How does your chapter celebrate National FFA Week? What do you do to get the kids excited and let the public know how great the FFA is? We're always looking for new ideas.
We celebrate National FFA Week with 3 main events. We host a Teacher/Staff Appreciation Breakfast one morning during the school week,we also invite our community partners to the breakfast.It has been a big success. It is the only school/staff breakfast where milk is served as a beverage and no coffee .We sponsor a school wide Ag Scavenger Hunt, any student in the school can go to the computer lab during homeroom and answer Ag related questions from selected Websites.On Friday we do a drawing on the participants with a $25 gift card as the prize Since our normal chapter meeting is the 3rd Thursday of the month we have a meeting with a little extra refreshments. This year we are planning on adding a Milkshake sale during lunch. We will sell tickets during homeroom.
We start off the week by stocking the teachers' lounge with fresh bagels and doughnuts. The Thursday before FFA week I will stick a thank you note in all the teachers mailboxes thanking them for their support and letting them know there will be bagels and doughnuts in the teachers' lounge Monday morning. Our school is a k-12 building so we plan events for both the high school and elementary that week. For the high school we have a medallion hunt and Ag Olympics contest. We also have TVs in our lunch room that play the daily announcements. This year the FFA is planning to put together a slide show of various interesting Ag and FFA facts and having this PPT play of the TVs during lunch throughout FFA week. For the elementary we have a coloring contest and Ag Olympics contest (separate from the high schools). We then end FFA week by having a community appreciation pancake feed that weekend to thank the community for their support. The pancake feed is free of charge and the FFA seeks donations from community business to help cover the cost of the feed. At the feed the FFA puts up pictures from our past events and FFA week. We also display the FFA scrapbooks so people can look through them and have pamphlets available for people to take with more info about our chapter.
Something neat that my chapter has done during National FFA Week is "Officer Swap" This started several years ago when I had an officer team of mostly Seniors and was looking to promote serving as an officer to members. Interested members fill out an application and are interviewed by the officer team. The "Officer Sawp team" is chosen and announced at our farm party. They serve as an officer alongside our current team for 2-3 weeks. They particiapte in a fundrasier as an officer, run an officer meeting and a member meeting. This opens up the opportunity of serving as an officer. It has really helped students determine running for office the next year. It has also really stepped up the committment level of students. We also have a Federation (2 counties) Quiz bowl and Opening and closing contest during this time.
Our chapter is also looking for suggestions. So far our ideas include: Ag olympics, painting the greenhand members green and having them leave handprints on a door or other specified in the Ag room, tshirt creation after school (using transfer paper and paint), going rock climbing as a team building activity, inviting someone to teach members country line dancing after school one day (and inviting faculty), planting blue and yellow pansies in a flower bed in front of the school and having dress up days (blue and gold day, country day, etc...)
We have a small chapter of only 50 members and are in an urban/suburban area where the community and school doesn't really understand what AG ED and the FFA is.
During National FFA Week, we have an awards interview night. Members of our FFA Alumni interview our FFA members for awards that they will receive at our FFA Banquet which is held in April. FFA members complete applications and come to school that evening to be interviewed. It is good practice for the kids and it helps to have people besides advisors select the banquet award winners. For some of our awards - Star Greenhands and Chapter, for instance, students who have won that in the past may be included in the panel of 3 judges for the interview. The kids like to be on the other side of the table. Our chapter hosts a line dance where all of the county FFA chapters are invited, we have an ice cream social for the faculty, staff, and members, and have a t-shirt day where everyone wears their FFA t-shirts. Our state has a "Meet Your State Officer Night" at Hoss's restaurants around the state.
We have a variety of events during Nat'l FFA Week geared at our members, staff on campus, and entire student population on campus. We have dress up days for the members including chapter t-shirt day, camo day( on the day of our scavenger hunt), and especially OD. For the members we have movie night, scavenger hunt with the chapter meeting and try to host a county event. For staff we host a barbeque luncheon and often times provide agricultural products for teachers to share with their classes with a short "lesson" attached. For the 2200 students on campus we host an event we call AG Expo. AG Expo is held at our land lab. We invite groups to come set up booths including: ag commodity groups, tech schools, colleges, military, etc. We also have game booths where students can win agricultural products (food) as prizes. Of course we give away different food samples - kettle korn, citrus - which the kids love. We really try to focus on educating students about the agriculture around us and also highlighting agricultural career opportunities.
Last year during FFA week the students and I really made an attempt to promote the many faces of the ag education program while celebrating FFA.
