Congratulations and thumbs up to the students at Sherman Central School who will represent New York state in competition at the 85th national convention of the Future Farmers of American in Indianapolis later this month. Sherman's FFA students won state championships in two categories - agricultural mechanics and food science and technology - and so two teams are headed to the national organization's huge convention.
Joining the 55,000 FFA members and guests at the convention will be Danielle Reed, Julia Rater and Breanna Stoddard of Sherman's food science team, and Nathan Ottaway, Gabriel Rater, Hewitt Meeder and David Lyon of the agricultural mechanics team.
Good luck to them all as they compete for national honors.
With the observance this week of the Feast of St. Francis - recognized as the patron saint of animals - thumbs up to churches in the area for offering a Blessing of the Animals. St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Westfield held the event Thursday on St. Francis' feast day.
St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Jamestown invites everyone to join in giving thanks for our pets with a service for the Blessing of the Animals at 4 p.m. today. Weather permitting the service will be held in the court yard outside the church.
All well-mannered pets - Episcopalian or not - that are leashed or contained are welcome. And although not necessary to receive a blessing for your pet, donations for the Humane Society are also welcome as a special offering.
And thumbs up to the Humane Society for waiving the adoption fees for cats ages 1 to 5 years old today. We do not know whether St. Francis figured into this, but certainly the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation did with a grant to enable you to add for free a wonderful adult cat to your family. The cats are spayed or neutered and have up-to-date vaccines, FelV and FIV tests and have been microchipped.
The Humane Society has many wonderful adult cats at its center on Strunk Road just off Route 430 near Fluvanna. The center is open noon to 4 p.m. today. So if you have been thinking about adding a new best friend, this is the time.