One of the goals of the FFA (Future Farmers Of America) is to help each member develop leadership skills as they reach out to youth, peers and their entire communities by sharing the world of agriculture. Members of the Meyersdale Chapter of FFA held a special outreach effort on March 6 as they presented their annual Food for America program to fourth grade students in the District.
According to Mrs. Doreen Jamison, FFA Chapter Advisor, the chapter has been presenting this program for more than 10 years and focuses on agricultural literacy and helping the younger students understand where the food comes from that they enjoy each day.
“The Food for America program is a great way for FFA members to teach the younger generation about agriculture and where their food comes from,” she explained.
FFA students planned and presented lessons on the steps our food products go through to get to our table; the numerous jobs our food needs create; and the many products that come from corn, potatoes, apples, and milk.
The presentations were led by Abby Shuck, Chapter Vice-President. She was assisted by several members as they met with each class of fourth grade students.
“Food for America is a program where we focus on teaching the fourth grade about potatoes, corn, milk, and apples. The goal is to expose kids to more agricultural aspects and teach them about how their food is grown and processed before they get to enjoy it,” she explained.
Shuck said the students were attentive and enthusiastic, especially when they were able to enjoy a variety of snacks at the end of the lesson, generously provided by Snyder’s of Berlin and Gallikers.
“For example, during the section where we discussed apples, we went over parts of the apple, stages of the apple growth cycle, and finally jobs that deal with apples. Some fun activities the kids participated in was a game where they felt into a box without seeing the object inside and having to guess what the object was. We placed yogurt, to represent the milk; apple sauce, to represent the apples; canned corn, to represent corn; and finally a plain potato.”
Shuck said the FFA members get as much enjoyment out of this project as do the younger stuidents.
“I think the members do enjoy this project because it’s fun to be interactive with the younger kids. Also it’s fun to see how enthusiastic they all are to learn about something the FFA is so passionate about, which is agriculture,” Shuck added.