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Students celebrate FFA Week by driving tractors into school

Pulling up to Rigby High School on Thursday morning, spotting tractors and farming equipment in the school was probably the last thing people expected to see.

“We had some strange looks,” said Tracie Bates-Orgill, the reporter for Rigby’s Future Farmers of America chapter. “(There were also) some very angry looks that we’re taking up the roads.”

“People are thinking, ‘Why are there tractors on the roads?’ Especially last night when I brought it from Rexburg to Rigby,” said Tucker Lindsey, the president of the chapter. “I just drove it right down the highway.”

“We all just came in a line and everyone was kind of surprised,” said Eli Gallup.

If you were wondering what those tractors were doing on the road early in the morning in 2 degree weather, it was all part of FFA week.

Rigby FFA joined other chapters across the country to celebrate National FFA week. Held the same week as President George Washington’s birthday, the commemoration is designated by the national FFA Board of Directors to recognize Washington’s legacy as an agriculturist and farmer.

“It’s leadership and it’s building your community, strengthening your agriculture. It’s gaining bonds that will last a lifetime,” Bates-Orgill said.

According to the Rigby FFA chapter, 25 percent of jobs in the state of Idaho involve agriculture. Agriculture teachers at Rigby High School said the programs help prep who that are interested in careers in this field.

“Not all of our kids come from farms, very few actually,” said Robert Hale, an agriculture teacher at Rigby High School. “Probably less than 20 percent of our membership comes off from what would be considered a farm. The rest of them are kids that live in subdivisions around Rigby High School.”

As for others, agriculture is all they have known.

“It’s a tradition in my family comes from an ag and farming background,” Lindsey said. “My mom did it, my grandfather did it and my great grandfather did it.”

The event also shows off these kids’ talents and why they are one of the top FFA chapters in the nation.

“It’s a way that we showcased and we put in our in our hard work last year and throughout the years past,” Lindsey said. “Even the members that we were here before us, we all did everything together so that we can help and promote the name of agriculture.”

Throughout Thursday, students involved in the chapter hosted a luncheon and hosted a weld off. This, too, was a way for the students to get others at school involved.

“We’re not just cows and plows,” Bates-Orgill said. “We’re not just farming, we are so much more and we provide so many more opportunities to hold for the community and it’s members.”

The ag teachers at the school are happy to see the students embrace FFA around town and watch the community talk about what they do.

“Makes me feel like what I do matters,” Hale said. “When I see their accomplishments, it makes me feel accomplished and that I’m doing the right thing and what I do matters.”

The chapter is hosting a pancake breakfast Friday morning. They are inviting any students and staff at the high school who want to come out. It is at 7 a.m. at the agricultural building in Rigby High School.

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