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Waukee Aspiring Professional Experience’s (APEX) Bioscience and Value Added Agriculture economic sector recently received a $2,500 grant from DuPont Pioneer. The grant will allow instructor Cindy Snell and her class to further their mission of strengthening the Future Farmers of America (FFA) program and other agricultural learning opportunities.

Snell teaches Global Foods and Animal and Veterinary Science which are both hosted by Blank Park Zoo. Agriculture is a growing career path. Some of the topics covered within the classes are animal production systems, animal nutrition, veterinary medicine, global protein issues and careers, as well as the global agricultural system that impacts food, feed, fiber and fuel.

“Receiving this grant will allow us to build a stronger Waukee Agriculture and FFA program which is essential to the community and growth of the students,” said Cindy Snell.

FFA is the largest youth organization in the world with 629,367 participants Nationwide. It is a program for students interested in agricultural leadership that strives for success and individual achievements of the students and generations to come. Agricultural education has three parts: classroom instruction, the FFA and projects. All three work together to make an impactful agricultural experience for students.

Waukee’s FFA was created in the spring of 2016. Students hope to grow it into a bigger organization for future generations of students to come. Growing the FFA will allow Waukee students interested in agriculture to experience it first hand and get a better education in the field that they enjoy. This grant means that students involved with the FFA will be able to work on special contests, agriscience projects, leadership and career development, showing animals and more. Recently, the group has toured the Dallas County DMACC Farm, Beaver Creek Produce and Hawkeye Breeders where they learned about agriculture, livestock and hydroponics.

“Joining the FFA was the perfect fit for me,” said FFA member Claire Baudler, “ I have a background with agriculture and once I heard about the FFA, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. This grant means that we will finally be able to grow and start the foundation for the FFA in the Waukee Community.”

The Animal and Veterinary Science APEX class is available in the morning or afternoon classes for both the spring semester and the fall semester. The Global Foods class is only available in the spring semester during the afternoon blocks. The students enrolled will be able to test the waters in various career paths and study a wide variety of topics.

FFA Grant Photo 1617

FFA and APEX Veterinarian Students pose with Grant from DuPont Pioneer workers.