Vinita FFA helps with Okmulgee agricultural education relaunch
OKMULGEE, Okla. — Agricultural education is coming back to Okmulgee Public Schools, with the help of area FFA students and volunteers. On Saturday, January 27, twenty-four members of the Vinita FFA chapter traveled to Okmulgee to assist former Vinita FFA member and current Okmulgee Agricultural Education Instructor, Tim Taylor, with preparing the Agricultural Education Building for students this fall.
“I was overwhelmed by their support and enthusiasm,” Taylor said. “These students gave up their Saturday morning to fulfill a critical component of the FFA motto, ‘Living to Serve,’ by helping prepare the Agricultural Education Building for its re-opening later this fall.”
Okmulgee’s Agricultural Education Building has been vacant since the program shut down in 2011. The Vinita FFA students helped Taylor and Okmulgee Public Schools maintenance staff by performing specific cleaning and renovation tasks, as part of an on-going plan to re-open the facility this fall. Tasks included clearing out the two greenhouse laboratories, removing outdated paneling from the classrooms and hallways, and painting the interior of the facility.
Vinita Agricultural Education Instructor, Carolyn Piguet, said the opportunity for her students to experience helping a FFA chapter restart is a win-win for all those involved.
“This chance for Vinita students to take an active part in relaunching an agricultural education program allows them to share their time, talents, and enthusiasm with another group of students they do not even know yet,” Piguet said. “We are happy to help Mr. Taylor with the daunting task of rebuilding an agricultural education program, not just because he was a former member and officer of Vinita FFA, but because we know how impactful agricultural education can be in a community and how it can literally change lives.”
Piguet said her students are already looking forward to coming back to Okmulgee later this spring to help with student recruitment or additional facility improvement projects.
Okmulgee agricultural education program will be available for OPS students in grades 8-12 starting this fall. Taylor said the program will focus on teaching students about the agriculture industry, including agricultural mechanics, horticulture, leadership, communications and agricultural technology.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to relaunch this program because I know agricultural education can have a large impact on Okmulgee’s students,” Taylor said. “The kinship that has been established between Vinita and Okmulgee FFA chapters is unique and will be very valuable in the years to come.”
The Okmulgee Public Schools Board of Education approved to reinstate the program last October.
To learn more about the relaunch of the Okmulgee agricultural education program and to stay updated about announcements, find the FFA chapter on Facebook at OkmulgeeFFA