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Forsyth Central High School reintroduces agriculture program, holds first FFA week
Central FFA
Forsyth Central's Vet Science Team won fifth place out of 25 teams in the North Region. From left back, MaraJade Smith, Emma McKinney, Hannah Kawecki, Macie McCullough. From left front, Daniel Schuch, Sky Coleman. Photo courtesy of Forsyth Central FFA.

An agriculture and the Future Farmers of America club have returned to Forsyth Central High School under the direction of Lorie Skorich, agriculture and earth systems teacher. The new program features a Vet Pathway Program that will teach students the necessary information to become vet assistants out of high school.  

“We are so excited to have agriculture and FFA back at Central, but it’s a little different this time around,” Skorich said. “Our program is a vet science program, so at the end of [the kids’] three courses, they’ll be able to take a vet assistant certification which will allow them to work as a vet assistant right out of high school. That’s really exciting, and we’re so glad that we can provide that to the students.” 

Central FFA
MJ Fitzpatrick and Mariana Sanchez work at McDonald's Funeral Home preparing supplies for the 2020 elections. Photo courtesy of Forsyth Central FFA.

Students in the program will start with general agriculture classes and then move onto animal science courses where they will learn about anatomy and animal behavior. Students will then have the opportunity to move onto veterinary classes where they will learn how to give animals injections and animal nutrition and care. 

“Whether or not you plan on going into the vet [career], so many people have animals and at some point, you’re going to have to provide end-of-life care for your animals,” Skorich said. “So I think it’s really neat that kids will be able to administer simple medicine and other things if their animals need it.” 

The vet science program focuses on typical and atypical pets. Currently, Skorich explained that she has students that are interested in reptiles and amphibians and that the class recently got a gecko to care for. 

Central FFA
The 2021 Forsyth Central FFA officer team. From left, Vice President Anna Grace Lowe, Secretary Sky Coleman, Treasurer Macie McCullough, Sentinel Emma McKinney, Historian Sarah Murray, Reporter Daniel Schuch, Chaplain MaraJade Smith. Photo courtesy of Forsyth Central FFA.
Central FFA
Forsyth Central's FFA President Hannah Kawecki. Photo courtesy of Forsyth Central FFA.

“The really, really cool thing about the agriculture curriculum is, as a teacher, it’s about me guiding my students,” Skorich said. “I take the students’ choices into consideration, and I also listen to our industry leaders and our advisory board committee as to what they want to see my students be able to do when they graduate.”

Central’s FFA chapter is participating in its first FFA Week which started Feb. 22 and will run through Feb. 26. Each day has agriculture-themed trivia over the intercom followed by a specific theme throughout the day. Some of the days feature learning about milk, speaking virtually with someone in a professional agriculture position and enjoying the Ag Olympics. Skorich said the Ag Olympics will include games and friendly teamwork competitions. 

Skorich said she is excited for the students to engage in all the activities and celebrate the new student officer team of the FFA. 

“The leadership potential and opportunities that students get from FFA is my favorite part about the whole thing,” Skorich said. “Getting to work … with the officers and working on them growing as people and expanding their leadership skills, advocacy and communication skills is my absolute favorite thing about this whole experience.”

Central FFA
Forsyth Central FFA jacket from 1956 donated by the McWhorter family in memorial of their father Barry McWhorter. Photo courtesy of Forsyth Central FFA.

She said the FFA club had been gifted an FFA presidential jacket from 1956. Joel McWhorter, a science teacher at Central, donated his father’s jacket to the club to be part of the ongoing history of Central’s agriculture program. 

Skorich said she is missing a lot of the history of Central’s past agriculture program due to the disbandment of the program sometime in the ’90s. If you have memories or pictures of Central’s previous agriculture program and FFA club, reach out to Lorie Skorich at lskorich@forsyth.k12.ga.us. 

“It’s really important for students to feel connected to our roots in agriculture and to our community,” Skorich said. 

Skorich said she is trying to help students at Central reclaim their agricultural roots and is excited to take these next steps to grow the program and club.