FFA Week Creates Student Excitement for the Spring Season


On February 22, Connecticut FFA Vice President Anna Silkman and Secretary Sarah Cropley attended the Killingly FFA Underclassmen Awards Ceremony, giving them the opportunity to speak in front of and further connect with one of the Connecticut FFA chapters.

Emma Cummings, Ag/FFA Reporter

WOODBURY — Many exciting things happen within the FFA, especially with the spring season upon us, so what better way than to have a week to celebrate and bring the excitement together, not only nationally, but also with the local Woodbury chapter?

National FFA Week has been an annual tradition since 1948. FFA members from all around the nation brim with joy and come together to celebrate and reminisce on the achievements and memories they’ve made over the past year while also preparing for what’s next: a spring season chock full of FFA events.  

Not only do these FFA events take place at a macro level, but individual chapters like the one here in Woodbury celebrate FFA Week in their own ways as well. 

“We’ve celebrated it for a long time,” said Eric Birkenberger, Woodbury FFA Chapter officer team advisor. “It’s a tradition that dates back to before any of the teachers now have been here.” 

This spring’s festivities will include the Ag Olympics which boosts team-building skills among Woodbury FFA members. (Woodbury FFA)

The chapter officer team plans the week out with various different activities which take place on and off of school grounds for students and teachers. These student leaders also plan for each weekday to have a different theme, which adds in some FFA spirit.

“We’ve always done the basics: crazy socks, crazy hats, [so] a lot of them have to do with clothing,” said Birkenberger. “We’ve also done twin day, dress like a farmer, and USA day. We’ve never gone crazy with themes, really just the basics.”

Although this theme week kicked off in mid-February, the excitement it created lasts for months. 

“I really enjoyed the themes and activities,” said junior Kylieann Craine. “They made me more excited for the spring activities because we’ll be able to do more outside which will be even more fun.”

The festivities throughout the week are also taken outside of Nonnewaug’s grounds. 

This year, there were many different trips consisting of bowling at Thomaston Lanes, the annual ski trip, and the newest event, an Islanders minor league hockey game in Bridgeport. 

“It gave me a way to become closer to my peers and ag teachers, making me look forward to going to other future events with them,” said junior FFA member Skylar Palmer. 

“We’ve also done the annual ski trip since before I’ve been here,” Birkenberger stated. “The hockey trip was very fun and well attended. We had a good group of kids. It was a little late for a Thursday night event, but maybe in the future we’ll do it on the weekend. It was very easy to do so I think we’ll do it next year.” 

This year, National FFA Week included various posts featured all over social media, advertising different fundraisers and events being held in celebration of this special week. 

Aside from the national festivities, different states are known to celebrate in their own way as well. This year, the Connecticut FFA officer team decided to throw in a new activity on top of their normal traditions: officer takeovers. 

“We decided to do state officer takeovers to branch out and introduce ourselves to members,” said Breana Butkievich, Connecticut FFA parliamentarian and 2022 Nonnewaug graduate. “So, each day we had one of our officers take over our Instagram and post various Instagram stories throughout their day. They talked about the things they do, who they are, their hobbies, and their favorite activities. Each officer created their own takeover and ran it in their own style, so we were really able to personalize everything we did.”

Not only did they reach out to different chapters through social media, but these state officers also took trips to different chapters to talk and connect with them more in person, part of the many highlights that comprised an exciting start to the spring festivities. 

“We also had some chapter visits throughout the week, so our officers that visited chapters or attended FFA events during that week took over and showcased the programs they saw and engaged with,” said Butkievich.

Despite the end of the joyful week, more spring amusement awaits. For the remainder of the school year, many events and competitions will return. As the end of April approaches, FFA students have plenty to look forward to with events such as Ag Olympics are on the horizon. 

The long-term excitement FFA Week brings makes a remarkable impact not only on our chapter, but on the national community of the organization as well. 

“FFA Week represents a time for all of us who have connections to FFA to come together and celebrate agriculture,” Butkievich said. “We are given the opportunity to grow as leaders, find ourselves as individuals and come together as a community, and all of these ideas are celebrated through our FFA week traditions.”