Thanks to Teachers: Chad Huggins

Thanks to Teachers: Chad Huggins

Agriculture students at Mitchell High School put the finishing touches on plants they've grown all year. They, and teacher Chad Huggins are preparing for the school's annual plant sale May 8th. Huggins had a career before teaching, working at Alamance Community College. "I was a grounds manager, took care of all the landscaping," recalls Huggins. "We had about 93 acres that we maintained. I worked there for 14 years." Huggins says consistent care, including regular watering, is key to producing these healthy, colorful plants. It's a lesson he's passing on to his budding agriculture students. "I've been in the industry for a long time, and I've been a customer in the industry for a long time, so I understand what the customers are looking for. I, hopefully, try to pass that on to the students.

Future Farmers of America President Suzie Deyton says Huggins changed her life. "Before I came here, I didn't know anything about it (agriculture) But, now, I want to be an agriculture teacher because of him. So, he's inspired me more than most people I know." Sophomore Lucas Honeycutt hopes to work for the forest service one day. "getting to know the plants and getting to know what they look like. If you're out in the woods and you see them, you say, 'hey, I know what that is, I've seen it before.' " says Honeycutt. Huggins says even if they don't make a career of it, students can still benefit from taking ag classes. "They can go out and make a little bit of extra money, growing some plants at home, growing vegetables at home, and turning around and reselling them. If nothing else, saving them money so they don't have to go to the grocery store." says Huggins.

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