Editor’s note: The “Meet the” series profiles the people behind groups, organizations and businesses in the community.
By Lillian Bowe
PNT staff writer
Most of Jerry Faver’s life has revolved around agriculture. Growing up on a ranch near Tucumcari and being involved in FFA while in high school helped him decide to become an agriculture teacher.
Faver has been the Portales High School Ag teacher for 12 years. He said every year is new and exciting.
“The thing with teaching ag is that it is so diversified. I don’t teach one subject over and over again,” Faver said. “That would drive me nuts, but I teach my students about many things. My old advisors at New Mexico State University told me ag teaching is, ‘Jack of all trades, a master of none.’”
Subjects Faver teaches includes dairy cattle, welding and horticulture products.
Faver is preparing his students for judging contests in FFA. These contests include ag mechanics, horticulture produce, horse, and veterinary science. Faver has 15 students in his FFA program.
“Judging has so much to offer,” Faver said. “You have the contests like ag mechanics where it is all hands on and then you have others where kids have to memorize a 600 question quiz and they love it.”
The competitions and working with students is why Kit Pettigrew became an Ag teacher at Dora Schools 26 years ago.
Pettigrew is also busy with judging season with his 50 FFA students, seventh through 12th grade.
Pettigrew has his students judging dairy, wool, pasture and range, ag mechanics and many other categories. The contests he enjoys the most is dairy and pasture and range.
“I do this for the kids. They really keep me going,” Pettigrew said.
“FFA has so much to offer for the kids. It teaches them about agriculture of course, but also how to be a leader,” Pettigrew said.
Faver agrees, and even with the changing world, he believes FFA will still be around.
“My students are not ag kids as their parents are not farmers or ranchers, but they love learning about agriculture and want to have agriculture-based jobs,” Faver said. “FFA is not bias to agriculture kids. The biggest chapters in the nation are intercity ones.”