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East Union & Manteca High FFA helping this week at SJ Fairgrounds AgVenture
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More than a dozen students in the FFA programs at East Union and Manteca High are coming to the aid of AgVenture Stockton this week.

They will be helping coordinate the more than 3,000 third graders from various public schools as well as three church schools who will be taking part in 2012’s first AgVenture field trip to be held Wednesday, Jan. 25, at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds on Airport Way.

Scores of volunteers are always needed to help maintain a smooth flow of the groups of students as they make their way through the various educational displays and hands-on activities. At the AgVenture on Wednesday, ag students in Manteca Unified’s FFA (Future Farmers of America) program will be among those lending hands, said AgVenture coordinator Janet Dyk of Manteca.

“We have the Manteca and East Union FFA students coming to assist since there are no ag programs in Stockton Unified School District,” Dyk said.

Eight of the volunteer FFA students are from East Union, and six are from Manteca High, she said.

The mission of AgVenture is to enlighten the young students about the connection between the food that they eat at their dining table at home and food grown in the area where they live. Food from Farm to Fork is how the sponsors describe this eye-opening lesson taught to the third graders.

AgVenture combines presentations of plants and animals, displays of various farm machinery and other ag-related programs and exhibits to drive that point home to the young students. It also teaches the students the benefits of making healthy eating choices.

Schools taking part in Wednesday’s field trip at the county fairgrounds are from the Stockton Unified, Lincoln Unified, as well as Presentation and Annunciation Catholic schools and Stockton’s First Baptist Christian School.

The students, who will be arriving at the fairgrounds in school buses at various times during the day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., will be accompanied by teachers at their respective campuses and more than 400 program volunteers.

The AgVenture is made possible by sponsors that include the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, the San Joaquin County Ag Commissioner’s Office, the San Joaquin County Office of Education, San Joaquin County Farm Bureau, California Women for Agriculture, Food 4 Less, and Rancho San Miguel Markets.

The San Joaquin County Fairgrounds is located at 1658 S. Airport Way in Stockton.