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FFA Awards Banquet a Great Success

Johnson County FFA students

By Karla Prudhomme
Freelance Writer

Like so many events, the long-standing annual FFA Awards Banquet did not take place the last two years, so instead of celebrating the 47th year of this anticipated event, FFA members and their families met on Friday, May 13 to celebrate Johnson County High School’s ‘45th Annual FFA Awards Banquet’.
The event was well-attended and well-organized, and the food provided by Mr. Heath’s Culinary Arts Class helped make the event an immense success.
As it has been known since its inception in 1926, Future Farmers of America encompasses so much more than production farming and has expanded to include leadership, agricultural education, agricultural science, animal science, agricultural mechanics, and much more. The passing of the 1917 ‘Smith-Hughes Act provided funding that opened the doors for pre-collegiate vocation-based educational opportunities in the agricultural and industrial trades in America’s public schools.
Early agricultural education helped teach future farmers how best to plant, water, harvest, rotate crops, and manage farming operations of diverse sizes, as the country was (and is) reliant on the farmer for their food.
According to FFA Advisor and Horticulture Instructor Thomas Boyd, the Johnson County FFA program is designed to better prepare students in the areas of Agriculture and Science. Today’s FFA includes a much-expanded pre-collegiate vocational education, and Johnson County High School is representative of these expanding opportunities nationwide as students can enroll in a plethora of agricultural classes. They offer Agricultural Science, Animal Science (small animal care, Large Animal Science, and Veterinary Science), Agricultural Mechanics (Agricultural Mechanics I, Agricultural Power and Equipment, and Agricultural Engineering), Horticulture (Hydroculture and Greenhouse Management), Natural Resources (Natural Resource Management, Environmental Science, and Plant & Soil Science), Leadership (Leadership Communications, Ag Business, and Ag Sales and Marketing), and Aquaculture.
Boyd, along with Serena Wiggins (Ag. Science Teacher), Tracy Dugger (Animal Science Teacher), and Rick Wilson (Ag. Mechanics Teacher), all work together as a cohesive group of FFA Advisors.
Current Johnson County FFA President, State FFA Degree Recipient, and ‘Howard Smith Top Award Winner,’ Leanne Crosswhite, handed over the gavel to Junior Amy Gunter, the incoming 2022-2023 FFA President. Another top award winner included outgoing Johnson County FFA Vice-President Dillon Long, who won the Outstanding SAE Award and was awarded a ‘State FFA Degree.’ Asa Lewis, a graduating senior, was the ‘Senior Scholarship award winner, Bethany McFadden won the Junior Scholarship award, Brady Fritts and Connor Stout shared the ‘Sophomore Scholarship Award,’ and Trinity Johnson won the ‘Freshman Scholarship Award.’ Freshman Jasmine Cunningham was the ‘Star Greenhand Degree’ winner, while Sophomore John Hall won the Star Chapter Degree.
“This is an excellent group of young people, and I look forward to witnessing their future success,” said Boyd- a sentiment shared by the other FFA advisors, the Johnson County High School leadership and staff, and the community.