On Saturday, June 20, 2015, two local youth related organizations on St. Thomas held agriculture related activities at Plaza Extra and the Lockhart Elementary School to combat hunger and promote agriculture awareness. With a food drive being conducted by students from the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) Chapter and UVI Cooperative Extension Service office staff, as well as a school-based farmers’ market with Lockhart Elementary and Bertha C. Boschulte Middle school members of the V.I. School Garden Cooperative on St. Thomas, youth had a day of collaboratively calling attention to and gaining support of agriculture and our V.I. youth-based farming organizations.
Last publicized in February regarding their award winning participation at the local news during the 44th Agriculture and Food Fair of the U.S. Virgin Islands on St. Croix, local FFA youth have been making a name for themselves all throughout the territory.
Texting pictures and updates with each other throughout the day, the FFA youth groups on both St. Thomas and St. Croix, held food drives out in the community at their respective Plaza Extra shopping centers to be where the people are at while the younger students stayed at their school lead by teachers and staff, with students coaxing the people in traffic to come visit them from along the roadside with a banner.
Dr. Louis E. Petersen, Jr., the Assistant Director with the Agriculture and Natural Resources program at the University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service, is also the District Advisor for FFA.
“FFA is all about the youth and agricultural education. Teaching our young adults about the career opportunities in Agricultural Science, but as well teaching them about being sensitive to the needs of others when it comes to those who need food,” he stated.
According to the National FFA Organization blog, “The FFA Hunger Heroes Challenge is a national, year-long program that will donate 2.5 million meals across the country before the 88th National FFA Convention & Expo this fall. FFA members use a “See It, Solve It, Share It” approach to learn about and tackle hunger issues. The FFA Hunger Heroes Challenge is part of the National FFA Organization’s “Feeding Our World – Starting At Home” movement that is compelling students to understand the issues and effects of hunger.
Students then take action to support the human right to safe, affordable, abundant and nutritious food as a means of reducing hunger at home and abroad, starting with a look at the U.S. The first step is to educate teachers and students about domestic and global food insecurity. The second is to organize hunger relief efforts that give FFA members opportunities to apply what they have learned to fight hunger and promote food security for all.”
For more information on both groups send contact them at their respective email addresses: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit ces.uvi.edu or call 340-693-1083 for the UVI Cooperative Extension Service office. You can also stay connected at their respective Facebook pages:
- UVI Cooperative Extension Service
- Virgin Islands FFA Association, Inc.
- V.I. School Garden Cooperative