Almost 100 students rode their tractors or brought animals or items to Warren County High School on Friday to take part in the largest Ag Day in Warren County history, according to teacher and FFA sponsor Danielle Smith.
Smith said, “This day started as a tractor day. The students could only bring their tractors to school. Now, it is a complete agricultural awareness day. The students can see where their food comes from and how farm animals are used.”
Many horses being shown had blue ribbons painted on them to raise awareness for juvenile diabetes.
Smith said proceeds from T-shirts, sodas, chips and juvenile diabetes ribbons will go toward juvenile diabetes research. She said last year, FFA students donated $800 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research from money raised on Ag Day. Tennessee FFA raises money each year for a different cause.
“The students get excited when we raise money for a good cause. They do more than just teach their fellow students and Hickory Creek students about ag awareness,” said Smith.
Three Tennessee state FFA officers were on hand this year to walk among the tractors and livestock spread out on WCHS’s campus. Mule rides and horse rides were available for youngsters from Hickory Creek Elementary.
The FFA’s show sheep were available for petting. Bella, a baby sheep, was abandoned by her mother. Smith and her FFA students have been bottle feeding baby Bella, who lives at the school.
The grand finale of the day happened at 12:30 p.m. when the students drove their tractors and wagons to Hickory Creek school parade style. The youngsters at Hickory Creek stood outside waving as the tractors passed them by.
Emily Grove drove what was probably the oldest tractor in the parade, a 1939 McCormick Farmall. Her father, Sydney, said he does not use the tractor on the farm but he has entered in the tractor in antique tractor pulls.
Samantha David brought her Palomino horse, Poco, to Ag Day for the first time. She said she wanted to try something new to get him used to people as she wants to start barrel racing with Poco soon.
Rebekah Tinsley, a 2008 graduate of WCHS, said, “It is encouraging to see how much Ag Day has grown. I am glad to see so many students participating this year.” Tinsley graduated from Tennessee Tech in December and is certified to teach agriculture.