The Future Farmers of America at Turkeyfoot high school is expanding to give students insight into the livestock and agriculture industry.
The group began last year and received its charter at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in January.
“It’s an excellent opportunity for students to acquire vocational and agricultural skills while they’re in school,” Penn State University mentor to FFA advisers Doyle Paul said. “Sometimes that gives them an early indication if that’s something they’d like to pursue later in life.”
The FFA groups give students hands-on experience with livestock and agriculture. The curriculum can be written so students receive class credit for their membership. Students may have opportunities to intern in a field they plan to pursue, according to Paul.
Turkeyfoot FFA treasurer and Somerset County FFA reporter Pam Ramos said the organization is preparing her to achieve future goals. She is a high school senior who plans to become a large animal veterinarian.
She said her trips to the stockyard taught her more about animals.
“You learn so much,” she said. “It’s very welcoming and a whole lot of fun.”
She anticipates her membership giving her a boost on her college applications. She is considering majoring in zoology at Seton Hill University in Greensburg.
Ramos was inspired to join the FFA by her science teacher and FFA adviser, Leanna Weimer.
“I love science and our science teacher was telling us she was involved in the FFA when she was in high school,” Ramos said.