Monday, February 23, 2015

National FFA Week and Grain Bin Safety Week

February 22 marks the beginning of National FFA Week and National Grain Bin Safety Week.  FFA week has been around as long as I have but it's only the second year for National Grain Bin Safety Week.

"Each year, FFA chapters around the country celebrate National FFA Week. 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 Week always runs Saturday to Saturday and encompasses Feb. 22, Washington's birthday.

National FFA Week did not start out as a week-long event. At first it was National FFA Day. The 1933 National FFA Convention Proceedings records the beginning of FFA Day in this way: "Stewart of Montana requested the floor at this time to present a matter of general interest. He suggested the idea of having a special Future Farmer Day some time during 1934, preferably on one of the regular national FFA broadcasting days.

 It was pointed out that the various state associations could perhaps plan special state broadcasts also on that day and that chapters might plan their father and son banquets on the date specified. The idea seemed to meet with general delegate approval and after some discussion it was moved by Stewart that the Board of Trustees arrange for such a day; motion passed."  The week long tradition started in 1948.

Every chapter does something different for FFA week from breakfasts to any kind of activity you can think of.  We tried many different activities over my tenure as agricultural educator but everyone enjoys good food and good leadership.  FFA is famous for both.

Grain bin safety gained national attention with too many tragic deaths hitting the newswire every year.  Many farmers are moving grain this time of the year so this week is as good as any.  31 farmers and helpers lost their lives in grain bin accidents so safety is needed and must come first.

Ohio Country Journal had a real good quote on safety from Richard Flax in Clark County and his near death experience last month.  I have never read a story quite like his and he does a good job explaining what went wrong.

Be careful near the bins this week and every week and take time out to help your local FFA chapter celebrate National FFA Week.

They are both very worthwhile activities.

Ed Winkle

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