Columbia High School holds annual FFA Awards Banquet

Published 11:33 am Friday, June 7, 2013

Columbia High School held its 2nd annual FFA Awards Banquet on May 20.

Students participating in FFA were honored for their achievements. The community was also thanked for their support of the program.

Lawrence Swain served as the guest speaker for the program.

Shawn Mims, a Columbia FFA Club member introduced Mr. Lawrence Swain, the guest speaker for the evening.

He graduated from Columbia High School in 1965. While enrolled at Columbia High School he was a FFA member for all 4 years. As an FFA member he attended FFA Camp at the NC FFA Center at White Lake and participated in the seed judging and tool I.D. contests. He also showed pigs in the livestock show. After graduation he worked at Weyerhaeuser and farmed with his dad,” said Mims.

Swain has farmed in Tyrrell County for forty-one and a half years. He helps auction off livestock at the Tyrrell County Livestock Show and helped at the Live Auction for the Columbia High School Ducks Unlimited Banquet.

Swain mentioned in how much agriculture has changed in his speech to the guests.

“About one-fifth of this state’s work force is employed in agriculture in some way form or fashion. Agriculture is a seventy-seven billion dollar business in the state,” said Swain.

Swain also spoke about current developments in the agriculture industry. He noted that 2011 was a tough year because it brought tornados, floods, and Hurricane Irene.

“Some of the farmers here were affected by all three of the disasters,” said Swain.

Swain noted that farmers face ongoing difficulties in the industry, yet agriculture remains a sustainable business.

“Whatever you do work hard at it, and be honest,” said Swain.

Ceremonies for The Discovery Degree, Greenhand Degree and Chapter FFA Degree were held. FFA members can earn degrees as they progress through the phases of their leadership, academic and career skills development. The Discovery Degree, Greenhand Degree and Chapter FFA Degree are all earned at the chapter level.

To receive a Disc​overy FFA Degree, members must meet the following requirements:

  • Enroll in an agriculture class for at least a portion of a school year while in grades 7 – 8.
  • Become a dues-paying FFA member at the chapter, state and national levels.
  • Participate in at least one FFA chapter activity outside of scheduled class time.
  • Have an understanding of agriculture-related careers and entrepreneurship opportunities.
  • Become familiar with the local FFA chapter’s Program of Activities (POA).
  • Submit a written application for the degree.

To receive a Greenha​nd FFA Degree, members must meet the following requirements:

To receive a Chapter FFA Degree, members must meet the following requirements:

  • Received the Greenhand FFA Degree
  • Satisfactorily completed 180 hours (or the equivalent) of systematic school instruction in agricultural education at or above the ninth grade level.
  • Have an approved SAE in operation.
  • Enrolled in an agriculture course
  • Participated in the planning and implementation of at least three official FFA chapter activities.
  • Earned and productively invested at least $150, or have worked at least 45 hours outside of scheduled class time, or a combination of the two, through their SAE.​
  • Have developed plans for continued growth and improvement of their SAE.
  • Effectively lead a group discussion for 15 minutes.
  • Demonstrated five parliamentary law procedures.
  • Show progress toward achievement in FFA award programs.
  • Have a satisfactory academic record.
  • Submitted a written application for the Chapter FFA Degree
  • Complete a minimum of 10 hours of community service activitiesEric Godwin, Agriculture Teacher and FFA Advisor at Columbia High School presided over the Special Awards, Honorary Degrees, Year in Reviews, Presentation of Retiring Officer Plaques, and the Installation of New Officers.

The FFA or “Future Farmers of America” Future Farmers of America” was founded by a group of young farmers back in 1928. Their mission was to prepare future generations for the challenges of feeding a growing population.

The National FFA Organization operates under a Federal Charter granted by the 81st Congress of the United States, and is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for the FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs.