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The Ava High School FFA Chapter will be celebrating its 75th anniversary on Nov. 5.
I was never in FFA because I couldn’t fit it into my schedule. But all three of my brothers were in FFA and I have the utmost respect for the organization.
I know of no other organization that teaches business and leadership skills the way FFA does.
It was not until I was out of school and working here at the Herald that I really learned the significance of FFA and began to appreciate the values it teaches. And now, working with advisors Brent Lakey and Tiffany Kauffman on the 75th anniversary celebration, and reading letters from previous members, I can see that it was the same whether the class was taught by C.E. Browning, Wayne Powell or the current instructors.
In my early days at the Herald I worked with Mr. Powell, whom I knew from my high school days. But it was during the tenure of John Wallace and Randy O’Dell that I really got involved with the FFA from a businessman standpoint. In the late 1970s I was even named an honorary member of the FFA Chapter.
I got the worst sunburn of my life on an annual FFA float trip. And I have traveled from Oldfield to Gentryville, taking pictures and writing stories about students’ FFA projects.
If you were to go around town and talk to the successful businessmen, or take survey of the farmers in the community who have really done well, I’m going to bet you would find the common denominator of an FFA background in many of them.
So far as we know, there are two men still living whose names appear on the 1935 charter of the Ava High School FFA, Lyle Dickison and Cecil Robertson. Both plan to attend the 75th Anniversary celebration on Nov. 5.
Rev. Robertson will be coming from Heber Springs, Ark., and Lyle still lives here in Ava.
The event will include activities for the students during the day, a meal for the public beginning at 5:30 Friday evening, and a program in the Performing Arts Building beginning at 7 p.m. Agriculture columnist and humorous speaker Jerry Crownover will be the keynote speaker at the 7 o’clock program.
A number of former members will be on hand and it will be a great time of reflecting on the past and looking ahead to the future. You should make plans now to attend this special event.
Congratulations, Ava FFA, on your 75 years!