Palo Alto College’s Agriculture Extravaganza connects students across Texas

By Max Peña
Pulse Staff Reporter

Students gather in the Performing Arts Auditorium for the awards ceremony. Photo by Palo Alto College Public Relations.
Students gather in the Performing Arts Auditorium for the awards ceremony. Photo by Palo Alto College Public Relations.

Palo Alto College’s Fourth Annual Agriculture Extravaganza on Nov. 2, 2018, allows students to build relationships with other students from competing schools.

The Agriculture Extravaganza is San Antonio’s largest Future Farmers of America exhibition. This year, 350 students from 38 local high schools participated, making it the largest agriculture event by a college or university in Texas’ history.

The students participating in the event set up booths to distinguish themselves from other competing schools; groups of students from multiple high schools were set up in the Ozuna Library, the Performing Arts Center, Brazos Hall and Sabine Hall.

Kaylie Cerda, a freshman FFA member from Marion High School, was excited to be at the event with such a large number of agriculture students.

“We hope to better ourselves and do good for our community,” said Cerda. “More people should be involved by participating in FFA events and getting involved with local agriculture programs.”

Brianna Perez, a junior FFA member from Judson High School, works with the Agriculture Advocacy program at her high school. Perez wants to be a small animal veterinarian once she graduates from college. She recognized in her eighth grade year that the agriculture pathway for high school students at Judson allowed her to participate in veterinary classes.

“I want to be the best I could be and help my school out; students should definitely get involved if they have agriculture programs at their school. They’re great programs for students, and they help get careers started,” said Perez. “Agriculture is the basic foundation of our country; it provides everything for everyone.”

Ty Chumbley, division chair of Agriculture, leads the Agriculture Extravaganza. Chumbley started the convention in 2014. Every year since, the event has grown, allowing high school students in and around Bexar County to compete.

“We’re growing every single year. This year’s contest is bigger than Texas Tech University, Texas State University, and Texas A&M Kingsville’s events combined,” said Chumbley. “We really want to bring more kids to campus. We want to show them what we have here to offer at Palo Alto.”

One of Chumbley’s aspirations for future Agriculture Extravaganza events is to offer more hands-on events in order to create opportunities for the agriculture program here at Palo Alto College to grow.

“Agriculture is the foundation of life; it’s the soil that grows our plants, it’s the clothes that we wear, the meals that we eat. Everybody, no matter if they realize it or not, is involved in some way with agriculture every single day of their life,” said Chumbley.

Some of the Ag fields of study offered here on campus include Animal Science, Agriculture Education and Agriculture Business.

Students from all Alamo Colleges are welcome to join PAC’s Agriculture Club. Meeting are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:45 p.m. until 2 p.m in San Marcos Hall, Room 112. For more information, contact Chumbley at (210) 486-3074 or Dale Sampson, club president, at (210) 540-5868

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