Farmers are perhaps the original lifelong learners. We learn from the experiences of each year, from successes and failures, and from each other. Learning from each other has become a national and global initiative so that we become more efficient and better stewards of our land and animals. One of the national improvement programs that farmers can learn from is the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program. Research has been done on farms and through the nation’s land grant universities to discover the best practices for handling and raising cattle in the most responsible manner. This program is regularly updated as new best practices are discovered. The information from this program is invaluable for farmers to become better stewards of the animals that they have been blessed with raising.
On February 13th, the FFA students at South Stokes High School hosted a regional BQA event on campus with their new cattle handling facility to train area farmers on our best management practices. Twenty-two farmers attended the event from Davidson, Davie, Yadkin, Surry, and Stokes counties to learn how to best handle and manage their herds. The enthusiasm and work that the students put forth in organizing this event was astounding. One student provided cattle from his family farm for the hands-on portion of the event and extra hours were put in to make sure that the grounds and facilities were ready and prepared for an event in the evening hours. Our schools are important hubs for our entire community to connect us and strengthen our culture. It is truly a great thing to see our schools and students working to provide opportunities for farmers to participate in events to come together and learn! I am so proud to be a part of events like these and feel privileged to be able to work with schools and students to strengthen our communities. I encourage you all to participate in events through our schools, it is one of the best ways to establish and maintain community bonds.