BEA hosts state agriculture showcase
Bald Eagle Area High School was host to this year’s state agriculture showcase Feb. 21 that featured the school’s agriculture program. It was a way to celebrate National FFA Week, and included an appearance by state Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding who said he was “impressed” with what BEA had to offer. “You come into this sort of thinking it’s going to be fairly limited and then as soon as you step through the doors you realize it is nothing like you imagined,” Redding said. “It’s much more. It’s got this dynamic feel to it; it’s got food that’s grown and produced, processed, served here that’s connected to the consumer sciences program; outside forest land management with a sawmill; plus great leadership.”
The event began with a student-produced lunch, followed by a series of guest speakers, and then tour of the high school’s agriculture program that also includes state inspected and approved chicken and rabbit processing. Ag teacher Jade Thompson even allowed his student to show Redding how to use the portable sawmill. “Anywhere you can expose students to the agricultural sciences and then talk about production, processing and serving, and bringing in the food service side, I think is amazing teaching and experience for students and the district,” Redding said. This day was made possible by the ag program and the state Association of Agriculture Educators who approached ag teacher Todd Biddle about hosting this year’s event at BEA. The Bald Eagle Area chapter of FFA is one of 12 chapters in the commonwealth ranked nationally. Last year, the team was ranked No. 8 in Pennsylvania.