One of my days during National FFA Week was spent with future FFA members. Wednesday at Prairie Heights High School, I spent the day with Kindergartners, First, Second, and Third Graders. Besides tying shoelaces and a small misfortune of throw-up, my morning was spent talking to the students about FFA. Along with two members we explained the different levels within the FFA, which include: Chapters, Districts, Sections, State, and National. We showed them the memorable blue jacket and a scrapbook of many FFA activities and events. After lunch I traveled to every rotation taking pictures and listening to the high school members teach about the farm animals on the school farm, the aquaponics lab in the greenhouse, ag. safety in the shop, the importance of GPS systems, and sharing with them the use of farm equipment.
The kids were always excited to learn about the steer and calf, they discovered how much quicker they grow than humans and what they are fed each day. Ag. safety was put into action when the kids had to wear safety equipment while learning about the equipment used within the shop. Recently the P.H. Chapter constructed an aquaponics lab. Members explained to the elementary students the process of raising fish and using their waste to fertilize and grow plants. When the students traveled to the greenhouse they practiced hose to use handheld compasses and read direction on a map. After mastering this skill they tacked understanding how GPS technology is used within agriculture. And the favorite of many was the tractor safety rotation. The parking lot was filled with tractors of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Each student got to see the equipment up close and personal by sitting inside and viewing the controls and technology within the cab.
Even though I have helped with Elementary Ag. Day the past four years at my home chapter, each year it amazes me how much the elementary students enjoy and learn from a short ten minutes at each station. And Wednesday I was reminded the joy of watching the kids take in this "small" hands on experience. Some have never seen a farm animal close, or even been around farm equipment. I'm glad we have had the opportunity to share agriculture and FFA with them each year during National FFA Week!