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Southern Cayuga Conversations: Data and motion

Elaine Meyers
Particular to The Citizen

My dialog with Halee Wasson, the agriculture teacher at Southern Cayuga Jr.-Sr. Excessive Faculty, started with a query. “What do college students study in your program?”

“Each seventh-grade scholar at Southern Cayuga Central Faculty takes an introduction to agriculture class. On this class, the fundamental ideas of agriculture are offered. Scholar experiences contain and research of communication, the science of agriculture, vegetation, meals and pure assets. Junior highschool begins with all college students understanding the scope and affect of agriculture regionally and worldwide.”

Halee then described a four-year program that college students elected: “Within the eighth grade, college students who select to proceed their agriculture research deepen their content material information in animal, plant, meals and pure assets. They study the science and challenges for making a sustainable future for our agricultural industries and pure assets. Highschool agriculture courses, which begin in ninth grade, prolong into particular courses on plant science, animal and pre-veterinarian science, agricultural meals and pure assets, meals science, wildlife and pure assets.”

Persons are additionally studying…

I requested Halee what number of of her college students lived or labored on farms. She pulled up her roster of over 100 college students and started to depend scholar by scholar, realizing all these in these classes. “Forty-one of my college students reside or work on a farm — about one third of my college students.” Halee’s information of her college students and her topic comes from educational and real-life expertise.

“I used to be raised on a dairy and vegetable farm in Pennsylvania. Like a few of my college students, I took care of the cows, went to highschool, stayed after college for extracurricular actions like sports activities and (Future Farmers of America). Then I got here house, took care of the cows, after which did my homework. Once I was nonetheless in center college, I labored with the general public at farmers markets and vegetable stands the place we offered our farm merchandise. I developed a capability to speak with the overall inhabitants about agriculture merchandise and manufacturing practices. In flip, I used to be capable of refine these abilities once I joined FFA in highschool. Once I was in FFA, I did an evaluation of my household farmers market expertise together with our merchandise, the hours of labor wanted for its success, and my pay for the work in a supervised agricultural expertise.” I requested Hallee in regards to the origin of “farm to desk” that’s changing into so outstanding in lots of space eating places. “This concept actually began round 2010 once I was in highschool. It is vital info for these eager about meals programs — another excuse meals science has been added to our curriculum.”

Elaine Meyers

Elaine Meyers

Southern Cayuga’s Future Farmers of America program is open to college students starting in seventh grade and gives management and ability constructing wanted for achievement on the earth of agriculture. I grew to become concerned with FFA in 2019 when college students had been making ready for an agricultural points discussion board presentation. My first and lasting impression of their work is that they at all times deal with extraordinarily refined and important subjects, from water high quality in 2019 to the 2023’s “Photo voltaic Farms: Is it Definitely worth the Land for the Vitality?”

A scholar introduced the subject to the group after receiving a mailing from Harvest Hills Photo voltaic Challenge titled, “Benefitting the Cities of Genoa and Venice for A long time to Come.” Halee shared the crew’s situation abstract with me and I couldn’t picture a extra complete overview. The crew will compete in Could on the New York State FFA competitors and have already begun their observe. This 12 months the competitors group was provided a novel alternative once they met with state legislators relating to their subject. College students had been capable of focus on the problem with Richard Ball, the commissioner of New York Division of Agriculture & Markets, and New York State Sen. Michelle Hinchey, the chair of the committee on agriculture. College students study not solely the science and economics of the solar energy and land use, but in addition the politics that doubtlessly encompass the subject.

Spending time with Halee and her college students leaves me eager to do extra to help their work. As a Southern Cayuga Backyard Membership member, I’m happy with our scholarships for these pursuing agriculture research, and the varsity’s common scholarship ( The FFA Fb web page,, additionally gives methods to help their work. I hope to see you on the FFA flower and plant sale this Could 15-17 within the college greenhouse.

Elaine Meyers, of King Ferry, is a member of the boards of the ABC Cayuga Play House, Southern Cayuga Anne Frank Tree Challenge and Southern Cayuga Backyard Membership. She works on the Emily Howland Literacy Committee and is the writer of “Iron Pants,” revealed in 2022.


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