POINT PLEASANT — The Future Farmers of America (FFA) program at the Mason County Career Center is thriving — and showing no signs of slowing down.
Sam Nibert, agriculture instructor at the career center, reported there are several items of public interest in the FFA program. Most recently, students have been working in their greenhouse, planting various plants, including flowers, vegetables, and herbs. Nibert stated the flowers that are being grown will decorate the city of Point Pleasant, through the “Point Pleasant in Bloom” organization. This is also the first year the FFA program will be selling plants, vegetables and herbs to the public.
“It’s a service for the community and the proceeds go back into the greenhouse,” Nibert said. He added that they will soon be open for business, and they will also be selling items such as potting soil and hanging baskets.
Several students commented about the new business, and the opportunities it has created for the FFA program.
“I think it’s a good way to get FFA students to work in the greenhouse, and it’s a good fundraiser,” said FFA student Josh Mattox.
Jack Joyce reported that opening for business is not only a good way to teach them about the business side of agriculture, but how to work and reap the rewards. Evan Wilson also talked about how they’re creating their own entrepreneurship, and that it will be nice to have some extra money.
Another upcoming event in the FFA program is the Agricultural Science Fair on April 17. Two groups of students shared their projects with the Point Pleasant Register. Jordan Muncy’s and Kaitlyn Dunn’s project consisted of covering tomato plants with different colored sheets to see if that affected the temperature of the soil. The different colors included black, white, green and blue. Muncy and Dunn reported they test the soil three times daily, and they had started their project three days earlier. They reported that so far, the soil under the black sheet was the coolest, and the uncovered plants were the warmest.
Erin Kidwell and Kyra Riffle also talked of their agricultural project. Kidwell and Riffle took six Allium Purple Sensation plants and placed them in different ways in the soil, to see if it affected the way the plants grew. They reported that one plant was planted upside down, one sideways, and one right side up. There was no news yet as to how the different placements affected the growth of the plants.
Nibert reported if any of the students win at the science fair on April 17, they get to compete at the state level in July, and if they win at the state level, they get to compete at the national level in October. He added that there have been students in the past who have competed at the national level, and first place is a $15,000 scholarship, which shows time in the FFA program can be well worth the effort.
Some other upcoming events for the FFA program are FFA week and the Agriculture Hall of Fame. Nibert stated this area is very big on agriculture and some people who work in this area may not always get the proper recognition. More will be reported on the Hall of Fame as information becomes available. Also, stay tuned to the Point Pleasant Register for more coverage of the upcoming FFA week at the Mason County Career Center.