Texas FFA News  
El Paso Coronado FFA Members Maintain Alfalfa Field    
Thursday, December 15, 2016 | Author: Shannon O'Quinn, Texas FFA News Staff

Through the cultivation of a 36-acre alfalfa patch, members of the El Paso Coronado FFA Chapter are given the unique opportunity to see how modern crop production and sales take place.

The farm that the alfalfa is being grown on was deeded to the school district in the 1960’s and has been a production farm ever since. After seeing that alfalfa had not been planted in the field since 2006, agricultural sciences teacher, Armando Flores decided it was time for some long overdue crop rotation.

“We purchased state of the art equipment to use and had the dirt work done over the summer,” said Flores.

This state of the art equipment, including new tractors equipped with GPS systems, are all used by the students to maintain the alfalfa field throughout the growing season.

“The students are doing 100% of the work. I have a practicum in Agriculture, Food, and Natural resources class that goes out to the farm for two hours a day to do farm work,” said Flores. “The students do everything from doctoring sick cattle to irrigating the farm, tractor maintenance, any daily aspects of the farm, all the way up to the sales and marketing of the product.”

Although this year the chapter farm was not in full production due to the intensive dirt work done over the summer, they were still able to use the first clipping of the field to feed the cattle on their chapter farm. Typically, the students are in charge of marketing their product and selling the alfalfa to benefit the chapter. 

In the past, Mr. Flores has had multiple students go to college and work part time as ranch hands to help pay tuition. Through their hands-on education in cultivation at El Paso Coronado, they were able to enter these jobs with ease and confidence.

“I want people to know that these students are doing all of the work," said Flores. "They are completely out of the classroom and getting an integrated experience."

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