Thinking about the upcoming Batesville Farm-City Banquet, Batesville High School FFA President Sam Wessel says,  “I just really like how everybody comes together ... to celebrate agriculture.”

The 52nd annual  event (please see above box) “is a good opportunity to acknowledge the connection between the city folks and farmers in our area,” points out committee member Ed Krause.

The dinner is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Batesville, Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce and FFA. Other committee members are Dr. Jim Roberts, Cassie Mumaw, Dennis Harmeyer, Harold Weiler and Melissa Tucker.

After attendees eat, speaker Mark A. Prickel will detail how his 560- acre MAPNAP Farms have evolved.

His great-great-grandfather, Anton Voegele, established the farms in the early 1800s 1.5 miles south Morris at the intersection of county roads 500 East and 1250 North.

Mark’s dad, Nicholas  A. Prickel, bought the spread in 1936, then Mark and his  late wife, Arnelda, went into partnership with him in 1947, leading to the name (the two men’s initials). Prickel’s specialty is “mostly hogs. We also  raise corn and soybeans and have 15 head of beef cattle.”

The farmer will make the presentation with the help of a slide show compiled by two grandchildren,  Jessica Kinker, Enochsburg, and Elliott Tekulve, Greensburg.

Prickel had a hand in what’s for dinner as well because he donated a hog to FFA. The menu includes smoked pork, au gratin potatoes, green beans, corn,  pumpkin pie and beverages, according to BMS cafeteria manager Berna Meyer.

About 20 of 51 FFA dues-paying members will take part in the banquet, reports  adviser and agriscience teacher Cassie Mumaw. “Members will have to set up and tear down the banquet hall and need to decorate the tables.” In addition, chaplain Chad Emsweller will give the invocation and officers  will conduct a business meeting and discuss two items. 

“A lot of people don’t know what FFA really does” so this event will educate them. “They can see ... what we do and how important agriculture is to our community,” notes Wessel. He admits, “The public speaking aspect is a little scary at times.”

What excites the senior about the club this year? “I’m just really pumped about being able to lead everybody ... and see kids go out there and get involved  in their community.” 

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