Ag classes participate in friendly competition to raise funds

The Agricultural Science FFA class at the Career and Technology Center at West Point High School, Jamarius Webb, Mitchell Poole, Raeann Coggins, Ke'Shun Tallie, (back row) Matthew Davis, Roy Palmer, Victor Tuggle and Coach Alan Leonard, will be placing these jars in local businesses as a fundraiser to support Sally Kate Winters Family Services and the Ronald McDonald House.
Staff Writer

The rivalry between the West Point Green Wave and the Starkville Yellow Jackets is legendary.

It is the game both teams want to win at all cost.

Alan Leonard, the instructor of the Agricultural Science FFA class at the Career and Technology Center was approached by Randy Carlisle, ag instructor for Starkville High School to have their own friendly competition for the upcoming game.

"This was Randy's idea," Leonard said. "We are going to raise money with these jars. Drop some change or a dollar bill in the jar. We'll be doing this until the game on Aug. 31. We are raising turkeys, chickens and sheep in our class this year. They have pigs. So whichever school makes the least amount of money, Randy or I will have to kiss a pig."

Leonard said the biggest winner will be the two organizations who will benefit.

"I let my second year students choose where the money should go," Leonard said. "They chose Sally Kate Winters Family Services, as it is here in town, and in honor of Lila Usry, Ronald McDonald House Children's Charities. Lila and her family is on everyone's mind and the kids wanted to do something in Lila's name."

Agricultural FFA wants to encourage an emphasis on community service for its students. Letting the students choose where the money will go makes them think of other people and what they can do to help.

"I know Randy and Linda Jack from the ag department see this as a fun, friendly rivalry," Leonard said. "But I really don't want to kiss a pig. So we are hoping the community will give us a hand. We always want to beat Starkville, so lets beat them on the field and off."
Leonard hopes to set up the donation jars all around West Point and would like for any business that would like to host a jar to call him at the CTC.

"I don't want Coach Leonard to kiss a pig," Jamarius Webb, an ag student, said. "But I do want to see the Starkville teacher kiss that pig."

Roy Palmer said he thinks this is a great way for the ag class to help in the community.

"We would like to see this become an annual event," Leonard said. "We may even have a traveling trophy to go along with bragging rights for the year."

The students will have the jars at the rivalry game in Starkville. Leonard said he isn't sure who will be counting the last minute donations, as of yet.

"Please, everyone, be sure to donate," Raeann Coggins said. "I really want to see the Starkville Ag teacher kiss that pig. And the Green Wave to beat the Yellow Jackets."