Sunday, July 21, 2024
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Monterey High FFA Wins First State Proficiency Award

The Monterey High School FFA has won its first state proficiency award for turf grass management, thanks to student Greyson Key.

Monterey Agriculture Teacher Tyler Vester said Key earned the award for his work as a groundskeeper at the Bear Trace Golf Course at Cumberland Mountain. Vester said the award has already has a positive impact on the school’s FFA program as a whole.

“Very excited for Greyson,” Vester said. “Very excited for our program, just simply because it’s our first proficiency winning, winning the state of Tennessee. It’s really done a lot of good things for our program. You know, kids are showing more interest in the FFA and want to know, ‘Well how did Greyson do that?'”

Vester said Key’s work included weed eating, seeding and sodding the course, and performing routine maintenance on various kinds of equipment. Vester said the work was part of Key’s supervised agricultural experience (SAE), which is a program designed to expand a student’s knowledge about the field of agriculture.

“They can be an entrepreneur,” Vester said. “They can be in placement. They can do research in each of those different categories. It’s just a way to expand from the classroom out into the real world.”

Key will go on to represent Tennessee in the FFA’s national competition later this year.

“The application process will go through, pass through several different hands and they’ll read over and judge and look, and then if Greyson makes it into the top four, then he will be recognized nationally for that,” Vester said.

Vester said their program has shifted in the past year to have a much stronger focus on community outreach and involvement, allowing the Monterey community to see the success that students are having in their agricultural education.

“Having kids involved in whatever shape, form, or fashion that they can be involved is really good,” Vester said.