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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

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Old Dogs Learning New Tricks: FFA Adult Ed Programs Prove Popular

Those taking the Woodbury FFA adult education program’s welding course perform torch welding on flat plates of metal together in Nonnewaug’s shop. (Courtesy of the Woodbury FFA)

WOODBURY — There are many parents or adults that see what students do and learn in the ag program and many wish they could have had that experience when they went to school.

Now they have the chance. There is a wide variety of options in the Nonnewaug’s adult ag program, which runs throughout the spring.

“This year we are offering 14 different classes to the community,” ag mechanics teacher Andrew Zielinski said, “ranging from welding to beekeeping to designing a floral arrangement to animal feeding strategies.”

Out of the 14 different courses, welding is most popular and sold out very quickly. Why is welding such a popular thing people want to learn?

“I think it sells out fast because there are a lot of people that want to be able to do it for themselves either as a hobby,” Zielinski said, “a new craft, or want to be more self-sufficient with basic repairs.”

As the main instructor, Zielinski said he’s not surprised that the class has been so popular.

“I can’t say I am surprised at the success of it, though,” Zielinski said. “It’s a great way to learn a new skill in two or more hours at some place that is central to a lot of people.”

Mechanics isn’t the only popular course the Woodbury FFA provides. Other courses that are popular are adult animal courses.

Marissa Bedron, the NHS equine science teacher, teaches many programs offered to anyone who is willing to learn. 

“I will be offering a sheep and goat hoof trimming course on two separate dates,” Bedron said “As well as co-teaching a sheep and goat FAMACHA parasite certification course with Ms. [Kathleen] Gorman.” 

There are many benefits to joining these programs. Bedron and Gorman are both experienced sources to go to when wanting to learn something new about animals.

“We will be training participants on the FAMACHA technique to receive a certification of ability from the University of Rhode Island,” Gorman said. “FAMACHA is a noninvasive technique that allows producers to assess the worm load in small ruminants by estimating an animal’s anemia levels. Participants will be trained on basic management principles, and base education of worm loads and their effects on small ruminants. Then ultimately participants will be trained to use the FAMACHA technique to assess animals.”

This program is a great way to learn things you may not know you were even interested in.

“Learning never ends,” Bedron said, “and our adult education programs are open to everyone and anyone who wants to continue to learn, building connections and gain skills.”

A big part of the programs are giving skills and knowledge to adults to benefit the community giving common knowledge of these different skills. 

“We are happy to offer our knowledge to our community to help producers and homesteaders to maintain a healthy herd,” Gorman said. “I think our adult education programs are an awesome way for us to connect with our community and the industry to share agriculture education and skills with others.”

Registration is ongoing on the Woodbury FFA website.

About the Contributor
Noah Zupan '26
Noah Zupan '26, Reporter
Noah Zupan is a sophomore at NHS and is a writer for the NHS Chief Advocate. He is from Seymour and is a part of the ag program. As a staff writer, Noah likes to write about the ag program and the outdoors.
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