Sunday, February 22, 2009

It's National FFA Week!

One of the many things I did as FFA Advisor was to guide the officers and members to plan and carry out activities to start the new FFA year with National FFA Week.

The new FFA year begins March 1 as the school year's activities are summarized and members plan their new SAE programs and chapter activities.

One of our favorite activities were anything to do with food and a tractor day. We had such crummy weather some years we delayed that 'til National Agriculture Week the week of spring each year. Usually weather was better for cookouts and tractor days.

Only by the grace of God did no one get hurt during tractor day. Can you imagine driving your tractor or usually one of your dad's tractor in the dark to school so you could be there for the start of school at daylight? Of course they always wanted to drive them during class to show them off so we made it a skill event with tractor training, safety, and a quiz with awards. Remember, there is only one seat on most tractors so no riders allowed!

One year LuAnn subbed for me while I went to an important meeting and the Stahl boys talked her into letting them drive their big Internationals all over the CNE parking lot. When I got back she said that is the craziest thing I ever got her into and she was never subbing for me again! If you haven't seen their combine video, you have to watch it. That one and the one from the Danish crew custom harvesting and baling in Australia are my two favorites.

FFA is a great and wonderful organization. I am proud my oldest son followed my footsteps as I followed dad and grandpa as school board president. Schools are our past, present and future and FFA is a integral part of a child's and school success. I truly believe that and have much proof of it.

If you don't have a chapter, start one. If you have one, go visit and see how you can help make it better.

We are all in this together!

Ed Winkle


  1. As I have been a FFA dad for nearly four years now I can fully agree on what a great organization it is.My daughter,Megan seems to almost live for FFA week.In the past she painted signs denoting FFA week on tarps and fastened them to the side of our dump truck{with Dads help} and drove the truck to school the whole week except on tractor day.Tractor day is another story as she did not have alot of tractor driving experience.It was a real leap of faith to watch her head off into the darkness with my best tractor.I had made arrangments with a neighbor boy to meet her at the crossroads and escort her in to town.She made it there and back without incident.Now she is working me hard to drive our self-propelled forage harvester.I suppose I will give in after a few training runs like I did the that first year.I really enjoy reading your blogs and thanks for posting them.

  2. I did a lot of praying during tractor day and especially the night before when I went to bed. It's a real leap of faith, no doubt! You want to teach and help the kids learn and make memories they never forget in a good way!

    That day was the driving force to teach tractor safety and I really appreciated that when I ran into a maimed farmer or read about a deadly accident.

    Thanks for the compliment. That makes my day and makes me want to keep sharing my life stories.