Ag teacher continues 35+ year tradition

Published 9:39 pm Wednesday, June 8, 2022

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

Brantley High School’s FFA Chapter traveled to Blackwater River in Milton, Florida on June 2 for the club’s annual canoe trip. Mark Andrews, longtime FFA adviser and Brantley High School Agriscience instructor, has been taking students on this canoe trip for over 35 years and the yearly outing has become something that Brantley staff, students, and their parents look forward to. 

James Taylor, past Brantley FFA member and FFA officer from his eighth-grade year through senior year, served as a chaperone on the trip, accompanying his son Logan Taylor, a tenth grader at Brantley and FFA member. 

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“FFA teaches kids things they need to know to succeed in life that aren’t taught anywhere else, and it is important that we keep teaching them about agriculture, an industry that heavily supports this area. For me, being in FFA helped me to step out of my comfort zone and develop some skills that I still put to use as a Fleet Technician for PowerSouth” Taylor said. 

The drive to Blackwater and back was about a four hour round trip. The canoe trip down the river was approximately 11 miles and took around six hours to complete. 

According to Mark Andrews, it was a beautiful day to be on the river in canoes and kayaks. 

“We had perfect weather,” Andrews said “Although, we didn’t have as many students as we’ve had in the past, the trip was great for many reasons, including the fact that by God’s grace, I am still here doing what I love. The young people on the trip, Josie Knighten, Logan Taylor, Tucker Kelley, and Colton Searcy are my students and I also taught their parents. This was also the first time I had been in a canoe since 2020 due to the major heart attack I had Dec 11, of 2020. (jordan-anwar) On the trip I was able to reflect on how many ways God has blessed me and the Ag/FFA students at Brantley. I thought of the fact that God chose me for the privilege of being the Ag teacher at Brantley for all these years.”