(Frank) Today on Around Kansas Deb is at Royal Valley High School. Find out how one dedicated teacher and her students have revitalized the agricultural curriculum and brought back the FFA program. See what activities they have done, awards they have earned and grants they have received, all coming up next.Closed Captioning Brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission.
The Soybean Checkoff Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers.(Deb) Welcome to Around Kansas, I’m Deb Bisel and we’re visiting at Royal Valley High School today and with me is Kim Mitchell who has revived the agriculture program here at Royal Valley and the future of agriculture looks great right here in this room. (Kim) Yes it does. (Deb) You’ve got some wonderful students, so tell us what you’re doing with this program?
(Kim) We have a plant systems pathway here at Royal Valley, we offer Horticulture, Intro to Ag, Agriculture Business and Plant Soils Sciences and the students have the opportunity to take classes for 9th through 12th grade. I am also the FFA advisor and we go to all the different career development events and all the FFA opportunities throughout the state of Kansas. (Deb) Now FFA, many of us, you know when I went to high school back when dirt was white, the FFA was all boys pretty much. And it was the kids who grew up on farms and they just took ag classes in high
school and honestly they did a lot of goofing off because agriculture
seemed to be a lot simpler back then, but it’s a real science now isn’t it? (Kim) It is a real science, yes it is and I don’t know our exact
numbers but I would say in our FFA membership we have more females than males. (Deb) Wow. (Kim) In our classes we have more males than females.
All the students are not in it. Leadership wise, across the nation, it’s
about 50/50 in it females to males. The females are definitely a vital part in agriculture across the nation. The science part… science
involved, there is a lot of science involved. We work hard and hopefully we’ll have students that will be into all the different careers in agriculture. (Deb) And it’s a big business now. (Kim) It is a big business. (Deb) Again, keeping the business. You know I can remember my grandparents and you paid the fertilizer bill, you bought the seed and you know you had a horse. Really it was much simpler, for keeping the books but now when you’ve got mega bucks involved going in and going out, that’s a big piece of managing a farm. (Kim) A lot of people when they think about agriculture, they think about the farming side and the production agriculture, but there’s over 300 careers that are related to agriculture today. And careers that aren’t even invented yet. Anything from trying to improve the genetics to sales and marketing of our products.
Making our products better for our consumers. (Deb) Well this is of
course… agriculture is such a big piece of Kansas economy and has been for more than 100 years and we’re recognized, Kansas is recognized around the world for its excellence in agriculture, so these students have a big tradition to step in to don’t they? (Kim) They do. (Deb) And not only in Kansas, but here at Royal Valley. You guys have had a great tradition of really good ag students. (Kim) We are revitalizing a program this year, but up until 2005 we had agriculture education and FFA here at Royal Valley. We had a really strong and rich tradition. We had teams that went to nationals in land judging. We had awesome dairy cattle teams, livestock teams and so we’re trying to continue those traditions as well as build some of our own as we’re rebuilding this program that’s been shut down for eight years. (Deb) Well, that sounds like a great program. And if you guys will stay tuned we’re going to visit with some of the students that are making that happen, future agriculture leaders of Kansas. We’ll be right back.(Deb) Welcome back to Around Kansas. We’re at Royal Valley High School and with me is Patrick Broxterman and he is vice-president of the FFA chapter here at the high school. Welcome Patrick. (Patrick) Thank you.
(Deb) Great to have you. Now you recently had an ag leadership day that was sponsored by Farm Bureau is that right? (Patrick) Yep. (Deb) So what was the purpose of this? (Patrick) To get kids to see what life is out of high school and what you can do further in FFA. (Deb) So what can you do further? What kind of people did you bring in from the community?
(Patrick) We brought in some state officers from Manhattan. They were from… actually one was from Holton and one was from Jackson Heights.
They came in and spoke about what they did at the college and in state offices. (Deb) So the state offices in the Farm Bureau? (Patrick) Uh huh.
(Deb) And from the local community what kind of folks did you bring in?
(Patrick) We brought in Keith Colter, from…the manager at John Deere in Topeka at Heritage and we brought in Banner Creek who is the manager up there and we brought the We brought the manager of the Dennison State Bank of Holton. (Deb) Oh yeah banking is a big piece of farming isn’t it?
And the whole agriculture business, sure. So, how many students are in your FFA chapter. (Patrick) I think about 30 right now. (Deb) About 30.
And their interests… are there a lot of those students that are
interested in various fields and not just the farming? (Patrick) There’s
quite a few that want to go into Plant Soil Science or be a teacher in
that chapter or things like that. A farmer, a diesel mechanic, anything like that. (Deb) Wow, yeah mechanic another big piece of it. So what do you plan to do? (Patrick) I plan to go to college for John Deere at Pitt State through Heritage and become a diesel mechanic for them. (Deb) Wow, great. And do you plan to stay in Kansas? (Patrick) Yes, I do. (Deb) Good deal, we need to keep that talent in Kansas so we’re glad to hear that.
