Local future farmers celebrate National FFA Week by preparing for state certification exam

Local News

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A group of future farmers at one Tampa middle school is studying for an exam that could earn their school thousands of dollars if enough of them pass.

On Wednesday, students of Woodrow Wilson Middle School’s FFA chapter will take the Agriculture Associate Certification test.

For several weeks, students have been learning about food safety, animal and plant sciences and natural resource systems.

“Agriculture is this great vocational class that teaches them life skills regardless of what their future career goals are,” Agriculture Teacher Kenny Coogan said.

The program helps students study for the Agriculture Associate Certification test and also prepares them for a career in agriculture.

Eighth grade FFA member Charlie Munzingler said it takes hard work to earn the certificate.

“Well it all just takes time and I think if you don’t dedicate any time to it you’re not going to be good at it,” he said.

Last year, Woodrow Wilson Middle School earned $7,600. This year, they are planning on doubling that in certifications.

“People in the industry, Publix, big farms, poinsettia farmers, they’re interested in students who possess the certificate. So we hope to provide career ready individuals with the certificate,” Coogan said.

Coogan is also the Education Director of the International Carnivorous Plant Society. Starting next week, his students will be Zooming with scientists from around the world (UK, Japan, California, South Africa, Poland). They will get to ask the experts questions and the recordings of these Zooms will air on May 5 as part of the World Carnivorous Plant Day celebration.

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