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National #TeachAg Day and the Windham Fund

Ginger Holton has been teaching agriculture for 20 years. You can say it is part of her DNA. Her father taught the same subject as did Ginger’s two sisters. In 2002, Ginger and her teaching partner, Jerry Conring, established the FFA program at Cisco Independent School District (I.S.D.).

The program has seen tremendous success, so much so they have outgrown their current project center. Needing to expand the center, Ginger applied for grant support through the Community Foundation of Abilene’s new initiative supporting rural communities.

Made possible by the late Dr. Paula Andree Windham of Oplin, Texas, the fund supports a range of rural nonprofit initiatives serving the 19 counties within a 150-mile radius of Oplin, Texas, including Cisco. In August 2022, the Cisco FFA was one of 11 area nonprofits awarded in the first-time disbursement from the Windham Fund.

“A lot of life lessons are learned in the barn,” said Ginger, “We want to give these young people the opportunity to have life skills that will help them be successful in the future.” The updated project center will give students a chance to have their hands in agriculture, that would not otherwise have the chance. And on National #TeachAg Day, the Cisco FFA, with support from the Windham Fund, are shaping the future of agriculture education.