Growing the Next Generation of Agriculturists

FFA Agriculture Literacy Committee smiles for a picture after visiting Longfellow Elementary School to teach the third-grade class about sheep production. Members from L to R: Cristen Bosch, Brooklyn Murrow, Myah Graves, Allison Blocker, Kodee Ohm, Jazzni Hembree, Gunner Pingleton, and Brynden Hunt.

Many FFA members can still remember what it was like wearing a green 4-H jacket instead of the blue corduroy one of the FFA. Others can remember a time when they had nothing to do with agriculture. Unfortunately, the number of kids who don’t know where their food comes from is growing. The Alva FFA Ag Literacy Committee is determined to change this statistic in Alva, Oklahoma. 

What originally started as a plan to check off another box for the FFA National 3-Star Award Chapter, has turned into so much more. Headed by Brooklyn Murrow, this committee is teaching second and third-grade students about agriculture in small town Alva. Once a month, FFA members travel to the elementary school to teach a certain ag-related subject. Some of these topics have included: pork, beef, plants and soil, and sheep. Each lesson is paired with a fun book and a hands-on activity. 

In November, Beef Month, students learned not only about meat production but also milk production. During this fun-filled afternoon, the students got to “milk a cow”

 (a large bucket with rubber utters attached). They also were able to observe various by-products that you would never think had anything to do with beef. January was another extra special month for the Ag Literacy Committee. The committee had decided to do their lesson on sheep and sheep production for the presentation. Myah Graves brought her newborn lambs to the third grade class for them to pet and play with.

The Agriculture Literacy Committee Head Brroklyn Murrow has this to say, “I believe it is important for us to teach kids about agriculture as we want them to know where our food comes from and how agriculture is one of the main supporting industries. I want them to learn all the hard work that it takes a farmer to produce those crops that they eat. I want the to know things don’t just magically appear on shelves for us to buy, I want them to know people are working around the clock in order to provide those necessities to the world’s population.” Coming from a farming family herself, she knows firsthand how much effort is put into feeding America. 

Upcoming Ag Literacy topics include horses and chickens. The chapter will end the year with Ag Day at the Farm in May, which will include a petting zoo, tractors, and various agriculture based stations at the Alva FFA Ag Farm. The Alva FFA plans to continue this project into next year and change agriculture knowledge in children, one interaction at a time.

Article courtesy of a fantastic Oklahoma FFA Reporter in Alva Oklahoma, Katelee Martin

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