Dora students shown opportunities in agriculture

Posted 1/19/19

DORA – High school students enrolled in the career and technical program have a wide range of choices when it comes to careers. Joshua Tubbs, who is a first-year agriculture teacher at Dora High …

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Dora students shown opportunities in agriculture


DORA – High school students enrolled in the career and technical program have a wide range of choices when it comes to careers.

Joshua Tubbs, who is a first-year agriculture teacher at Dora High School, just added a new option that’s something to crow about.

Tubbs received a grant to fund a poultry project which will help teach students about chickens.

“I wanted to take the kids through the chicken process all the way from hatching to consumption,” Tubbs said.

He used money from the grant to build a shelter for the chickens on the school’s property not far from the new athletic facility on campus.

Phase one was to have laying hens. Once they had fertile eggs, they put 32 of them into an incubator, and they hatched 20 healthy chickens. They have a variety of breeds from Black Australorps to Easter Eggers, according to Tubbs.

The agriculture program offers a variety of classes at Dora. Tubbs takes the students through classes, including, shop, construction, and horticulture, along with an intro to agriculture. The last semester he had an animal science class and two agriscience classes.

Dora student Tori Morrison, who is the vice president of the Future Farmers of America, said she was drawn into the program last year.

“I wanted to be more involved with my school and community, but I didn’t want to be like everyone else,” she said.

She wanted to use her voice and last year’s agriculture teacher asked her if she would like to do public speaking on behalf of the FFA. Morrison jumped at the chance.

The FFA is more than just about farming. It’s about learning who you are, about your community, and what grows here,” she explained. “We are the next generation, and we’re stepping up to be the generation that changes things."

Lana Ennis, who s the treasurer of the FFA, was like Morrison in that Ennis wanted to be more involved in school and the community, but she took a different path in her studies.

“I started doing horse (equine) judging," she said. 

Ennis has also enjoyed learning about chickens. “Being involved with FFA has been a fun adventure,” she said.

Tubbs went to school in Kentucky and got involved with the FFA there. His dad is a veterinarian specializing livestock with a focus on hogs. When Tubbs’ father moved to Alabama, the younger Tubbs followed.

Before accepting the position at Dora, Tubbs was doing animal-based research and welfare.

“Agriculture is our biggest employer in the state,” Tubbs said. He wants the students coming through the agriculture program to understand that there are opportunities here is Walker County.

 “Walker County is a unique place to live, and our agriculture industry is strong here,” he said, adding he wants the students to recognize the career opportunities that are here. Poultry and beef cattle are big industries in Walker County. 

“This community is a place where people like to stay,” he said. "Not all the jobs in agriculture are going to pay six figures, but you can have a very rewarding and successful career in agriculture."

A plus, according to Tubbs, is that you can do it in Walker County for those who don’t want to leave.

Currently, there are 145 students in the agriculture program at Dora High School. The pathways in career tech offer power, structural, and technical design, according to Tubbs.

“I will introduce the students to power tools and using them safely,” he said. They might do some welding. Walker County Career Technical and Bevill have more in-depth training on some of these areas, but Tubbs can expose students to a great many things, so they get a feel for the work and see if it suits them.

Tubbs believes exposing students to the career opportunities in agriculture might get them started on a rewarding career here in Walker County.