Agvocacy…with a “Bang!”

Creativity is a necessity to getting any message out.  You have to communicate it in a good way.  You have to grab attention, and hang on to it for dear life.  You know you get points for originality.  You get commended for flare.  Well, sometimes you just need something that “pops” to spread your message.  And sometimes, a “pop” isn’t enough.  You need a crash.  Or a bang.  Or even fire.

Each year, the Kankakee County Fair holds a school bus figure 8 derby.  Whatever buses are still running at the end of the derby race then completely demo in a classic demolition derby style.  The video below took place after the race.  The blue and gray bus has the words “All Roads Lead to Ag” on it.  The side facing us is painted to look like a city skyline.  On the other side, there’s a countryside scene with tractors and cows and even a grain elevator.  The idea is to point out that no matter where you live, urban or rural, ag is part of everyday life, and we’d be lost with out it.

That bus was sponsored and decorated by the River Valley FFA chapter.  You can’t see it here, but they had a full-detail hand-painted version of the FFA emblem on the back.  (The painter in me was INCREDIBLY impressed.)  Now, I’ve said this plenty of times before, but I had the honor of being the President of that FFA chapter during its fledgling year.  First off, the kids grow up too face.  I remember bossing them around at community service events and taking pictures of them shoving their faces in bales of hay at agronomy contest.  Most of all, though, I’m proud of how far the River Valley FFA legacy has come since that first dysfunctional meeting in the fall of 2007.  (By dysfunctional, I REALLY, REALLY mean dysfunctional.  Parli pro didn’t exist, we were all either wearing work clothes or sweat pants, there were four seniors and about 20-something freshman…)
This is a great example of agvocacy.  It’s the passion and drive of a bunch of upstanding, agriculturally-minded kids, personified in a school bus that gets beaten into a dented up mess.  But, it got a message out.  The announcer even took a few minutes to tell the backstory of the bus and the “All Roads Lead to Ag” message.  However many people were there (I have no clue…) heard first-person about how agriculture influences their everyday life.
Now THAT is agvocacy.
So, I’ll stop boring you, and let you get on to watching the buses ram into each other.  (By the way…for the second year in a row, the River Valley FFA bus was the longest standing in the post-race demo derby.  Also, it got second place for its decorations/paint scheme.)


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