According to Rob Long his growing FFA program offers students important life long skills

Rob Long has been a high school teacher for 21 years, first as a physical science teacher and for the last 11 years, as a vocational agriculture educator. “I liked teaching science but I like teaching agriculture even better and particularly, being an FFA advisor. I enjoyed FFA as a student but once one of my daughters was in FFA, I realized the impact it really has on students, in important areas, like public speaking, leadership training and exposure to parliamentary procedure. It’s easy to overlook extracurricular high school activities as relatively unimportant but the truth is some of them are as important as the academic process and I really think FFA is one of those.”
Rob and his wife, Carie, who works for the Fulton County Assessor’s Office, have two daughters, Cori, age 22, who teaches third grade in Izard County and Laci, age 20, who is in her third year at Arkansas State University, studying to become a history teacher.
“FFA made it possible for my children to speak in front of groups and to learn how to be good public speakers. I don’t believe my youngest daughter would be a history teacher today without the skills she learned in FFA.
“I like all the different parts of teaching but I really feel like being an FFA advisor is a very important part of my job. It is time-consuming but worth it. I have right at 42 students in the FFA program here.”
As far as spending his career as a teacher, Rob has no regrets. “There is no down side to this, just lots of up sides, even in a down economy. There is probably a lot more money to be made in business but stability is worth a lot to me. Being a teacher has also allowed me to spend a lot of a time with my family and that is invaluable.”
In addition to his FFA activities, he is also involved in developing an ag mechanics program that involves environmental resources and would add more animal science studies to the school’s curriculum. “It will add six different classes with different courses of study but it takes an amazing amount of equipment so that we’ll be able to offer the proper certification. Basically, right now we’re waiting on Federal money so that we can meet those requirements.”
At home, Rob Long raises Quarter Horses and has a few beef cattle. “I have more horses than cattle at the moment,” he concluded. “In another few years, after retirement, I’ll add more cows, a commercial herd. It’s hard times in the horse market right now but I’m a member of Ozark Foundation Breeders and have a full production line including foals and aged horses.”
Rob Long is a Fulton County educator dedicated to agriculture – with his family, his students, both those in the classroom and as their FFA advisor, and last but not least, with his beloved Quarter Horses.


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