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Above left, middle school FFA member Kali Garner shows her pig Bullet at the Mid-Georgia Preview where she took home the first Overall Showmen Award Dec. 2. Above center, two school teachers and a school nurse decided to take one last lap and noticed smoke coming from the high school’s FFA barn. They were able to quickly alert authorities and the fire was extinguished before the barn suffered heavy damage. They were presented with Portrait of an Educator coins at the Dec. 13 school board meeting, including (l-r) middle school teacher Savannah Cain, middle school nurse Amy Veal and elementary school teacher Amber Dean. Above right, Walker Davis with show pig Bill.

Dec. 30 concert to help rebuild FFA barn

A special Dec. 30 concert at the Concord Cafe will help raise funds to repair fire damage at the high school’s FFA barn and allow animals to once again be cared for by students.

The New Year’s Eve weekend concert to benefit Pike County FFA will feature Montgomery Pike from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Concord restaurant. Harrison Pugh and The Kampfire Collective will perform from 8 to 11 p.m.

The event is hosted by the Pike County FFA Alumni group and donations are requested to help with FFA barn repairs.

The Pike County High School FFA livestock barn caught fire just before 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, killing two pigs and one goat.

Three teachers were walking nearby the morning of the fire and they saw the smoke and quickly alerted authorities. Pike County firefighters were nearby completing training and were able to respond quickly to save the barn.

The fire started from a heat lamp keeping the animals warm. Due to fire damage, students are currently unable to keep their show animals in the barn.

FFA advisor and Ninth Grade Academy agriculture teacher Brandi Baade said the barn is an important part of the program. It allows students who may not otherwise be able to raise and show animals to participate in FFA programs and competitions. She said raising an animal teaches students important life lessons.

“To me, showing hogs means learning how to be responsible, respectful and a team player. You have to care for your animal, respect your animal and other showmen, as well as lend a helping hand to others in need,” said tenth grade FFA showman Makenzi Prince.

Eleventh grade FFA showman Walker Davis agrees. “FFA gives us a way of showcasing the worth of these animals and develops us, the students, into disciplined, empathic and hard-working individuals,” he said. “You have to have grit to show livestock!”

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