SUBMITTED PHOTO The Gazette
Members of the newly formed Durand FFA gathered for a group photo.

Durand agriculture program, FFA has a successful first year
By Emily Newcomer
DURAND AGRICULTURE INSTRUCTOR & FFA ADVISOR
It has been many years since the Durand community has seen an agriculture program. After one year back in the school district, we have a variety of agriculture courses available to 7th through 12th grade students, as well as, an FFA Chapter. We would like to thank those in the community who supported this idea and the Durand School Board and Administration for being open to bringing new opportunities to the students.
Through grants and funding, we have been able to purchase new curriculum and equipment for the agriculture department. Students have been introduced to many things such as hydroponic gardening, raising poultry, and basic woodworking skills. Next year, we will continue to add to the program and offer several dual credit courses for high school students.
The FFA members were able to attend a long list of competitions, workshops, and conferences this year. Illinois Association FFA State Convention, Section 1 FFA Fair and FFA Leadership Camp are just a few of our upcoming summer activities. The National FFA Organization has changed its membership requirements and now permits 7th and 8th graders to be Discovery members of the Chapter. We have taken advantage of that and have 22 members ranging from 7th to 12th grade. The first annual banquet was held on May 8th where the 2019-2020 FFA Officer team was installed. Anna Johnson will serve as President, Tyler Lee as Vice President, Berklie Hayes as Secretary, and Josh Erickson as Treasurer.
The Durand Ag Club would also like to announce its name change. As we now are an officially chartered FFA Chapter, the Ag Club has officially become chartered as an Alumni Chapter and will now go by the Durand FFA Alumni & Supporters. Monthly meetings are open to anyone interested in supporting the Durand Agriculture Department and FFA. Thank you to current and past Ag Club members for your hard work and dedication to getting the program back in Durand. Please contact Miss Newcomer, enewcomer@cusd322.org, or Scott Lee, leeshowcattle@hotmail.com, for more information.

 
 
 
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