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FFA, Ag teacher honored by court

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Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve
Special to The Ellis County Press
WAXAHACHIE - Twelve words to live by - the motto of the National FFA and cherished by students in the nine FFA chapters here in Ellis County.

'FFA develops competent and assertive agricultural leadership, increases awareness of the global and technological importance of agriculture and its contribution to our well-being, strengthens the confidence of agriculture students in themselves and their work, (and) promotes the intelligent choice and establishment of an agricultural career,' said Commissioner Heath Sims, pct. 3, reading from a proclamation brought before the Commissioners' Court during Monday night's regularly scheduled meeting.

Sims said he credited a 'strong ag teacher' with his decision to pursue a degree in agricultural education, among other things. Students from two Ellis County FFA chapters - Ennis and Waxahachie - were in attendance to receive the Court's proclamation declaring Feb. 25 - 29 to be Ellis County FFA Week.

Ennis students told the court they did well in recent leadership development competition, including competing at the State level in public relations, and are in the middle of their stock show season. During National FFA Week last week, the organization raised funds to send care packages to the soldiers in Iraq. The program is particularly proud of its mechanics work, and has received a number of awards this year for a trailer built by the students in the program.

Waxahachie FFA students, who recently demonstrated their Chapter Conducting skills for the court, told Commissioners they earned third place at the State Level in that junior level competition.
The Waxahachie program has grown in numbers to approximately 300 students, with some 140 of them being freshmen.

A second proclamation sought to honor former Waxahachie High School ag teacher Ron Appleton, for whom the Waxahachie ISD will name the agricultural education building on the 9th Grade Academy Campus on Thursday.

'I am very humbled and very honored by the Commissioners' Court making this declaration,' Appleton said.

At the recommendation of Fire Marshal Investigator Jim Pharr, Commissioners took no action on an item to rescind the existing burn ban.

'Due to continued low humidity and high winds, and daily warnings, all the Ellis County firefighters are unanimous not to lift the burn ban,' Pharr said, noting there had been two grass fires earlier in the afternoon.

'I would like to continue to put it on the agenda in case it gets to where we feel comfortable.'

Commissioner Dennis Robinson, pct. 1, agreed. 'I would like to review it at every Court,' he said.

The current 90-day burn ban was declared by the Court on Jan. 14..

In other business, Commissioners:
* Conducted a public hearing on the creation of Prairie Ridge Public Improvement District No. 1 during which no member of the public spoke;
* Accepted a resolution approving and authorizing the creation of a Public Improvement District to be called the Prairie Ridge Public Improvement District No.
1 within Ellis County and providing an effective date thereof;
* Tabled an application to close, abandon and vacate public roads in Skyline Acres, pct. 4;
* Approved a work order under an interlocal agreement with the City of Milford to resurface city streets at three locations;
* Approved a Cooperation agreement with the Ennis Garden Club, represented by the Chairman of the Bluebonnet Trail Annual Event, and approved a work order under that agreement;
* Held a discussion regarding flooding issues in the Spring Creek Grove subdivision;
* Took no action on a proposal to purchase real property and accept a donation of real property on Sonoma Trail in Ennis;
* Cancelled the existing agreements with Colwell Oil and Pearman Fuel for convenience store fuel, effective 60 days after issuance of the notice, with the items
to be re-bid with additional specifications and requirements.

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