King City 4-H FFA
King City Rural 4-H members partner with an FFA student on their projects. (Contributed)

KING CITY — King City Rural 4-H recently collaborated with King City High School FFA to offer an industrial arts project for its members for the first time.

This rare collaboration included help from KCHS ag teacher Blaise Chaney, who opened up the school’s state-of-the-art Agricultural Sciences/Career Technical Education building on campus for the project.

Chaney introduced the 11 4-H members, ages 9 and up, to the industrial arts and gave them an opportunity to use the facility’s shop.

Over the course of a week, the 4-H members were able to build planter boxes and learn to use tools properly. They were paired with a King City High School FFA student “buddy” to help walk them through the process.

“It was an amazing collaboration where the high school students received community service and the 4-H members received a set of skills and training that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives,” said Teri Storelli, one of the community club leaders for King City Rural 4-H.

King City 4-H FFA
KCHS ag teacher Blaise Chaney helps King City Rural 4-H members build planter boxes at the Agricultural Sciences/Career Technical Education building. (Contributed)

In addition, the 4-H members will be able to enter their planter boxes in next year’s Salinas Valley Fair contests.

Storelli praised Chaney for his compassion in teaching the young learners.

“He kept all 11 participants and their partners on task without ever even having to correct or redirect them,” she said. “They were just so ecstatic to be working in the shop, and he just led them so well. It really was magical.”

The 4-H and FFA programs often don’t collaborate, according to Storelli, and there has even been a bit of friendly rivalry between the groups over the years. But this project brought them together.

“A bridge was built, and I can see more collaboration happening in the future, which is going to be an amazing experience for these kiddos,” Storelli said.

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Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.

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