Hampton High FFA presents bookcase to library

Published 9:38 pm Tuesday, May 25, 2021

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It is hard to believe that there are some young people that think that their food supply comes from Food City, Ingles, or Wal-Mart yet that is the case as they don’t know where the food truly originates.

For that reason, the Hampton High School FFA wanted to do something to help educate those younger ones and came up with the idea of building a bookcase from scratch and donating it to the Elizabethton / Carter County Public Library filled with books that explain agriculturally what the process is for getting food to the grocery stores.

The bookcase was built in the shape of a tractor complete with a smokestack and working lights on the front. Team members also handpainted the FFA and 4-H logos on the front of the bookcase.

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With the bookcase complete, the group made the presentation to the library with two special guests on hand – Shotgun and Beau, two Holstein Dairy Steers who were brought by their handlers Lacey Smith and Jude Hickman.

“These kids have worked extremely hard on this bookcase,” said 4-H leader Emily Barton. “They worked with business owners to get the supplies donated.

“They have worked with presidents of different cattlemen’s and different organizations within our farm community to get the pieces donated. Our cattle are two of five in pilot year four.

“Our goal when we came to Carter County was to get different cattle in Carter County. They will be showing at the fair at Greene County.

“The purpose of the bookshelf is to put accurate agriculture books in the hands of students and their families.”

It is important for everyone to understand the importance of agriculture especially in the state of Tennessee as agriculture and forestry industries contribute approximately $71 billion in total economic activity.

Farming and forestry dominate Tennessee’s landscape with 77,300 farms producing and selling crops, livestock, and forest products. Forty-two percent or 10.8 million acres of the state’s land area is in farmland.

Livestock and livestock products account for over 40 percent of the state’s agriculture cash revenue.

The bookcase has a bulletin board that will be used to house community agriculture events.

Phase two will be built in the Fall of 2021 with the purpose of making space for additional youth and adult resources for agriculture.

“We strongly believe the future success of agriculture depends upon developing an ag literate society with individuals who understand and can communicate the source and value of agriculture,” said Barton. “With the majority of children today five to six generations removed from living and working on farms, we must provide that farm connection for the next generation.

“It is crucial that children and adults recognize and appreciate the vital role agriculture plays in our way of life, even if you only consume its products. An agriculturally literate person understands how the agricultural industry works – not just where food comes from, but who grows it, agriculture’s effect on the economy, environment, technology, lifestyle, and its relationship to livestock.