By Brody McGuire, Executive Director of Rocker 7 Farm Patch: Desert Edge High School has a young, up-and-coming agricultural education program with a focus on teaching urban agriculture enthusiasts about production agriculture. The vibrant Desert Edge FFA Chapter has maintained a keen eye on community involvement.
HARVESTERS WITH HEART: Desert Edge High School harvests for the local community.
The 95 member strong Desert Edge High School FFA Chapter and agricultural education program is only four years
“We have an 857 square foot greenhouse, 704 square feet of raised bed garden area, and a fledgling mechanics shop,” Desert Edge Agricultural Instructor and FFA Advisor April Scibienski said. “Our focus has been to make our
Rocker 7 Farm Patch is a new agricultural education farm located in Buckeye, Arizona, with a passion for teaching the community about the role of local production agriculture in the food and fiber they consume. The farm offers fall and spring school tours, along with a public fall festival including a corn maze, pumpkin patch and educational displays.
From the mutual vested interest in involving young people in agricultural education, these two groups developed a partnership to not only teach agriculture in a real-world, hands-on
This spring, Rocker 7 Farm Patch designated three rows in their wheat field as a test
“We were thrilled to donate our first
McGuire planted three different varieties of radishes (Ping Pong, Easter Egg, and French Breakfast), which allowed the students to see the differences in varieties commonly used in production agriculture. Students were also able to learn about common agricultural practices used daily on the farm.
“We were able to discuss the importance of the Durum wheat crop and the impact of that specific crop to local production agriculture and global consumption,” McGuire said. “The wheat crop was a focal point for the spring school tours, where guests were able to learn products we receive from wheat, a bit about the harvest process, and were even able to grind their own flour.”
While the radishes and garden harvest
“When we made it to the community services center, the individuals there were extremely appreciative of the donation and work from these young students,” McGuire said.
All the students made their guesses on the final weight total, but guesses from students and educators alike seemed to change as the truck was unloaded. The final total was 327 pounds of freshly harvested produce right into the arms of the local community center.
“Desert Edge FFA is lucky to partner with Rocker 7 Farm Patch to bring our students some realistic,
Scibienski felt fortunate for the opportunity to take her students on an educational field trip to the farm, where they learned how to harvest radishes and helped deliver them to the local food bank.
“This gave the students an opportunity to quite literally get their hands dirty while serving their local community,” she said. “The secondary benefits to this trip were to get an
“The best part is that it's all very local,” Scibienski concluded, which is exactly the void Rocker 7 Farm Patch set out to fill when it opened the farm gates at its Buckeye location.