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Published on March 2nd, 2016 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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District Five FFA spreads ag awareness, celebrates top awards during FFA week

Pictured: District Five FFA members visit the South Carolina State House as part of National FFA week. 

CHAPIN – National FFA Week was Feb. 21-28, and for students in Lexington-Richland School District Five’s chapter it was an opportunity to celebrate recent accomplishments and bring 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.

“Today, FFA continues to help the next generation rise up to meet new agricultural challenges by helping members develop their own unique talents and explore their interests in a broad range of career pathways,” National FFA spokesperson Kristy Meyers said.

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 group’s FFA Week events included a tractor parade and other activities, contests and events.

District Five FFA members also noted recent top honors and events they participated in this school year. The Ag Mechanic team placed 12th in the nation at this year’s National FFA Convention last October, and two students were named national semifinalists in the research and extemporaneous divisions. Students also earned top awards at the state competitions last fall, including a third place finish in the equine division and second place state finish in wildlife management. The District Five chapter also held its First SAE (Supervised Agricultural Experiences) Fair on Feb. 17 and 18, providing students with an opportunity to share their FFA projects and experiences with parents, staff and community members.

“We are so proud of what our chapter and members have accomplished,” said Kevin Sox, a district FFA advisor who was recently named Outstanding Young Agricultural Alumnus at Clemson University by the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences. “The awards and honors they receive annually are a result of the hard work and passion of our FFA members. We 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.”

Nearly 200 students are members of the district’s FFA. 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. “My favorite part about the week is seeing FFA members unite all around the nation and here in our community,” said Jacob Cathcart, 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. It is also a great chance for us to show appreciation to all our supporters. We are very proud of our students and the hard work they have put forth this year and this past week.”

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