BEEBE — The students involved in Beebe High School’s chapter of the National FFA Organization constantly work on various enterprises, but this year, they will sell their projects to the public to raise money for the chapter.
The officer team and its advisers have put together the organization’s first Beebe FFA Dinner and Auction. The cost of $10 includes a catfish and shrimp dinner with all the trimmings, as well as admission to a live auction that will give attendees a chance to bid on student-fabricated projects. The event will be at 6 p.m. Friday at the Beebe National Guard Armory.
Troy Weatherley, Darren Hawkins and Dusty Baxter are the faculty advisers for Beebe High School’s FFA chapter.
“We have a very active FFA. We’re involved in a lot of different activities,” Hawkins said. “We’re involved in career-development [events], such as parliamentary procedure, prepared public speaking, extemporaneous public speaking, opening and closing ceremonies, horse evaluation, poultry judging, electricity, ag mechanics and livestock.”
These activities give students the chance to apply skills they learn in the classroom to situations where they might find themselves in the future.
“Career development is an extension of what they do in the classroom,” Baxter said. “They apply what they learn in the classroom to an actual situation at their competitions.”
According to the National FFA Organization’s website, there are 24 career-development events that cover job skills in everything from communications to mechanics.
“Every single one of them will tell you that they learn more at those career-development events than they do in the classroom,” Weatherley said. “There’s just something about traveling and putting that skill to use that makes it stick with them.”
This is the first year for the FFA dinner and auction, and Weatherley said the students have worked extremely hard for a long time to put together the event.
“We attended some other [FFA dinners] that other chapters in the state have done that were very successful,” Weatherley said.
“Our kids were already doing these projects, so instead of selling these projects individually, we decided that we can make a feature out of it where the kids can showcase their projects and make money at the same time.”
Weatherley and the other FFA advisers said they believe the students are really excited about the dinner and auction.
The money raised from Friday’s event will be used to pay for hotel rooms and expenses when the organization attends competitions out of town. Sometimes the group has to leave at 3 or 4 a.m. to get to their competitions on time.
“That’s the purpose of this auction. We have them get up at 3:30 or 4 a.m., and the reason for that is the chapter can’t afford hotel rooms for 50 to 60 students. If this auction has some success, we can alleviate some of that and maybe get to go the night before,” Weatherley said.
Senior Bethany Farmer serves as chapter reporter for the Beebe High School FFA.
“We’ve put a lot of hard work and dedication into [this event],” Farmer said.
The items for the auction that the students haven’t built themselves were donated by local businesses, Hawkins said. They range from duck blinds and Labrador retriever puppies to smokers and grills the students in FFA have built.
“It’s hard to narrow down my favorite thing about FFA because I love every single part of it,” Farmer said. “It’s my favorite thing that I do. It helps you become the person that you are.”
Approximately 130 to 140 students are actively involved in FFA at Beebe High School.
“Once students get involved, they stay hooked,” Baxter said.