Humble ISD’s FFA presidents demonstrated their speaking skills to Lake Houston Rotarians, from left, Kim Young, CTE coordinator; Lake Houston Rotary President Kathy Lemman; Larkin LeSueur, CTE director; Melina Watson, Summer Creek FFA advisor; Addyson Hughes, Summer Creek FFA officer; Hailey Clark, Atascocita FFA officer; Brittney Boyd, Atascocita FFA advisor; Morgyn Edwards, Humble FFA officer; Lauryn Galloway, Humble FFA advisor; Carly Solomon, Kingwood Park FFA officer; Genevieve Ubnoskye, Kingwood Park FFA advisor; Jordan Byrd, Kingwood FFA officer; and Valerie Hirsch, Kingwood FFA advisor. Photo by Tom Broad, The Tribune
The FFA students from Humble ISD came prepared to thank members of the Rotary Club of Lake Houston for their support and to invite the group to the 75th annual Humble Livestock Auction.
The students instead found themselves showing their public speaking skills as the Rotarians peppered them with questions — friendly questions — about the livestock show, the auction, and about the students themselves.
“We want to know a little about you, too,” said Summer Creek Satellite Club President Deborah Rose during the meeting Jan. 26 at the Lake Houston Family YMCA.
First, though, each of the FFA officers from Humble ISD’s five high schools spoke briefly about a part of the auction.
The students told Rotarians the animal each is raising for the auction. Some are taking part in both the Humble ISD Auction and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s junior market auction and so are raising two animals.
In addition to the traditional auction, Humble ISD also has a freezer sale which is open to anyone to buy an animal that is not sold in the auction or did not get a guaranteed buyer.
The FFA presidents had kind words to say about Lynette Calfee, a longtime supporter of the Livestock Show and Auction and the Humble Rodeo and Cook-Off noting that she and husband, Byron, who was honored at the 50th anniversary auction, continued to support and work the auction and rodeo long after their sons graduated from Humble ISD.
The Kingwood and Kingwood Park presidents were excited about the almost completed North Agriculture Science Center that is replacing the current ag building. The students pointed out it was built in a flood plain in Kingwood and so, floods periodically requiring moving the animals and feed.
After the student presentation, Rotarian Don Thompson introduced himself as the managing partner of DT Construction, the general contractor that is building the ag barn found at the intersection of Mills Branch Road and Ford Road in the northeast part of Kingwood.
The students ended their presentation by emphasizing that they learn more than animal husbandry. They learn about business, public speaking and leadership skills. Twenty-five FFA students obtained their Lone Star degree which is the highest degree obtained in high school FFA. Five students obtained the American degree, the highest degree achievable in the National FFA Organization.
Out of 651 teams throughout Texas competing for the State Leadership Building contest, two Humble ISD FFA teams competed and one placed seventh.
The Rotarians wanted to know more.
“Do you get attached to your animals?” Eric Gomez asked. They do, the students said, and they even give their animals names. Gomez followed up with, “Do you cry when the animals go to market?”
Before anyone could answer, Deborah Rose responded for the students. “They cry if they don’t go to market,” she said.
The students explained how they go to the ag barn to pick out their animals. One student said she progressed from raising a baby rabbit her first year to a 1,300-pound steer in her final FFA year.
In answering additional Rotarian questions, the students said some FFA members are learning to be judges, a skill they can use to help judge auctions when they go to college. The students admitted FFA helps them be less shy, learn to speak up, and helps them choose a lifetime career, mostly animal science or veterinary school.
“This is a program that is not fading,” Larkin Le Sueur, career and technical education director, told the Rotarians. “The program is growing. Students realize FFA is a gateway to what they want to do next. Humble ISD is committed to this program. In fact, we have hired two additional ag teachers this year.”
As the meeting ended, club members agreed to select Juan Aybar as president-elect for the next fiscal year which will begin in May. The club also chose Roger Brown as president-elect when Aybar becomes president in 2023-24.
Summer Creek Satellite Club President Deborah Miller then reported the good news that the club has outgrown its meeting room at Generation Park and has moved to a large space in what Generation Park calls its Nimble Workspaces at Redemption Square. The group now boasts 14 members and meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, 8:30 a.m., at 250 Assay St. in Generation Park.
The Rotary Club of Lake Houston Area meets Wednesdays, 11:45 a.m., at the Lake Houston Family YMCA, 2420 West Lake Houston Pkwy, Kingwood. To learn more about the advantages of being a Rotarian,
Story by Tom Broad. © 2022 The Tribune. Republished with permission.