The re-introduction of Agriculture Education at Mooresville High School has taken a step forward with the hiring of a new teacher and FFA sponsor. Shelby Wolford, the current agriculture teacher at Eminence High School, will begin her work with Mooresville in July. While at Eminence, Wolford has expanded the number of grants received by the department and created a community garden program. Wolford brings experience not only from high school teaching but also professional experience in the agriculture industry, having worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Kelly Scientific Research, and Logansport Memorial Hospital.
“I am delighted to be part of the rekindling of the Mooresville Agriculture Education Program and FFA chapter,” said Wolford. “With the advancements and opportunities provided through Agriculture Education, I wholeheartedly believe this program will support the needs and interests of our students and aid them in developing the skills needed to succeed in the future.”
Work toward the re-vamped and expanded program began last year as MHS administrators developed a plan not only to bring agriculture education classes back to Mooresville, but to expand the program beyond its previous scope through a combination of instruction, supervised agriculture experiences, and an FFA program.
“We are very excited to re-establish the Agri-Science program at Mooresville High School,” said Dr. Brian Disney, MHS Principal. “We are even more excited now that we have hired an outstanding educator to lead the program. In addition to being an outstanding classroom teacher, Mrs. Wolford brings experience in leading students in FFA and building community partnerships.”
Students in 8th-11th grade were surveyed in the fall to determine the types of courses and opportunities they would be interested in pursuing. More than 160 students were “very interested” in taking animal science courses while more than 110 were interested in natural resources programs. The return of agriculture education will not only include traditional high school coursework in plant and animal sciences but also possible dual credit coursework with Ivy Tech for the Advanced Life Science classes. In addition, Mooresville’s program will become part of the Area 31 Career Center program. Mooresville is part of the area career center along with 10 other high schools to provide advanced coursework in specific career areas.
In addition to agriculture courses, this will mark the return of the National FFA Organization to the school district. The FFA program includes educational events and competitions for students in a wide variety of agri-science areas such as horticulture, livestock and forestry as well as areas such as leadership and parliamentary procedure. More than 120 students surveyed in the fall indicated there were very interested in participating in FFA programs.
“Agricultural Sciences and FFA will enhance our college and career readiness program at Mooresville High School through contemporary applications in the highly technical agri-business industry,” said Dr. David Marcotte, Superintendent of Mooresville Schools. “The addition of Agricultural Sciences and the expansion of Pre-Engineering (Project Lead The Way) are just two examples of the commitment of the Mooresville Schools to prepare students for future careers and as members of a skilled workforce. Mrs. Wolford brings practical experience, knowledge, and enthusiasm to our school community.”
Those who might be able to help with future supervised agricultural experiences for students (work with farms, agri-science programs, nurseries, environmental science programs, alternative energy programs, livestock programs, etc.) are encouraged to contact the school about possible participation in the new program. For more information, contact Principal Disney at firstname.lastname@example.org.