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Pumpkin painting used to teach Colby third graders about agriculture, FFA

Pumpkin painting used to teach Colby third graders about agriculture, FFA Pumpkin painting used to teach Colby third graders about agriculture, FFA

Goals are a main part of any FFA.

This year, one of Colby FFA’s goals was to find ways to promote agriculture and the FFA among elementary students in the Colby School District. One event that was planned to help reach this goal was pumpkin painting.

Pumpkin painting is an annual chapter event where members and chapter officers go to the third-grade classrooms at Colby Elementary and teach them about agriculture through painting pumpkins.

During the visit, FFA members work with small groups of students, asking them questions and helping them complete their pumpkins.

“When we visit the elementary, we also have an officer read stories to the children about an agricultural topic, which helps them better understand how agriculture relates to their lives,” said Leah Houk, Colby FFA officer.

Members are involved in all aspects of the event from reading the books to setting up the tables.

“While the students are painting their pumpkins, we talk with the students, help them with their painting, and share our FFA experiences to help get them excited about our organization,” Houk said, adding it is a great experience for both the high school members and the elementary students.

“We hope by working with the elementary students more, we are not only promoting agriculture and FFA, but that we are also giving them positive role models to look up to. It is exciting to us as advisors when we see these students years down the road and they talk about remembering one of the events we sponsored while they were in elementary school,” said Jenessa Freidhof, Colby FFA co-advisor. “We hope that the impact of these events, no matter how big or small, will encourage the students to get involved in something — FFA or another organization — as they enter middle and high school and beyond.”

Other elementary school programs Colby FFA sponsors include Food For America, where FFA members organize stations that talk about different agriculture topics. Stations include dairy animals and products, horticulture, FFA and leadership, equine, and tractor and lawn mower safety. This event takes place annually in spring and invites Colby School District fourth and sixth grade students to participate.

“I really enjoy Food For America because it is nice to see all of the little kids out and about, learning about agriculture. Being their teacher for a day makes me feel like I’m making a difference” said Olivia Weiland, Colby FFA officer.