FAIRFIELD, Idaho — In this week's Innovative Educator, we went to Fairfield, Idaho, where an agriculture teacher is turning lessons into a budding business that is helping support a beloved student.
Riely Geritz teaches agriculture at Camas County High School and is the first teacher, outside of shop, to focus on Agriculture Science. Geritz is also a Future Farmers of America adviser.
"It's really unique with an agricultural education and the FAA organization in general that kids get a lot of opportunities at a very very young age," explained Geritz, who is also a University of Idaho alum.
She says any student wanting to take her class or be a member of FFA is encouraged to sign up.
"So I really want us to include everybody in all aspects of agricultural education because the industry itself is inclusive," she said.
She is a woman of her word and is now helping Logan Schofield, a junior at the high school and is now taking his first elective outside the special education room.
"When I got hired and heard about him and how loved he is here I insisted he is fully in my class just like everyone else," Geritz said.
Logan takes the class with his brother, Max. They are both a little shy, but the youngest brother, Xander, explains the difference Geritz is making right now.
"Ever since he was born he's had disabilities," Xander said about Logan. "It (the class) gives Logan a lot of opportunities like the news is coming so a lot of people are going to know what's up for Logan and how we have the Logan foundation thing."
Xander is talking about "For the Love of Logan." It's a bath product line that Garitz, with the help of Logan's paraprofessional Sharon Kepford, thought could really benefit the 17-year-old.
"Lavender was one of our first scents and we found it was good for seizures, it helps calm him down," Kepford said.
Students make products like sprays, lotions, lip balms wax melts, and bath balls.
"When you put them in the water they spread out and make your bath smell good," Xander explained.
Geritz says the kids are learning a lot in this venture.
"So the bath products tie into agriculture through food science with those scents and all the scents we use for Logan's products are completely natural so the kids can tie whether it's lemons or lavender into actually those plants being grown," she said.
More importantly, she says, they're also learning to be kind. "For the Love of Logan" supports any FFA fees Logan may have, and the money can also be used for medical expenses.
"I just hope that it helps Logan because this is all for Logan, that's why it's called "For the Love of Logan,'" Xander said. "It's not for anybody else."
So far, the support has not been lacking either.
"We've had a ton of community involvement, people across the country have even ordered and shipped out," Geritz said.
"It's growing all the time and we couldn't do it without Riely and her Agriculture classes," Kepford explained.
Geritz's FFA team will be in Boise this week. They are attending the Gem State Leadership Conference at the Statehouse. Logan, and his brother Max, will be getting their FFA jackets.
If you want to check out the bath product line just click here.
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