Members of the Alma School Board were treated to an update on the inaugural year of the district’s agriculture program during the board’s recent monthly meeting.
First-year agriculture teacher and FFA advisor Lakan Brumley, accompanied by some of the program’s officers, led a presentation during the Jan. 9 meeting that highlighted events her students had participated in since the program’s resurrection prior to the start of the current school year.
The highlights included:
• Five members participating in the Crawford County Fairgrounds cleanup on consecutive Saturdays prior to the fair and two members showing livestock during the fair.
• A Career Development Event in Fort Smith hosted by the Arkansas-Oklahoma State Fair. Thirty-two members (half of the program’s total enrollment) participated in the event which featured judging and instruction in the areas of horticulture, livestock, dairy, poultry, nursery and agronomy.
• A club fundraiser in which two fire pits donated by Farm Credit, valued at $500 each, were given away through a raffle. Tickets were $1 for one and $5 for six and the club sold 800 tickets.
• Attending the Crawford County Farm Bureau meeting and dinner.
• Haunted Corn Maze fundraiser in which 20-25 students participated in the two-night event. The group raised $750 for upcoming projects and events.
• Participation in the Crawford County Extension Workshop. Two students took part in the event, which featured the University of Arkansas poultry students discussing various issues related to poultry and raising poultry.
• Bingo Night and Chili Supper fundraiser where students collected donations of 50 Bingo prizes and 10 items for a silent auction from local businesses. Money raised at the event went to the purchase of Christmas gifts for seven area children.
• Participation in the Alma Christmas Parade. FFA members cut down trees to go on a float, wrapped boxes to put under the trees and decorated the trees with cut out ornaments that represented agriculture. The float’s theme was “Farm Fresh Holiday at Christmas Brought to You by Agriculture.” The float placed second in its division.
• An officer’s Christmas party in which seven of the nine officers were able to participate. The group enjoyed a meal, a team-building project of making gingerbread houses and playing board games.
• The purchase of FFA jackets. A first order has been completed with some jackets having already arrived. A second order has been filled out.
“I think it’s remarkable what all this class has done in four months as a brand new program starting from nothing at all,” Alma Superintendent Dr. David Woolly said after the presentation. “It’s remarkable how much you’ve gotten done.”
Brumley said the group’s focus is now turning to the purchasing of livestock in anticipation of next fall’s fair season.
“We have quite a few high schoolers who are interested in showing livestock so hopefully we can get those numbers up next year,” she said.
The group is also preparing for fundraisers that will help with expenses for two events in April: the FFA Convention and mid-April banquet.
Among other items on the board’s January agenda was a listing of the board members’ training hours for 2019.
“It’s a new requirement that every January the training hours be reported to the board from the previous year,” said Woolly.
The board members’ individual totals were: Sean Brister, 14.50; Pat Whorton, 13.50; Chapen Rucker, 12.00; Carrie Jernigan, 11.00; Mike Higgins, 8.00; Ron Haught, 6.00; and John Ware, 6.00.
The board also voted to move its next meeting date to Feb. 6 and approved the transfer of one student out of the district.