Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

October 25, 2013

Greensburg High School FFA planting seeds of service

By Amanda Browning Daily News
Greensburg Daily News

---- — GREENSBURG – At their recent chapter initiation meeting Oct. 2, nine new members joined the ranks of the Greensburg High School (GHS) Future Farmers of America (FFA), though that was far from all the excitement to take place at the meeting.

Power of the Past President Tom Cherry was in attendance to present GHS FFA president Layne Sanders with a check for $1,600 to be used to fund activities and projects for the chapter. The Power of the Past comes to Greensburg at the end of each summer to promote interest and appreciation for the agricultural machinery of days gone by.

“We started donating four years ago when they brought the FFA back into Greensburg schools. They struggled financially, so our club decided to help. The students are a lifesaver to us. It’s hard to find good help for a lot of things we do. They often take charge of some of the kids’ games and have almost completely taken over the bingo for us,” Cherry said.

“They have been such a huge asset and we feel they deserve it. Besides that, we need some new blood in the club with an interest in antique tractors and machinery. It works out well for both parties and we hope to continue the donations,” Cherry added.

It would seem the organizers of Power of the Past have a vested interest in keeping the youth of Decatur County involved in agricultural studies and the GHS FFA members do not appear to have any problem with that.

“The donation from Power of the Past will help us achieve many of our goals. We will be using it for career development events in the agricultural field and to address leadership goals,” said Rich McGown, FFA advisor at GHS.

Decatur County Soil & Water Conservation District Natural Resource Specialist Scott Sanders also attended the chapter initiation meeting, where he presented a check for $700 to FFA Vice President Becca McDole. The donation was earmarked specifically for natural resource supplies. Actual samples will be purchased with the donation, according to McGown.

“We’re going to get actual samples the kids can work with and use to prepare for when they get out into the field,” McGown said. “This will help them recognize different kinds of soil and plants.”

Lessons the students learned in FFA have already paid off. In the natural resources and introduction to agriculture classes, students studied how to judge the quality of a river. They then spent several weeks evaluating the quality of Sand Creek and were able to produce reports for the local natural resources agency. They then compared the new reports with those from a decade ago to see if the quality of the river has changed.

Sanders and McDole were recognized at the chapter initiation meeting for being elected to district officer positions during the State FFA Conference over the summer. Becca McDole was elected as the vice-president of District 12 and Layne Sanders was elected as District 12’s Secretary. McGown expressed his pride for the young ladies’ new positions, as well as his gratitude for their service to GHS FFA.

“When I started at Greensburg, I started literally the day before school. Those two have been a tremendous help aiding me in understanding the community and school resources available,” McGown said. “They’ve shown fabulous leadership and personal integrity in making sure everything is as right as it can be. They were very welcoming and it has contributed to the success of current goals for the chapter and has helped us develop some new goals as well.”

McGown said the community support for the ag program has been phenomenal.

“I have had people literally on the streets asking how they can help the ag department and FFA. I’ve had businesses contact me instead of me having to go to them. The support from the community and the school has been fantastic,” McGown said.

The GHS FFA isn’t shy about giving back, either. The Greensburg chapter was one of nine chapters from across the state selected to go to Lucas Oil Stadium Nov. 5 to help assemble 65,000 meals for needy families. The Greensburg FFA members will be working with national and state FFA members, as well as the Indianapolis Colts. The Greensburg chapter will be bringing back 1,000 of the completed meals with them to donate to the Greensburg Bread of Life to feed families in need.

It seems difficult to find a downside to the hard work and dedication the members of the Greensburg FFA have put into giving back to their community while still staying true to their agricultural roots and planting the “seeds” of success.

Contact: Amanda Browning 812-663-3111 x7004