Dan McNary, CCFFA Advisor
FFA is about so much more than just taking Ag classes at the high school and showing animals at the local fair. Yes, student members have the opportunity to learn skills, practice them, and apply them in businesses that they run themselves, or for others whom they work for. But they also get the opportunity to work with people in the community as a way of thanking them for all of the support that they give us throughout the year. Here are a few examples of how our members have helped out in the community.
Central Oregon Ranch Supply annually hosts their trade show at the ranch in Powell Butte at the end of September. This activity brings together all of CORS’ vendors to offer deals to the producers that use this business. Over the last several years, the Malott family has invited us to assist in this activity. Members of the Crook County FFA, along with other area youth groups, help in setting up and decorating for the event, parking cars, loading out customers and tearing down at the events conclusion. Central Oregon Ranch Supply is always very generous in making a donation to the chapter for the time that we spend there, but our member also love being able to meet with the vendors and talk to area producers as well.
Central Oregon Ranch Supply and Hometown Animal Hospital have also partnered with Zoetis Animal Health and the National FFA to award local FFA chapters 1% of their sales of Zoetis product during the spring of the year. Checks are received by the chapter in early September by the chapters. Our check is generally presented to the members at the trade show by Zoetis representative John Herkner of Bend. This support is always welcomed and appreciated, and allows for members to travel easily to many of the fall activities at the beginning of the year.
A recent addition to our program of activities in an event with Wilco here in Prineville. Manager Scott Wallet asked us two years ago to barbecue for their initial Beef Bonanza event. This event brings several of Wilco’s cattle product vendors to the store where they are able to work with local producers in meeting their needs for the year. Wilco is a huge supporter of FFA at the state level, and we have had a fantastic relationship with them since they moved to Prineville. We have been working with them on this event each of the last two years. The event is growing and we hope to be able to continue this activity as we move forward.
Les Schwab is another huge supporter of our program and FFA in general. There are so many ways that the entire Les Schwab family helps us throughout the year. Transport hauls our fruit and Christmas trees, as well as the soil that we plant into in our greenhouses. The store allows us a place to hold our tree sale each and every year. Awards have been sponsored for our county fair, and animals have been purchased. Les Schwab is an amazing partner that we are proud to have support us. When corporate initiated the annual food drive with FFA at the state level, we have worked with our local store to help make the program a success. Through this partnership, we have raised nearly 20,000 lbs. of food for the local community together in our three years in working on this project.
These are just some of the ways that our members get involved in our community to help when needed. While there is benefit to our members and the chapter in being involved in these events, we see the benefit as mutual, and love being able to help in the community.