With another school year rapidly approaching its close, the North Central branch of the Future Farmers of America held their annual banquet on Tuesday, March 24. Chapter President Adam Knepper welcomed a packed Senior Center to the momentum occasion.
Enjoying chicken, pork, mashed potatoes, and soft serve ice cream, among other things, the Pioneer gathered together to honor the North Central FFA. During the meal portion of the event, a video montage displayed all the major events in which the organization participated over the past year, serving as a year-in review of sorts. Wide smiles and good times were constants as the presentation ran.
Several members earned their Green Hand and Chapter Degrees, while future recipients of State and American Degrees were also recognized. Five members will be walking across the stage in Columbus to accept their State Degree this year: Jordan Bailey, Ethan Douglass, Adam Knepper, Kirby Miller, and Dakota Pitts. Hunter Forry, a graduate of North Central last year, has earned his American Degree as well. A number of individual honors, for projects and other individual accomplishments, were handed out as well.
FFA Adviser Jessica Tracey took to the podium in order to bestow her leadership awards. A trait she values quite highly, Tracey has attempted to teach leadership skills to all members of the North Central FFA.
“We work hard to instill it in our members,” Tracey admitted, “even if they don’t realize it.
An overwhelming majority of the awards went to the current group of officers. Tracey reasoned that officers are looked to as leaders, and given a great deal of tasks by her, so they tend to win most of the Leadership Awards every year. There was one exception this year, however. Zandra Vassar, a four year member of the FFA, was also given the distinction. And with good reason.
“While not technically an officer, Zandra has worked with our officers to get things done.” Praised Tracey.
The Ag Instructor would return later in the evening to honor her outgoing seniors. To do so, she divided them up into three groups, the first of which consisted of Kirby Miller, Emerald Newton, and Brady Zuver. These three have been in the program since eighth grade, and have played a significant role in helping Tracey shape the school’s FFA brand.
“They call themselves the A-Team.” Tracey announced.
In fact, the trio had long been pining for shirts displaying their group nickname. When Tracey handed each of them bags as going away presents, they seemed convinced that their wish had finally come true.
It didn’t, though, as each senior received the same bag.
Next came Jordan Bailey, Josh Sawyer, and Adam Knepper. All three boys shared a common recruiter, as Zuver had convinced each of his classmates to join the organization during their sophomore year. Though they were a bit late in signing on to the North Central FFA, that didn’t stop them from planning futures around what they had learned as members.
“They were going to be rich farmers.” Tracey laughed. “They said, ‘No, we’re going to be farmers AND rich.’”
Colton Pilmore and Robert Vaughn, who joined the FFA even later, were also honored by Tracey.
The evening concluded with the installation of new officers. Ethan Douglass took over as President, while Erin Ryan will serve as his Vice-President. The new Secretary is Jessi Cummins, with Brock Zuver filling the Treasurer’s spot. The Reporter for 2015-16 will be Allyson Fenicle. Megan Ulrich is the new Sentinel, and Josh Rosener is appointed to the new position of Student Adviser.
New President Ethan Douglass gave the closing remarks.
T.J. Hug can be reached at