Future Farmers of America: Inspiring Students Through Agricultural Education


Kelly Finnegan, Reporter

     All across America, students are receiving different tools to help them succeed in their life after high school and college. The Future Farmers of America, or FFA, gives students the chance at hands-on tasks that supply them with the knowledge to go into the right career path for them.

    FFA is both a program and a class at Durango High School.

    The teacher and adviser, Gina Baker, has been apart of the FFA for many years. “I’ve been in FFA since I was thirteen, I was in it all the way through high school and all the way through college. I just always wanted to be an Ag. (agriculture) teacher. It always interested me,” said Baker.

    The class consists of lessons that pertain to a certain career type. “All of my classes revolve around plants and animal science,” said Baker.

    This type of education helps students prepare for careers in real life, and gives them the extra proficiency that they can use in college.

    “I wanted to get involved in FFA in the school. I have a huge history with animals so I thought it would be cool to learn a little bit more,” Said DHS sophomore,Joshua Tischendorf said.

    DHS 10th grade student, Maddy Mortimer is looking into the Veterinarian career path. “What made me want to join this class was that I thought the whole Veterinarian science was really cool and it is just a really good experience,” said Mortimer.

    The class gives students a chance to grasp the different situations they would be involved in during their future careers.

    As a program, they participate in different competitions. There are two types of the competitions.

 The first is LDE: Leadership development events.These include job interviews and preparing students with skills that teach you how to approach careers and job opportunities.

    The second competition is the career development event, which goes with hands on events, specific to a certain career in the FFA or Agriculture field.

    “On a normal day we go through certain procedures in a regular vet office,” said Mortimer. “Going over breeds and stuff like that,” Joshua added. Students receive help from their teacher, Ms. Baker, who shows them what they need through lessons, outside resources, and also hands on work with the animals they take care of within the school.

    “We do goof around a lot but we’re all ready to be productive at the same time and we know when we need to get to work,” said Maddy.

    Many of the students also find information from their peers in the class.

    “We all know each other so it’s not hard to go up and talk to someone about what you need,” said Joshua.

    The class requires a lot of dedication from the students, if they are aiming for a career that this class can help them with.

    Not many students at DHS take part in the competitions, however.“I have about 20 students actively involved and about 70 in the class,” said Baker.

   Not only does FFA create a foundation for young adults, but it also teaches them life lessons  and builds them up for life after high school and beyond.