FFA takes learning beyond classroom

Students compete in hands-on agriculture experiences.


Jedea Cook

FFA grows ferns in the greenhouse. In the past, their plants and flowers have been sold as a fundraiser for their program.

Jedea Cook, Staff Writer

The Future Farmers of America team competed at Upson Lee high school and Fort Valley high school Feb. 27 and Feb. 28. These students went in representing Wildlife and Nursery Landscape, Poultry Evaluation. With the help of Tyler Huff, agricultural teacher, the students were able to compete were prepared and excited for their group contest.

“The first CDE I went to was nursery and landscaping and that consisted of identifying plants, identifying disorders that were in plants, evaluating landscape drawing and a practicum, which is just a general knowledge test about plants. We did the four of those then we were scored as a team,” Courtney Bixby, sophomore, said.

Students came from many different regions to compete in the national event, and Ola’s team grew in experience because of the fresh ideas generated. After the competition, Bixby realized she wanted to continue FFA.

“FFA has been a really really good opportunity with leadership activities. Public speaking has always been something i’ve been good at, so when I go out and do these oral presentations, it’s

Jedea Cook
The green house consists of so many different flowers, seedlings, and scrubs. Students were able to gather there and work on planting and identifying plants.
 Jedea Cook
Courtney Bixby, sophomore, enjoys planting in the greenhouse with peers. Being in the competition, she’s had lots of practice with the shown vegetation.
 Jedea Cook
Out in the greenhouse, Huff and his student water the in growing plants.
With other plants in mind, he watered the ones in need.

like preparing me for when I get older. I’m doing speech pathology so speaking is a big part of what I want to do,” Bixby said.

Huff assigned four students to each group competing. Students, in all grades, competed in Poultry Evaluation, Wildlife and Nursery Landscape. Each group varied based on how well the students cooperated in different standards.

“Basically they have to go in and look at specific examples, so for the nursery landscaping they have to go and look at plants and they have to identify what type of plant it is. Some of the plants have diseases and disorders and they have to identify what each one of those are,” Huff said.

Since starting out in FFA, Ashleigh Ellis, freshman, enjoys the class and what it is all about. The group carries out a majority of activities with the teacher and primarily contains information that can help with future career opportunities.

“Mr. Huff is an amazing teacher, he’s very laid back, and he can give you work but it’s not too hard where you won’t be able to figure it out,” Ellis said.

Anyone, who wants to join, is welcomed to apply, but students have to be willing to stand spotlight.

“Even though we do competition and learn about stuff, normally people say that is boring, but you learn about stuff that is interesting and you’re actually going to use it,” Ellis said.