The 53 members of the Raymond Central FFA Chapter have decided to focus their efforts this year on giving back to the community, which has been so helpful to their chapter.
“It was all the students’ idea,” said Katie Donahue, FFA Advisor for RCHS. “They wanted to do something to show appreciation for all the support they have received.”
This is Donahue’s first year with the Raymond Central FFA Chapter which was founded in 1970. For the previous five years she had been the FFA Advisor at Wahoo Bishop Neumann. But, even in so short a time, she said the community backing has made an impression.
“They help us with everything related to ag ed,” Donahue said. “They are awesome and I am glad to have them be so active.”
The spearhead of the community’s support is the very large and proactive FFA alumni group, she said. It was through the efforts of this group the chapter was able to establish a test plot for experiential learning. The land was donated by members and the seed was donated by the local Farmers Cooperative, Donahue said. Alumni members even help with the harvest, she said. Each year, the alumni hosts an auction as a fundraising event for the FFA chapter.
In an effort to show their appreciation, the chapter has committed to conduct one community service activity each quarter. This fall they are carrying out their Feed A Farmer event during harvest. In the spring, they plan to work at a Highway Cleanup Day. Over the summer they will coordinate with the NRD for a Test Your Well project. They are still thing about what they can do during winter.
Donahue has recently gotten some assistance herself. She has been joined by P.J. Hass who will be helping her with FFA events, contest and with transportation.
The chapter is looking at one potential State Degree this year. They expect that to significantly increase next year. One future State Degree recipient will undoubtedly be the current chapter President, Aleyna Cuttlers.
A junior this school year, Cuttlers could possibly follow in the footsteps of her sister and agribusiness prodigy Morgan Cuttlers. Morgan and fellow Raymond Central graduate Zach Settje are both Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program alumni.
Jon Burleson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.