Carrollton, Ky. — Nov. 22, 2017 — Last week, students in Mackenzie Wright’s animal science class were learning about cows, but not from a textbook.
“Hands-on learning is important,” Wright said. “Dustin Ogburn brought one of his cows to the high school’s campus, so we had him bring it in the classroom.”
If you want to speak with Mackenzie Wright, you better make an appointment. Before school, after school, during planning period, and during lunch — she is always helping students.
“I’m here all the time,” she said. “But my students are why I do this. We are a family. Between FFA and ag classes, we spend a lot of time together. After I had my second child, can you guess who my first visitors were?”
Wright’s agriculture classroom sits at the northeastern corner of the high school; a greenhouse is right outside. Between her classroom and the high school’s main hallway is a large, clean workshop with bay doors that open to a loading area.
A sign on the door reads, “Have fun in your cubicle. I’ll be welding.”
“This is where we do our work,” Wright said. “We do everything in this workshop from framing buildings to hatching chicks. A few months ago, the whole workshop was packed with supplies that we delivered to people in Texas who had been impacted by Hurricane Harvey.”
Wright went through four college majors (all in agriculture) and three school districts before she ended up in Carroll County.
After graduating from Wolfe County Schools, she went to the University of Kentucky, where she picked up a degree in agriculture education as well as a one-way ticket to Carroll County.
“Josh and I were both ag majors,” she said, referring to her husband Josh Wright, a Carroll County native. “Since I graduated from UK in 2011, I hoped to end up right here.”
Wright’s agriculture roots run deep. If you were big in the world of show horses between 2000 and 2007, you have probably met her. She and her father — Greg Brewer of Wolfe County, Kentucky — crisscrossed many states to show Tennessee Walking Horses.
“Between showing horses with my dad and growing up on a farm, I’ve been involved with ag my entire life,” she said. “On our family farm, we ran about 200 head of cattle and around 30 horses at any one time.”
This is Wright’s second year at Carroll County High School. In that time, students in the program have accomplished a lot:
- Increased KOSSA scores from an 8% to a 30% pass rate
- Increased FFA membership to over 50 members
- Sent a team of five FFA members to compete at the Northern Kentucky Regional Speech Day in 2016
- Earned fifth place in state horsemanship 2016
- Sent two members to the state competition in impromptu speaking in June 2016
- Fielded a state champion horsemanship team in 2017
- For the first time, fielded a veterinary science team at the state contest in 2017
- Led a Hurricane Harvey relief project
“I am excited about what the future holds for our program,” Wright said. “We have hardworking kids, supportive administration, and a great community. That’s fertile soil for an ag program.”
The Carroll County School District is a public school system that operates within the geographic boundaries of Carroll County, Ky. The district serves around 1,900 students K-12.