Middle School FFA Students Address Rotary

Published 11:00 am Friday, December 22, 2023

On December 12th Middle School FFA students Dilan Amin, Danna Morgan-Hernandez, Jake Dutcher, and Mackenzie Mitchell addressed a meeting of Rotary at Georgia Southwestern.
Their Middle School FFA teacher, Brinson Brock, addressed those gathered, commending them for their community involvement. Brock stressed the importance of teaching agricultural skills, citing current estimates expecting the rural population to double. In addition, he stated FFA went beyond teaching agriculture, giving students general life skills.
Brock talked about activities the students had participated in ranging from partnerships with local beekeepers to sell honey to partnerships with local garden clubs to sell flowers the students had grown.
He ended his speech by summarizing his philosophy.
“Just let the kids do it.”
The first to speak was Mackenzie Mitchell, who recited the FFA creed. Next, Dilan Amin spoke, talking about the opportunities afforded by FFA.
“The AG program teaches us many career opportunities that are in the agricultural related fields, and that agriculture takes care of all the basic human needs, which are food, shelter, and clothing. Many of you represent businesses that provide these services today. We are also taught the importance of leadership. We learn how to set ourselves apart from the negative, and influence others to be the best that they can be. FFA has opened doors for me already in public speaking, and we will travel to colleges, and I have recently participated in Ag Day put on by the UGA extension. FFA leaders hosted every sixth grader in the county to come and see different aspects of Agriculture and to consider associated careers. I was able to be a student leader that day, and I really enjoyed my experience.”
Seventh grader Jake Dutcher addressed Rotary next.
“I have just begun my agriculture classes with Mr. Brock and am an active member in FFA. It is a great experience. I am scheduled to compete in public speaking early next year and am working on several topics already. Today, I’ll sort of practice with you guys. One of the messages Mr. Brock wants us to sing out is that Agriculture is the largest industry in the nation. We recently completed a project and I would like to share mine with you today. We made a poster to emphasize the importance of animals to us.”
Dutcher talked about various animal byproducts that were used in a wide variety of goods.
“For me, I’m much into sports and I am now aware that my wrestling uniform is made of cotton, and the baseballs that I pitch came from cowhide, maybe right here in Sumter County.
We recently participated in Rosalynn Carter’s funeral and have grown flowers for her. We will continue to honor her legacy. I would like to thank you for this opportunity to speak to you and let you know that agriculture is important to Sumter County Middle. We really are fortunate to have such a great program. Thank you.”
Dana Morgan Hernandez gave the final speech.
“Good afternoon. My name is Dana Morgan Hernandez and I am in the seventh grade at Sumter County Middle School. I am smart and a good student, and I stay out of trouble which is more than I can say for my brothers. It is my first chance to be in Mr. Brock’s Ag class. I was elected as vice president of FFA and I enjoyed helping while getting to go to different opportunities with FFA. We grow flowers as we study horticulture. We sell the flowers in the Spring and Fall to make money for our FFA chapter. We also grow them to establish pollinator gardens so bees and butterflies with thrive and pollinate our crops.”
Hernandez talked about how she became involved in Rosalynn Carter’s legacy through FFA.
“We grow flowers for Mrs. Carter at Rosalynn Carter’s butterfly trail, and we recently were invited to attend her funeral service. This is something I will never forget. There were many people there to pay their respects. It was an honor for me to be invited. We plan to carry on her legacy to make more butterfly gardens and teach others about pollinators.”
She concluded by stating her appreciation for her experiences in FFA.
“I love agriculture class. I have now learned where our food comes from and how animals and plants help to feed the world. I would like to thank you for your group supporting Sumter FFA. Have a great day. Also, I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.”