By Julie Johansen
Students in Emery High School’s Early Bird Ag Science class are conducting a research project entitled “The Economic Impact of Cattle Prices in Emery County.”
Students have compiled a list of ranchers and will be contacting them via phone call to ask what kind of cattle they sold, where they sold them and what prices they received. The objective of the project is to teach the kids the importance of the beef industry in this small area.
The Early Bird Ag Science class is a new class offered at the high school this year, in an effort to give students, including ninth graders, the opportunity to participate in the FFA program. FFA gives kids across the country the opportunity to learn about agriculture and develop leadership characteristics.
Parents and interested community members petitioned the school district to provide this opportunity for ninth graders to participate for this year. Next year, as ninth graders are moved to the high school, this class won’t be needed. The students meet at 6:45 a.m. Monday through Thursday in order to be back to their respective junior highs in time for class to begin. The are part of the Emery FFA and have been welcomed and included by their advisor Justin Thornley and have already had the opportunity to travel with the chapter to contests and activities throughout the state.
Mistie Christiansen teaches the class every morning and says that the students that attend are dedicated and amazing.
“To show up that early in the morning, tells you what kind of kids these guys are,” she said. “They will be your future leaders and I am privileged to start them on this path.”
She hopes that producers will take the time to talk to the kids about their operations and let them know how falling cattle prices have affected them.
The results of the study will be published at a later date.
“I think everyone will be surprised how much a small drop in cattle prices changes the economy of this county,” Christiansen said.