By Sam Jack
GARDEN PLAIN – Garden Plain High School students interested in studying agriculture are now doing so at their high school, instead of traveling to Andale as they did during 2017-2018.
Cody Holliday joined the GPHS faculty this fall, teaching agriculture and serving as co-sponsor of the Renwick chapter of Future Farmers of America. His wife, Cheyenne Holliday, is the other co-sponsor; she is in her second year as agriculture teacher at Andale High School.
Holliday said he is excited that Renwick can offer on-site agricultural education to Garden Plain students this year.
“I think last year we were able to bus about 10 students over (to Andale) throughout the course of the year, whereas this year, we have 21 students in one of my classes and 26 students in another,” he said. “We’ve also had a number of students then hop in and get involved with the FFA side of things, too.”
Holliday grew up on a small family farm north of Topeka.
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“My dad, his uncles and grandparents have a cattle herd of about 100 head, and we put up 45 acres of corn, 45 of soybeans, hay in the summer. Nothing fancy, but as far as getting to experience a lot of that growing up, I’d say that played a huge role in my life,” he said. “That kind of led to me being involved in FFA in high school. I went out to K-State, kept being involved, and ended up majoring in agricultural education.”
Members of Renwick FFA participated in a lamb judging event this Wednesday and are planning to go to a horse judging competition in October. A parliamentary procedure competition and an agricultural communications event are among the other activities coming up for FFA. The club is also planning a fresh fruit fundraiser for Christmastime.
“We’ve had tremendous support from the community and from the school district,” Holliday said. “For me personally, I’ve had experiences from being in FFA truly transform my life. I think it’s pretty incredible that we have people who are very supportive of our program here. It’s a very needed piece in today’s education.”
This fall, Holliday is teaching an introduction to agriculture class and a class on plant and soil science. In the spring, he plans to offer an animal science course as well as an agriculture business course.