A coalition of local agriculture supporters including Bob Hatfield, Clay Leverall and Daron Bell spoke during the public comment portion of Thursday’s regular School Board meeting with the hopes of raising awareness about getting students interested in – and trained in – the field of agriculture.
Hatfield, who serves on the local Agriculture Advisory Board and works with the UK Extension Office, told the group that he has seen first-hand the benefits of FFA and agriculture education for students, and is willing to do his part to volunteer and try to increase the number of ag-related offerings at Grayson County High School.
Hatfield also explained that other local groups, such as the Cattlemen’s Association, are interested in supporting agricultural education for local students in any way possible.
Leverall, another member of the Agriculture Advisory Board, spoke to the fact that agriculture has come a long way in the past decades and students could benefit from a quality education that includes the science and computer aspects of the field in order to get ahead in the agriculture workforce once they graduate.
Bell, who manages Crop Production Services in Clarkson, went on to suggest that getting middle school students involved in agriculture would not only benefit the students while they are in school, but could prepare them to be on the cutting-edge as they search for jobs post-graduation.
“We can really have some good leaders coming out of our county,” Bell said.
Superintendent Barry Anderson thanked the group for their interest in local students and discussed the waning interest he has noticed in agricultural education among high school and middle school students during his tenure. He explained that this is likely the result of an increased number of overall options for students in other areas.
Anderson said that he hopes with community involvement, students’ interest in the area can be bolstered.
High School Principal Todd Johnston added that he would be more than happy to meet with Hatfield, Leverall and Bell to discuss ways to accomplish these goals.