National Future Farmers of America

Nixa High School has welcomed back the National Future Farmers of America


Photo provided by: Lena Alsup Students in Mrs. Alsup’s Agriculture Science I class watch as a pig’s stomach gets dissected.

A renewed interest in agriculture and all thing farming led to the return of The National Future Farmers of America Organization.
NHS used to have a FFA program, but after interest was lost, the program was removed in 1996. Over the past few years, many Nixa students have gone to administration about the program and expressed how much Nixa needed it. The program returned this year.
NHS offers an Agriculture Science I class taught by Lena Alsup. Alsup is new to the district, but has a passion for all things agriculture.
“When I was a student, I loved competing because I’m a pretty competitive person and enjoyed that part,” Alsup said. “My favorite part now as a teacher is the kids, which sounds like I should say that, but a lot of the times when they’re out here it’s not a normal class. They get to do so many activities and hands-on work and I just watch the kids who maybe are not thriving or confident in other classes but come out of their shell and compete.”
FFA provides students with basic knowledge on how to keep records and pay bills to being able to prepare for an interview and talk to people in person. Junior Jacey Russell is president of the FFA board. During her freshman and sophomore years, she fought to get the FFA program back.
“My motivation honestly comes from the other students,” Russell said. “Knowing I have a big role in getting others involved and I want to share my experiences and how much fun FFA really can be.”
The class offerings will likely expand after the 2021-22 school year. Agriculture Science II would be added, and then the classes would branch into different agriculture sciences.
“If we have more kids who are super heavy in animal science, we will have an animal science class,” Alsup said. “If kids really like the horticulture side, we will have a green house. And if kids really like the shop, they will be out in the shop class.”
As students are able to experience different fields of work, they have the chance to compete in different agriculture events. FFA is able to participate and compete in a variety of ways.
“We did go to FarmFest, which is more of a relaxed things for kids to meet, and we will go to conventions such as the state convention, which is a two or three day event,” Alsup said. “They also go to a small career fair and compete for their contest they also get to put in for Washington leadership conference, where we spend nine days in D.C. and we go around to monuments and do service projects. This is a FFA leadership type deal, but it is also eye opening for the students and the group leaders.”
Junior Jake Miller is the reporter on the board of FFA. He’s grown up in an agricultural family.
“We do stuff from meetings to national convention as well as things like concessions or going to talk to the school board,” Miller said.