Each day of the week, students will also hear statistics about agricultural opportunities in terms of employment, career paths and local revenue, including the fact that Henry County farmers generate $30 million annually. They’ll hear a history of HCHS’ tradition of Tractor Day, as well as highlights regarding the school’s FFA chapter. This week honors agriculture on a national level and highlights the work and achievements gained through FFA.
“A degree in agriculture has numerous opportunities. Many people only think of farming when they think of agriculture, however, only 15 percent of agricultural jobs are in food production,” said Lindsey Davie, HCHS FFA sponsor and agriculture teacher. “The biggest sector of ag jobs is in management and business with 46 percent, followed by science and engineering with 27 percent, and last is education, communications and governmental services with 12 percent.”
Davie also pointed out the number of opportunities in ag-related jobs right here in Henry County, which according to the U.S. Census has three times as many ag-related jobs available than the average Kentucky county.
“We have suppliers like Starview Greenhouse, Henry County Supply, Nationwide Fence, Southern States, Rick’s Farm Store and Atchison’s Lawn Care and Greenhouses, just to name a few,” Davie said. “We also host offices that provide services like the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources and Conservation Office and the Extension Office. Ag students are even needed locally to fill opportunities in real estate, law and finance.”
A major event for Henry County’s FFA chapter, the first Tractor Day at HCHS was held in 1982, and has since become known throughout the state with many notables taking part or taking note of the event. Most recently, the retiring Scott Reynolds of WAVE 3 remarked that leading Tractor Day was one of the highlights of his career. Just last year, an article about the event appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader, and the event has been featured in Fastline Magazine and annually in the pages of the Henry County Local. Over the years, a number of media outlets have chosen to feature Tractor Day.
“It has been an important part of the culture of this county because Henry County is so richly tied to agriculture,” Davie said. “Our students take great pride in being a part of the agriculture industry and all it means to our county.”
Lastly, HCHS will celebrate its own FFA chapter, ranked among the top 10 percent of chapters in the state based on a diverse program of activities including Burger Bash, Animals for Learning, hosting children’s games at Harvest Showcase, donating plants to all the local assisted living homes, hosting AI classes for members, participating in contests, attending leadership trainings, camps and conventions, hatching, raising and giving away chicks, teaching at Ag Day, hosting Capture the Flag, taking students on college tours and field trips, and attending community events like Trail of Treats and community meetings.
“Last year our members even taught every single student in the district about agriculture,” Davie said. “We have so much to be proud of as a school, as a county and as an agricultural community.”