For FFA Week last year we...
*Coordinated an FFA meeting/activity at the local nursing home during their weekly Bingo night. The students played with the residents while I called the numbers/letters. This was a huge hit and great event to be involved in. This was our service related component.
*Had members talk on the radio station about how important agriculture and agriculture education are to the community while highlighting CDE's that support ag careers.
*Alumni pie social during the afternoon. We invited current and potential alumni members. The FFA members presented an update on the ag program, FFA, and plans for the future. We invited the principals too.
*Staff appreciation breakfast, the students make pancakes and serve other items. We make sure the FFA members also make the rounds and check in on anyone in the building who may not be able to step away for breakfast and hand deliver the breakfast. This is especially important for the secretaries. During breakfast we had highlights and photos displayed which demonstrate the many skills ag education provides.
*Ag Olympics. Last year we completely revamped our Olympics to better promote ag education and FFA as leadership and agriculture orientated. I attached a description that I used when explaining the the event to someone last year.
*We typed up a summary of what the FFA chapter/ag department had done in the last year and shared it with the paper.
*We had ag trivia each day with prizes.
*The officers met with each principal and shared the benefits of ag education and FFA. This was a nice personal touch and a wonderful way for the administrators to see leadership in action.
*Another idea that was successful and fun was to have quotes posted around the school from chapter alumni and members stating why they joined FFA and they also shared some experiences. Josh Christiansen from SD shared this idea with me and it really is great publicity and coverage for FFA. Plus it encourages participation from former students and makes them feel appreciated and connected to the chapter. I have attached a sample and the information collection form for your use.
I think that's it. FFA week is so exhausting and exhilarating at the same time.
Of course this year with the inclusion of Teach Ag Day during FFA week there is yet another opportunity to celebrate the profession of ag education and encourage your stellar students to follow in your footsteps.
Saturday #1 - Community Dance for our entire county. We live in the smallest county in AZ, so we make it a big deal to come.
Sunday - members wear official dress to church and serve as greeters
Monday - recruitment night - we have Pizza and show a movie on my smart board as well as the officers talk about the benefits of being in ag/FFA. 8th graders and non -ffa members are invited.
Thursday - TEACH AG DAY - this year my entire ag program is going to the primary school and will be teaching mini lessons (10 minutes) to K - 3rd grade.
Friday - Community Pancake Breakfast and Ag Olympics also during Ag Olympics we count money from the "vote a teacher to kiss a goat contest" and the teacher with the most money kisses a goat.
Saturday - Pass-an-Animal fundraiser
FFA week is insane, but awesome at the same time!
Saturday Pancake Breakfast- donations are taken at the door
Monday- Dodgeball tournament- we don't have school so it is from 1-3 pm
Tuesday- Teacher Appreciation- students bring in homemade pies for the teachers.
Tuesday Dress- Camo Day
Tuesday Evening- Movie and Pizza in the agriculture room
Wednesday- Official Dress- students who wear official dress to school get a donut from the ag room
Thursday- Blue and Gold day- students wear their favorite FFA shirt to school
Thursday Evening- Bingo at the nursing home
Friday- Tractor Day -students drive a tractor to school
Friday Dress- Fannel Day
Friday evening- Bowling as a chapter at the local bowling alley
Saturday- Alumni Scholarship Dinner- donations are taken at the door for the meal and small items to help support a scholarship are funded through a silent auction.
Our FFA week falls with Spirt Week, so we end up working together. Each day is some sort of dress up day, but I dont know what they are for sure this year.
During Lunch time we are having activities and this is our plan.
Friday- Butter carving and butter making
Tuesday- Pin the Tail on the Donkey (with tape, not pins)
Wednesday- Corn Hole
Thursday- Staring contest with a bunny
Friday- Fishing (we are hanging a curtain or blanket and then the kids that "fish" will put their pole over and get a sticker or pencil or whatever other random stuff I have gotten from the different ag associations. there is a clothspin on the end of the line)
We will do trivia everyday and if a kid can answer the question correctly, they can put their name in a drawing for a chipolte gift card.
We also are participating in Harvest for America and have teamed up with our local TSC for them to be a drop point.
I would like to do a staff breakfast, however it depends on if we have any money or not.
As far as just chapter activities, the biggest thing is that I take pictures of those who participate in the dress up day and then on friday we have a bake off- where kids bring in baked goods and we eat them during class. This is something that chapter has always done and the kids want to continue. I do it class by class.
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