HOLMES COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Sometimes it's tough for teenagers to see how subjects in schools will be useful outside the classroom. But when it comes to agricultural sciences, there's no question about their practicality.
Nestled in the back of the Poplar Springs School campus, you can find the greenhouse, the tractor, and the welding shop. They're all part of the school's agriculture and Future Farmers of America programs.
For ten years, Lowell Hudson has trained middle and high school students in the ag sciences.
Hudson grew up on a farm, where school days were accompanied by keeping it running.
"Yeah, I'd say it's kind of my niche," he said.
Many of the students at the rural school feel the same.
"I like anything in ag really, anything to do with agriculture. I'm an outdoors person," William, an eighth grader Poplar Springs School student, said.
The small program means Hudson wears many hats, or helmets, in this case. From classwork to the shop, he works as an expert in all these fields and has 10 years of student success stories to show for it.
"It's real important, because there's just so many careers that tie," Hudson said. "Besides, if they can do something at their house on their own and not have to hire someone for everything in itself is a huge thing."
Like William, who's found a passion for welding.
"This is my second time welding too," he said, showing off some of his projects.
Vocational training and career development are integral parts of the FFA curriculum. So while the students are learning practical skills, they're also getting a feel for how to drive forward in the work force.
"When it comes down to it, you could have a test that the state would say this is a great thing, but nothing is more rewarding than actually seeing a former student go and support themselves and their family based on something they learn in ag class," Hudson said.
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