If you've noticed tractors on the road early in the morning this week, or maybe a group of spruced-up pickup trucks heading like a herd toward the nearest high school, it's as sure a sign of February as Valentine's Day. This is National FFA Week, and many chapters all across Indiana celebrate it in different ways. To popular ways are the Tractor Drive Day and Pickup Truck Day. FFA members drive their tractors to school. If they are lucky the administration may let them do a parade lap around the school, or park the tractor judged as the most unique in front of the high school for the day.
While some may worry that this still sends the 'plow and sow' image to non-FFA students and their families, when FFA is truly about much more today than just production agriculture, these two activities are traditions which even students living in rural areas, or sometimes non-rural areas enjoy. Sometimes neighbors allow students to drive a tractor so they can participate in the event.
At one school one year, someone drove their garden tractor to school. It looked a bit odd next to a large four-wheel drive Deere someone borrowed from his grandfather. In a different year at the same school, someone rode in on a pedal tractor, although rumor is his parents hauled him to the driveway of school, just out of sight over the hill, and he pedaled up from there, not from home. Odder still was the look on judges faces trying to pick the most unique tractor one year when they went down the line, and occupying a whole spot was a toy John Deere 1/16th scale tractor, parked just like it belonged there!
If you support a local FFA chapter, find out what activities that might be underway for FFA Week, and offer your support. It's a great opportunity to highlight the best leadership organization for youth anywhere.