Growing Interest in Ag Pathway

The Junction City Agriculture Career Cluster has evolved into the Junction City Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Pathway, which is a set of comprehensive courses that prepare students for careers in the Agriculture Industry.  This year JCHS has three classes implemented; Animal Science, Introduction to Agriscience, and Natural Resources.  Next year, they intend to add a senior level class; Agriculture Research Design.  Students in the Ag Pathway and Ag Cluster have opportunities to showcase and apply those skills through involvement in The National FFA Organization, or, FFA.  Students also get to apply skills and learn more about their career interests through internships, job shadows, and Supervised Agricultural Experiences.

The FFA recently approved by the Board of Education began this year at JCHS and has been received well.

“On behalf of the over 500 members in the Geary County Farm Bureau Association, it is our privilege to partner with the newly reformed Junction City High School FFA club, soon to be state chapter.  We whole-heartedly throw our support behind the efforts of Ms. Laura Miller and her team in re-establishing this great organization with its proven role in the educating our students and the impact it can have on our overall community.  FFA has a rich history in Geary County and has a nationally recognized ability to grow future leaders and form lasting life skills, not just in the agricultural industry.  We at Geary County Farm Bureau look forward to a great relationship that will only help to ensure the success of this long awaited endeavor.  To help guarantee a solid beginning, we are proud to make this donation in the amount of $300 to cover the cost of the club’s initial regional membership dues.  It is our belief, within our Farm Bureau organization, that given the overall climate of uncertainty, the education of everything agriculture including the safe, efficient and effective production of food, fiber and fuel for today’s consumer is critical to the our future success.  Therefore, a continued strong partnership between FFA and Farm Bureau only makes sense.   On behalf of all of our members in the Geary County Farm Bureau Association, we would like to congratulate Ms. Miller, the students at Junction City High School and USD 475 on bringing a FFA Chapter back to Geary County and we look forward to its many certain successes down the road.” -Dianna Dibben, President, Farm Bureau

The FFA has many benefits to students in USD 475 including leadership and interpersonal skills.

“I personally believe that students gain a sense of confidence and better understanding of who they are when they intern.  Because they are placed in site that reflects their career interests, it challenges them to seek out whether this is the career that they really want or maybe they should seek out something new.  Either way, internships are a great way for students to explore what they really love and where they want to go after high school.” – Laura Miller, Teacher at JCHS.

Since the agricultural industry is so diverse, there is a lot to take in and learn.  However, Miller believes students who are successful in the AFNR Pathway have a broad knowledge of current agriculture issues, are able to communicate effectively through speaking and writing, have an innate interest in the agricultural industry, and are willing to ask questions and find the answers.

Career and Technical Education is great for the local economy because it allows students to work closely with area businesses and industries.  It also gives them a path to immediate employment either during school or after graduation.  It also helps keep the community strong, bringing students back to their hometown, which can instill a sense of pride and purpose.

“I believe that students who go through CTE programs come out with a more realistic approach to what life after high school and post-secondary education is.  They are well-rounded, adjusted students who can handle the tough situations and make the most of what they’ve got.” – Laura Miller, Teacher at JCHS.

Article provided by Laura Miller, Junction City High School Ag Instructor

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