FPC adding FFA program this fall

During his report to the Frank Phillips College Board of Regents last Monday, FPC President Dr. Jud Hicks told the board that the college is moving forward in adding a FFA program to the Borger campus.Dr. Hicks told the board that a couple of faculty members have approached him with interest in starting a collegiate program on campus, believing it would be an asset to the resources already available at the college.FPC facility member Amanda Jewkes will head up the new FFA program with assistance by Dustin Warren and Dr. Rodney Purswell.In a discussion with Dr. Hicks earlier this week, the FPC President stated that even though Borger’s economy is based on oil and gas production and not necessarily agriculture, the majority of the rest of the college’s service area is based on an agricultural economy. It makes sense for the college to offer the students in the area the opportunity to be a part of a program, such as FFA, beyond high school, which could serve as a good recruiting tool for attracting new students.Dr. Hicks believes the addition of the FFA program will only enhance the quality of education Frank Phillips College will provide in agricultural studies.FFA already makes its presence known on the FPC campus by hosting an area-wide banquet each year that brings in over 200 FFA high school students.One of the primary goals of a Collegiate FFA program would be to provide a number of professional development opportunities to help students in the agricultural job market after college. The program would also get involved in various community oriented projects.Frank Phillips College currently draws several students from around the state to take part in the school’s agricultural programs. That includes students competing in the Livestock Judging and Rodeo teams, and Dr. Hicks feels the FFA program could help open the doors to expanding the college’s agricultural education programs.With the help of Dr. Purswell and Warren, FPC recently started a beef and cattle program on campus and has partnered with West Texas A&M University in some of the agricultural offerings for students.Dr. Hicks said several of the current students on campus have expressed interest in joining the new FFA program and believes the program will attract between 10-15 new students for this coming fall semester.With the interest, Dr. Hicks said the college has a goal of around 35 students to be a part of the FFA program when it officially kicks off in the fall.