Freehold Township High School’s Elizabeth Stenard has been selected as the 2018-2019 Star State Greenhand winner by the New Jersey FFA (Future Farmers of America). This award is the result of the sophomore’s outstanding Supervised Agricultural Experience and exceptional leadership experiences in FFA. The award will be presented at the 90th State FFA Convention this spring.
According to its website, in 2018, there are 36 FFA chapters in New Jersey with more than 2,500 members. FFA is a national youth organization of 653,359 student members preparing for leadership careers in the science, business, education, and technology of agriculture with 8,568 local chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Elizabeth is a student in the Animal and Botanical Sciences Magnet Program, a four-year career and college exploration program operated in the greenhouse facilities at Freehold Township High School. The program consists of courses designed to provide academic experiences and training that will prepare students for employment and post-secondary study. An articulation agreement with Mercer County Community College allows students to earn college credit for courses completed while attending Animal and Botanical Sciences.
Students are introduced to the fields of biological science, animal science, plant science, food science, biotechnology, floriculture, greenhouse management, and landscape design. Coursework is supplemented with guest speakers, youth leadership conferences, and field trips to colleges, botanic gardens, and agricultural industries. Additionally, the Holiday Plant and Floral Project provide students with real-world experiences in business and marketing. The program consists of three integral parts: classroom instruction, the National FFA, and Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE). Participation in these local, state and national activities provides students with an opportunity to build leadership skills, serve the community, and explore post-secondary experiences.