Atlantic High School FFA Advisor Eric Miller reported some good news during Monday evening’s meeting of the Atlantic Board of Education. During the Cass County Fair, you may recall KJAN broke the news about a $5,000 donation from the Trevor Frederickson Foundation for the construction of a new, FFA Food Stand on the Cass County Fairgrounds. During Monday’s School Board meeting, Miller said another donor had come forward pledging a large amount of money for the cause.
Miller said Farm Credit Services of America is also stepping forward to contribute $5,000. That puts the total so far for contributions toward the stand at just shy of $20,000. Miller said there are still some grants they intend to apply for in order to meet their goal of $25,000-to $30,000. Local contractors, he said, have talked with officials about doing the work and gathering materials. Miller said with the two large donations, they’re set to get the new Food Stand in-place in time for next year’s Cass County Fair.
The FFA Food stand is run between the Griswold, Atlantic and CAM School Districts. Miller said the current Food Stand has been in dire need of replacement for many years. He said “20-years ago when I was a high school student in Anita, it needed rebuilt then, so it’s time to move on with this.” He said they’ve also raised between eight-and nine-thousand dollars from the sale of food the past two-years at the fair, to help pay for the new FFA Food Stand. The final total of funds raised from the sale of food at this year’s fair has not yet been fully tabulated.
In other news, Miller asked the School Board for permission to take a group of young people to the 87th Annual National FFA Convention and Expo, October 29th through November 1st, in Louisville, KY. He said the students who attended last year’s convention enjoyed themselves and found new inspiration to pursue a career in Agriculture or a related field. He said seven students — who have yet to be selected — will make the 11-hour drive to Louisville, beginning at 6-a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29th.
FFA officials say some 60,000-plus people are expected to attend the Expo. Our local youth will stay in a Holiday Inn Express hotel which provides a Continental Breakfast. The schedule of events includes tours of Louisville on Oct. 30th.Their stops will include the Louisville Slugger baseball bat manufacturing plant and museum, Churchhill Downs, and some area farms. The students will also hear from four keynote speakers and attend workshops for leadership skills and more, and be able to attend concerts by Justin Moore, Easton Corbin, Scotty McCreedy and Danielle Bradberry, along with the Springs Band. Among the scheduled speakers during the event is Tyson President and CEO Donnie South.
Students will apply for one of the seven seats on the trip. Faculty and staff will then choose those students who will be lucky enough to make the trip this year. Another factor in determining who goes on the trip, is the FFA point system, where students receive points for attending meetings and other events locally, and around the State. Last year, 17 students applied to go on the trip. Miller says this year, that number will probably be closer to 25. He said they would love to be able to take more students, but at this point, it’s not financially feasible for the district. Funds for the trip are paid for entirely out of the district’s FFA account, which means some students who otherwise not be able to attend are eligible to do so.
Monies for that fund are raised in-part, through activities such as the current sale of FFA grown sweet corn near the bus barn, here in Atlantic. Miller said students were expected to be out early this (Tuesday) morning to harvest some 60 dozen ears of corn. The previous harvests (100 dozen every 5 days) sold out at Hy-Vee since the corn became available last week. The sale brings in about $350 per week just for the sweet corn alone.