FFA students at KSD heading to national convention

Members of the Kentucky School for the Deaf FFA chapter have been selling potted mums they’ve grown to help raise money for their trip this week to the three-day National FFA convention in Indianapolis. They leave today, and will return on Friday.

Haylie Kircher, a junior at KSD from Louisville and vice-president of KSD’s FFA chapter, inspects potted mums in the school’s greenhouse that the students are selling.

Agriculture teacher Sandy Smock said the group of eight students won’t be competing in any of the events, but she wanted her students to experience the national convention.

Smock said she’d never raised mums, so she had to research and study the right growing method for their greenhouse. Then between June and July she and anyone she could round up planted 700 plugs, Smock said.

One thing she learned about mums is that they need to be fertilized every day. “It’s kind of like fattening a pig,” she said laughing.

When it’s time to make the mums burst into bloom, Smock had the students taper back the fertilization. “I had no idea that’s how to make them bloom,” she said.

Haylie Kircher, a junior at KSD and vice-president of the school’s FFA chapter, said through an interpreter that this will be her third time to attend the convention. But even though they won’t be in town selling mums, their ag classmates will still have the greenhouse open, Kircher said. They also hope to sell the remaining mums during the school’s annual Pancake Day, set for Saturday, Nov. 9 from 7 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at Grow Hall on S. Second St.

KSD sophomore Joe Cox, of Corbin, trims off buds from a large basil plant growing in the school’s greenhouse on Tuesday afternoon. Cox is a member of the KSD Chapter of the FFA, and is attending his first FFA national conference in Indiana this week.

KSD sophomore Joe Cox, of Corbin, is surrounded by potted mums while he trims off buds from a large basil plant growing in the school’s greenhouse on Tuesday afternoon. Cox is a member of the KSD Chapter of the FFA, and is attending his first FFA national conference in Indiana this week. The KSD agriculture students are selling mums they have been growing since July to help raise money for their trip to Indiana.