James N. Gamble Montessori High School students showcased their green thumbs and impressive work for the Agriculture Education Program and Future Farmers of America (FFA) to some special guests – former Ohio House of Representatives members Jim Buchy and Dale Mallory and current State Conservationist Terry Cosby.
Buchy and Mallory shared their passions and involvement in Cincinnati agriculture, offering encouragement and advice for students interested in securing a future in agriculture education.
Mallory, a Robert A. Taft High School graduate and part of the original 1977 class that pioneered the Cincinnati Zoo Academy (now part of Hughes STEM High School), told the students about his personal journey.
“The program was called Natural Resource Management back then. It gave me my foundation and was where I first learned about agriculture,” Mallory shared. “We’re here today to continue to help grow this program in an African-American, inner-city community.”
Students introduced themselves and told stories about their experiences at state conventions. This year, several students will compete against peers from all over the state at the Ohio State Fair.
The visit was just in time for students to share plans for their upcoming, inaugural Montessori Market. Completely run by the school’s 62 students involved in FFA, the market will showcase local crafts, food vendors, games and live animals.
The event also will include a special entrepreneurial venture conceptualized by Doreyam Sydnor, a junior who is an active FFA member. Sydnor shared how her venture began.
When Agriculture Education teacher Mary Dudley offered ideas of what the club could sell at the market – e.g. goods like fruits and barbecue sauces – Sydnor offered another idea.
“Why not sell tea? We could make a lot of money,” Sydnor shared. “Instead of drinking coffee, you could get that energy from tea while also getting other health benefits.”
The club has since run with the winning idea – even starting its own “tea company.”
“We even got our own Gamble cups made,” she shared with a laugh.
The Montessori Market will take place Saturday, May 18, at James N. Gamble Montessori High School from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Learn about all the great things happening at James N. Gamble Montessori High School at gamblemontessorihs.cps-k12.org.