By Kyle Lovern
NAUGATUCK – They are already producing plants at Tug Valley High School’s new greenhouse for harvest and to sell.
A christening was held Thursday afternoon to officially open the new structure and agricultural program at the Mingo County school.
Superintendent of Schools Randy Keathley, Board of Education President Bill Duty and many others gathered to help the students and their sponsor with the official ribbon-cutting.
Angie Fisher, the sponsor of the TVHS agricultural program, has been instrumental in getting the program up and running. She was able to get a state grant to help finish the greenhouse, which has a concrete floor, electricity and running water for irrigation.
TVHS Principal Johnny Branch welcomed those in attendance and praised Fisher for her efforts.
“We are open to the public during school hours,” a proud Fisher said. “We will also be selling plants at the Farmer’s Market in Williamson on Saturday.”
CTE Coordinator Marsha Maynard said this of Fisher’s hard work, “Ms. Fisher has put in many extra hours for this project. She has gone above and beyond. She has put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this program.”
“We are very proud of the students in this program at Tug Valley,” Keathley said. “We also are pleased to be supporting our healthy school program.”
Six of the students who were mainly responsible for growing the plants and taking care of the greenhouse were also in attendance and helped with the ribbon cutting. They were Angeline Maynard, Marissa Vance, Donaven “D. J.” Messer, Chad Hundley, Aaron Lucas and Katie Adkins.
Natalie Young of the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce also was in attendance for the ceremony, along with Steve Kominar of the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority, newly elected school board member June Glover, past board member Dee Kapourales and Maria Arnot of the Mingo County Diabetes Coalition and Williamson Farmer’s Market.
The Pro Start class at TVHS made and served a healthy and tasty lunch for those in attendance.
Everyone agrees that the new agriculture program is already a success at Tug Valley and that this will introduce students to an entire new educational outlet. It can also help instill entrepreneurship for some aggressive students.
Agricultural Education prepares students for successful careers and a lifetime of informed choices in the global agriculture, food, fiber and natural resources systems.
Through agricultural education, students are provided opportunities for leadership development, personal growth and career success. Agricultural education instruction is delivered through three major components:
1. Classroom/laboratory instruction (contextual learning)
2. Supervised agricultural experience programs (work-based learning)
3. National Future Farmers of America (student leadership organization)
Fisher said the agriculture program at Tug Valley is only going to get bigger and better. They have vegetable plants and flowers already growing and available.
Kyle Lovern is sports editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 304-235-4242, ext. 33, or on Twitter @KyleLovern.