Student steers to success: Freshman finds purpose, passion in ag organization

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 4:00 pm

When agriculture classes are introduced to students, the initial thought may be that it teaches how to farm, but opposed to that common belief, many ag classes offer much more, from giving students an opportunity to show their own steers and heifers to teaching them skills that are essential to everyday life as adults. Ag also has support organizations, such as 4-H, which is a youth mentoring organization, and FFA, which is a guide to careers and future endeavours. In and out of school, freshman Wilsey Wendler is a prime example of a dedicated and enthusiastic member of the agriculture organization.

“I’ve only been in agriculture since the beginning of the school year,” Wendler said. “In that short time, I’ve learned a lot about FFA and I’m now involved in the consumer science [area of] 4-H.”

Wendler’s experience hasn’t only come out of agriculture classes, but also from years of showing steers and competing around the state.

“I show steers and that comes in handy in class,” Wendler said. “I won the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo last year and I’ve learned a lot from competing.”

Wendler has accomplished much on her own outside of school, but the agriculture teacher, Barbara Wolk-Tunnel, has set her up to pursue bigger and better things and sees Wendler’s potential and the example she poses.

“Wilsey is a go-getter and she is someone that will be well known because she is an active participant,” Volk-Tunnell said. “She will encourage other people to be in FFA and to get excited about it.”

Wendlers’ accomplishments are a stepping stone for her future. She hopes to pursue a career that uses the fundamental knowledge that she’s learned and will learn from ag classes.

“In a lot of ways [ag sets me up for my future career] by teaching me about animals,” Wendler said. “I hope to be a vet and I know ag will prepare me well.”

Despite animals taking up the basic curriculum of agriculture, the class has many distinguishing factors that other extracurricular activities may not emphasize as much and allows students to get hands on experience to expand their way of thinking.

“[Students] can learn a variety of things,” Volk-Tunnell said. “The freshman classes do everything from woodwork to welding. We learn leadership skills. Students also learn how to do parametric procedure. The things to learn are infinite in agriculture.”

Agriculture classes provide an atmosphere for students to grow creatively and there will always be something new to learn.

“I’ve learned a lot in the [6 months] since I’ve been involved in ag,” Wendler said. “I have a much more to learn and I’m excited for what’s in store.”

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