(Photo: Samantha Rosales Sandpaper)

(Photo: Samantha Rosales Sandpaper)

(Photo: Samantha Rosales Sandpaper)

Do You Know What Ag Does?


    Have you ever wondered what students were doing in Ag, or what students thought of it? Well now you will.

    The students do a lot of outside and inside work. The students also go and help when there are events and fundraisers. One event that recently past is the Panda Express fundraiser, one big  upcoming event would be, the pumpkin patch. Now, on the weekends, the students would come and help clean up the farm instead of begin home the entire day. There is also meetings that students must go to, but students can miss two days when there are meetings. If they missed more than two days, then they will be excluded from FFA because they are not participating.

    You might ask what FFA is, well the meaning of FFA is, Future Farmers of America. FFA is not only for students that want to be be a farmer but it also helps students to become a teacher, doctor, scientist, business owner, and other careers. FFA will teach students about agriculture, leadership, and personal growth. FFA also has a leadership President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Reporter, Sentinel, and Historian. Another important thing from FFA is the SAE project. SAE stands for Supervised Agricultural Experiences. SAE is a project for students to come in March, and take care of the animal they choose, they will then take them to the AV fair ground and the judges will see who has the better animal than anyone else.

    The SAE project, about 18 students from Ag will come during the summer to raise the livestock. The kinds of animals that students can take care of is a goat, lamb, pig, steer. When the students come and take care of the livestock, the goats, lamb, and pigs are aged around 6 months old, then the steer are 2 years old. The students feed, walk, clean the pens, do practice shows,  and weigh the livestock. Students are required to come twice a day, every day for 6 months to take care of the livestock, but if the student chooses to take care of a steer then they will have to care for them for ten months. Kids must spend their own money to take care of the livestock, but if the student doesn’t have enough money, then they can take a loan, and of course they have to pay them back. Students will start caring for the animals in March then on the 17th of August, they start to bring in the livestock to the fair ground, they are there before the fair even opens. Then on the 24th of August is the auction day.

    Since there are people that raise the livestocks, then there are students that also present the animals for auction day, they are called “Showmanship”. What showmanship do at the event is, present the animal, they also show how the student was handling the livestock. Showmanship present the animals almost like a dog show. Then there is market, market is how the animals look, the kind of meat quality, also the amount of time the student was with the animal to take care of them. Also in the auction day the student that raised the animals are competing against other FFA students from different places. Students can win the Grand Champion or Reserve Champion from what animal they were raising. A showmanship can also get 1st place. This year AVHS took home 12 out of the 16 belt buckles.

    Now for the pumpkin patch. What will the pumpkin patch be about and what will you do in this event? “ Well the pumpkin patch is when we bring in about 600 to 700 kindergarten students, the kindergarteners can do different kinds of activities”. “The kinds of activities that we have is the Petting Zoo (with 7 goats and 1 llama), coloring, games, and more, we will also give out pretzels for the children”, said Miriam. The pumpkin patch will be a two day event, it has 7 to 8 activities. The students will teach the kindergarteners about the life cycle of a pumpkin, they will also give out small pumpkins for the children to take home. Every year the event is changed a little differently so that the event doesn’t look the same every year. The kinds of decorations are strings of webs up on the tree, welcoming signs, and any kinds of fall decorations.

    Two of the last events were the Ice cream social, about fifty students came. The students learned about the four benefits of FFA, travel, experience, money, and leadership development. Then the other event that past is the Panda Express fundraiser, the students were to buy something and give their receipt to Ms. Granicy. This fundraiser will help the FFA raise money, after the students in Ag will get points for participating. Then  there will be FFA meetings, after that, there will be Saturday farm clean ups. When the pumpkin patch is over, there will be another big event,  the christmas fundraiser, the students will sell christmas trees.

    Now for what the students think of AG. “ We get to experience the farm life, not only do we get to do hands on work, but we get to learn a lot about agriculture and plant life and also animals, there is a lot of flies, but you will have a lot of fun here” said Eliana.

Adviana M. said “ what I like is that we get to work with animals, that I get to have my friend in my class”.

“ It is a cool class, we have two pet bunnies, and we work outside more than any other class, but the bad thing is that class is off campus”, said Miriam.

    Now you know what students in Ag do, what they think,  and what events will happen.

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