MJHS Annual FFA Plant Sale
Photography by Izzy Fullford.
The Mt. Juliet High School FFA is right in the middle of its annual plant sale for this year. This sale starts on April 5 and ends when all the plants are sold. FFA uses the plant sale to raise money for its large program. Students plant the seeds and make sure the plants grow as they should by applying the things they learn in class. The students monitor and observe the plants as they grow, then sell them to their supporters.
Kirsten Pigg, a student highly active in MJHS FFA, says, “The reason Mt. Juliet FFA does the plant sale is to allow students to have hands-on experience outside of the classroom.”
Mrs. Mitzi Pigg is an FFA teacher at Mt. Juliet High School. Mrs. Pigg’s Greenhouse Management Class spends the first few weeks in the classroom learning about the process of how plants grow and all about the different types of plants being sold in the greenhouse. Students also learn plant identification, sun and shade requirements for each plant, and how much water is needed for each plant to grow. They learn how to mix soil, transplant and learn the process of getting them ready to sell to customers. The plants also have to be planted in time for them to be ready to survive out of the greenhouse at the time of the plant sale. Once the plants have grown and become mature, the sale begins. Students get to experience the lucrative side of the agriculture business, not just the actual planting.
Kirsten Pigg says, “We learn how to work with customers and assist them in everything they need. We also learn how to sell our hard work to the public. The plant sale is run by the students every day that it is open.”
Students who expect to have a future in agriculture get to experience the marketing side of the job. The plant sale also helps support a portion of the FFA budget. Selling the plants gives the program money to continue the plant sale the next year and the students benefit from the learning experience.
“We always make enough money to cover the cost of expenses, have money for next year’s crops and have a little money to support labs and FFA leadership activities in the future,” Mitzi Pigg states.
Although the sale is headed by FFA teachers, the sale is almost entirely managed by the students.
Kirsten Pigg states, “Students in the Greenhouse Management Class are out in the greenhouse almost everyday once plants are delivered in early February. Students learn how to mix soil, fill baskets and flats and how to transplant flowers from one pot to another. Students learn to maintain the plants and begin all preparations for the sale."
The FFA students are able to apply all of the things they learn in the classroom to their plant sale.
Mitzi Pigg says, “Students learn how to work with customers and assist them in everything they need.”
While running the sale, they learn how to sell their hard work to the public.
As for the plants themselves, there are many kinds available for buyers. Kirsten Pigg talks about how the plants they provide are plants that successfully grow in the area. The plants are specially chosen each year so that they can grow appropriately in the Tennessee weather. The plants are also chosen according to customer preference. Since the plant sale is well established, the FFA program has cultivated its selection of plants based on what the customers buy.
Mitzi Pigg says, “We try to keep them happy and provide what they want.”
The FFA plant sale is a beneficial and beloved event by the entire Mt. Juliet community. By running this sale every year, MJHS FFA students get hands-on experience and money to continue this tradition.