FFA at Don Lugo


Archer Hasson

Photo of the FFA Farm grounds in the direction of the Ag Mech. building

Archer Hasson, News Editor

Future Farmers of America, or FFA, is an agricultural based program offered in several high schools across the U.S., including Don Lugo. Don Lugo has had an FFA program since its first year as a school and has had several different head advisers; the current being Mrs. Ashley Cureton with the other advisers being Mrs. Mary Jane Ashley, Mrs. Barbara Tuyen, and Mrs. Gena Hasson. So, what exactly is FFA? FFA is a youth program that gets high school and middle schoolers involved in agriculture (ag), horticulture, and floriculture. With FFA students can develop leadership skills that will help in many careers in and out of the ag world.

Photo of floral box, photo by Archer Hasson (Archer Hasson)

Lugo has many classes that fall under the agriculture category, as well as complete class requirements to graduate. For your P.E. credits you can take Horsemanship and its following class Showmanship if you have taken Horsemanship before. For your elective credits there is Intro to Ag, Ag Mechanics (AG Mech), Greenhouse Management,  and Floriculture (Floral) which counts for art credits. For your science requirement there is Ag Biology (Ag Bio), Ag Chemistry (Ag Chem), and Vet Science for juniors and seniors who have taken both Ag Bio and Ag Chem.

With many colleges looking at how well-rounded a student is, having FFA on a college application looks good as there are many different degrees available in this field. The Greenhand Degree in the first degree a student can get, having minimal requirements. After the Greenhand Degree there is the Chapter Degree, then the State Degree; “The highest degree they can earn is the American degree, which less than half of 1%, 0.5%, earn that degree so it is a major accomplishment.” Mrs. Cureton remarked.

Photo of horses and heifers on the farm, photo by Archer Hasson (Archer Hasson)

One of the main highlights of the agriculture program is livestock. Many students will raise livestock including market pigs, dairy replacement heifers, market lambs and goats, market steers, and market poultry and rabbits.  The teachers divide the animal species among themselves with Mrs. Cureton having market goats, market steers, and dairy replacement heifers, Mrs. Ashley over market pigs and rabbits, Mrs. Tuyen over market poultry, and Mrs. Hasson over market lambs. Mrs. Cureton explained, “They (the students) are buying the animals, purchasing the feed and supplies that they need and then they are marketing that animal and selling that animal to earn money…”.

Agriculture is a very wide and broad topic, and FFA explores most, if not all, of the sub categories. From raising livestock to greenhouse management and floral designs, FFA is able to find things in the agriculture field that target each student’s demographic and help build their leadership skills while teaching them financial responsibility.