Jesup FFA Teaches About Agriculture
By Kristen Orth
With over five hundred careers to choose from, it’s easy to see that agriculture is one of the largest fields in the world. Like many members across the nation, Jesup FFA members have been working hard to spread the message about these aspects and how FFA and agriculture isn’t just about farming. May 25 provided the members the opportunity to teach junior high students from Bunger Middle School about the other areas in agriculture.
After a brief introduction, the students were divided into groups before heading off to the sessions. The classes were taught by the Jesup FFA officer team, with assistance from other agriculture students and FFA members. In total, four sessions were held, each dealing with a different side of agriculture.
In their session, chapter Secretary Chelsea Bearbower and Vice President Hannah Riensche led a horticulture session where students could learn about the different kinds of plants and what makes them grow. They got to plant several varieties of crops in latex gloves so they could watch them grow and also learned how to transplant sprouts.
Co-Reporters Allie Renner and Kristen Orth introduced the
students to the biotechnology side of agriculture where they helped the kids as
they extracted DNA from a piece of kiwi. They also discussed the importance and
presence of DNA in both humans and food.
Students got to learn about how food is made and processed in the Planet Pizza session, taught by President Lauren Riensche. The session followed curriculum that was full of interesting and useful knowledge and was provided by the Buchanan County Farm Bureau. In addition to learning fun and new facts, students also got to make a delicious mini pizza.
Finally, the last session gave the children an opportunity to learn about agricultural engineering as they learned how to use a GPS. Even though the weather wasn’t cooperative, Treasurer Luke Gosse and session leader wasn’t too upset.
“I think the kids still got a lot out of it, and that’s what really counts.” He replied with a smile when asked about it afterwards.
FFA members also had the opportunity to teach children about safety in many areas in agriculture on Farm Safety Day. The day was held on Friday, May 18 at Jesup Elementary School. FFA members were excused from their afternoon classes so they could teach the classes.
Patricia Maines, Sara Tonn, Mitchell Westpfahl, and Jacob Zuck taught Tractor Safety, where they showed kids the dangers of being around large farm equipment and what precautions they should take when around them.
In Grain Safety, taught by Luke Gosse and Lauren Riensche, children learned how to stay safe around grain bins, and what to do if they fell in. They also learned what it would be like to try and pull someone out of one.
Students learned how to have fun outdoors while protecting their skin in Sun Safety. Chelsea Bearbower, Kristen Orth, Allie Renner, and Katelyn Wellman talked about the importance of sunscreen, the dangers of tanning, and how the sun can damage the skin. At the end, children got to make bracelets with special beads that change color in sunlight.
“I love teaching about Sun Safety! It’s a really fun way to improve public speaking skills.” Chelsea Bearbower commented when asked about her experience.
FFA members also assisted in other sessions. Kelsey Block helped teach about germs and how you can’t always see them. Nyssa Gwin assisted in Animal Safety where kids learned how to properly approach unfamiliar animals.
The Jesup FFA members are always eager to talk about the many sides of agriculture and educate audiences of all ages. Members plan to continue teaching about the different fields in the future as they improve their public speaking skills and gain leadership experience.