Robin Futch and Josiah Serrano spray down Dancer at Futch’s Ag Adventure livestock farm.
Photo special to The R-C
With more than 40 years raising livestock, growing plants and orchards, participating in 4-H and teaching, former Douglas High School teacher Robin Futch has combined her passion for agriculture and teaching to give Douglas County an Ag Advantage.
Ag Advantage is a program created by Futch to serve those who might not have access to agricultural classes, specifically online and homeschool students or who live in a city.
“I hope to make it a broad spectrum,” she said. “I want to reach people who aren’t getting an agriculture experience, like kids who are homeschooled and extend to those where agriculture classes might not be readily available.”
Futch said the idea came to her when she was teaching at Douglas High School.
“I wanted to do a program during the weekend or camps during breaks, but it never really came to fruition,” she said. “After I left the high school, a friend brought it up again saying how this type of thing was needed in the community, so we talked, and we combined her vision and mine and came up with Ag Adventure.”
Ag Adventure’s livestock farm is at Rob Ferber Cutting Horses ranch in Minden. Currently the farm has a horse, a sheep, a 3-month old goat and two Labrador retrievers. Futch also plans to raise chickens and sell eggs as part of the program.
The farm may be at the ranch, but Futch said she has partnered with different clubs, ranches and businesses in Douglas County for a unique community, hands-on experience.
“Rob gave me a little piece of his property to build our livestock farm for classes,” said Futch. “But instead of sticking to my little farm, we will be out in the community to get additional experience with people of different fields.”
Futch said the partnership with the community will add additional experience, leadership and skills to the programs.
Mentor opportunities are also something she plans to provide for older students.
“It’s mostly my former ag students, but I want to give the older kids an opportunity to mentor and inspire the younger kids,” she said.
Current mentors are Douglas High School graduates Ryan Olsen and Kaitlynn Plummer.
Olsen is a sophomore at the University of Nevada Reno studying to become an agriculture educator and is a student teacher with Ag Adventure.
Growing up on a cattle ranch, the seeds were planted for Futch at a young age and her passion for agriculture were nurtured through her involvement with competitive 4-H, livestock and horse shows and competitive rodeo, including professional barrel raising. She went on to earn Master’s degrees in Agricultural and Extension education and Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in animal science and industries. She was the agriculture teacher at Douglas High School for seven years and taught and mentored at camps, boys scouts and churches.
All of which influenced the creation of Ag Advantage for future generations.
“I want to share agriculture awareness and plant seeds for impressionable minds, to nurture imagination, creativity, knowledge and values in others while teaching sustainability and how to be self-sufficient,” she said.
Classes are offered for ages 5 years old to adult and cover a variety of agricultural topics including animal and plants systems, floral, equine, veterinary science and food science. Programs are offered in person and online.
Futch also plans to offer birthday parties, day camps, a petting zoo, family and group specials and more.
Classes are now open. Homeschool and online classes begin Sept. 5. Visit https://theagadvantage.com/ for information and registration.