Why agriculture education?
I am often asked why I chose to become an agriculture teacher. Education is not in my family and it was not a career I had imagined for myself.
I enrolled in an agriculture class as a freshman in high school with hopes of someday becoming a veterinarian or wildlife biologist. With decent grades and dreams of attending a four-year university, I knew FFA and agriculture could get me there and give me an advantage over my non-agriculture peers.
I threw myself into every opportunity available to me in FFA and, as a junior, I realized something had changed. My agriculture classes and FFA had sparked a passion within me I did not know existed. I came to the realization that agriculture education was a positive example of what works in education and I wanted to bring that to more students.
FFA and agriculture education together provide students with the optimum learning environment. Throughout the country, agriculture students are more actively involved in extra-curricular activities in addition to FFA, they are more likely to attend college and they believe that homework and effort are important to future ambitions.
Purdue University compared students in agriculture education to non-agriculture students and found that agriculture students are more involved in their studies, achieve more academically and demonstrate more advanced personal and career growth than do their non-agriculture counterparts.
Every day, I witness students in this program achieving their goals and living up to the expectations I have set for agriculture education. Our Sonoma students have the opportunity to benefit from this organization and it is my goal to bring these opportunities to them by continuing to improve agriculture education at Sonoma Valley High School.
Sonoma FFA members are really lucky to be involved in an organization that last year
awarded $1.9 million in scholarships, with one out of every five students who applied receiving one. FFA and agriculture education has an 84-year tradition of promoting premier leadership, personal growth and career success in students.
It’s exciting to me that I have the chance to work with youth in Sonoma developing their social, practical and academic abilities. My students are college-bound and ready to build a wonderful future for themselves and our society. So I ask you, why not agriculture education?
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Felicia Rush teaches agriculture at Sonoma Valley High School.