Future Farmers of America club sprouting in F-F

FONDA – Students at the Fonda-Fultonville Central School District who are interested in agriculture will soon have a new way to learn more about it.

Superintendent Raymond Colucciello announced during a recent Board of Education meeting that the district will be introducing the Future Farmers of America club for students sometime within the new school year.

He said district officials have some preliminary plans for the club and have met with other regional school districts that already have the club.

“We’re hopeful that we will be able institute that organization in the early part of the year, and get moving ahead,” Colucciello said.

The FFA may also lead to new electives for students, Colucciello said.

He said the district will be going ahead with interviewing some people who can help them with implementing the club. The district has seen a high interest in students wanting to join the club, he said.

Board member Dennis Egelston said the area is great for farming with the access to water that is currently lacking in other states.

“In this area … agriculture is still very vital,” Egelston.

Colucciello said the district did not have to do any recruiting to get the club started.

“This started with a few kids … wanting to do something in the field of agriculture,” he said.

The district currently runs a gardening club that has proven popular with students. Students help tend to a garden that contains both flowers and a variety of herbs.

The district’s cafeteria staff has even been using some of the edibles from the garden in its cooking.

“They started out with some leadership. Some of our personnel in our cafeteria started it out really and before you know it they had all kinds of contributions and help,” Colucciello said.

Colucciello said participation in the gardening club includes students from a variety of ages, from second grade to 12th grade.

“It’s not a certain group, it’s not a certain age level, it’s everybody,” he said.

A number of local organizations and groups have also offered the district help, he said.

“It’s kind of a team effort. It started small, but it’s growing fast,” he said.