FFA Learns from Ducks Unlimited

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On September 15th, FFA came together to participate in the Ducks Unlimited Wildlife Field Day, a non-profit organization and the world’s largest private waterfowl and wetlands conservation organization, where they learned about animals, plants, and other wildlife biology related topics. 

The field day’s purpose was to help children learn how to identify plants and different aspects of animals’ natural habits.

“There were like hunting and fishing laws that we had to know,” Emily Miller (11) said. “Stuff like what does a deer eat and what they live in this area because of the environment around them kind of thing, so it was like biology in that kind of aspect. I really enjoyed it a lot; I like being out in the woods, and I’m very outdoorsy. I am a hunter, I’ve been a hunter my whole life, and like I fish a lot and stuff. I already know a part of it and I think it’s cool to learn about the plants and like I really just like the experience.”

The Ducks unlimited field trip will help them on their upcoming competition in spring. The trip will also allow students who want to continue a nature based career to learn more about wildlife through a person’s everyday workstyle. 

FFA’s sponsor and teacher, Jessica Marek, took part in this event because of the importance it held for the students. 

“Student[s] that are interested in wildlife can talk to people that are hands-on living this job and doing it on a daily basis and get them energized and know what they have to learn,” Marek said. “Those students are interested in being on our wildlife CDE, which is Career Development Event, so they get to go in career related things with wildlife.”

The students’ interest was pivotal to why they decided to participate in the field trip as outdoor activities like fishing and hunting gave them enough freedom of opportunity and enjoyment to want to study more about nature. 

“It was interesting,” Brayden Molina (09) said. “I learned some new tricks about trapping and stuff and classifying.”

One of the keynotes of the trip for the students was the demonstration in how a dog was able to detect and retrieve ducks. 

“To go catch the ducks, he taught us a little bit about how the dogs can sniff out the ducks well,” freshmen Jolie Di’Virgilio said. “And that’s how they find them. It was interesting ‘cause like she listened very well with, like, all the cues and stuff, and like when he pointed north she went north. If he went to his left or right, then that’s where she would go. When he blew the whistle, that meant for the dog to stop, and she did. And she’s very fast, too.”

Students that joined in this event found fun in it regardless of their initial motivations. 

“Being outdoors is, like, a free feeling to me,” Miller said. “I love the smell of it and the feeling of freedom.”