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Southern Nash FFA chapter hosts Argentinian teachers

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Southern Nash High’s Future Farmers of America chapter recently led a tour of the school’s agricultural education programs for Argentinian representatives who hope to start a similar curriculum for their students. 

The event initiated with a welcoming introduction from Principal Hugh Scott, a reflection from Mark Cockrell, a former Southern Nash principal, about the makings of the recently built agriculture facility, and a speech by elected state FFA officer and Firebird alum Justin Daniel of the importance of servitude in the agriculture industry. 

The FFA officers, advisers and translators led a tour through the school’s agriculture mechanic shop, greenhouse, outdoor classrooms and garden and the agriculture facility. After their adventurous activities, the parties reflected on the experience with refreshments. 

The officials from Argentina were intrigued by North Carolina’s red clay soil, local garden practices, FFA projects and student life. The group toured Southern Nash and other high schools to explore more learning opportunities for Argentinian students. Local FFA members were also greatly influenced by this experience. 

“As an FFA member, this amazing opportunity has impacted me because I was able to see how agriculture is truly so different for everyone, but also so similar,” said Southern Nash FFA President Cassidy Joyner. “This has opened my eyes to the possibilities of what I can do to better the agricultural industry not just here in North Carolina, but across the world.”

“The teachers from Argentina really opened my eyes about what agriculture looks like in another country,” said Taylor Hall, Southern Nash FFA vice president and regional president. “It was an incredible experience to get to know them personally as well as learning why they have pursued a career in agriculture education. They even shared their knowledge about how they manage their garden and farm, which really inspired us to try new things in our FFA chapter.” 

FFA advisers said a professor in N.C. State University’s agricultural education department arranged the tour through the Fulbright Scholar program.

“From our time on Friday, we have relationships that we will begin a pen pal program and Facetime lesson sharing with our new colleagues,” said adviser Kristina Brake. 

Brake also recalled that the representatives were impressed with Joyner, Hall and fellow FFA officers Eva Jimanez, Nathan Kiger, Grayson Braswell and Elijah Bass as well as with student translators Tania Villabous and Edgar Cornejo-Chavez, and guidance secretary Beatriz Velez, who was also a translator. 

“We were very honored to have been selected to host the visit,” said Brake. “It was very humbling and exciting that they would select our chapter.”