FFA Corn Maze
To anyone looking for something to fill their time on the weekends, look no further. Every weekend of October, Saturdays and Sundays, Olivet High school’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) team has planned a fun activity that compliments the Fall season. Located right next to the baseball field on school grounds, a corn maze has been carefully planted and mowed down to create an experience that has a few different challenges to choose from. Here, you can choose between a “’Who Dunit?’” challenge, a scavenger hunt, and a couple of geocache locations add to your collection. The FFA is charging only $5 at the entrance and is offering deals for families of five or more.
The volunteers and members of the program spoke out about what FFA means, not only to the Advisor but for these students. Hayli Warner, an OHS and FFA alumni, came back to help the current members out.
“I haven’t been very involved the last few years because I had two kids and lived kind of far away. But now I’m trying to get back involved because FFA was probably the thing that changed my life more than anything else in school. So, I want to help provide these kids the opportunities that FFA provided for me," said Warner.
Warner was not the only one who had great things to say about the program either. Anthony Devito, an FFA Member since middle school, talks about what this program means to him.
“FFA is really an incredible thing. For me and many others, it’s helped to build confidence and get more comfortable talking to others and helping kids believe more in their own abilities and unlock their true leadership potential,” said Devito.
Doug Pennington, the faithful advisor of the Olivet FFA for the last 28 years, speaks on why he is so passionate about program.
“Everyone associates agriculture with FFA, and that is a piece of it, but FFA is about learning self-confidence, gaining leadership skills, and gaining them slowly. Because one of the things that too many people undervalue, is the fact that in order for you to be truly successful, you have to be confident in yourself, and you can’t go from being not confident at all to super confident over night, but you do it in small steps,” said Pennington. “The kids that truly get involved and do contests, the ones who speak in front of large audiences of people, they share responsibilities with each other and before they know it, they’re getting really good at getting up there and presenting and looking back to say, “hey I did that”. And once they start believing in themselves, the sky is the limit for them.”
Pennington talks also about excitement, as he mentions the team that he has going to a national competition this year.
“This contest, I have been second, six times. I have been third and fourth and fifth, usually in the top five, but I’ve never been number one. They’re competing here in about three weeks so I’m pretty excited,” said Pennington.
After talking with the people involved in this event, it is clear that FFA is near and dear to the hearts of those involved and has given many students not only an opportunity to make friends but to build lifelong skills to help them be successful in the future as working adults.
When asked about the proceeds of this event, Savannah Mauk, region four state vice president as a state officer, part of the team going to nationals, comments on the importance of fundraising through this corn maze and other events as well.
“The money goes toward continuing our program in a variety of ways. Whether that be assisting in purchasing materials for different events, sometimes we have different scholarships to enable kids to go to different conferences, and materials that will be used in our barn and greenhouse. The proceeds that come from events like these are very important because it helps to keep the program alive,” said Mauk.
The maze, open every weekend in October, is a chance for them to fund their program and have the community support them in doing that. For more information about when the maze will be available, see the attached flyer.
Photos by Mycaela Loveless. Flyer by FFA.