The Payson community needs to step up and support the FFA program in its entirety. I am deeply disappointed in the Payson School District most of whom are from a Western background and yet are doing little or nothing to help, or save the FFA program in Payson. The FFA building was condemned because of mold in the classroom. So, Mr. Stevens and his students have to bounce from room to room to find a place to have a class. The school district has put off building a new FFA facility for years, and it's time they step forward with support.
I support the bond issue, but, if it does not contain funding for a new FFA building, I feel it should be voted down. The school district has the room to build, where the agricultural building is now, and right next to it is an empty lot which the district has reserved as the FFA's for years.
The program is for the kids with interest in animals, horticulture, public speaking, agricultural economics and many more programs. We are losing a program that teaches our kids about their Western heritage.
What kind of community has Payson become, to sit back and do nothing to support this worthwhile program? These kids deserve our support. They participate in rodeos, 4H, and many other civic endeavors. Some have gone on to be teachers, agricultural educators, and are active in politics. They participate in community services such as the fair, fund-raisers and community assistance programs. It's not just another elective to choose from, it is a valuable learning experience. I am aware of this from personal experience.
If we sit around and do nothing, the FFA program will be gone before we know it. FFA programs in large cities are huge, and get major support from the school district. We live in a small town, and to date shown little or no support. I am deeply concerned that this community and school district don't care. The businesses and community service need to step up and oriented individuals need to start looking for ways to fund and build a new facility. It can be done.
If you have any suggestions, call me or Mr. Stevens. I know there are a lot of people in this community who were very involved in FFA while they were in school. It's time we give back.
Katy Taylor, Former FFA secretary, recorder and vice president, Tonto Basin