Education

Budding FFA chapter at Clear Creek Amana High wins grant

District introduced FFA and agriculture curriculum this school year

Sophomore Jackson Tandy drops a soil sample as part of a soil structure lab during a Plant Science class at Clear Creek Amana High School in Tiffin on Friday, February 15, 2019. (Cliff Jette /The Gazette)
Sophomore Jackson Tandy drops a soil sample as part of a soil structure lab during a Plant Science class at Clear Creek Amana High School in Tiffin on Friday, February 15, 2019. (Cliff Jette /The Gazette)
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The FFA chapter at Clear Creek Amana High School, in its inaugural year, has been awarded a $2,500 grant to boost the new group and allow students to compete in state competitions this spring.

Farm Credit Services gave the award to the Tiffin high school chapter “to help fund the start up of a new FFA chapter,” according to a news release.

The largest youth organization in the country, FFA provides students opportunities to build leadership and skills in the agriculture sector, FFA adviser Alyssa Amelon said.

Amelon, who joined the Clear Creek Amana Community School District this school year, also teaches agriculture at the district’s high and middle schools.

“I think there was such a great interest in agriculture because there is a growing demand for people to go into agriculture in our state and in surrounding states,” she said. “There are over 300 different career areas within the agriculture industry, ranging from floral design, meat inspection and grading, agribusiness, biotech.”

Agricultural jobs have increased as technology has grown more complex, she said.

The new chapter has 42 students and Amelon said she emphasizes giving them hands-on experience. This month, a team of students are training for livestock judging, for example.

Extracurricular activities through FFA, formerly known as Future Farmers of America, dovetail with the district’s introduction of agriculture curriculum, Amelon added.

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“If we don’t have agriculture education, then the FFA is not as sustainable,” she said. “I think having a quality classroom structure is very important.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8330; molly.duffy@thegazette.com

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