The FAE team recently traveled to South Carolina to gather with a group of students attending Clemson University's 19th year of the SC Commissioners School for Agriculture week. We discussed the importance of sustainable land management and its applications in forestry and agriculture and performed a live demo contributing to the student's hands-on knowledge and experience.
FAE’s celebrity spokesman and land management business owner, Edwin McCain, joined us in this venture to deliver a valuable message and share his wisdom, knowledge and first-hand experience in the forestry and agriculture business with the students.
The goal of the SCCSA program is to provide an enriching experience to highly motivated high school seniors who are seeking academic and career exploration within the agricultural, natural resources, and life science fields. “The biggest thing is hands-on experience, giving students exposure and the opportunity to see the process in the field as opposed to having them look at pictures,” said Hunter Massey, Senior Lecturer at Clemson’s Agricultural Sciences Department.
This year, the program had 36 students, all of which had to apply to the SCCSA program and be admitted. “They like the classroom setting but they really love seeing the processes visually. As a very applied sciences college, we work hard to give our students this experience, which is the biggest benefit of today’s workshop with FAE. Now these students have this tremendous background knowledge because they have physically seen and experienced it. There’s just no better way to learn.” Said Maddy Cutts, Senior Recruiter for the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences at Clemson University.
From the students’ perspective, this type of activity and real life exposure has a major impact in providing a true understanding of the fields they are actively pursuing and their decision making process.
“I am here today because I want to further the knowledge that I already have in the agriculture and forestry industry,'' said Cole Cruise, student at Page Highschool in Franklin, TN.“One thing that was really eye opening for me today was seeing how careful and meticulous the work is and the thought process that goes into ensuring the best labor and the best yield possible. When we imagine forestry, people picture lumberjacks with chainsaws just destroying everything and that's actually not the case at all.”
The event was a big success for students and educators alike and it certainly helped bridge the student’s knowledge gap in the forestry and agriculture fields with true perspective, close exposure and real, hands-on experience. FAE is more than proud to support and invest in students that we believe are the future of sustainable land management and natural resource conservation for generations to come.
By: Maria Bray, FAE