Letter to the Editor:
I am the interested grandparent of a Clay City FFA member and of her current career in FFA. She has always taken an interest in Agriculture and has demonstrated this in her active work in 4-H and FFA. It has been my privilege to help further her interest in these fields. It seems that her last two years in FFA has been nothing but conflict. She has to fight for everything she has attained instead of having the backing that she deserves from her school affiliation.
This past summer she showed at the FFA fair and done very well. This takes much cooperation from everyone including FFA Advisor and family. There were problems with getting her FFA records checked so that she could show at the FFA fair and now she cannot get her premiums from the fair. The question I would like to have answered is what happens next year if she chooses to show and is in college. Will the school and Advisor hold her premiums. I realize schools are having trouble funding some of their programs but is it fair that just because they have some students who are willing to work hard and go beyond just belonging to an organization be the ones to suffer. If the new stipulations imposed by the FFA Advisor and School Administrator are meant to be tools for teaching responsibility, it appears they are only trying to show their authority not to teaching the student. They should be offering encouragement not trying to break a student’s chances by continually throwing in road blocks.
There were four members of the Clay City FFA that showed at the FFA Fair. This is a small number of the total FFA members. Before these members can show, they must have their record books up to date. They understand this and even though there were problems in this area and one member had to have another Advisor from another school check her records because her Advisor was too busy, this was handled timely. However, no mention was made at the time of the show or any time following that record books also had to be completed before premiums would be disbursed. A letter was received approximately two weeks before, after an FFA member asked about premiums, that the books must be up to date by December 12 or they would not receive their premium and the premiums would stay in the school FFA fund. This letter states that this is policy but when questioned about seeing a copy of this policy there is none. The school board supposedly has been kept informed regarding this. In which case, the minutes of the board meeting should reflect this and should be prior to the FFA Fair. This brings up another question does this apply to all of the FFA members regarding their various projects. Do they too have to have their record books up to date or does all the responsibility just fall on the members who go the extra mile i.e. FFA Fair? Filling out the record books is not the issue here. It is understood that this year’s records have to be closed out by December 31. The issue is the way in which this was handled and the fact that the students were not made aware of this in a timely manner.
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We want our children and grandchildren to have more advantages than we did and when you are fortunate enough to have someone that takes an interest in the agricultural field we need to nurture this. This is a rural area and many people rely on various aspects of agriculture for their living. We hear everyday that our young people do not want to stay around here. It takes everyone working together to help keep our young people interested. Hopefully they will further their education and someday return to their home area to help make it a better place to live.
Xenophon “Pete” Butcher