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East County Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2016 4 years ago

East County FFA celebration triggers horseplay

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Schools celebrate National FFA Week with games and food.
by: Amanda Sebastiano Staff Writer

Lakewood Ranch High student David Barton needed to channel his inner horsepower.

He was being ridden by Nolan Middle School student Britton Ricks, and the jockey wanted more speed.

“Giddy-up, horse,” Ricks said, laughing. “Let’s go.”

The duo was participating in human barrel racing, a game where one person rode piggyback while the other ran around obstacles in a field behind Lakewood Ranch High School.

On Feb. 23, Lakewood Ranch hosted its annual Agriculture Olympics to celebrate National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Week, which spanned from Feb. 20 through Feb. 27.

FFA Week celebrations date back to 1948.

Nearly 100 students participated in the event, which featured relay races and other team building games.

“They’re redneck games,” Lakewood Ranch FFA advisor Susan Grainger said. “They’re icebreaker games to introduce middle school FFA members to the high school group.”

The event is designed to also recruit the next round of high school students for FFA from R. Dan Nolan and Carlos E. Haile middle schools.

FFA chapters and more than 629,000 seventh- through 12th-graders nationwide celebrate National FFA week each year.

Another county activity was a chili cook-off Feb. 22 at Lincoln Memorial Middle School.

Students posted their photos to social media of their FFA activities by using #FFAweek.

 “FFA is thick in tradition,” Grainger said. “It teaches leadership and teamwork, and these events focus on that, in a fun way.”

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