On Saturday, Nov., 14, the Pine Grove School Future Farmers of America (FFA) Alumni will host its first ever Bull Bash at the Tippah County Fairgrounds. The gates will open at 4:30 p.m. with a kids’ pre-show at 5:30 p.m., a junior riding at 6 p.m. and the show beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 with children 5 and under getting in free. The money raised from the show will benefit the FFA chapter at the school and assist with expenses and travel to regional and state competitions.
The show will feature riders from the Buck Wild Bucking Stock team. The Sweet Tooth Booth, usually available during the Tippah County Fair, will be open and selling hot fudge cake, strawberry shortcake and cheesecake.
“Our alumni chapter is always working hard and looking out for ways to help our students,” said Pine Grove Agriculture Teacher Millie Chism. “We have so many who have volunteered their time and money to help out this chapter and spend time with the students. It is great to have so much support from the community”.
This involvement has earned the alumni recognition beyond the community as they were named the FFA Alumni Chapter of the Year for Mississippi for the 2019-2020 school year.
Pine Grove School had housed a chapter of FFA for many years and has seen a rejuvenation lately with increased interest and participation.
“We have 58 members this year,” said Chism, who arrived at the school in January following her graduation from Mississippi State University.
Chism has a history of involvement with the organization from her younger days and believes it’s a great way to develop leadership skills. Pine Grove and Walnut are the only two schools in Tippah County that house a chapter with Walnut being reactivated two years ago after a hiatus. There are just over 100 FFA chapters in Mississippi and around 7,500 across the country.
“Our school is small in size but has a very dedicated group of students, parents, and employees. People are always willing to stay after school and offer their time and help to anyone who needs it. We have something going on all the time,” said Chism.
Her chapter has participated in goat shows this year and plans for competitions later in the year. Pine Grove has three state officers between the senior and junior associations. Katie Miller, a 2020 graduate attending Mississippi State, serves as the State Secretary. Byron Lopez serves as State President of the junior association and Hannah Hill is junior association Reporter.
“It’s tough to get one state officer and our chapter has three,” Chism stated. “These students were screened through an interview process and also had to study materials about the association. They were chosen by organization staff and fellow members across the state.”
Chism said that FFA is about more than just agriculture and encouraged anyone who is interested to join in.
“There are competitions and areas for interviews, public speaking, communications, marketing. It is an outstanding way to get new experiences, make friends, and get students prepared for life outside of high school.”