The Ag program at CCS is alive and well.
Brooklin Drake is in her first year as the high school Ag teacher. A graduate of SUNY Cobleskill, Drake has big plans for the resurrected program.
“Coming into this program, my first goal was to recharter our FFA chapter as quickly as possible,” said Drake. “Now that we are officially rechartered, I have shifted my goals to promoting the program. I am blown away by all of the support this program has within our community and the students are so excited to have Ag and FFA! I look forward to expanding in the future and working with these wonderful students. The FFA members that I have so far are born to move mountains and I can’t wait to see how far they grow over the next few years.”
Drake grew up on a dairy farm in Central New York where they milk around 350 holstein cows. As a student at SUNY Cobleskill, she majored in Ag business and minored in Ag education. She is currently studying at SUNY Oswego and plans to receive her masters in career and technical education.
Drake’s Ag education is extensive. In 2021-22, she served as the District 7 Future Farmers of America (FFA) President. In 2022-23, she served as the state sentinel for FFA. In that role, Drake traveled around the state. The goal was to help Ag students develop leadership skills and participate in workshops related to agriculture.
Through FFA, Drake also participated in Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE). She started her own business in vegetable production when she was a sophomore in high school. She hopes to continue the business in this area.
In the classroom, CCS students have been learning about all things Ag and participating in a lot of hands-on activities. Intro to Ag exposes students to the innovations in agriculture, including how it started and how much it has grown since its inception. Thus far, students have participated in flower, apple and pumpkin units. Drake is also teaching all of the 7th grade students in 10-week intervals. The 10-week course focuses on natural resources, plant science, Ag in the past, FFA and leadership, and food science. Students recently made ice cream as part of their food science unit. Students are also harvesting lettuce and will make salads with everything they’ve grown as part of a 10-week culminating project.
Next year, Ag offerings for students will be expanded. Both the 7th and 8th grade classes will take 10-week courses to lay the foundation for future Ag courses. Drake will also teach Intro to Ag, Horticulture and Ag Leadership/SAE.
Drake is also the FFA club advisor and hosts FFA meetings for students. The FFA already has 38 members and the meetings are well attended. She plans to have students go to competitions and the state convention. Her goal is for students to have their FFA jacket by the end of the school year. All members in grades 7-11 have the opportunity to apply for a jacket award and could potentially receive one at state convention.
If the auditorium capital project is approved, Drake hopes that CCS can host districts or substates in the future. Substates is a large project and needs a venue that can hold a lot of schools from throughout the region. After substates, successful members then move on to the state competition.
“Getting the opportunity to start a brand new program has always been a dream of mine. I am beyond excited to live out my dream at Cambridge and I look forward to working with the community and the students. FFA was a vital part of my childhood, and I hope I can allow FFA to impact these students the way it impacted me.”