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Prairie City News

FFA and Ag classes are more than just farming

As we come to a close on this holiday season, we come closer to having the school year’s end and the picking of next years classes. This brings questions to upcoming freshmen at the PCM High school and even middle schoolers as to what classes to take.

One thing often over looked is Agriculture classes and FFA. Most people will think that those classes aren’t important for their skills later in life, but in fact Ag classes and FFA can greatly change your life for the better. Ag classes can range from animal science to welding. In these classes you will learn about the main subject like animals for animal science, but you will also use mathematical applications, science, reading comprehension and business skills.

These skills can help you with managing things such as income or understanding what you are seeing on a graph, however it doesn’t end there. When taking Ag classes, you also have the opportunity to join FFA. FFA offers many more opportunities for students such as county fairs and leadership development events.

In these activities, you can do anything from showing animals, to giving speeches or even designing a website.

FFA’s main goal is to prepare students for their futures and that is exactly what parents want for their children.

One current student who is involved in Ag Department and FFA is Blake Van Der Kamp.

Van Der Kamp came to high school as a regular student at PCM who had no interest in agriculture, or even a farming background. All he wanted was to become an engineer and he decided to take a welding class in the Ag department during the fall of 2016. However, Van Der Kamp quickly realized that there was more that meets the eye and that FFA and agriculture aren’t just some farming thing.

He then continued to participate in FFA throughout the year and even decided to run for an officer position in the Diamond Trail FFA. By the end of the 2016-17 school year, Van Der Kamp had discovered his new profound love for FFA. Although he was initially discouraged by the thought of an Ag class, he realized that he was learning new things aside from just agriculture. He had learned things like leadership and independence from FFA.

“FFA has changed my life. It has made me a better leader and given me a better insight on what the meaning of Agriculture truly is,” Van Der Kamp said.

“FFA is more than just agriculture, it’s about learning how to be a grown individual that can take on any hardship and adapt quickly,” PCM student Allison Wood said. “Before FFA I thought I was mature and friendly, but when you are put in a room full of unfamiliar people, you learn to adapt and make friends. I have grown in my speaking and mechanical skills, and I have realized I’m interested in new things I wouldn’t dare to try before FFA.”

These are just two students of many that have been impacted by FFA and Ag classes, so will you be taking an Ag class during 2018?

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