February is Career and Technical Education month and appropriately, the FFA whose members take many technical and agriculture related classes were showcased at the FFA Alumni Banquet on Monday Feb 4. It was the the first annual FFA Alumni Banquet held at Lord Botetourt High School. Guests were greeted by FFA members from Lord Botetourt, Central Academy, BTEC and Read Mountain. The banquet had special quests like Supervisor Jack Leffel, School Board members Michael Beahm and John Alderson, former Ag teacher James Huffman, Kathleen Guzi County Administrator, school administrators, FFA employees and VTCE employess, farmers and alumni from around the county. Alumni President Jeff Henderson of Troutville led the meeting.
After a scrumptious meal consisting of LBHS FFA sponsor Stuart Byrd’s famous grilled pork chops with sides and dessert, the evening began. Each school took a turn describing the activities each of their chapters have participated in over the school year. The members dressed int he familiar blue and gold FFA jacket were enthusiastic in their descriptions of their schools FFA events.
The Super Bowl Dodge “God Made a Farmer” commercial featuring Paul Harvey was shown at the request of state FFA leader Andy Seibel.
Each school chapter detailed some of their successes for the year. The events included State and National competitions, community service work, horticulture, making Apple Butter, visits to local farms and participating in everything from public speaking to Hippology to meat judging and tractor driving. The events are numerous and provide many hands on learning experiences for the young people involved. It was with this in mind, the local Alumni Association is moving from the sidelines into actively partnering in the school chapters as well as 4H.
The benefits of joining the National FFA Alumni Association are stated as helping provide $100,000 in scholarship money and grants to local affiliates, support to the FFA adviser, mentor FFA members, serve as an advocate for Ag education at School board meetings, Chaperone functions for the School FFA’s, raise money for scholarships, sponsor trips, assist with Chapter events, help train a team for competition, serve on the Ag Dept. Advisory Board, work with FFA on community projects, make the news media aware of FFA alumni and FFa activities, and help FFA members with supervised Agriculture experiences and finding jobs.
For more information on becoming a member of the FFA Alumni Association, call Stuart Byrd at LBHS, 992-1261.