The school’s 210 FFA members have hosted different events each day this week as they bring information and education about agriculture to other students. West High FFA advisor Marlene Hepner sees the need for the activities, as they give recognition to a school agriculture program that often goes unnoticed.
“Some students have no access to agriculture. It helps give exposure to animals and agriculture and gets awareness to the FFA program at West High,” she said.
Students flocked to the school’s quad area during Wednesday’s two lunch periods to get a hands-on look at the variety of farm animals on display. Two-day-old baby goats stood on wobbly legs as a pair of rabbits snuggled in blankets nearby.
Megan Teese, an FFA member, watched over a pair of her hens named Grilled and Fried. In spite of their sizzling names, Teese said the hens are pets around the home.
“I’ve always had chickens, just for laying eggs,” she said.
The highlight of the day was the annual Kiss a Critter contest, in which students vote to have a school faculty member kiss one of the barnyard visitors. A baby goat was the kiss recipient for the first lunch period, while Suzie, a 6-year-old roan shorthorn bovine, stepped up to receive the kiss in the second lunch.
Campus security guard Rick Jinmenez planted the kisses to the applause of onlookers.
Activities continue Thursday with an agriculture trivia game, and conclude Friday with a school-wide farmers market, which will feature a sample of various foods and products from different campus clubs.
West High’s FFA club has put on the petting zoo and Kiss a Critter contest for the past 10 years.