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franklin county times

Red Bay High School holds annual Ag Day

Red Bay High School held its annual Ag Day activities March 3.

With students from the agriculture and Family and Consumer Science departments presenting and demonstrating, groups of students visited a number of different educational stations during the day to learn about everything from the importance of proper safety methods with farm and welding equipment to growing plants in a greenhouse. They competed to see who could haul hay faster and had the opportunity to visit horses, goats, chickens, a calf, a turkey and even a chinchilla.

“It’s a good opportunity for our agriscience students to showcase what we do here,” explained RBHS ag teacher Jarod Massey, “as well as some of what they do at home. It’s an excellent chance for our elementary students to get an idea of the importance of agriculture.”

“It’s been a really fun day introducing the elementary kids to the Family and Consumer Science classes,” added RBHS FACS teacher Sherry Hutcheson. “My students and I prepared more than 500 cupcakes for the occasion, and that’s definitely been a highlight of the day.”

Massey said the event couldn’t be held the past two years because of COVID-19 safety precautions, and both he and the students have been eagerly anticipating resuming the special day of activities.

“We’re excited to get this started again,” he said. “It’s something we always look forward to getting to do.”

He explained it’s also a chance for his older students to practice speaking to an audience.

“Speaking to the elementary students helps them learn about organizing and taking charge, as well as how to better present information in a way that makes sense and is engaging for the audience,” Massey said. “I’ve seen a lot of improvement in the ones doing presentations just over the course of this one day.”

For RBHS student Callie Kelton, the yearly event is something to looks forward to each year. “I wish we could do this every day. It’s a lot of fun, and I love the chance to interact with younger students and explain about what we’re learning and doing and why it matters.”

FFA member and RBHS senior Jaycee Davis agreed it was an event not to be soon forgotten. “Today has been a great experience. Seeing their faces as they get in the soil and dirt and help plant has been incredibly rewarding.”

Ninth-grade FFA members Raegan Borden and Anna Richardson contributed to the day’s activities by explaining what FFA is all about. “Our goal is to inspire kids to want to learn more and, hopefully, to want to join FFA.” It’s also been a confidence-booster.  “As we’ve continued explaining to groups about how FFA impacts people, it has also helped me learn to be more confident when talking in front of a group of people,” explained Richardson.

For Franklin County 4-H Foundation Regional Extension Agent Austin Blankenship, what makes the day so special is how the educational component is made exciting.

“Introducing agriculture concepts to younger youths is rewarding as well as important, both for their general understanding of the world as well as how it might inspire their future career choices,” Blankenship said.

Massey said it takes a lot of people to make it all happen year after year.

“We’d like to thank everyone who’s been involved in helping this event be so successful yet again,” he said, “and we are already looking forward to and planning for what we will do next year.”