FFA grow­ing ca­reers in green­house

Imperial Valley Press - - FRONT PAGE - DEL­GADO PHOTO BY ED­WIN DEL­GADO Staff Writer

EL CEN­TRO — The chap­ter of Fu­ture Farm­ers of America here is step­ping up its agri­cul­ture ed­u­ca­tion after un­veil­ing its new green­house, a project that has been in the works for a year at South­west High school.

The new green­house will al­low the El Cen­tro FFA stu­dents to grow dif­fer­ent types of plants and ex­pe­ri­ence the sci­ence be­hind grow­ing crops.

“It’s an­other form of hands on learn­ing, they’ll learn by do­ing stuff in per­son and th­ese kids learn the most by learn­ing a skill and then ap­ply­ing it,” said FFA teacher Kristin Mayo. “We’ve talked about it for a long time but get­ting that hands on ex­pe­ri­ence, it’s just un­real.”

El Cen­tro FFA, which had its first Agri­cul­ture Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee meet­ing of the year Thurs­day, took the op­por­tu­nity to invite guests to tour the green­house.

“It makes me re­ally ex­cited be­cause we’ll be get­ting plants grow­ing in the green­house,” said El Cen­tro FFA Pres­i­dent Julissa Reyes. “It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing. We’ll re­ally ben­e­fit from it.”

The project has been in the works for the last three years when then-school prin­ci­pal Danette Mor­rell ap­proached Mayo to in­form her of the pos­si­bil­ity the school could be awarded an in­cen­tive grant through Ca­reer Tech­ni­cal Ed­u­ca­tion. Since then, school and district ad­min­is­tra­tors have worked to­ward the goal of set­ting a green­house for the FFA pro­gram.

In ad­di­tion to the green­house, the pro­gram will get a shaded area next to the green­house which will be used for Hor­ti­cul­ture - as plants ma­ture and grow they’ll be moved out­side for more space and will al­low the stu­dents to trans­plant them into big­ger pots.

The pro­gram is fi­nal­iz­ing the list of plants to be grown in the green­house. Mayo said that to start they will prob­a­bly be­gin with to­ma­toes, dif­fer­ent types of peppers as well as suc­cu­lents some­time in Oc­to­ber. Part of the goal is to have the stu­dents mar­ket and sell the crops they grow and to also get a glimpse of the agri­cul­tural busi­ness as­pect.

Reyes said she is ex­cited to learn more about the cul­ti­va­tion of plants and even more in­ter­ested in mat­ing them.

“Get­ting to ex­plore other as­pects of agri­cul­ture is such a good learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” said El Cen­tro FFA vice pres­i­dent Malei Tip­ton. “A lot of the kids are ex­cited be­cause we’ve never had an op­por­tu­nity like this be­fore.”

Last year, FFA stu­dents were able to start work­ing on a gar­den on cam­pus in which they grow a va­ri­ety of crops.

In the fore­see­able fu­ture, FFA will also team up with culi­nary arts pro­gram stu­dents, to cre­ate some­thing sim­i­lar to a farm-to-ta­ble pro­gram.

Agri­cul­tural pro­grams such FFA and 4-H are vi­tal in agri­cul­tural com­mu­ni­ties such as the Im­pe­rial Val­ley, not just to help stu­dents un­der­stand more about the in­dus­try but also to en­sure the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try of the Val­ley con­tin­ues to thrive.

“It’s a bless­ing to be a part of this com­mu­nity and we need this com­mu­nity to sus­tain and grow, so we’re hop­ing that this class helps en­able that process,” Mayo said dur­ing the meet­ing.

Mayo talks about the main fea­tures of the Green­house dur­ing a tour to a small group on Thurs­day in­clud­ing SHS Prin­ci­pal Matt Phillips (left). ED­WIN DEL­GADO PHOTO

SHS FFA Teacher Kristin Mayo ac­com­pa­nied by some of the El Cen­tro FFA of­fi­cer (back­ground) talks about the main fea­tures of the Green­house dur­ing a tour on Thurs­day. ED­WIN

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.