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February 22, 2010 - Kylie Saari
Truman schools recently saved their ag program and with it FFA. In this economy, I could understand how the classes could have been cut. I would not have been surprised if they had said another full-time teacher is out of the budget, or perhaps decided to go only part-time. I can also see how this small portion of the school board agenda could have gone unnoticed that Tuesday night. As a city-girl turned small town reporter, I may have even dismissed FFA as simply an extra-curricular activity — probably fun, but not vital. But in this area, as it struggles to keep its youth nearby and watches the average age of farmers rise, teaching students the importance of agriculture in a school setting, and teaching them how to go about leading, fighting for legislation, and getting them scholarships to learn technologies to bring back to the farm after college is vital. I attended Ag Day on the Hill last year in St. Paul and saw many FFA members in their official uniforms lobbying politicians for "outstate" Minnesota's needs. Even with the backing of the school board, Truman may face an uphill battle when it comes to filling ag instructor position. It is not easy to find individuals licensed for that type of teaching. I will be continuing to cover the process, so watch the paper. I'll let you know what happens.
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