Rappahannock’s Future Farmers of America Show up for the Community

By: Ava Genho, Headwaters Rapp Writing Intern

On the morning of Thursday, Feb. 24, I rolled out of bed well before sunrise, keeping in line with the people I was preparing to serve. It was the day of our Rappahannock Future Farmers of America Chapter’s first ever farmer breakfast, and we needed all hands on deck. 

When I arrived at the high school around 6 a.m., it was already bustling with activity. Outside the double doors to the cafeteria, FFA member Logan Crider and his dad were cooking pancakes and bacon on their grill. Inside the school, students were making other preparations for breakfast. I joined the decorating crew in the cafeteria. We hung up banners across the room, arranged the tables and chairs, and laid out table decor. In the culinary kitchen down the hall, FFA members rolled up their sleeves to scramble dozens of eggs — 390 to be exact. 

All the work put in that morning grew from an idea our FFA advisor Mrs. Michele Fincham had several months ago. She thought our chapter could host a breakfast in honor of the farmers in Rappahannock County. Mrs. Fincham brainstormed with her officer crew and decided to hold the event during National FFA Week, celebrated March 19-26 in 2022. All week, FFA members and supporters at our school were honoring the FFA organization by dressing up for spirit days put on by our chapter, including Boot Day Tuesday, In the Woods Wednesday, Thank a Farmer Thursday, and Freedom Friday. (There was no school on Monday due to a planned holiday.) As an officer team, we were eager for the day of the Farmer Breakfast!

At 9 a.m. sharp, our guests of honor began to roll in. FFA members served up a delicious  breakfast of eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, and some fresh fruit. All the food was  prepared by FFA members and their families. 

RCHS Principal Mr. Carlos Seward, who has shown huge enthusiasm for FFA, attended the event, as well as the RCPS Superintendent Dr. Shannon Grimsley. Teachers at the high school were also invited to have breakfast. 

“Seeing all the happy faces that early morning was definitely worth it,” FFA member Liberti Sell said. “Everyone was so cheerful and kind, and knowing that I got to be a part of serving those who feed us was amazing.” 

My fellow officers and I wore our FFA official dress, including the classic blue corduroy jackets. Throughout the breakfast, we introduced ourselves to new people and caught up with old friends. 

At the close of the event, all the FFA officers and our advisors, Mrs. Michele Fincham and Mr. Rich Hogan, spoke. Each officer shared how FFA has impacted our lives and how grateful we are to the farmers who work tirelessly to serve our community and our country. Mr. Seward and Dr. Grimsley also shared their gratitude for agriculture and FFA’s promotion of agriculture in Rappahannock County. 

“The Farmer’s Breakfast was by far my favorite thing I have done for FFA,” chapter  president Olivia Gibson said. “I’m so thankful for all of the farmers in our community. They are the reason we can do what we do!”

Mrs. Fincham was also delighted with the end result of the breakfast, and with the effort she saw from her FFA members. “There are no words to express how proud I am of my chapter officers and our active members,” she said. “They arrived on time to the high school and worked extremely hard all morning to make our breakfast a success. There is no way this week would have been possible without the dedication of our FFA members — they went above and beyond.” 

After the last of the decor had been put away and food cleaned up, FFA members gathered in Mrs. Fincham’s classroom. Our FFA chapter can be an energetic crowd, but the room was quieter than I’ve ever heard it before. Though we were all exhausted, we were satisfied with our success of serving those who work tirelessly every day to feed our country.

Published by Ava Genho, Headwaters’ Rapp Writing Intern
Re-published by Rappahannock News