AHS chapter observes FFA Week

Without agriculture, people all over the world wouldn't have food or most of their clothing or shelter.

That makes the industry worthy of a weeklong observance every year in Adam Joslin's eyes.

The first-year agricultural education teacher at Adairsville High said he doesn't know if the school's Future Farmers of America chapter has celebrated National FFA Week in the past, but "we plan on celebrating it every year from now on." 

"Most ag programs plan some type of activities during the week as a way to promote their program and overall promote the importance of agriculture to others in the community," he said. "Agriculture is the largest industry in Bartow County; it's the largest in Georgia, the United States and the world. Agriculture is where we get all of our food and most of our clothing and shelter. I think that makes it pretty important."

Joslin also said society has changed from "most people living on a farm to now only 1 to 3 percent of people actually living and working on a farm."

"This creates a challenge for this small percent of our society to produce enough food, fiber [and] shelter for the world's growing population," he said. "Agriculture has moved from everyone working on a farm to supporting these farmers by improvements in technology, biotechnology and support in marketing agricultural products."

The 130 ninth- through 12th-graders who belong to Adairsville's FFA chapter this year got to learn about different areas of agriculture during National FFA Week Feb. 17-24.  

The members heard presentations from Tona Morgan of the Bartow County Farm Bureau, Jordan Thompson of the Bartow County Lions Club, Tom Canada from Northwest Georgia Woodturners, beekeepers Victor Halbgewachs and Mike Roshaven and county extension agent Paul Pugliese during the week of activities.

"The speakers did a great job of presenting their material to the students," Joslin said. "Mr. Canada demonstrated how to use a lathe and gave away some of the tops he made in front of the students. Mr. Pugliese talked about the types of agriculture that is produced and marketed in Bartow County. He also talked about facts and myths about what is in the food we eat. Mr. Roshaven did a great job of explaining how to start a beehive and went into many problems that are facing the industry today. Bartow County Farm Bureau brought lots of brochures and treats for students, from pencils to honey to sample."

Besides making the spinning tops, Canada said he also "displayed a few examples of turned items for the students to observe."

"I would like to see the school system add the programs back that gave the students a program that they could build some hands-on skills that might be of a benefit later in life," he said, noting most club members "showed an interest" in his presentation.

Members also attended the local Lions Club meeting to "promote AHS FFA and talk about possible ways to partner to help build a trail for the blind at Dellinger Park," and the pre-K students at AHS "came by the greenhouse to help plant for the Spring Plant Sale," which will be later this year, he said.

And several members visited Riley’s Menswear to get measured for their official FFA jackets, he added.

Joslin said the mission of FFA is to "make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education."

"There are over 650,000 student members nationwide," he said. "FFA grows leaders, builds communities and strengthens agriculture."

In addition to FFA Week, the AHS agriculture program "goes beyond classroom instruction by competing in realistic and hands-on career-development events," Joslin said.

This year, students have competed in land judging, tractor operations, environmental natural resources, lawnmower operations, electrical wiring, public speaking, wildlife management, livestock judging and FFA Quiz.

"We have also visited the FFA camp for two different leadership weekend retreats," the instructor said. "We are working on completing a community-service project."

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