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Ag creates something from nothing for Davie

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By Brad Bowman

Agriculture is creating something from almost nothing for Lindsey Davie and that is why it is one of the most important disciplines to study.

Davie loves teaching not just in Henry County, but also across the world.

She volunteered in Haiti as an agriculture missionary where she taught the local population about erosion control from deforestation, composting, livestock, and contour farming. This summer she went to Indonesia where farmers still use cattle to plow fields.  She did similar work in the Philippines and Trinidad.

When she isn’t in a remote exotic location during the summer, she can be found arc welding with students in the laboratory or teaching photosynthesis — not from a textbook, but with lab tests.

“Farming will have to be smarter,” Davie said. “As the population of the world increases, we need to prepare for that. We can’t just teach students formulas. They need to do the experiments.”

Davie continually pushes herself into new experiences. Before doing agriculture missionary work, she worked on a ranch near Taos, N.M., where she drove cattle, branded and vaccinated.

Davie’s teachers influenced her at an early age. Her FFA advisors in central Hardin County fostered a close relationship with her.  Her involvement in FFA led to scholarship opportunities, which landed her in Western Kentucky University’s agriculture education program. She concentrated in areas of science, agronomy and globalizing agriculture. She interviewed for her current position while still a student teacher at Barren County High School.

As an FFA advisor, Davie and the school’s FFA chapter were awarded three stars from the FFA National Chapter Awards. The award is given to FFA chapters that complete activities focused on working within a team dynamic, individual growth and activities to serve others. The chapter also must complete 15 program activities within those three categories.

For individual growth, activities focus on teaching students leadership skills and healthy lifestyles. The team dynamic division stresses activities for each individual chapter development concentrating on areas of recruitment, finance and public relations where students may do things like prepare a newsletter or plan fundraising activities for financing the chapter. Activities to serve others would include educational activities to the public or school children like educating fourth grade elementary students on how bread is produced on the Yount’s Where the Trail Ends Farm.

Davie’s Henry County FFA chapter was one of nine chapters awarded three stars in the state.

“I love to see my students succeed and continue to succeed in the community once they graduate,” Davie said. “I get cards from students telling me I am their 2nd mom and they want me to attend their graduation and come to their wedding. FFA helped me succeed and I want to do that for my students.”

Davie’s lessons focus heavily on science, math and computer skills with real world applications like engine trouble shooting. Students receive training in courses like horticulture or animal science gives them an advantage whether they are college or career ready.

“I would also like to add food science to the curriculum in regards to production, processing, marketing and research,” Davie said. “The future in agriculture will create more jobs with more specialization in different fields.” 

Davie stresses the need to teach students the proper building blocks before they decide to enter college or begin their chosen career path.

“We already know as teachers that what we teach them will be outdated by the time they enter the workforce, Davie said. “But students who have taken their four courses in things like horticulture have been able to negotiate for higher with the leadership skills they have learned here.”

With soil conservation grants, Davie is able to give more hands on experience with handheld computers that measure pH levels, carbon dioxide and temperature. In studying photosynthesis, students do experiments where they measure carbon dioxide and oxygen levels in test tubes that contain a plant and a snail separately and then measure them in test tubes together to actually witness the symbiosis.

Davie has been with Henry County High School for five years. Last year she watched students she taught as children for four years graduate as young leaders.

“I have taken four kids to compete in livestock evaluations and we actually scored 1,245 and were beat by a score of 1,255 missing the nationals by ten points,” Davie said. “They work hard to know the different characteristics for market and breeding with cattle, hogs, sheeps and goats and I can only take credit for teaching them. They do the rest as team that has grown together doing it.”

For more information about Lindsey Davie’s travels as an agricultural missionary in places like Haiti visit her blog at www. Lindseyinhaiti.blogspot.com.

 

E-mail us about this article at news@hclocal.com.