LOGAN - This week marks an important time in high schools across the country: National FFA Week.

The National FFA Organization, which stands for Future Farmers of America, began in 1928, according to ffa.org

FFA is an important and useful club at Logan High School, Andrew DeLong, agriculture education instructor and FFA adviser, said.

FFA at Logan High School, or Chief Logan FFA, looks different from normal this year, as many of its hands-on learning experiences have adapted to a virtual format.

Despite this, Chief Logan FFA is having a successful year, DeLong said.

“We have three contests that we’ve competed in and we’ve placed in the top five in state in all three of them,” DeLong said. “We got fifth in the state in forestry, third in the state in wildlife, and third in the state in agriculture (biotechnology).”

There are over 300 FFA chapters in Ohio, DeLong said, and well over 8,000 across the country.

“(Each year) we typically do very, very well,” DeLong said. “We have a lot of interest with the students. They take it (seriously). We’ve been very successful with a lot of our competitions, and several students have gone on to get a career in agriculture.”

Students join Chief Logan FFA when they take agriculture classes at Logan High School, DeLong said. FFA is about more than just farming, DeLong said — it’s about the agricultural industry as a whole.

“Farming is just a tip of the iceberg of what all (is) involved in agriculture today,” DeLong said. “We offer a variety of different classes ... We have animal agriculture, plant sciences, and mechanical sciences and more.”

But at the core of FFA is leadership, DeLong said.

“A lot of leadership goes in with it,” DeLong said. “As students, they all have a project outside of the classroom and it has to be related to agriculture (in some way). (Students) also have the opportunity to apply for different degrees through FFA.”

FFA students usually receive their degrees junior and senior years, DeLong said. The degrees through FFA are great for students’ careers and futures, he said.

“I’ve been teaching for 26 years now and it’s amazing to see how students grow and become productive citizens,” DeLong said. “A lot has to do with the leadership skills they gain through FFA.”

There are 128 students in Chief Logan FFA, DeLong said. One of the most rewarding parts of the job is seeing how students grow and change, he said.

“I hear students say prior to FFA, they really didn't talk to many people,” DeLong said. “After the program, they were able to communicate much better with people. They take a lot of pride in their organization. I have grads who come back who are so glad (they) participated in it.”

Currently, Chief Logan FFA is preparing for upcoming competitions, as well as fundraising through its annual strawberry fundraiser. The strawberries will be on sale until March 1 with a pickup date of March 15. Strawberries can be purchased online at www.floridafruitstore.com/ChiefLoganFFA.

According to the Chief Logan FFA Facebook page, FFA Week at Logan High School started Monday and runs through Friday, Feb. 26. Each day has a student dress theme: Monday is cowboy day, Tuesday is flannel day, Wednesday is “'Merica” day, Thursday is FFA apparel day and Friday is “dress like Dicken and DeLong (advisers)” day.

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