Durant’s FFA Goes To The Strawberry Festival


Caroline Haxton

Caroline Haxton and Casey Lane in front of Durant’s booth.

Ayla Yebba, Assistant to the Editor

For over 20 years, Durant’s FFA program has been actively involved in the Florida Strawberry Festival. Whether students are showing animals, selling plants, or participating in decorating Durant’s booth, these FFA students represent their school pride for the festival’s attendees.

FFA students have a large responsibility when it comes to taking care of their animals and projects for different shows or competitions. Most members must work on their projects extensively in order to prepare for both the show and sale of their animal and/or plant. Each year Durant’s FFA members participate in a decorative booth competition with the hopes of winning in order to raise money for their chapter. This year’s design theme was “#1 for Fun”.

Junior Caroline Haxton is currently officiating Durant’s FFA program as the Sr. FFA Vice President. She first joined FFA in sixth grade and has stayed with the program for six years now. Haxton first joined FFA because her brother Will Haxton was a member of the program and had multiple amazing experiences. 

This year Haxton showed the Hillsborough FFA Federation Pig (county pig) in the festival’s swine show. Haxton and her fellow FFA officer, Casey Lane, also presented Durant’s booth design to the competition’s judges on the festival’s opening day.

Many Durant FFA members represented Durant in various swine, steer, sheep, dairy, and plant shows as well.

These shows and auctions help the Durant FFA program generate funds for different events, scholarships, and their end of the year banquet.

Presently serving as the chaplain for the Durant Sr. FFA chapter is junior Savannah Rice and she has been in FFA for six years.

“I first joined FFA to expand my knowledge of agriculture beyond what I had already known coming from an agricultural family,” says Rice. “I wanted to explore different avenues of agriculture and do everything in the FFA that I had seen other members participate in.”

Every year she represents Durant by showing livestock at the Strawberry Festival. This year she is showing steer, as well as plants through the Durant Sr. FFA chapter. 

Gabby Howell is the secretary of the senior chapter and a sophomore at Durant. Howell grew up in a suburban area and didn’t have a vast knowledge of agriculture. She discovered FFA in 6th grade and has been a member of the program for five years.

“I show steers at the strawberry festival every year, which is done through FFA,” says Howell. “I also like to help out at the pig sale and plant sale by handing out buyers’ tickets to those who purchased someone’s project.”

I’m sure the Strawberry Festival can expect Durant’s FFA program and students participating for more years to come. 

Congrats to all of Durant’s FFA students for an outstanding job at the festival.