Students at Terrell County Middle and High School in Dawson celebrated Future Farmers of America (FFA) week with help from Fort Valley State University’s Cooperative Extension Program on Feb 20.
From 9 a.m.-3 p.m. FVSU’s Mobile Information Technology Center (MITC), a high-tech computer classroom housed in a 72-foot semi-trailer, temporarily set up on the school’s parking lot. More than 274 middle and high school students visited the MITC and asked FVSU staff questions about fields of study in the College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology.
“We wanted to utilize FVSU’s Cooperative Extension Program’s mobile unit to help teach middle and high school students about career opportunities in agriculture,” said Charlie Grace, FVSU’s Dougherty County Extension agent who helped organize the visit. “We also wanted to expose students to the different types of jobs in the agriculture industry and improve their readiness to make lifestyle changes after graduation,” said the FVSU Extension agent.
The students also received information and listened to a presentation from Fanisha Maze, marketing outreach coordinator, about FVSU’s admission standards and academic programs in the College of Agriculture.
“This is really going to broaden the horizon of the kids,” said Douglas Bell, principal of Terrell County High School, and a 1983 FVSU agricultural education alumnus. “I really like the aspect of the technology that it brings to let kids know exactly what is out there and what they can look forward to in pursuing a career,” Bell said.
Before moving on to the administrative level, Bell served as an agricultural teacher. “Look all around and you can see ag,” said Bell, the response he gives when his students ask him about a career in the field. He points out that everything from food, clothing, automobile manufacturing and mass transit are all touched in some way through agriculture.
Dr. Vivian Laster, career technical and agricultural education director for Terrell County High School, expressed her appreciation with the FVSU MITC’s appearance. She said that with FVSU participating in FFA Week, the students will be able to comprehend and grasp the various opportunities presented to them with technology and instruction.
ShyKaveia Jefferson, a senior and FFA member at Terrell County High School, says she wanted to major in education. After learning about career opportunities in agriculture, she said she plans to enroll at FVSU Fall 2018 and pursue a degree in agricultural education. “It is the best of all HBCU’s (Historically Black College and University) and I don’t want to be too far from home,” said the future Wildcat.
The future agricultural education major said the mobile unit’s visit will help her schoolmates have a better understanding of careers available in agriculture.
For more information about FVSU’s MITC or scheduling a visit, contact Terrence Wolfork, assistant administrator for communications, conferencing and technology at (478) 825-6053 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.