Now, at the end of the day you’ve got a grant from Farm Bureau on your Ag Leadership Day and what did you do with that money? (Patrick) We spent it on ten jackets for the FFA and to pay for the officers to come in and other people. (Deb) Great, so will this be annual event then? (Patrick) Yeah, we plan on doing it next year at the beginning, again. (Deb) Good deal. Well, good work Patrick thanks for visiting with us. We will follow your career. We’ll be back to interview in a few years again. Stay tuned.
We’ll be right back.
(Deb) Welcome back to Around Kansas we’re at Royal
Valley High School and with me is Jena Thurman O.K. this is the fun part when you actually get to plant things. So this is the part that I really like. So talk about the plants that are behind us and what you’ve been doing with those? (Jenna) With our horticulture classes we have done cuttings, different types of cuttings that we learned about from our textbook and I also applied for a grant from Sedco and we actually got the grant for $500 to… it’s a world hunger grant. And we went to the third grade classrooms and we helped them plant their own tomatoes, peppers and cucumber plants. So they could grow their own gardens and have fun foods to snack on at home. (Deb) That’s great. I bet they loved
that. (Jenna) So that ties into horticulture and agriculture and hunger awareness. (Deb) So, teaching people to grow their own plants. So, talk about what you do you know with the soil, the light. I understand you’ve got the plans for a greenhouse, but right now you’re just using the growing lights. (Jenna) Yeah, we’re using growing lights. Well we took the third graders plants back here to put under the growing lights, so they can grow more and so they don’t have to take the seeds home and plant them and then we’ll take them back there at the end of the year and give them back to them so they can plant them at home. The growing lights help us with… during the winter, we can do cuttings and grow plants
during the winter, instead of having to take them outside. (Deb) So, talk about the cuttings, what type of plants are you taking the cuttings from.
(Jenna) We did a Wandering Jew cutting and a Begonia cutting. (Deb) And what… do the kids get to do that too? (Jenna) Yeah, we do it in class.
In our horticulture class. (Deb) And I know that when I was growing up and did the cuttings you just stuck them in a glass of water in the window, is that what you do, what do you do with them? (Jenna) No, we cut them off a mother plant, you could say and then… some of them we put this growing stuff on to help them grow roots and then we dug in the soil in a pot and put them in there. (Deb) So, writing the grant was that a great learning tool, a great skill to have. (Jenna) Yeah, well actually my ag teach Miss Mitchell helped me. (Deb) That’s what they’re there for.
(Jenna) She kind of told me, she was like hey we should apply for a grant and I was right, until we found one and so we just applied for that grant.
It was pretty easy to write it and stuff. (Deb) Good. That’s a great
training tool. Now what do you plan to do in agriculture? (Jenna) I plan to be an ag teacher. (Deb) Great. Are you going to stay in Kansas? (Jenna) Yeah. I’m going to K-State. (Deb) Good deal. We like to hear that. Keeping all the talent in Kansas. Well, Jenna thanks so much for visiting with us
and good luck. Great start on the grant writing, there’s a great future in
that believe me. There’s so many funding sources out there you’ve really
got to have the skill set to tap into that, so that’s a huge piece of it.
And a great start working with the third graders, that’s wonderful.
(Jenna) Thanks. (Deb) We’ll be right back.
(Deb) Welcome back to Royal Valley High School and with me is Anna Pugh who is president of the FFA chapter here. Way to go Anna. (Anna) Thanks.
(Deb) So you are a senior this year and you didn’t get to participate in FFA throughout your high school years, you kind of made this happen didn’t you? (Anna) Yeah, we didn’t have… since Miss Mitchell said earlier, we didn’t have 2005 we haven’t had FFA at Royal Valley and even in middle school and I wanted it so bad and I was hoping and we would get it finally did my Senior year. Better late than never. (Deb) So why were you so keen on getting the FFA Chapter. (Anna) Well, I’ve grown up with 4H all my life. My sisters have been in it, my brother and then me. And agriculture is something I really like. I grew up on a farm as well. My parents are really involved in it and I know FFA had so many activities and opportunities I really wanted to be involved in that. (Deb) Now what has FFA done for you? (Anna) It has done a lot for me. I’ve gone out and I’ve spoke to several people about it, the community has been really supportive for it and we’ve done a lot of competition that I didn’t have the chance to participate in before. And I’ve just gotten to know the students better and everyone in the school has kind of stepped up and tried to help us promote this program. (Deb) I know that one of the things that the teacher mentioned was the parliamentary procedure that you learned, that again if you are going to go into a lot of the community activity that really comes in handy. (Anna) Oh yeah, it was definitely very difficult to learn, but we practiced before school and during seminar and sometimes after everyone got out of practice and work, we would come in and practice our parla, and we ended up taking third which we were
super happy about. But it’s helped me so much. I’m also the President of my 4H club so the parla has really helped me run the meeting correctly and know when people need to second or discuss and vote. (Deb) Good, very good. That will come in very handy. So what are you going to do with agriculture? (Anna) Well, I want to go to K-State, in the fall I’m going and major in their dietetics program to be a registered dietician. So some may not see that as being related with the ag, but it really is as well, because it is a lot dealing with foods and all that kind of ties together.
