Five students from Indian Valley Academy’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) Ag Leadership class will attend the Western Regional Grazing Conference: Grazing for Change at Chico State in February on a scholarship. The FFA students applied to the scholarship program, facilitated by the Jefferson Center for Holistic Management, and completed a formal interview process in order to receive the scholarship.
Students gain real-world experience
Indian Valley Academy Ag teacher Katie Harris simulated a formal job application process to give students a taste of the real-world. For some, this was their first interview experience.
“I want them to know that deadlines are real. Turning in a solid, complete application is the only way to advance in a job application process,” Harris said. Ten students applied for the scholarship. Interviews were conducted on campus by Jefferson Center owners Abbey and Spencer Smith and University of California Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor, Holly George.
“We were blown away by the quality of the applications and the thoughtfulness, depth and creativity the students exhibited in the interviews. We left feeling inspired and so hopeful for the future after spending time with all the applicants from Indian Valley Academy. What a great group of students,” Spencer Smith said.
Smith led the students on a field walk at Brian and Heather Kingdon’s ranch in Indian Valley earlier that morning. He explained the basic principles of holistic management to the group and pointed out examples of ecosystem processes on the field trip. For some students, this was their first exposure to holistic management and they grasped the concepts immediately. Some interview questions focused on the concepts of holistic management.
“Holistic management can be hard to articulate, and some of the students absolutely nailed it in the interviews,” Abbey Smith said.
Buel Mouser Memorial Scholarship promotes regenerative agriculture
The students competed for three Buel Mouser Memorial Scholarships to attend the Grazing for Change conference in Chico Feb. 27 and 28, 2015. The students awarded the scholarship will have their conference registration fees covered by the scholarship. A fourth scholarship for registration fees was provided by Brian and Heather Kingdon. Indian Valley Academy provided the fifth.
“This whole process was an excellent example of the Indian Valley community coming together to provide opportunities for our students and find creative solutions to the future of our region. I am honored to be part of the process,” Abbey Smith said.
Professor Buel Mouser grew up farming and providing for his family on land purchased and developed by his parents in the Bakersfield, Calif. area. He served as the farm manager at Chico State University starting in the early 1960’s. During his time as farm manager he worked on his formal education in agriculture. He received a master’s degree and became a professor of agriculture in his late 50’s and early 60’s. His thesis detailed his quest to develop a hybrid cotton variety that would grow in northern California, specifically at the Chico State University Farm. He succeeded in developing this variety.
” It was an exciting time. I have an adorable picture of [my husband] Randy in one of the first cotton fields at the farm holding [my sons] Jared and Tyler. We still have some of the cotton and cotton stalks in my mom’s garage,” said Mouser’s daughter, Valerie Pew.