The New Lexington FFA officer team and chapter advisors hosted a “Farmer’s Breakfast” on Feb. 20

New Lexington FFA joins the nation in celebrating National FFA Week

By Morgan Anderson, OCJ FFA Reporter

From Feb. 17-24, New Lexington FFA members joined the nationwide celebration for “National FFA Week.” The weeklong event is a time-honored tradition. The first holding of the week was celebrated in 1948 when the National FFA Board of Directors designated a weeklong celebration for all things FFA. Now, National FFA Week embraces 96 years of FFA traditions while looking forward to the organization’s future.

This year, the New Lexington FFA Chapter found exciting ways to shine a light on the impact FFA has had on them and their community.

Farmer’s Breakfast

To give back to those who work in acres instead of hours, the New Lexington FFA officer team and chapter advisors hosted a “Farmer’s Breakfast” on Feb. 20. Farmers in the local community were invited to attend the breakfast in thanks for their work in agriculture. Around 5 a.m., the group arrived at their school barn and prepared a full breakfast for the attendees. The menu included pancakes, sausage and gravy, bacon, and fried potatoes from their school farm.

New Lexington junior and FFA President, Megan Howdyshell, said the event was the least they could do to recognize their farmers.

“The point of the breakfast was to showcase that those who work in agriculture are an integral part of our community, and they need to be recognized for their accomplishments and what they provide for not only our FFA chapter but everyone around us,” Howdyshell said.

Teacher appreciation

An FFA chapter is only as successful as the teachers, administration and school board that support it. Because of this, members of the New Lexington FFA Chapter wanted to recognize the support they provide.

“As FFA members, we’ve missed a lot of school to participate in FFA contests, plan for events and stuff like that,” Howdyshell said. “We wanted to make sure our teachers knew we were very appreciative of them allowing us to take time out of their classes to do the things we need to do to be successful at FFA and in our chapter.”

Members passed out 137 gift bags filled with gifts to serve as tokens of their appreciation across the school. The gift bags included a handwritten thank-you note, candy and magnets that said, “I Support New Lexington FFA.”

“Our teachers know how important FFA is in our school,” Howdyshell said. “We wanted to make sure they’re getting something that shows how much we care.”

A special assembly

What started as a special assembly during FFA Week quickly turned into a surprise. On Feb. 22, New Lexington FFA Advisor, Robert Brokaw, was surprised as one of Ohio FFA’s Golden Owl Award finalists.

“He had no idea it was going on,” Howdyshell said. “It was really awesome. We had our superintendent and our school board members there to recognize him being an agricultural educator for so long and for the way he loves the students and the hours he puts in.”

Students were able to share what they appreciated about Brokaw during the assembly which brought everyone to tears, Howdyshell said.

“Mr. Brokaw was the only one we knew when we joined our middle school FFA chapter, and he influenced so many people to get involved in FFA,” Howdyshell said. “When I first met Mr. Brokaw, I wanted nothing to do with FFA. He encouraged me to do the Parliamentary Procedure Leadership Development Event (LDE) and now I’m the chapter president. He is 100% deserving of this award.”

Brokaw is one of 10 honorees for the 2023-2024 Golden Owl Award and is in the running to win the title of “Ohio Agricultural Educator of the Year.” Each honoree receives a plaque and a $1,500 cash prize for their FFA chapter.

Howdyshell said she would not have the action-packed week any other way.

“FFA week is always very crazy for our chapter, but it’s one of the most rewarding weeks of the school year,” Howdyshell said. “It truly encapsulates how much I love and appreciate this organization. It makes me realize I wouldn’t be the same person I am right now without the experiences I have had in FFA.”

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