by Abbie Altena
Students have been busy exploring the agricultural world in PC’s new Ag Program, which includes four new classes as well as an FFA activities. Recently students in FFA attended the South Central District Career Development Event (CDE) Day in Osceola. At this event, students enjoyed participating in livestock evaluation, dairy food judging, FFA knowledge quizzes, vet science, and horse judging.
Almost sixty students are enrolled in Ag classes that include Ag Power, Environmental Science and Natural Resources, Ag Science: Plants, and Introduction to Agriculture Food and Natural Resources (AFNR). The biggest class is AFNR with two sections of 25 students each and the smallest class is Ag Science: Plants with 15 students.
Being enrolled in an Ag class automatically makes a student a member in the FFA Chapter, although involvement in FFA activities is optional. “I love agriculture. So to further my knowledge and experience, I wanted to join FFA. It’s a great way to do something you love, as well as get great leadership and organization experience,” said junior Kara Van Wyk
In FFA, students vote for a president, vice president, secretary, reporter, treasurer, sentinel, chaplain, and historian to help lead their program. “I want to make the first year of FFA amazing. This is a new thing for everyone and this will hopefully be a good year of progress and growth for this entire thing,” said sophomore Katelyn Vos, who fills the historian role.
Along with classes, labs and FFA, students in the Ag Program have a chance to be involved an Ag related project, directed toward examining a possible Ag career, called a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE).“Ag Classes and FFA are two of the three components to any successful Ag Program, “ said teacher Ellie Rethmeier. “Classes provide students with knowledge and skills, and FFA provides them with an opportunity to showcase their skills and learn from experts inside and outside the classroom, while SAE gives them the opportunity to test drive an Ag career with their own personally developed project.”
All throughout the year, students who chose to be involved in FFA will be participating in many contests and conventions that are career and leadership oriented. Some of these events include National FFA Convention, Iowa State FFA Convention, and several sub-district, district, and state level contests.
Senior Ben Vos is looking forward to all the opportunities FFA has to offer. “The hands on approach of FFA is different than most classes offered at PC. I also look forward to participating in events that take place outside of school whether it be national and state convention, FFA banquet, or competitions,” said senior Ben Vos
Rethmeier is excited to see her students learn valuable life lessons and gain important leadership skills. “In life, we all find ourselves involved in some type of organization where we must be able to function as a professional and make decisions with others, “ said Rethmeier, “FFA allows students not only to showcase their skills, but also to understand how to be a committed serving member of something bigger than themselves.”