Greenfield Middle School will be offering a new vocational agriculture program this school year.
The program will consist of a different semester-long class for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade classes. Students are eligible for membership in Future Farmers of America (FFA) beginning in the seventh grade.
“I can tell you it just fits into our culture,” said Greenfield Middle School Principal Jason Potts. “We are very agriculture based over here like all the other schools in Highland County, and we’re excited for the opportunity for kids to get to know a little bit more about their community and how agriculture plays into the world because it pretty much touches everything.”
Potts said the school has been contemplating adding the program for some time, and when the school’s Family Consumer Science teacher left the position, room was made for the new program.
“We talked about starting the program throughout the year last year because we have a pretty successful FFA program, and we’re trying to help feed into that,” said Potts.
The school hired Shelby Schelling to teach the classes.
“We’re going to be able to reach 100 kids, give or take, per grade level per year,” said Potts.
The school sent a notice to parents announcing the availability of the program and providing an opportunity to sign up for it.
“It’s a special, so I’m going to have to fill it no matter what,” said Potts. “Once the sign-ups are done, we’ll take the kids who need another special, and that’s what they are going to take.”
The first year of the program will consist of an introductory course exploring agriculture.
“Then we’re going to go into exploring food science, and then we’re going to go into exploring animal science for the eighth grade year,” said Potts. “They can still do some competitions that are going to be open to them.”
The classes will be held in a home economics classroom that includes a full kitchen.
“We want to do a lot of hands-on stuff so in exploring food science we will talk about the grain and then where it ends up,” said Potts. “Then the kids can cook something at the end.”
He said the goal of the program is to provide a hands-on experience for students.
“In high school they specialize a little bit more, and we want to give them that overall ag feel before they walk in over there,” said Potts. “We just want to be a good feeder program to the high school and really help continue our success over there.”
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.