Two new classes will be added to Fayette’s agricultural program for the next school year.
Ag classes were reëstablished in the district for the 2006-07 school year and a pair of agribusiness classes will be added next year.
The new agribusiness II class will be available for seniors who have taken the introductory course. Students typically participate in off-campus work related experiences.
“I think it’s exciting the way the ag program is growing,” said board of education member David Brinegar at the Feb. 18 meeting.
He was curious why FFA membership is required in order to enroll in agriculture classes and he wondered if some students are reluctant to enroll in the classes because they don’t want to join FFA.
Ag teacher and FFA advisor Pam Wise said the club is actually a draw because students want to join.
“It opens up possibilities and experiences they might not have otherwise,” Wise said, including many out-of-the-classroom activities.
But if kids want to do it, Brinegar said, why require it? Several people spoke about the benefits of the program.
“The self-esteem growth is astounding,” said resource teacher Suzette Boesger.
She’s witnessed individual growth in students that she doesn’t believe would have happened otherwise.
“It’s also a good way to reach kids who aren’t academically inclined,” said counselor Geoffrey Gilmore, adding that in his experience, it’s an honor to put on the jacket.
FFA activities often give those students a way to show off their abilities out of the regular classroom setting.
Maybe the concept should be expanded, Brinegar said. If a student enrolls in an art class, for example, then membership in an art club would be required.
That might be good for students, Gilmore said, but the logistics to make it work would be a chore.
“I think you’re doing good things with the program,” Brinegar told Wise.