Wednesday, May 5, 2010

First Ag Ed Department

The first agricultural education department was started in Belleview New York in 1901. That is 109 years of a fine tradition! They were featured last week on AgriBusiness Weekly with Max Armstrong and Orion Samuelson. Each week they feature a different FFA Chapter. I wish one of our locals would send them material.

When we transferring the old Blanchester High School, then Middle School were my children attended over to the town for their government building, Mr. Burton found an old graduation bulletin. Blanchester had an agricultural education program in 1925. It and many other programs halted for a time during WWII. FFA started in 1928 in Virginia and Ohio joined in 1929.

I forget the man's name but there was him, then Owen Brookshire, Wilson Penquite, Roger Bernard, me, Chip Nelson, then Dan Shell and several second teachers, currently our son-in-law Kevin Abt. Blanchester has always had a good agricultural education program and FFA Chapter. I wonder who the instructor will be when the little girl in the picture enters high school in 2018?

I missed the State Convention last weekend but LuAnn and I were having lunch at Who's Place in Greenfield after scouting wheat when Matt called and told me of his chapter's success. Fayetteville FFA, of Fayetteville-Perry Township High School had two state proficiency winners, won the Chapter Development contest in Ohio and had the newly elected State FFA Secretary, Seth Erwin. Now that is a pretty good year!

Our group of counties called District 9 of the 10 Ohio Districts also had the State President and Vice President elected. That is three of the six major offices with our friend Mr. Steve Gratz as Advisor.

I hope schools have the forestight to keep these good programs in school since most are at least partially if not all state funded in this down economy with record budget cuts. Only 4 districts failed their levies of 14 up for vote in the Tri State yesterday. One failed by 15 votes. Wouldn't that break your heart. Most people want good schools.

Extension and Soil and Water are having a difficult time. Their levies failed in Highland County. I really hate to see that but it's hard times and people are making decisions what to keep and what to drop.

We really enjoyed Grandparent's Day today at Putman Elementary in Blanchester. Thank you, Madison! Madison can really read well and is so courteous and watchful of others. I got to be adopted grandparent for Jonah Porterfield who writes very well. He said his grandparents lived too far away to come. Mr. Bandow and the staff Miss Myers, their classroom teacher are doing a great job.

We really enjoy Who's Place in Greenfield, too. If you ever go through on SR 28 or US 41, stop in right near the square. That's the best BLT and onion rings I have had anywhere. I have been driving there to one farm for a year and a half and been eating Burger King! We never knew it existed until one of LuAnn's friends took her there.

That's it for Wednesday,

Ed Winkle

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