Students in the FFA at Weston Ranch High School organized, for the fourth year in a row, its annual Thanksgiving Dinner drive.
Appropriately called Friends-Giving; clubs, classes, teachers and staff donated items to make whole dinners to be given out to Weston Ranch High students’ families and others in the community. This year the event grew and the FFA partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank, Emergency Food Bank of Stockton, Animal Protection League and MUSD Be.Tech Culinary classes.
“This event started as an idea from a student four years ago,” said Chris Livengood, FFA Advisor. “That student has since graduated but the mission stays the same, to take care of our community. The students were concerned that they couldn’t reach their goal, but in the end, with huge school staff and community support, we were able to collect more dinners than ever before to donate to families in our school community.”
For three weeks the FFA organized the event and with the help of many clubs, staff and students enough food items were donated to put together 85 whole dinners, including turkeys, for families in the Weston Ranch community. That is up from 25 complete turkey dinners last year.
“I just think it’s so cool that the school is giving back to our community by helping other families that can’t afford it,” said Weston Ranch FFA member Cesar Valle. “We are one team here at Weston Ranch. These dinners took care of homeless families from all the schools in the Weston Ranch area.”
Agriculture programs prepare students for high-demand careers in cutting edge industries like biotechnology, renewable energies, engineering, food production, and more. They also teach students how to be leaders and prepare them to take on the challenges of the next generation. Giving back to the community is a key part of the mission of Weston Ranch FFA.
The Weston Ranch High Ag program reaches over 300 students a year. The program offers a wide array of classes from small engines and welding to biotechnology and greenhouse management. The Weston Ranch FFA Chapter works in tandem with the Ag program to develop premiere leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education. The Chapter was recently rated one of the top FFA Chapters in the Nation. It is the only program in the area to be ranked Nationally two years in a row. The Weston Ranch High agriculture teachers are Chris Livengood and Riego Lokka.