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FFA members change their own world

By Staff | Apr 3, 2015

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

– Margaret Mead

Anthropologist Margaret Mead’s quote certainly rings true when it comes to the leadership team of the Sibley-Ocheyedan FFA and ag education program.

FFA members realized that ag teacher Brian Gottlob had his hands more than full trying to teach eight periods a day and advise the 114 members of the chapter.

So, the FFA spearheaded a $380,000 capital campaign to hire an additional ag teacher.

FFA members met with the S-O school board last December. Students took the issue to local businesses and surrounding communities, with the school board’s promise that it would hire someone if the money could be raised.

To date, an amazing 95 percent of the money has been pledged, and the first-year salary package has been collected. The pledges will be used to fund the position for five years, which will include salary, health insurance and IPERS.

In addition, the ag program will expand to include large and small animal science, plant science, horticulture and landscaping, agronomy, global agriculture and entrepresneurship, ag mechanics, meat and dairy science, natural resources and wildlife management, and ag leadership.

Alex Emerson, who will graduate from Iowa State University this spring, will be the beneficiary of the new position. Emerson will be fortunate to join a school system and a community that values ag education and rewards its students by providing funds and support for their futures.

The students have helped ensure that they – and those who come after them – will have opportunities to be better prepared for the ever-changing world of agriculture.

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