FFA Program Provides Invaluable Opportunities for Students
Improvements Proposed in Bond Package to Support Growth
Clear Creek ISD’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) program has been a longstanding pillar of success with continuous growth each year throughout the District.
The FFA program serves around 375 students from Clear Brook High School, Clear Creek High School, Clear Falls High School, Clear Lake High School and Clear Springs High School.
“Raising animals and other supervised agriculture experiences involve a lot of work,” said Dana Morgan, director of career and technical education. “I think what’s good about it is really helps the students develop a strong work ethic.”
These high school students commit to many months of hard work raising animals or creating a non-livestock project to then show across the state in hopes of being named Grand Champion in their respective categories.
“It teaches me responsibility, how to work a schedule and staying organized,” said Sophia Dykes who is raising multiple animals through the program at Clear Springs High School. “We have the opportunity to explore potential careers while also having the chance to earn scholarships for our future projects or plans.”
For 41 years, the District has hosted the annual Livestock Show and Auction, which had a record-breaking year in 2023 by raising $312,000 for students through community support. The proceeds from each auction item goes directly to the student to help them further their commitment to excel in agriculture and leadership education.
“This event is an integral part of the program and it means the world to us every year how the community comes out and supports these students,” said Career and Technical Education Program Manager JT Buford. “The work that gets put in at the Ag Barn with an animal or ag project translates to what they do in the classroom with highlighting problem-solving skills and leadership qualities.”
Clear Creek ISD has two barns where students are able to house the animals and get support. The East Agriculture Facility serves Clear Creek High School and Clear Falls High School students and the West Agricultural Facility houses animals from Clear Brook High School, Clear Lake High School and Clear Springs High School.
“With the growth and success of the program, we are having to find new ways to support these students in their work, which is a good problem to have,” said Buford.
Through the 2023 CCISD Bond Program, the East Agriculture Barn would receive a major expansion and the West Agriculture Facility would have replacements made of aging pens and netting. Currently, Clear Creek and Clear Falls FFA students are only able to raise one animal per year at the East Ag Facility due to spacing limitations.
“The plan for the East Ag Facility is to create a 10-stall pole barn where we can house cattle on the exterior of the existing structure,” said Buford. “Then we would retrofit in small animal pens where the cattle used to be allowing for additional animal projects for students.”