Hannah Roddenberry, Staff Writer – Future Farmers of America [FFA] is a national organization based on middle and high school classes that promote and support agricultural education. There are currently 42 members in the Lecanto High School [LHS] branch of the club. Almost all members competitively show their animals in affiliation with FFA, but some show under different clubs. What most people do not know, though, is that there is a farm behind the LHS campus. Many students who compete under the banner of FFA raise their animals on the farm.
“I am showing a steer this year,” said junior Emma Janecek of her castrated bull. “I picked a steer because I would like to be involved with animal science in the future.”
“I’m showing a steer; they’re easier to handle [and] train, and I make the most profit from it,” said sophomore Luke Jackson.
The earnings made from a student’s animal go to a variety of places, depending on the student’s wishes.
“I save my money every year so I can buy myself a car, and I save the leftovers for college,” said junior Cole Mann.
“I get to spend a little money for myself then the rest goes towards college,” said sophomore Taylor Williams.
While joining FFA is certainly a commitment, there are plenty of benefits.
“You definitely gain a better knowledge in the agricultural industry and go places you’ve never been, and develop new leadership skills,” said senior Amanda Wilkins. “You can gain more knowledge in the showing business.”
The students keep their animals on the farm for 100 days and raise and feed them everyday. When showing-time comes at the fair, the animals are sold to the highest bidder. Most students that are not seniors plan on showing again next year.
“I plan on showing next year. I don’t know what animal yet, but I would like to keep a consistency,” said junior Caitlyn Poteet