DEAR EDITOR:

Our family is involved with Delphos City Schools in a very unique way, as our son is one of two homeschoolers to come into the Ag Program. We were welcomed by both Mr. Elwer and the administration. We are very grateful for the opportunities offered to all of the students involved in the Ag/FFA Program at DJHS.

Austin is a part of the 10% of Ag-Ed students who come from a farm. The lessons, skills and experiences from Mr. Elwer’s classroom produce so much more than lessons from a textbook. FFA and Agriculture Education brings out the very best in these kids. Our young farmer has had opportunities to travel both within and out of the state. He has competed in ag-related contests which have helped him to become a better communicator, a better leader, a better farmer, and a better human being.

How do we put a value on Ag-Ed for kids like Austin, which will allow him to continue the generational traditions of the Ricker family? Agriculture is Ohio’s number one industry. In order to keep Ohio’s small-town farmers going strong, we need to keep teaching our young people to bring new technology and ideas, learned in programs like this, back to our family farms. This program has allowed our son to intermingle with other kids in a secondary setting outside of our home and his other extracurricular activities. It has truly enriched his overall educational experience. Ag-Ed at DJHS has allowed Austin to implement new ideas on the farm as well as expand on previous farm and life skills necessary to running a successful farm (woodworking, welding, electrical, engines, plant and animal science, quality assurance, public speaking, leadership, hard work ethics and so much more).

As an open-enrollment family, we do not have a “voice” at the polls in March. But this family certainly knows the value of strong schools to build a strong community. If this levy does not pass, the Ag Program (as well as several others) will be forced to be eliminated. The local community benefits from this program as these kids enter the workforce throughout Delphos and the surrounding area. Please vote YES to invest in our kids and the community.

Truly grateful,

Jason and Amy Ricker