Posted Date: 08/07/2018
Caitlyn Wedel knows what a Future Farmers of America program can do for a student, especially one interested in an agricultural vocation.
“It taught me how to be independent, how to communicate and be that role model for others,” she said. “My agricultural journey has influenced me to work hard and push myself to produce a successful outcome.”
Growing up in central Kansas, Wedel was in 4-H and joined the FFA program as a freshman at Newton High School.
“We raised and showed horses, steers, and entered 4H/FFA projects as well as being part of leadership organizations,” she said.
She spent two years at Allen County Community College, then completed her degree at Kansas State University. She gained experience working at Iola Auto Parts that will serve her as she develops the new Ag Science career pathway and FFA program at CHS this fall.
“That has helped me to know so many people in the Ag community. I’ve learned so much just about equipment and parts that I wouldn’t normally get in the classroom.”
Even before Wedel begins teaching, a community-based advisory group of bankers, farmers, extension agents and parents is in place to help “make her visions a reality in and out of the classroom.”
The new Ag Science pathway will be multi-faceted, with a classroom side, an FFA side and a Supervised Ag Experience (SAE) side. This fall, Wedel will teach an introduction to agricultural science and a plant/animal science class. She will also start an FFA chapter and interview for officer teams.
“I really want to get the FFA started because that’s a big part of it, especially with career development events (CDE) where they take what they learn in the classroom” and compete in agricultural contests at the district and state level, Wedel said.
Next, she will add the Supervised Ag Experience (SAE) element “where students take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to an internship or placement,” she said. That could be “building their own business or raising cattle for a 4-H show or volunteering at a local vet clinic.”
Wedel said she’s s excited about building the Ag Science Pathway at CHS, and that the bit of nervousness she has is usually a good thing.
“I can make the program my own and start from scratch and build it up,” she said. “I’m always up for a task and pushing myself and this will give me a good chance to see how far I can go.”