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Future Farmer of Japan Meets Future Farmers of America

Pictured are FFA Officers Dallas C., Maghen E., April B., Tomoka Shii; Emily V., Kelsey D. and Adam R.

Piedmont High School FFA is hosting a student from Japan for one week to gain awareness of another culture. Tomoka Shii is a Japanese exchange student and member of the Future Farmers of Japan and will be enjoying a one-week American cultural experience while learning about the agricultural industry of North Carolina. Tomoka will visit local agricultural industries, attend an FFA meeting and classes at Piedmont High School, and conclude the week with a visit to the Biltmore House. Body language and smiles will play a major role in communication as Piedmont High School students and staff enjoy a taste of Japan from Tomoka!

 April Blythe, a current FFA officer, and her family are hosting Tomoka from March 27 – April 2. April is a senior and is planning to attend King’s college upon graduation. April has helped plan many outreach programs within our school, such as the PALS program, where high school FFA members visit local elementary schools to teach children where our food comes from.  When asked of the significance of the opportunity to have a Japanese food science student visit Piedmont, FFA advisor and agriculture teacher Jenny Hinson stated that “This experience really ties in with our curriculum on global awareness. Through this program, our FFA members are getting to experience true cultural diversity.”

Tomoko is an 11th grade student who attends a Japanese charter school where she is majoring in food science. She is coming to America with a group of six other high school students, as well as their principal (Jun’ ichiro Chidani) and their teacher-in-chief (Kazunori Sasaki). Tomoka will have limited English skills, so it will be a learning experience simply communicating with her as the Google translator will be a good friend!

During her stay in North Carolina, Tomoka will be escorted by several Piedmont FFA Alumni members to see what agriculture is like here in our local area. She will be visiting several farms and businesses in our area such as Baucom’s Feed Mill, Simpson’s Eggs, and McAllister Greenhouses. Tomoka will also be visiting Piedmont High School for a day to see what student life is like in our school system. At the end of the week, she will get to visit the Biltmore Estate in Asheville to observe how food science is employed there. Finally, on the way home, she will experience a picturesque ride through the Appalachian Mountains on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Tomoka spoke at the FFA chapter’s monthly meeting on Monday, March 23 and said “I am excited to be here and see your culture and see North Carolina agriculture. There is a positive relationship between FFJ (Future Farmers of Japan) and FFA (Future Farmers of America). Thank you for welcoming me here.”
 

Written by: Jenny Hinson, FFA Advisor and Agriculture Teacher
Posted: Mar 29, 2011 by Donna Helms

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