[HASTINGS, NE September 16, 2019] — Cooperative Producers, Inc. (CPI) has donated $10,000 to the Nebraska FFA Foundation to directly support local agriculture education classrooms and FFA needs. Axtell, Franklin, Wood River, Sutton and McCool Junction were all selected to receive grants through CPI.
Axtell is entering its second year as a program and FFA chapter. They plan to build a greenhouse to expand the education opportunities for the students at Axtell, as well as; provide an opportunity for Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE) for the students. This project will impact all students at Axtell because they plan to supply fresh produce to the cafeteria.
Franklin’s agricultural education students toured Minden Machine, which made the students wish they could have a plasma table. Franklin agricultural education has made an initiative to prepare students for careers in agricultural mechanics and manufacturing fields. They will be purchasing a plasma table and cutter to be used in three different classes.
McCool Junction will purchase barn cameras to watch live births. They also want to watch and learn more about animal behavior including the nocturnal animals. Last year, the barn lost power twice, which caused stress on the animals. Luckily both of the outages were short term, but wanted to have a generator to keep the heat lamps going for the animals that need them.
Sutton is working on updating the inside of the greenhouse with updated tables, grow lights, heating mats and more. The new equipment and technology will help replicate a real-world nursery for students’ hands on learning. In the greenhouse, students will learn different methods of propagation, transplanting and more. The plants will be in the greenhouse from start to selling point.
Wood River is in the beginning stages of planning an agricultural education facility. The first phase of the facility construction will be getting a greenhouse on their school property. Their agricultural education program will work alongside their school lunch program and local food pantry to provide fresh produce for area residents and students. On average 60 students will be involved with working with the greenhouse.
“CPI is committed to investing not only in the ag industry here and now, but also in the future of agriculture. We believe supporting FFA chapters is one of the best and most direct ways to keep the ag industry’s future bright and moving forward,” said Mark Thieszen, CPI CFO.