Students learn life on the farm

Published 8:10 pm Tuesday, March 24, 2009

By By MaryClaire Foster
Nearly 750 children from nine area schools were in attendance for Northview High School’s 14th annual Food for America Program on Friday.
The event, sponsored and hosted by the school’s chapter of Future Farmers of America, is a day to educate elementary school students about the role agriculture plays in their lives.
The FFA states that the purpose of the program is, “Agriculture affects all of us, including elementary students. With fewer Americans involved in agricultural production than ever before, most young people no longer have fathers or grandfathers that farm and consequently have no opportunity to see agricultural production firsthand.”
FFA member Lydia Weaver said the day is an up close and personal opportunity for the students to learn.
Stephanie Solari said the event is the organizations big project for the year and is prepared for for months in advance.
Students arrived at the event early in the morning and were led around to activity areas, which included seeing farm animals, learning about agriculture equipment and general agriculture information booths, by members of the FFA.
All but one of the animals on display were brought by members of the FFA.
FFA President Micah Byars said the day went smoothly and he was appreciative of the hard work everyone had put into it and for the community involvement.
Local fire departments and forestry representatives were also there to speak to children about safety in those areas.
Perry Byars, Northview High School FFA advisor, said the day is important for the community so that children can begin learning about agriculture early on.
Byars said that the school received a second-place award for their Food for America Program in last year’s state competition.
Participants in the event included the Northview FFA, Ernest Ward FFA, North Escambia Beekeepers Association, Escambia River Electrical Cooperative, Young Farmers and Ranchers, Pine Ridge Farms, Florida Division of Forestry, University of Florida- Milton, University of Florida/IFAS Extension, Walnut Hill Volunteer Fire Department, Century Fire Department, Northview 4-H, National Resource Conservation Service, Humane Society, Hendrix Tractor Company, Escambia County Farm Bureau and Stewart’s Grist Mill.
FFA officers are president, Micah Byars; vice president, Allison Vidak; secretary, Aimee Clark; treasurer, Jennifer Lowe; reporter, Lydia Weaver; sentinel, Stephanie Solari; parliamentarian, Wes Chancery; historian, Brittany Thompson and advisors, Perry Byars, Tommy Weaver and Jennifer Nobles.

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