T he more than 20 Granville FFA students who spent Sunday running the FFA barn and petting zoo turned out to be part of a record crowd at last week’s Washington County Fair in Greenwich.
The FFA students, who traditionally staff the barn on the final day of the fair were among the 13,939 people who came through the gates Sunday – an average final day’s attendance, fair officials said.
The final few attendees pushed the total attendance for the seven-day fair to 120,016, breaking the previous record of 120,000, according to publicity director Ida Williams.
The fair was blessed by excellent weather, getting only a slight bit of rain Saturday, and Sunday turned out to be a clear midsummer’s day, with the $20 pay-one-price ride special clogging the midway.
Things were a little quieter inside the FFA barn, but there was still a great deal of activity.
“This is such a great opportunity for the kids,” said FFA adviser Terry Wheeler, who could wind up with a record number of students involved this year. “We’re getting more and more interest from kids. They know we do a lot with FFA, and that there are chances for all of them.”
Some of the Granville students will be attending the national convention in Indianapolis, Ind., in October, where Granville graduate Ken Quick Jr. will be stepping down after his year as a national officer.
Some of the Granville students, including seventh-grader Dan Cook, are just starting their journey with FFA.
“Dan’s jumping right in with us,” Wheeler said, noting that school wouldn’t begin for 10 more days, but he already had a barn full of volunteers.
“We’re going to get a quick start,” said Wheeler, whose group is active throughout the school year with fundraisers, competition at the state convention, visits to elementary schools, a battle of the bands and organizing Granville Community Service Day in conjunction with the village, town and the Washington County Youth Bureau.
Sunday’s tasks were more farm-related. The Granville students staffed the FFA building, which features a variety of adult and baby animals. Their main task was helping children handle the chicks and ducks. They were also responsible for talked about all the animals that were there, cleaning up after the animals and answering any questions visitors might have. Wheeler said he also expected his afternoon shift of students would be there with him cleaning up and helping get the animals packed out.
Aside from the usual barnyard animals, the display also included reindeer and emus.
“This is great. Where else do you get to see a reindeer, anyway?” said sophomore Hannah Jones.
Many of the FFA students, including Jones, were up early Monday morning, getting back to back to athletic practices.
Junior Phil Hicks is the senior high FFA president. Seth Browe and Brianna Thomas are the junior high co-presidents, and Dan Truso represents the regional FFA chapters at the state level.