District Five FFA spreads ag awareness, celebrates national FFA Week
National FFA Week 2020 was Feb. 22-29, and for students in Lexington-Richland School District Five’s chapter it was an opportunity to celebrate and raise awareness about the organization.
The week’s activities for District Five FFA members included a visit to the South Carolina State House, where chapters from around the state gathered and lawmakers showed support for the longtime national organization. The week-long tradition began in 1947 when the National FFA Board of Directors designated the week of George Washington's birthday as National FFA Week in recognition of his legacy as an agriculturist and farmer. The first National FFA Week was held in 1948.
“Our district has one of the largest chapters in the state and many of our students go on to study agriculture and work in the field, something we’re really proud of,” said Jessica Hidalgo, a veterinary science instructor and one of three district FFA advisors. “This week we’ve been hosting a lot of activities and events to spread the word about the FFA chapter and the agriculture field, which remains one of South Carolina’s largest industries.”
Housed at the Center for Advanced Technical Studies, District Five’s FFA chapter signed its official charter February 2013 with the National FFA, formerly the Future Farmers of America. The district’s group has earned several honors recently, including a Governor’s citation in 2019 in the area of “Growing Leaders.” At last year’s FFA State Convention in June, the district’s FFA Farm Management group placed second, and a student (Kylie Cathcart) was named 2019-2020 SC State FFA President.
“We are so proud of what our students have accomplished over the years,” said FFA advisor Kevin Sox during the chapter’s annual FFA Appreciation Breakfast on Feb. 28. “The honors they receive annually are a result of their hard work. We continue to look forward to growing this chapter and showing more students about the importance of farming, caring for our resources and being leaders in environmental stewardship.”
For students in the district’s chapter, National FFA Week provides an opportunity to share what FFA is and the impact it has on members every day. “Through FFA I’ve found my passion for agriculture and plan to be an ag educator. It’s a great program, and I would encourage other students to consider FFA,” said Garrett Michael, District Five FFA President.
FFA advisor Sim Asbill added, “National FFA Week allows the local chapter to raise awareness for the organization and agriculture in this community. We are very proud of our students and the hard work they have put forth this week and all year long.”