Center or another event in central Indiana? Have you heard of the homemade ice cream served by the Indiana Creek FFA at the Johnson County Fair for some 45 years – the kind made with old-fashioned crank ice cream freezers? If you have, you know of this man whether you recognize him or not.
It's Joe Park, director of the Indiana FFA Center. Before taking that position four years ago, he taught agriculture at Indiana Creek High School near Trafalgar for more than 40 years. He also taught one year at Henryville in Clark County, and hails from Spencer County.
Look for an article in the September issue if Indiana Prairie Farmer hitting your mailbox soon which discusses some of the improvements he's working to make, in cooperation with many FFA chapters across the state, at the Indiana FFA Center.
Park has brought back the idea of chapters rallying to help do projects and support fundraising for specific needs at the Center.
In the upcoming issue you will find him demonstrating how to play a giant version of "Plinko" made famous on the Price is Right, it's more of a kid's game. You enter colored, round plastic pieces, in this case very large round plastic pieces, into slots and see where they fall.
The camera caught him playing the game not because he was bored, but because he was demonstrating some of the activities that have been added to the nature trials at the center to help entice more people to use the trails. Other stops feature other games and activities. Community groups and FFA chapters have helped build the various games and activities along the trails and in other locations at the center.
And oh yes, he is known to some as "Mr. Homemade ice cream" and to others as "Mr. Pork Chop." His barbecued, smoked pork chops are legendary, and are served every second Thursday evening of each month at the Indiana FFA Center to anyone who wishes to come. For times and prices, contact the Indiana FFA Center.