By Eryka Lepper
Atwater FFA Reporter
The Atwater High School Agriculture Department has welcomed its 10th agriculture teacher to its agriculture and FFA program.
Trey Johnston joined the agriculture team after graduating from California Polytechnic State University, where he majored in Agricultural Science and Agriculture Education.
Johnston student taught at Los Banos High School’s agriculture department prior to competing his teaching credential and his prior experience in FFA and agriculture mechanics was through his high school tenure at Hilmar High School.
“During high school I had a very rewarding experience by being involved in the agriculture program. The program offered me practical skills, personal and leadership development and allowed me to do what I enjoyed. As a result, I decided to become an agriculture teacher because I wanted to provide the next generation of students the skills they need to succeed regardless of the career choice and/or interest.” said Johnston.
Johnston will renovating, updating, and strengthening the entire agriculture mechanic’s engines and power mechanics sector within the agriculture program at Atwater High School. Specific courses will include Small Engines and Advanced Small Engines / Power Mechanics throughout the 2019-2020 school year.
Atwater High School has over 1,100 individual agriculture students which makes it the largest single high school agriculture program in the nation.
“The challenge agriculture education faces is the stereotype that agriculture education is for agriculture students only,” says Atwater High School agriculture instructor Dave Gossman. “The reality is that agriculture education and the FFA has value for all students in terms of academics, personal growth, leadership, skills, experiences, and career exploration that benefits all students regardless of their academic and career interests.”
The Atwater High School agriculture education program and FFA focuses on academic success, personal growth, leadership, and career exploration for students. The Atwater and California FFA is a high school youth leadership and career development organization that is a state association of the National FFA Organization, a federally charted corporation under Public Law 105-225. The California Association currently serves over 89,000 student members in over 330 high schools, from urban schools in Los Angeles and the Bay Area to rural schools all across the state.