and so learning a lot in class with horticulture, all the different plants is going to help me with my career. (Deb) Now do you plan to stay in Kansas? (Anna) I do, definitely, I would like to stay here and help the people around this community. (Deb) Great. Now tell us about the farm that you grew up on? What kind of farm? (Anna) Well, it’s not too big, we just have around 80 acres. We have a lot of ponds and stuff. We just have smaller animals, we do a lot of chickens and ducks and guineas and that kind of thing. We don’t have livestock because my Dad got burned out on that when he was a kid. So we just have smaller animals (Deb) That’s a lot of work. (Anna) But they keep us busy and we enjoy them a lot. (Deb) So
what is your hope when you pass the baton for the FFA program at Royal Valley? What are you hoping it becomes? (Anna) Well, I know everyone is super excited about it right now, I just hope that we can get it built up a little more. I know there’s several people interested in FFA, so in the next couple years, I hope it just gets bigger and everyone is super excited and trying really hard with all the competitions we do. So just to keep it going and get good tradition going with the school. (Deb) Well, wonderful and good luck to you. We’ll be following your career as well and thanks so much Anna and good luck. (Anna) Thanks. (Deb) Thank you. We’ll
be right back.
(Deb) What a great way to wrap our visit to Royal Valley High School with Anna Johnson and Anna has been very involved with career development and FFA and what career are you going into? (Anna) I am going into Feeding Grain Science at K-State. (Deb) Wow and you just won the dairy judging competition? (Anna) Dairy cattle, yes, that was in October. I got first for B team. (Deb) Great, so tell me about the career development what does that mean, what are you going? (Anna) Well, career development events are called CDE’s. We’ve done poultry, meats, horse, dairy, livestock, parliamentary procedure, land judging and flora culture. We have five plaques and we’ve had great success in all of them.. (Deb) That’s wonderful. So what made you pick that aspect of FFA involvement? (Anna) Well, I just feel that…I was raised on a small farm and I know I’ve done judging events throughout my childhood and I know a lot about it and I feel like I can do good in that. (Deb) And judging the dairy cattle, what was the challenge in that? What in the competition I guess, how do they judge the judges, what was involved in that? (Anna) Well, on a dairy cow you’re going to look at their udders, and you’re going to look at the smoothness, just an all around strong animal. And you want to have great femininity also. (Deb) Great femininity, really? (Anna) Yes, they are girls. (Deb) Gosh, a little eye shadow? (Anna) Yea, and some lipstick.
(Deb) Yeah, a little lipstick. Great. And did you grow up doing that?
(Anna) No, I actually grew up judging beef cattle. (Deb) So this was a new experience? (Anna) Yeah, that was completely new and I’d just learned about it weeks before, so it was pretty… it was good. (Deb) Now what year are you in school? (Anna) I’m a sophomore. (Deb) A sophomore. Oh my gosh, so you’ve got a great career ahead of you. (Anna) Yes. (Deb) And where do you plan to go to college? (Anna) K-State. (Deb) K-State. Hey, we should get commission from K-State or something. All these kids what a great… you’re going to be one of the top students when you get there, because by the time you leave here as a senior you’re just gonna have run
everything, won’t you? (Anna) Yes, hopefully. (Deb) So talk about what the FFA program has meant to you? (Anna) Well, it really opens up your ideas to agriculture and helps promote it in our community. We have a small community and throughout since 2005 it has been kind of low key for agriculture. And ever since we have opened up FFA it’s made it just flourish throughout. And small farmers, it’s really helped get the name out for small farmer like I know me, as a small farmer and all my fellow members it’s really helped. (Deb) That’s wonderful. Are your parents tickled about this? (Anna) Oh, they love it. (Deb) They’ve got to be.
They’ve just got to be thrilled. (Anna) Yeah. I’ve always wanted it.
Since I as a kid, just wanted it. And then when they told us I was so
happy. (Deb) Well, that’s wonderful. Well you are really fortunate to have an instructor like Miss MItchell. (Anna) Oh yeah, she’s meant everything to us. (Deb) That’s great. What a great time we’ve had visiting with students and teachers at Royal Valley and like I said we’re going to keep following their careers. We’ll see you next time on Around Kansas.
Closed Captioning Brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission the Soybean Checkoff Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers.