March 2016
Youth Matters

Montevallo FFA Invites You to Farm Day!

Blake Ray, left, loves instructing FFA with this hardworking bunch! Ray with his group (front) Harry Perez, Andrew Tibbetts, Dalston Grishom, (back) Madeline Griffin, Jack Brown, Kristen Massey, Sam Dewell, Madison Childress and Dustyn Franklin.  

Montevallo High School’s FFA welcomes you and your family to their 12th Annual Farm Day April 23, 2016! These students have been working diligently all year on this event and they are getting excited, working hard, gathering ideas, getting organized and finishing projects. MHS agriscience/FFA instructor for the last four years is Blake Ray. Ray stated that his mission is to promote agriculture and industry production careers for his students and the community.

Farm Day will begin for the community on April 22 with the FFA hosting the Montevallo Elementary School students for a special day just for them. Traditionally, the students will walk to the high school that is in close proximity. This is one of those small town advantages that bonds the schools and it’s fun to watch the kids make the trek over during the day dressed like farmers. For the FFA students, getting to interact with the elementary school kids is their favorite day and, for some, brings back fun memories of when they came themselves. This year, the FFA has set up a unique welding demonstration for the MES kids. The kids will then have the experience of crafting and welding a design of their own out of yummy pretzels and chocolate. The MES students will also get to enjoy the petting zoo and some of the other activities that will also be available on Saturday.

  Dalston Grishom sands down a corn hole game piece getting it ready to sell on Farm Day.

Saturday begins with a tractor parade through Montevallo. Tractors new and old will be lining up around 9 a.m. Saturday morning getting ready to parade through town to signal the beginning of Farm Day. They will remain on exhibit for the remainder of the day. One of the crowd-pleasing demonstrations will include chainsaw woodcarving by Andy Cummings. The MHS archery team will have a range set up for bow shooting and will have bows and arrows ready to fly. Kids can enjoy simple crafts, a delicious cake walk, live entertaining music and, of course, the petting zoo with lots of kid-friendly animals. Oh, and don’t forget the bounce house! When the family works up an appetite, there will be barbeque (of course), Frios, Kona Ice and Krispy Kreme donuts just to name a few food vendors. Also, you can pre-order a ready-to-eat, fully cooked Boston butt for pickup on Saturday with proceeds going to the MHS FFA.

Madeline Griffin, Kristen Massey and Madison Childress show off their cabbage plants.  

There will be booths to browse various items including beautiful, hand-crafted outdoor furniture and fun outdoor games made by the FFA students. The FFA will also be selling flowering and ornamental plants for spring the students have started themselves from seed and maintained. Farm Day is largely funded by the Montevallo FFA alumni. The money made from the sales of the furniture, games and plants is used for scholarships for seniors who will be furthering their education. Anyone interested in having a booth on Farm Day is encouraged to participate. This is such a huge community event and everyone is invited to join in displaying and selling their product within approved guidelines.

When asked, “What is the hardest part about conducting Farm Day?,” the older students unanimously yelled, “Clean up!” And not just the trash left behind but cleaning up behind the animals and breaking down the exhibits.

  Just a few of the items that will be finished before Farm Day by (from left) Andrew Tibbetts, Madeline Griffin (reporter), Kristen Massey, Jack Brown, Madison Childress, Dustyn Franklin, Dalston Grishom, Harry Perez and Sam Dewell.

When asked, “What is the most fun part of Farm Day?,” the answers were a mix between having the MES students come over on Friday and how the whole community gets involved and comes out to enjoy the festivities.

“Everybody in town comes to Farm Day!” said Jack Brown, one of MHS FFA members.

So make plans to visit Montevallo on April 23 and check out what these kids have been up to all year. Admission is free.

For information on being a food vendor, setting up a booth or ordering a Boston butt, you may contact Blake Ray of MHS at 205-682-6484.

Cindy Boyd is a freelance writer from Montevallo.