SPRINGFIELD, Mo, — Hillcrest High School is currently the only Springfield School that offers the Future Farmers of America (FFA) program.
At their chartering ceremony, a few people said that the program is much more than just agriculture.
“We have a lot of veterinary science that comes out of this, we have a lot of scientists that come out of this,” said Sharon Blauvelt, the FFA advisor at Hillcrest High School. “They do a lot of speaking events. It’s kind of like speech and debate.”
President of Inaugural FFA and Senior at Hillcrest, Madison Edmonson, says she wants to be an agriculture lawyer.
“Public speaking and speech and debate, that’s definitely one of the things that I’ve missed out on because we haven’t had the classes here at Hillcrest, but FFA offers that as regional competitions,” Edmondson said.
FFA advisor Blauvelt says students can work on their own farms or in the community.
“Say, helping out at a nursing home, or doing landscaping for their neighbors, or anything like that,” Blauvelt said.
The FFA program also gives students access to resources for future environmental careers.
“Our kids are getting certifications, they’re going to work with foresters, working with the watershed committee of the Ozarks, as one of our big community members, and our kids are getting hands-on real-life skills,” Blauvelt said.
Edmonson says the program offers a sense of family outside of education.
“It’s the band people, it’s the HTV kids, it’s the choir kids, everyone can be a part of FFA and that’s the really good thing about it,” Edmonson said.