FFA students receive big boost
By Robin Scott
Students in the Ag Mechanic Classes at Dalhart High School visited local veterinarian, Michael Atha, on Wednesday, January 12th. Atha, the owner of Twist Junction Veterinary Services, joined a program offered by Pfizer Animal Health that dedicated a portion of sales from specific Pfizer products for use in the FFA.
Last fall, Pfizer Animal Health announced the new program, which provides veterinarians and animal health suppliers an opportunity to support FFA. When eligible products were purchased at the veterinarian’s office, Pfizer agreed to make a donation to the FFA Dalhart Chapter.
The students were on hand Wednesday to receive a check in the amount of $889.00 from Twist Junction Veterinary Services. All of the funds benefit the Dalhart FFA. FFA is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
The Pfizer Animal Health program donations will assist FFA chapters with classroom materials, educational opportunities, travel to the national convention and more. The program also provides veterinarians and suppliers with an opportunity to engage young FFA students in discussions about rewarding careers in animal health.
Atha, who is originally from Oklahoma, settled in Dalhart six years ago and began his veterinarian practice. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University. He also received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2000 from OSU. Atha’s wife, Joni, is from the Texas panhandle. She is the librarian at Dalhart High School. The Atha’s have three boys, Orin age 12, Nolan age 8 and Tell who is just 9-months-old.
This is Atha’s first year with the Pfizer program. He noted, “It was great to be a part of something that benefits the students in FFA.” Atha’s practice includes the care of all animals. The students who visited Twist Junction Veterinary Services on Wednesday included Karlie Batenhurst, Cheyenne Black, Dani Mack, Mitchell Mellema, Colten Hicks, Christian Olson, Kip Frates, Wyatt Banks, and Tex Wing. The students were chaperoned by teacher Bryce Hines. Hines’ wife, Ellie, works with Atha at the veterinary clinic.
The FFA was founded in 1928 and is a youth organization that promotes agricultural education programs for middle school to high school aged students. For more information about FFA visit www.ffa.org.