Dylan McGill will be joining Union City Public Schools this school year as an Agriculture Instructor. The son of longtime Tuttle Ag Instructor CL McGill, Dylan has already hit the ground running with projects revamping the Ag barn in Union City.
As far as how UC’s Mr. McGill feels about his new role, he said Saturday, “I like it pretty well. I’ve already had a lot of great support in this community. A lot of people have been willing to step up and help out in many different ways. We’ve pretty much overhauled this whole ag room as ripped all the window seals out, patched up the walls, new paint, completely stripped the floors down, and then redid all the windows, and I’ve got some big plans. As an ag-based community around here, I think we should have a pretty diverse, dynamic ag program. When I was in high school, this program had a lot of activity. Being so close to Canadian County, and then of course, going to college at Redlands, I saw a lot of activity out of Union City for a small school. It seemed like a huge percentage of the school was heavily involved in this program.”
Dylan joins UC after teaching ag at Geronimo Schools last year.
“Being down south for a while and not being in the game up here,” he said, “I don’t quite know what the involvement is. We’ve got a pretty good size area that we could do a lot with, as far as getting some technology in here, like maybe a laser engraver or plasma table, and get more STEM, hands-on stuff that might teach the kids a different direction, because FFA is not all about plows and cows. There’s a whole bunch that goes into it.”
Dylan said he has a deep understanding of the ag industry thanks to his mom and dad.
“I was born in ‘93, and started showing in ‘95,” the ag instructor said. “My parents tell me that I attended my first FFA event at six weeks old. My sister was the same way. She was born on August 21, and roll around to September, she’s at the State Fair, and in October she’s at the Tulsa State Fair. I mean, it’s in our blood. Raising livestock and working in the shop is what everybody thinks of when they think of ag, but there’s a whole lot to it, like the public speaking side, being able to hold an interview, and thinking on your feet. That is something that I really want to instill in these kids, more than anything, is the public speaking and the mindset that no question is outside the realm of a nice, well-thought-out answer every time.”
Another area of agriculture that Mr. McGill wants to focus on is plant science.
“That’s actually one of my big goals for this community,” McGill said. “I think it would be a great investment to build a greenhouse, because plant science, in my opinion, is a lost art. You drive around, you’re going to see every house on the block has got either flowers or a garden in the backyard. Everybody knows that old man or that old woman that plants their tomatoes and their okra and their squash every summer and then they’re handing it out in baggies. I feel like the younger generations don’t quite have that same passion. I think it would be great to start out with the ninth graders and the tenth graders, and get them in a greenhouse, and show them a different thing that they can take care of. A plant is still a living thing. Plus, it would be a great fundraiser for the kids too. Everybody wants to buy roses during Valentine’s Day or geraniums during Mother’s Day. We could have several different fundraisers based off of that.”