June 10, 2015
Elgin FFA Assists with Implementing Community Gardens Across The District
The FFA program here in the Elgin School District is one that has excelled in multiple fields. This small town FFA was able to achieve the honor of being a program in the top ten ranking throughout the country. The Elgin FFA is making huge strives to make the student body, and the community better. A new project that the FFA has formed, with the aid of the Marion County Public Health Department, is establishing Community Gardens. The Elgin School District possesses five garden sites. They are located in the wing of the Elementary School, the SPEEC, and in the villages of LaRue, Green Camp, and New Bloomington. There are five gardens in each village, three in the Elementary Wing, and two located at the SPEEC.
One may ask why the Community Gardens are a project that is seen as important to the FFA. The FFA sees this program as a way to build strong connections with community members. It is also seen as a way to encourage interest in the field of agriculture. They may not be planting an entire field of corn, or taking care of livestock but this is still a form of agriculture. The FFA hopes to instill a sense of pride in the adoptive owners of the gardens. They are a part of the process of producing food for their families.
If one is to look at the enrollment of the members of the FFA at Elgin one would find a diversified group of members. There are those that have lived on farms their entire lives, and those that live in the villages of this school district. However, the FFA accepts everyone and anyone. The FFA has evolved and is much more than just farming. This program teaches students important skills that will apply to them for the rest of their lives. Such things as leadership, and team working skills are taught in this class. This is also able to connect with the goals of the Community Gardens. The gardens allow the adoptive owners to show leadership in their communities, and to work to achieve an ultimate and successful end goal.
These little gardens symbolize something much larger. They symbolize some of the goals of the FFA. The adoptive owners of these gardens, and the supporters of the Community Garden Project, are all different. They have different views and backgrounds, and they come from different areas. However, they are united through what they believe is best for the community. They have seen the need, and realized the learning objectives that will be taken care of through the gardens. They have decided to be a part of this project for the good of themselves, the good of others, and the good of the community.