11 Dec A Bright Future for the League: High-Schoolers The Columbia Basin Share Their Love for Agriculture
As the board of trustees’ chairman Mark Stedman put it during the League’s last annual meeting, the work of the League goes beyond the here-and-now. What happens now matters, of course, but the work that occurs often happens with an eye on how it will impact future generations of Columbia Basin residents.
With that in mind, the League reached out to a specific cohort of future Basin residents:
those who have already discovered a profound passion for agriculture, and asked them to share their dreams, hopes and visions for when it’s their turn to lead the way.
Thanks to the help of Rod Cool, co-advisor of the Quincy High School FFA chapter, the League contacted students from different cities in the Columbia Basin.
Colin Miller, Royal High School, Royal City, 11th grade.
Background: “I was a 4-H kid from the first year I could do it (third grade) until the last year I could do it. This is my third year in FFA. I grew up on a farm and I grew up working for people who had cows and stuff, so it was all I ever wanted to do.”
How I feel about Ag: “Agriculture was kind of what brought life to America and it’s something that is not going to go away anytime soon. You can’t live without it, so I wanted to be a part of feeding America and keeping the business going.”
What people don’t know about the field of Ag: “People don’t really know where their food comes from.”
Next steps: “Stay in FFA. If you want a future that goes hand-in-hand with what you’re learning, you need to stay in FFA. After graduation, I’d like to go to a community college or maybe a four-year and study agribusiness or
farm and ranch management”
Family ties: His brother is studying accounting in Wenatchee so he can take care of the family farm’s books later on.
Ryann Harrington, Quincy High School, Quincy, 11th grade
Background: Three years in FFA. “Although I did not grow up on a farm or a ranch, I’ve always been interested in agriculture and learning more about it. I wanted to be a part of that. Just being outdoor a lot and working with your
hands and doing something that you love.”
How I feel about Ag: “I’ve definitely learned a lot more about it, how everything works. I definitely see myself having a career in Ag if I wanted it.
How my family feels about my love for Ag: “They are not surprised by it. I have always been very outdoorsy and we have other families that have farms or ranches, so it’s always been something I’ve been around.”
Biggest challenge I’ve faced in Ag: “Being a woman in ag and being looked down (up)on. Men belittle you and say ‘Oh, this is a man’s field.’ It hasn’t happened to me yet, but I have seen it happen.”
McKlay Jorgensen, Warden High School, Warden, 11th grade.
Background: FFA member since 8th grade, 4-H member before then. “I was attracted to the sense of community that grew from being in a farming community. Anyone who was a part of agriculture all knew each other and helped each other out and helped educate everyone else.”
How I feel about Ag: “I want to become an ag teacher so I can connect with the students. Working with them, you build a closer connection with them. I want to teach high school students because they are the people who need that close connection with a mentor or an adult.”
Family ties: Mom works for USPS, dad works for UPS, but grandparents were farmers.
Next steps: “I hope to attend the University of Idaho. My ag teachers both went to U of I and they talked it up. I even went to a camp at U of I and loved the campus.”
How does my family feel about me going into Ag: “They know that my main goal is to help people and they think that this is a really good way.