Second graders petting a pony.

Western North Carolina is steeped in agriculture traditions, jobs and resources. North Buncombe High School (NBHS) opened its doors to share some of those skill sets with some younger students across the North Buncombe District. 

Ag Awareness Day is a fun and important experience for both high school students and second graders from neighboring elementary schools. High schoolers came together in October to educate students about canning, bee keeping, livestock, gardening and so much more. This tradition has been going strong since 2012. 

“The experience of Ag Awareness Day is to hopefully impart knowledge on our younger students that they remember long into adulthood,” said NBHS Agriculture teacher Justin Gillespie. 

High schoolers greeted second graders as they exited the bus, and took them on tour through all 17 stations and animals available to experience. Parents and family members of NBHS students came as well with their own animals and skills to show off. 

“Seeing both high school and elementary students together is one of the most unique interactions,” said Mr. Gillespie. “At the end of the day my students' faces lit up when talking about the interactions they had with the second graders. The connections made for everyone are priceless and something I hope they will cherish.”

FFA President Mylee Ponder said the knowledge gained from being in Future Farmers of America (FFA) is invaluable. 

“FFA and Ag classes teach necessary life skills that you learn are crucial to becoming a successful young adult,” she said. “My favorite part of Ag Day was the kids interacting with the animals. I get to be around livestock everyday, and I sometimes take that for granted. So seeing the excitement through a child’s eyes reminded me of my love for livestock and this program.” 

High school student with a chicken on her head.