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Alumni support local FFA with projects

Chartered last fall, the Ellsworth FFA Alumni Association plans to support the FFA organization at Ellsworth High School in several ways.

"We're raising money for the program to use for youths," Nina Borth said Thursday.

Borth said she was elected the alumni group's reporter in October. Former FFA advisor and retired teacher Steve Kastberg was elected president, Ed Falkofske, vice president, Linda Donnelly, secretary, and Leeallen Huppert, treasurer.

The group has formed a fundraising committee, the reporter said. Presently, sponsors are being sought for the first annual "Show Down in Curd Town" sanctioned tractor pull, to be held Friday, June 30, at 7 p.m. at the Pierce County Fairgrounds in Ellsworth. Pullers on an area circuit are expected to participate.

Members also hope to operate a food stand on the field in front of the grandstand during the Pierce County Fair to support the EHS FFA club, she said. They'll be involved in a flower sale on the lot of the former Tom Thumb each Saturday beginning later this year, featuring flowers grown in the school's new greenhouse, which they'll support as well.

"In the fall, we'd like to have poinsettias for Christmas and, in the spring, lilies for next Easter," she said.

Among other efforts they envision are backing agriculture-related classes at EHS, such as a meat processing offering which has been proposed, Borth said. They're trying to get a milk vending machine in the school. Promoting increased FFA club student numbers is on their agenda, too.

"Being in FFA is an advantage on a resume when applying for a job," she said, as are such skills as communication fostered by participation in the FFA speaking contest, for example.

Organizers are striving to "grow" the 32-member alumni group itself, she said. Anyone interested in supporting agriculture is welcome; people needn't have been in FFA to join. Dues are $20 and meetings are held monthly, with the next meet set for Monday, June 5, at 7:30 p.m. at the T-Bar, plus there's an annual meeting in February.

But newcomers can be added anytime, she said, recommending contacting any of the officers for more information.

Borth shared the group's mission statement: "The mission of the Ellsworth FFA Alumni Association is to secure the promise of FFA and agricultural education by creating an environment where people and communities can develop their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success."

She also referred to the following about the group's purpose: "We value the integral nature of FFA and agricultural education. We value agriculture as an essential part of society. We value diversity in serving all populations. We value the impact of a teacher on a student's life. We value the impact and involvement of parents/guardians and communities on a student's life. We value the community's support of agricultural education teachers and programs."

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