NOTE: While Michigan schools remain closed, FFA students are home adjusting to online chapter meetings, virtual classes and a reorganization of spring plant sales and banquets. Meanwhile, Michigan Farm Bureau celebrates the nine FFA chapters who constantly meet their communities’ needs: our 2020 #SpeakAgMichigan Award Winners.
By Paige Lupcke
Montague FFA has earned a Michigan Foundation for Agriculture #SpeakAgMichigan Gold Award and $800 toward their chapter’s programming efforts.
On Aug. 1 of last year a group of Montague FFA students participated in the Wildcat Farms internship program, a workshop aimed at teaching students how to grow tomato plants, from fertilization, irrigation, pruning and harvest — all enabling participating students to grow their own tomatoes post-graduation.
Students engaged the community to help make the day a success, reaching out to supporters Weesies Brothers Greenhouse and Montague Foods. This year the students look forward to partnering with Muskegon County Farm Bureau to help grow the event.
“It is important to educate students about agriculture so they can understand what a huge role it plays in our everyday lives,” said Kennedy McDonald, chapter reporter for Montague FFA. “Before I joined FFA I was fairly ignorant about agriculture. Seeing it in action throughout my school and community has opened my eyes as to just how important it is.
“Others deserve the opportunity to learn about the vast role agriculture plays in our world — in order to better appreciate and protect it.”
Asked to rate their experience on a scale of one to ten, all but one participant gave the experience an eight or better — plus positive remarks on the presenters and the information being taught. Montague FFA students said for the next event they’d like to gather more data on what types of crops participants would like to see.
Michigan Foundation for Agriculture’s #SpeakAgMichigan awards go to FFA chapters engaged in agricultural education and outreach activities in their communities. Winning chapters set clear goals and work with partnering organizations and teachers to deliver dynamic learning experiences for youth and adults. Winners receive cash prizes to put toward programming.
The 2021 #SpeakAgMichigan application deadline is December 1, 2020.
Paige Lupcke is an intern for MFB’s Center for Education and Leadership Development.
The Michigan Foundation for Agriculture is a 501(c)(3) governed by Michigan Farm Bureau and contributing to the future of Michigan agriculture through leadership and educational programming.