Saturday, 30 March 2013

FFA events an introduction to agriculture

ALBION — Hundreds of young students swept through the Albion FFA’s garage Thursday, eyes widening at each stop on a tour of animals and towering field equipment.

More than 500 elementary and middle school students poked their heads and hands through pens to fully experience a menagerie of farm animals. They were enraptured, their focuses broken up by the excited rush to the next stop.

The annual mini-farm event, held at the conclusion of Albion’s agricultural appreciation week, is a showcase an aspect of the local community not part of most student’s lives.

‘‘It’s awesome to have them come over,’’ Albion FFA President Jenny McKenna said. ‘‘Even in a rural community, this gives them the chance to see a cow up close.’’

This year the mini-farm also served as fun diversion for high school students focused for the past two years on planning the 2013 FFA State Convention.

‘‘This is a crazy day, but it’s also a nice little break for them,’’ FFA Advisor Adam Krenning said while FFA students shepherded classes in the swell of activity. He noted that many of those stepping up to plan the May 2-4 event are part of the growing number of FFA members that grew up away from farm life.

‘‘More and more they have never been involved in agriculture,’’ Krenning said. ‘‘They lack the agricultural background, but they want to be a part of it. It’s moving to see.’’

While McKenna and others have long been involved in the farm life, FFA Vice President Alison O’Hearn said she’s gotten a deeper connection to the wider agricultural community through projects like the convention and the school’s recently-launched land lab.

‘‘I recognized that agriculture was a huge part of our county and I wanted to be part of it. I didn’t expect to be this involved,’’ said O’Hearn, who had participated in 4-H clubs as a youth, but not to the degree of her fellow FFA students.

For the convention, O'Hearn has spearheaded the effort to line up local sponsors for the 1,200-student event. That has put her in contact with the farmers and businesses that populate the district.

‘‘The generosity of agribusiness in Orleans County has been overwhelming,’’ O’Hearn said.

Holding the state convention, which Albion last did in 2007, is a lengthy and involved process that has exhausted FFA members. But McKenna, who was overseen the planning of activities and events like a country music concert, believes the event will draw the school closer to the community.

‘‘They’ll get to see what we have and teach them what they haven’t known,’’ said McKenna, who is excited about the half-day that regular classes will see a wave of blue corduroy walking the halls. ‘‘It will hit home … and show how powerful the FFA is.’’
original Article Here

No comments:

Post a comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...