Loyd Star celebrates growth of FFA program

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Members, alumni and faculty of Loyd Star Attendance Center’sFuture Farmers of America organization enjoyed food they did nothave to raise or show during a banquet in the school cafeteria onFriday.

“This is just a laid-back get-together and to show appreciationfor these kids,” said Billy Sumrall, agricultural sciencesinstructor. “That’s what it’s all about.”

In addition to fellowship and appreciation, the event wouldserve as a celebration of the revived agricultural program and FFAorganization.

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“FFA was here for so many years, then for whatever reason juststopped,” said Johnny Smith, FFA alumnus. “Mr. Sumrall has been abig part in getting the program back.”

Only 25 students showed interest in the course during Sumrall’sfirst year as lead role in the agricultural program. Now, threeyears later, 100 students are vying for a spot in the class.

“Our deal is to teach them there is more out there,” saidSumrall. “Whatever they want to do is important.”

The FFA and science class has been keeping students busythroughout the year.

In addition to participating in the National FFA Convention inIndianapolis, Ind. and preparing for the Dixie National Rodeo, theFFA and agricultural science students have been renovating “TheShop.”

The renovations, which are being done by the students, beganlast year after receiving $3,500 for material from the schooldistrict. The classroom, which provides a place for students togain hands-on learning experiences, will see the addition of acattle pen.

“Their heart, their soul, their blood, their sweat, their tearsare in it,” said Sumrall of the students’ involvement. “What betterway to give back to the community.”

Some students see renovating “The Shop” as a way to leave alegacy behind at Loyd Star and give back to the school.

“The elementary (students), who are not old enough to be in theprogram, they’ll have this,” said Taylor Callender, FFA secretary.”They won’t have to nail the boards, put up the tin … It’ll allbe done.”

Some students suggested the new classroom will help add to analready growing program.

“It’s going to help out the program a lot,” said FFA member BenDelaney. “A lot more people will join FFA.”

While FFA and the science course keeps students occupied,Sumrall thinks the program helps broaden horizons and builds goodcharacter.

“FFA teaches life skills, citizenship, things that help buildcommunity leaders,” said Sumrall. “If we can instill that type ofwholesomeness in people, then we’re always giving back to thecommunity.”