After decades without one, Moscow High School welcomed a Future Farmers of America chapter back to campus last school year.

The chapter is overseen by MHS agriculture and science teacher Chelsey Sharp.

The only requirement for a Moscow High student to be in the FFA chapter is they need to take, or have taken, at least one agriculture class. Some of the course options include animal science, agriculture mechanics and agriculture welding.

As a child, Sharp was part of the Hermiston, Ore., FFA chapter. She said it’s a tradition she wants to impart into the lives of her students because of the positive impact it had on her life.

“Some major skills I learned were life skills such as time management, working with others and communication,” she said. “Along with those skills, FFA also bloomed my passion for agriculture.”

Mauri Knott, chairwoman of the Latah County Fair board, was one of the community members involved in bringing FFA back to the high school. She said the reinstatement provides students with valuable education opportunities.

“The cool thing about agriculture education is that it’s one of those areas that both trade school-bound and university-bound students benefit from,” Knott said. “It’s an awesome program that gives a lot of kids a purpose and a correlation between hands-on learning and what they’re learning in their other classes.”

Before MHS reinstated its chapter, it was an outlier on the Palouse, surrounded by other high schools with FFA chapters.

Eleven MHS students brought animals to sell at this year’s 4-H and FFA Virtual Livestock Auction. Four students came home with high rating recognition and quality awards from judges.

Sharp said her MHS students who participated exceeded all expectations.

“Our chapter did phenomenally at the fair — this is the first time we attended … as a Moscow FFA chapter in more than 30 years,” she said. “I’m so grateful that my students had the opportunity to participate in the fair and sell their animals, and I know that all of them are also grateful. They are already preparing for next year — I think they had an amazing time.”

Ellen Dennis can be reached at (208) 883-4632 or by email at briefs@dnews.com.

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