Merced County Times Newspaper
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Atwater High Ag students poised for Fall Plant Sale

Atwater High School agriculture students Paola Aguire, Anadalay Cabrera, Jennifer Adame, Yumalai Gastelum, Joshua Brumett, Jose Antunez, Juan Borges, Esmerelda Pena, and Oscar Sanabria attended a recent Atwater High Saturday Academy to help transplant pansies for the upcoming FFA plant sale.
Atwater High School agriculture students Paola Aguire, Anadalay Cabrera, Jennifer Adame, Yumalai Gastelum, Joshua Brumett, Jose Antunez, Juan Borges, Esmerelda Pena, and Oscar Sanabria attended a recent Atwater High Saturday Academy to help transplant pansies for the upcoming FFA plant sale.

By JACKY VELAZQUEZ

Atwater High School horticulture students transplanted over 5,000 flowering annuals and perennials the past two weeks in preparation of next month’s annual FFA plant sale scheduled for Friday, Oct. 7 (8AM – 4PM) and Saturday, Oct. 8th (8AM – 4PM) at the Atwater High School Agriculture department.

The recent efforts of the students will be followed by the regular care and maintenance of the plants and flowers over the next six weeks. The “hands on” learning represents knowledge and skills implemented in the nursery and landscape industry.

The primary purpose of this sale is to generate funds to support the Atwater High School Horticulture program where funds go directly back into the program to assist in the funding of future student, school, and community horticulture and landscape projects. A variety of flowering annual and perennials will be available to the community.

“All plants are priced to sell,” says agriculture instructor Dave Gossman, “The students have put together great quality at a price that is under what you would find at our local stores and nurseries.”

Plants being grown include, houseplants, ferns, succulents, flowing annuals & perennials, and “Spooky Halloween” pansies that will bloom both orange and black flowers for the holiday.The Atwater High School Agriculture program was the first-ever recognized certified high school horticulture program through the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers (CANGC). The certification represents the quality of horticulture program, curriculum and facilities, career awareness by students in the horticulture industry, and encourages students to continue their education towards a career in horticulture.

“People don’t realize that the horticulture industry is a multi-billion dollar industry in the state of California”, said Gossman, “There are numerous opportunities for students to be successful in this field of agriculture.”

The goal of the Atwater FFA is to expand and develop plant products that meet the community’s needs and interests. This school year students have been taking part in horticulture class where they select and grow their own plants to sell at the school’s plant sales.

For more information on the Atwater High School Agriculture Department and Atwater FFA, please log on the website www.AtwaterFFA.org.

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