The Clear Creek Amana Community School District is starting an Agriculture Education Program at the High School and Middle School starting the fall of 2018 for the 2018 - 2019 school year.
Dating as far back as the late 1970's the district was able to provide agriculture courses to students through a program run by Kirkwood but when Kirkwood dropped the agriculture program the district was unable to pick it up.
From the time the current CCA Superintendent Tim Kuehl started with the district in 2013, he has had local supporters like Kevin Kinney, Jim Seelman and a number of others mention the desire to start and Ag/FFA program. The community, student and parent interest has increasingly grown these past few years. Initially, students were encouraged to sign up to show their interest, then the district would hire a teacher. The district also tried starting an "Ag Club" in hopes of generating interest to support hiring a teacher. This year the district transported students to the Williamsburg Community School District to participate in their Agriculture program.
This past fall, High School Principal Mr. Moody attended joint meetings with the Iowa City Community School district as they explored starting an agriculture program as well. In November it was decided CCA would move forward to lay out a possible CCA Agriculture Program with Mr. Moody and Middle School Principal Mr. Fox taking lead to develop what an Agriculture teaching position and program could look like for CCA. The high school will offer the Introduction to Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources course the first semester and the following semester would be a combination of the Principles of Agricultural Science – Animal or Plant courses as student interest dictates. These courses would be taught in the mornings at the High School and the Middle School exploratory would be offered in the afternoons. The exploratory would be for both 7th and 8th grades and the agriculture teacher will design the course as an introduction to agriculture to give the students a glimpse of the coursework they would be involved in during high school.
CCA has extended an offer to ICCSD to have students attend courses at CCAHS. At this point CCA does not know if they will or not.
Students taking or who have completed an Ag class will be eligible for the CCA FFA program. FFA is an intracurricular student organization for those interested in agriculture and leadership. Leadership is provided by student officers who are elected each year by the chapter’s members, and by the agriculture teacher who serves as the advisor for the chapter.
FFA is a national organization with state and local chapters. Students could be in the Ag program and choose not to be in FFA. Historically “FFA” stands for Future Farmers of America but FFA is not just for students who want to be production farmers; FFA also welcomes student members who are interested in careers as teachers, doctors, scientists, business owners and more. Today they are still Future Farmers of America but for the Future Biologists, Future Chemists, Future Veterinarians, Future Engineers and Future Entrepreneurs of America too.
In December a meeting was organized by Kevin Kinney, referred as the "Friends of the FFA". This was a group of about 20 business leaders and individuals supportive of the program. In the future the CCA Ag teacher will work with this group to further the CCA Ag/FFA program.
CCA has posted for the Agriculture teaching position and intend to start the interview process in February.