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West Stanly FFA members teach students during Ag Day

The West Stanly High School FFA students hosted fifth graders from Stanfield and Oakboro STEM schools as a part of Agriculture Day.

The elementary students were divided into groups of about eight and rotated through 10 agriculture stations. Eighth-grade students from West Stanly Middle School toured in the afternoon.

Each of the stations featured different aspects of agriculture: forestry, natural resources, soil, poultry, cattle, equine, farm equipment (a hay stacker and a cotton picker), swine, small ruminants (sheep and goats) and leadership/FFA.

Coley Whitley teaches students about the spindles on a John Deere cotton picker during Ag Day at West Stanly High School.

The majority of the stations were around the school’s barn and greenhouse.

“We want to educate the students about agriculture first and foremost,” said senior Cristina Sells, the president of the school’s FFA group.

The FFA students also want to “advocate for agriculture and teach them how diverse it can be.”

West Stanly’s FFA group is comprised of 25 students. FFA stands for Future Farmers of America, which was the group’s original name until it was changed to National FAA Organization in 1988.

The students learned about body parts of the animals and different breeds, such as the beef and dairy breeds of cows.

The animals consisted of a donkey, two goats and sheep, 12 baby chicks housed in an incubator, a few cows and the school’s pig, Daisy.

The students also learned why soil is critical to the planet and toured the school’s greenhouse where they learned about various plants.

West Stanly had participated in Ag Days in the past, but for many of the FFA students and their adviser, this was their first time.

“It’s important that children understand what takes place because agriculture provides so much for us,” said Natalee Rogers, agriculture teacher and FFA adviser.

“The overall goal is to make the students aware of agriculture and the different opportunities within the industry that they can potentially pursue a career in,” Rogers said.

Rogers hopes to make Ag Day an annual tradition and wants to increase the number of schools that participate.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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