The Grayson County High School FFA chapter held its annual Parent-Member Awards Banquet on Thursday, April 18 in the GCHS cafeteria.
The event rewards students enrolled in FFA and agricultural classes for their participation in events and projects throughout the school year, said GCHS Agriculture Teacher and FFA Co-Faculty Advisor Jessica Pharis.
Pharis discussed a number of new projects taken on by the GCHS ag. department and FFA chapter in the 2012-2013 school year. Such projects included students’ growing vegetables, such as lettuce and tomatoes, for the GCHS cafeteria, and the start of a new aquaculture class, in which students grow koi fish, and a floral design class, Pharis said.
Several members of the Grayson County (and Kentucky, as a whole) agricultural community attended the Awards Banquet to either present awards or give speeches, including Western Kentucky University (WKU) Associate Professor of Agronomy (Plant Science) Paul Woosley, B.S., M.S., Ph.D; University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Agent Jack Ewing; Chairman of the Agricultural Education Advisory Committe Clay Leveronne; and GC Agriculture and Recreation Board member Daron Bell.
FFA, which formerly stood for Future Farmers of America, promotes agricultural education among students, and all students who wish to participate must enroll in an agriculture class.
The GCHS FFA Chapter had 125 members for the 2012-2013 school year, five of whom were seniors, according to Vice-President of GCHS FFA Kaleb Haycraft.
Pharis said enrollment in GCHS agriculture classes (about 250) and FFA has increased in the past year, which she feels is correlated to the push for more career-oriented educational opportunities.
“A lot of these kids [in FFA] would rather go to a two-year trade school than a four-year college,” Pharis said. “A lot are interested in the WKU Ag. program and the Murray [State University] Ag. program.”
Pharis said she and co-FFA faculty advisor and fellow ag. teacher Brian Newton appreciate their students’ hard work and hope to have even more students next year, “so we can give more awards away.”