Westwood FFA conducts outreach to elementary students for National FFA Week
FFA President Kyle Johnson got the assemblies off to a good start with a fast-paced game of Simon Says. He also found out what the students knew about agriculture and FFA with a few pointed questions. He said agriculture was not limited to animals and farming but included the trees, fish, rain and snow.
Jennifer Worthington, chapter secretary, told students about the privilege FFA members had to purchase an animal and care for it properly in order to show it at fair.
Anyone who takes an ag class is automatically in FFA, said Tamsen DeForest, the ag teacher and FFA advisor at Westwood High. She encouraged the seventh-graders to enroll in the introductory agriculture class next year when they transferred to the high school campus.
To provide hands-on instruction, students were divided into groups according to gradelevel and rotated through four stations. One station focused on animal byproducts and students learned that many common items they used fell in this category. For example, shampoo and soap is made with animal fat.
At a second station, students were quizzed on facts about agriculture. For example, they were asked if swine was another name for sheep. The correct answer is that swine is another name for pigs.
Members at station three provided information on FFA and station four focused on the care, feeding and showing of rabbits. Earlier, DeForest had explained that they only brought rabbits because there were no other animals in the barn at this time, except a steer that might ruin the gym floor.
After their visit to Fletcher Walker Elementary, the Westwood High FFA went to the Westwood State Preschool to tell these very young children about agriculture.
During National FFA Week, local chapters are encouraged to plan community service and environmental awareness activities, outreach events for elementary-age children and appreciation programs for teachers and alumni. Originally, FFA was known as Future Farmers of America but changed its name to the national FFA Organization in 1988 because of the diversity of agriculture and agricultural education. Jobs in agriculture include food, fiber and natural resources.
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