A Cass County farmer who was selected as a winner in a seed company’s contest, has donated his winnings to the Cass County FFA organization. Delbert Westphalen, of Atlantic, who’s been farming for more than 52-years, won a $2,500 prize in the “America’s Farmers Grow Communities” contest, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. It was his option to decide which non-profit group or organization would receive the funds.
(from left to right) Dennis Kenealy (President, 4 Star Seed); Eric Miller (Atlantic FFA Advisor); Gary Miller (CAM FFA Advisor); Kevin Blair (Griswold FFA Advisor); Delbert Westphalen; Mike Lund (Sales Mgr.,4 Star Seed); Lana Westphalen (Center)
Delbert said “We wanted to do something that was going to benefit a lot of the people in the County, not just one particular area or one particular group.” By choosing the FFA Food Stand at the Cass County Fair, he says “we’re benefiting everybody, but most of all we’re benefiting the county fair so we can maintain that as the only free county fair in the State of Iowa. And we want to keep it that way.” Westphalen told KJAN News the FFA is near and dear to his heart.
He said “I was actually in FFA longer than 4-years because I stayed to get my American Farmer degree, and it’s some of the best times that I had growing up.” He said the FFA taught him responsibility, and “Is one of the reasons I’m a farmer.” Westphalen received his check Thursday afternoon at the Atlantic High School from 4 Star Seed President Dennis Kenealy and 4 Star Sales Manager Mike Lund, who represented the Monsanto Company.
The funds were presented to FFA Advisors Eric Miller (Atlantic High School), Gary Miller (CAM FFA) and Kevin Blair (Griswold FFA). Eric Miller said they hope to raise 40- to 45,000-dollars to construct the FFA Food Stand. Miller said they “Can do it less cheaper, but we want to do it right. We don’t want to just piece-meal it, put it together part-time. If we’re gonna do it, let’s do it right.”
So far, he says, they’ve raised $28,000, with almost no fundraising efforts conducted. $9,000 was raised through word of mouth contributions. The Trevor Frederickson Foundation contributed $5,000 early on in the process, and they’ve received a $2,000 grant from the Iowa West Foundation. Miller says he’s applied for a $10,000 Cass County Endowment Fund grant, and if it is approved, the project is a go for this summer. He says they should know by the end of this month if the grant is approved. Once the project begins, the old FFA Food stand will be razed and the new structure put up in its place.
He says the new FFA Food Stand will have better plumbing, better electrical service, and be more modern, making it more safe than it is now. “America’s Farmers Grow Communities” was launched by the Monsanto Fund is 2010, and has grown to include 1,324 eligible counties in 40 states. The program is part of the “America’s Farmers” Initiative, which highlights the important contribution farmers make every day. For a list of the “Grow Communities” winners and more program information, go to growcommunities.com, on the web.