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home : opinion : letters to the editor August 28, 2015

12/23/2013 10:52:00 AM
T. Valley's Agriculture Program And The Digital World
Cody Demske, TVHS Senior
Valley Insight

The FFA creed states: “I believe in the future of agriculture with a faith born not of words, but of deeds.”
Students at Tippecanoe Valley High School are learning what this means.  There is a lot going on in Tippecanoe Valley’s agriculture program right now.  We are embracing the changes going on in our high school and enhancing our already existing agriculture program. The base of the program is our classes that are offered all four years starting with the Introduction to AG class and ending with several options offering dual credit to help students get a boost in college.
Tippecanoe Valley High School has started Project Based Learning and a one-to-one program where students are given Acer Iconia tablet to use in their classes and an online site called My Big Campus.  My Big Campus enables students to communicate with teachers and peers on a different level to help everyone be more organized in their school work.
Another part of Project Based Learning and the one-to-one program involves many life skills that are becoming lost in our society. These programs allow students to learn simple yet important skills such as communication, collaboration and vital human interaction that students may otherwise not learn and in turn, struggle with when they get out into the world. In our agriculture classes we have already put into practice many life skills by giving speeches, shaking hands, running meetings, filling out mock financial papers, and learning about the market, among many other things.
Although we have a great set of agriculture classes, the agriculture program doesn’t stop there. Tippecanoe Valley has a very involved FFA chapter that continues the learning and fun outside of school. Students do even more learning activities at our FFA chapter meetings, many of which are games that help them with skills while having fun. The skills are really useful when it comes to filling out college, job, and scholarship applications.  The FFA chapter also offers several opportunities to go out into the community and interact with other FFA chapters at district, state and national conferences as well as a couple field trips each year that help students with hands on learning.
A third part of our agriculture program is the Supervised Agriculture Experience in which students choose one of a wide variety of projects to focus on. In his/her project the student keeps track of the work and money they put into it, the outcome and benefits, and the skills they learn from it. This helps students continue their agriculture experience outside of school. Students gain hands-on experience through the SAE and continue their education while doing something they personally enjoy and can see the benefits of. Another great aspect of the SAE is it can be entered for contests and scholarships to assist the student even further.
In today's digital society, Tippecanoe Valley is embracing the new technologies being offered in this growingly connected world, but the school and our agriculture program still see the need for actual human interaction. Students in Valley's agriculture program are still learning skills needed to develop personal growth,  premier leadership and career success to help, as E.M. Tiffany said, ”American agriculture hold true to the best traditions of this national life and exert influences which will stand solid for our parts in that inspiring task.”

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