Animals part of homecoming at Pine Grove Area
PINE GROVE — A chicken named Waffles strutted into the role of agriculture ambassador Friday at homecoming festivities at Pine Grove Area School District.
Waffles, a brown sex link breed chicken, owned by Morgan Flick, was among the animals brought to the district campus for the first-ever livestock exhibition.
Pine Grove Future Farmers of America adviser and agriculture teacher Sarah Gaffney coordinated the livestock show.
FFA members brought their sheep, calves, pigs, pygmy goats, rabbits, ducks and chickens to share with their peers at the high school, as well as elementary students who were invited to attend the exhibition. Students could compete in an animal quiz bowl and earn prizes.
“It’s crazy how many people are afraid of chickens. I think it’s their feet,” Flick, a junior from Pine Grove, said.
“Here, you hold her just like a baby,” she said, as she passed Waffles to Rachel Rossi, a freshman. Rossi’s also an FFA member.
“They’re cool animals,” Rossi said. Rossi thought the exhibition was a good way to introduce the animals to the public and boost interest in the agriculture program.
“Even though you’re not from a farm, you can still be in FFA,” Rossi said.
Some of the quiz bowl questions the FFA students drafted were: “What is the white patch on the pigs called?” “What breeds are the calves in this pen?” “What items can be made from sheep’s wool?” and “What’s the difference between mallards and rouens?”
As members of the FFA, it’s our job to educate and get them informed about where their food comes from and why agriculture is so important,” Flick said.
Along with Flick, an FFA student adviser, other FFA officers — Taylor Trotter, chaplain, and Katie Mease, secretary — assisted in preparing the grounds near the stadium for the exhibition. They arrived at 6:30 a.m. Friday to set up the cages, straw bedding and tents. The cages were borrowed from the Schuylkill County Fair.
Mease, a Pine Grove senior, brought the rouens. She explained the difference between the rouens and the mallards are that rouens are ducks that are flightless and are a bit heftier than the mallards.
Sophomore Chase Betz joined some of the calves in their straw bedding and spent time petting them.
“They like to play and cuddle, almost like a dog,” Betz said. Betz said he has a few chickens at home and raises fish.
Fellow sophomore Alli Butler, Pine Grove, said she works part time at Windmill Farm in Pine Grove. The brown swiss calf brought to the show Friday, named Amelia, was from her employer, she said. Butler also raises dairy beef and enters animals in the county fair.
“I think it’s awesome to show the community how fun agriculture can be and where their food comes from,” Butler said.
The homecoming activities began after four morning periods of instruction. The afternoon celebration included a Powder Puff football game, volleyball, bounce house adventure course, a car show, a homecoming kings’ talent show, an evening spaghetti dinner for students enrolled in extracurricular activities and a homecoming dance. The high school band and cheerleaders offered a pep rally at the elementary school.
All sports teams are slated to play today, according to Michael Janicelli, high school principal. Janicelli credited his staff and the student organizations for coordinating the homecoming festivities.
“I think it’s awesome to show the community how fun agriculture can be and where their food comes from.” alli Butler pine grove area sophomore
Pine Grove Future Farmers of America student Morgan Flick, right, talks about her chicken, Waffles, with fellow student Kyra Williams looking on Friday during Pine Grove’s homecoming event at Pine Grove Area High School. This is the first year the FFA students had a livestock exhibition at their homecoming event.
Pine Grove students Anthony Reilly, left, and Katelyn Wooster pet sheep that the Pine Grove FFA brought to Pine Grove Area High School during their homecoming event.
A sheep climbs up onto the enclosure Friday during Pine Grove Area’s homecoming event at Pine Grove Area High School. This is the first year the FFA student had a livestock exhibition at their homecoming event.