OHS students rally to form Agriculture ClubA small group of Oswego High School students have turned their passion for agriculture into a propelling motion of potential curriculum additions.
At the tail end of the 2018-2019 school year, the students sought guidance from OHS Principal Patrick Wallace on forming an Agriculture Club. After several months of research, hard work and petitioning fellow classmates about their cause, the club was recently formed at the high school, and the students’ drive to spread agricultural awareness has gained the attention of Oswego City School District administrators.
OCSD Superintendent Dr. Dean Goewey recently invited Agriculture Club members to his office for his monthly student lunches to discuss how the district can support the flourishment of the students’ love of learning. Together, they have discussed how to transition from an Agriculture Club to possibly a chapter of the National FFA with embedded agriculture curriculum in math, science and other classes.
While the students’ efforts are also supported by OHS technology teacher Shawn Nagel, the students themselves have laid out the groundwork. Senior Emma Alton said she has worked with horses since the age of nine and has “always been interested in the aspect of agriculture.” She and fellow senior Nicki DelConte teamed up with DelConte’s younger brother, Joe, a sophomore, to help lead the group. Familiar to farming, the DelContes have grown up on a farm and have aimed to educate their peers and the community on everything agriculture.
Senior Molly Fitzgibbons discussed with Dr. Goewey the possibility of utilizing space in the OHS science corridor for a garden, and several students expressed interest in having chickens or other animals. Fundraising and community service projects are also in the works, Nicki DelConte said.
OHS will send several members of the Agriculture Club, along with other OHS students, to the Oct. 17 Interactive Career Days field trip so they may explore career paths in the agriculture industry.
Dr. Goewey said he was impressed with the students’ poise and love of learning, and he is thrilled to work alongside the group to hopefully make their visions a reality. The superintendent lunches, he said, are “very insightful as to how into they are what’s going on at the high school.”
“This helps me stay connected to the high school; I try to be more visible and have students get to know me,” he said.
Agriculture Club members thanked him for his time and remained excited for what the rest of the 2019-2020 school year holds, as well as the future of agriculture education for Oswego City School District students.