|The FFA Sentinel|
Technology is a wonderful tool. In some regards, computers have made life and business easier, and in some regards, when there is no electricity or available computer, it can make life difficult. From this writer’s perspective, life was simpler and not as complicated when computers were not around. As recorded in past Sentinel articles, if it were not for the written records much of the history about the Alabama FFA Association would be lost. As evident, the easiest way to preserve events before computers was to save what is now referred to as a "hard copy."
From 1929 when FFA began in Alabama to today, there is available written history about FFA in our great state. Many articles of interest about planting kudzu, setting of pines and bicolor lespedeza seedlings, rat killings, post treating plants, members supporting the "war effort" (World War II) and educational tours are available for review.
When this writer taught at Kinston, he was told stories by the retired "vocational agriculture" teacher Fred Wood, who taught there from 1944-76, about educational tours the chapter would take every other year. This month’s article features reports submitted to the Alabama FFA Association by various chapters on tours taken during the summer of 1947 and published in the September 1947 issue of The Alabama Future Farmer magazine.
Here’s a short story on FFA tours reported. In most cases the FFA chapter paid all the expenses.
Bay Minette – John Jones, reporter, said they took their annual camping trip early in the summer. Sports enjoyed were deep sea fishing, swimming, boat riding and softball. Good record music and a movie completed the entertainment.
Belgreen – 24 Future Farmers headed South July 7 and kept going until they reached the Gulf. They spent four days there, with Gulf State Park as headquarters. Riding the waves, motor boat riding in inland lakes and a trip to old Fort Morgan took up the time. Then they traveled back by Pensacola. The group stopped at our State Capitol and met Mr. Haynes, Franklin County representative, and went in to see Governor Folsom and sat in his chair. In Birmingham, they saw the iron man.
Cedar Bluff – 18 FFAers took a four-day trip to the Tennessee Valley in July. There were two reasons for the trip: (1) to compare cotton farming at home with livestock farming in TVA near Knoxville and (2) see Norris Dam, have a good time and catch some fish.
"Everyone was nice to us," reported Charles Clayton.
The conclusion seemed to be they were doing better farming on poorer soils than in the Cedar Bluff Community.
Centre – Went to Atlanta was and saw Grant Park. Spent first night at Jacksonville, FL. Toured old St. Augustine and continued on to Daytona Beach. Spent three days there. Jack Fortenberry said they "saw all there was to see there." (That’s hard to believe!) They saw the sights at Silver Springs and headed toward home. Spent last night at Albany, GA. Jack said they all enjoyed the trip.
Fairhope – Enjoyed a three-day camping and fishing trip at old Fort Morgan.
Sidney Lanier – 24 FFAers and Adviser E.P. Gieger made the longest reported tour this summer. Here are a few high spots of the 2,650-mile tour. Farming in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia was noticed. Tobacco farms and curing barns were most interesting. Two days and nights were spent in New York City seeing the sights. A night at Coney Island beat such sights as Radio City and Statue of Liberty. They entered Canada at Niagara Falls. Went to London and Windsor, Canada. In Detroit, they saw a Ford made in 58 minutes. Also saw the first Ford and many other old cars. They then traveled down through the Corn Belt into the blue grass country. They saw the famous Kentucky Derby Race Track and visited Mammoth Cave. They also saw fine farming land in Tennessee and North Alabama, and headed back to Montgomery after 14 days.
Straughn – Took a four-day tour to Florida. Their main stops were Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Daytona Beach, Orlando and Silver Springs.
Stevenson – Carried their own food and did cooking on three-day camping trip near Huntsville.
Falkville – Chartered a bus for the trip to Montgomery, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Pensacola, FL. They enjoyed swimming in the Gulf and deep-sea fishing. Eats were carried from home and all did some cooking. Howell Hogan said expenses were paid by FFA chapter. They had fed out and sold a fat steer at the Birmingham Stock Show.
Florala – In spite of seasickness, the deep-sea fishing trip was a success. Kenneth Matthews caught the biggest one, an eight-and-a-half-pound red snapper. Mr. Guthery, adviser, was next with a six-pound grouper. In all, about 200 pounds of fish were caught – other than those that got away. (Ed Note-I’m just passing on these fish stories as sent in by Ned Perry, chapter reporter. He didn’t send any pictures and I wasn’t there!)
Geneva – The group enjoyed a three-day camping trip at Phillips Inlet in June. The chapter paid expenses and committees looked after the work.
Goshen – The group took a tour of Experiment Station at Auburn where they saw grazing crops, an artificial insemination plant, forestry plots and fertilizer tests.
Greenville – The best short, short-story sent in was the one from Lewis Crenshal, reporter, and Adviser K.V. Reagan. They said, "We left de tails (of de fishes) on the coast!"
Hartselle – 16 FFAers headed South August 4th. They noticed different types of soil and farming. The group spent two days at Pensacola Beach, in the city and on the docks. One pair of shoes was lost, but that didn’t stop the sightseeing. They stopped by State Capitol at Montgomery on their trip back.
Kinston – The group took a 12-day tour of Eastern U.S. and Canada. Points of interest were Great Smoky Mountains; Mammoth Cave; Washington, DC; New York; homes of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Roosevelt, Grover Cleveland, Robert E. Lee, James Monroe and James K. Polk; battlefields of Revolutionary War and Civil War; and, of course, Niagara Falls. Adviser F.W. Wood said all the boys were impressed with the friendliness of the Canadians. Principal E.C. Nevin and Coach Swain made the trip, too.
Lexington – The group made local project tours in planning supervised farming programs.
Marbury – The students and advisor took a seven-day trip to Gulf State Park and caught plenty of fish. All meals were cooked by the boys. They took sight-seeing trips to Mobile and Pensacola, and had planned on a deep-sea fishing trip, but it was called off after some of the fellows got seasick in Mobile Bay!
Pleasant Home – The first stop (and probably best stop) of their trip was the State Capitol in Montgomery. They visited Kilby Prison and spent a night at Noccalula Falls near Gadsden. They commented that it was a pretty place, but the rocks made hard beds. They went atop Lookout Mountain. Coming back, they stopped at Guntersville Dam and saw several TVA projects. They spent two days here fishing and sunning, and spent the last night at Piedmont with Mrs. Adderhold, our adviser’s mother.Philip Paramore is an Education Specialist with the Alabama Department of Education.