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Future Farmers of America is about more than just farming

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 8:04 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - This week is National Future Farmers of America week. WTAP spoke with some members at Fort Frye High School to learn what it’s all about.

Some of FFA’s newest members are Fort Frye High School’s three-day-old chicks. They only skim the surface of the program’s agriculture education. Members compete in career development events and even practice public speaking.

Member Makenna Ong said, “My favorite part is bringing animals to the fair.”

Member Zachary Huffman said, “My favorite part is learning about animal systems and helping to make our agriculture better for future farmers of america.”

A sentiment echoed by all three students involved was appreciating the hands-on nature of the program.

Member Derek West said, “Mine’s pretty much having fun in the class, not just sitting at the desk.”

Fort Frye’s FFA is also big on community service. Students have put together veteran care packages, collected toys for kids, among other projects.

This high school’s program also supports small businesses.

FFA Advisor Abby Campbell said, “So when we’re raising an animal for the fair, we’re supporting local business by buying feed from Beverly Feed, buying an animal from a local farm…,”

One thing’s for certain, FFA isn’t just about farming.

Campbell said, “A lot of times when people think of FFA or they see the FFA emblem, they think instantly about the future farmers of america. Agriculture education is about so much more than just our future farmers. We have a growing world population, we have an increased awareness of environmental concerns and protecting our planet, we have an increased demand for food and making sure our animals are well taken care of.”

In fact, the program is shaping a future scientist.

Ong said, “One job that I want to go into is an embryologist, grading embryos, and having embryo transfers to help the industry of genetics of the animals that are letting America eat.”

Here’s to the future farmers, the future scientists, and the future helpers of America.

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