A Strong Program

Randolph FFA Celebrates 85th Anniversary

Members of Randolph Central School’s Future Farmers of America are pictured.

RANDOLPH – Randolph Central School’s Future Farmers of America chapter is celebrating its 85th anniversary.

Since its inception in February 1939, the Randolph FFA chapter has been a beacon of agricultural education and community spirit. What began with a humble gathering of 25 members has flourished into a robust organization boasting 92 dedicated student members, including some from the Falconer Central School District.

To honor this momentous occasion, the FFA chapter recently orchestrated a spirit week on campus during February. Activities included themed days such as “Wear Blue and Gold” to showcase FFA colors, “Down on the Farm,” where students donned farm animal attire, “Camo Day,” and “Career Day.” Among the highlights was a “Kiss A Pig” contest aimed at supporting the Randolph Community Cupboard, a local charity initiative. More than 15 staff members volunteered to participate, rallying both students and faculty to contribute spare change throughout the week. Their efforts paid off, with more than $200 raised, surpassing the initial fundraising goal.

At the helm of the FFA chapter is Arissa Hitchcock, the current RCS Agriculture teacher and FFA advisor. With her guidance, club members partake in a diverse array of competitions, conferences and agricultural events throughout the year. In 2023, FFA members showcased their prowess in multiple livestock judging competitions, with one team clinching a spot in the National Competition held in Indianapolis, Ind. Last October, 65 FFA members descended upon Alfred State to participate in a VAST-CDE event.

“Randolph’s Agriculture program, along with FFA, is a year-round adventure of learning, growth, and community engagement. Through our Agriculture program, alongside our FFA chapter, we offer a diverse range of courses spanning Animal Science, Agriculture Science, Welding, Landscape Design, Agriculture Business, Farm to Table, and Vet Science. With an active membership of 92 students, our FFA is more than just a club; it’s a platform for students to compete, volunteer, teach, and learn throughout the year,” Hitchcock said.

Members of Randolph Central School’s Future Farmers of America are pictured.

A recent agreement with New Directions Youth and Family Services has provided RCS Agriculture students and FFA members with access to specific areas within the New Directions barn located adjacent to Randolph Central School. The partnership allows students to engage in hands-on agricultural activities, including the raising and showing of market goats at the Cattaraugus County Fair. Hitchcock expressed her gratitude for the opportunity it provides students to gain invaluable practical experience in animal husbandry and agricultural management.

“We are lucky enough to use the facilities across the street as not only a place to house our goats but to also have a classroom to receive hands-on experience. Students take on the responsibility of caring for the goats and preparing them for fair,”. Hitchcock said.

Students and staff are pictured during a recent “Kiss A Pig” fundraiser at Randolph Central School. The fundraiser was part of the celebration of the school’s Future Farmers of America chapter’s 85th anniversary.


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