Program Allows Students To Be Involved With Agriculture

Pictured are FFA member Lillian Johnson and FFA vice president Adelie Jackson. Clymer’s FFA Program has returned to a fully Clymer program after being merged with Sherman’s for a few years. Submitted photos

CLYMER — Clymer Central School’s Future Farmers of America program is back up and running after a few years of being combined with Sherman’s program.

Clymer’s agriculture teacher, Robert Slava II, brought the program back to being a fully independent Clymer program when he took the teaching position last year. He said he decided to bring it back to Clymer as they had enough members from the school — 23 active members ranging from seventh grade to seniors.

Slava said that having the FFA program back at Clymer is important to him and the community because in today’s world agriculture is being lost.

“We’re losing family farms,” Slava said. “This is a way for the students to be involved in agriculture without them necessarily being on the farm. A lot of the students’ moms, dads, grandparents, family members have been on the farm and these kids don’t have that anymore, so this is a way to fill the gap.”

Adelie Jackson, vice president of Clymer’s FFA, said students or parents of students should be interested in getting themselves involved because it teaches students about agriculture while the world is starting to lose that.

Fruit and cheese boxes ordered by the community for the FFA’s annual Fruit and Cheese sale.

“It gives children the opportunity to further be involved and learn about agriculture while the world is starting to get away from that,” Jackson said. “It’s important for us as a small town that revolves around agriculture. It teaches students important leadership skills and allows us to learn. It’s fun and an opportunity for social interactions. It’s a good program.”

FFA is a program that allows for students to get together and do social service interaction. Students compete at different levels and in different ways such as speeches, conduct of chapter meetings, reciting the FFA creed, and exploring different careers in agriculture. They also take part in different community activities, such as Clymer’s petting zoo that they do towards the end of each school year.

“We share our knowledge and show the community we are an active group,” Jackson said. “We are ambassadors for agriculture, and we reach out to the community to let them know what we do.”

The FFA program at Clymer recently competed in the districts competition last month. Three students are proceeding to the sub-states competition happening on March 18. Jackson said they are hoping to be able to continue on to states, and are also considering attending the state convention in May.

“We are a good group of students and we care about the program,” Jackson said. “There are no behavioral issues. It’s a group of smart kids. We have to work around sports, but we make it work and try to take part in any activities that we can do all together. We have the fruit and cheese fundraiser, and we sell meat sticks as well to raise money for our different activities and we do that together as a whole.”

Clymer FFA students preparing orders for the fruit and cheese sale.

Slava said the program also takes part in Ag Literacy Week, where students in the FFA read to the younger students and allow them to take part in an agriculture related activity. This year they are starting tomato plants. Ag Literacy Week is next week.

In the future, Slava said he hopes to see membership increase and continue to provide for the future of his students in the agriculture field.

“Basically we want to provide more opportunities for students,” Slava said. “We want to reach out to alumni in agriculture and mechanics fields and help prepare our students for the future.”

Students loading a truck with fruit and cheese sale orders. Submitted photo


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