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Saturday, March 7, 2009

All the way with FFA!

I spent a most enjoyable day yesterday. I served as a judge for the State FFA Ag Sales Contest. What a great way to spend about 4 hours! For those of you who think that teenagers today don't know/do anything, I'm here to tell you that is certainly not true. I listened to 11 young people sell me various agriculture-related products: from an electric greasegun to a battery booster (I didn't know what one was until yesterday) to a greenhouse (you bet I listened up on that one!) to a goose decoy. The goose decoy salesman was fabulous! I told him when he finished, "I don't hunt but you made me want to buy a decoy!"

So I have a challenge for all of you...get involved in your local 4-H clubs and FFA Chapters. Serve as a judge or mentor for these awesome kids. You can't complain about the state of the next generation when you do nothing to help them learn and grow. I have these two organizations to thank for teaching me a lot of life skills that I use every day, helping for a couple hours here and there is a small way of saying thank you. If you don't know your local FFA advisor, call the school and ask his or her name and tell them you want to help...you will make their day!

This leads me to an update about the gardens. It's time to start the seedlings, but as I do not have a greenhouse and my local FFA chapter does...can you see where this is going? Yup! I'm donating all the seeds, pots, trays, and starting medium to the school and they will be working on a horticulture unit the remainder of the spring STARTING MY PLANTS! I have to admit that this arrangement is beneficial for all involved. The kids get a chance to start seeds and monitor their progress and it doesn't cost the school anything by way of supplies. And I don't have to start seeds, admittedly my least favorite part of gardening. Come May, I'll gather up the plants from the kids and put them in the ground. Then when they come back to school in August, I hope to have them come out to our farm and see how their plants did over the summer and sample the produce.

Get out there, find some kids and teach 'em something!