By LESLIE FULLER KNOX
CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. — Recently, some student members of North Montgomery High School’s FFA program did some good, had some fun and reflected about the meaning of farming – all with a little assistance from Beck’s Hybrids and Cargill.
As the afternoon light streamed in through the windows of the high school off U.S. Highway 231 in Crawfordsville, 33 FFA members rapidly sorted, poured and prepared a fortified ricesoy casserole mix.
“We said we needed donations, and Beck’s Hybrid Seeds and Cargill stepped up to the plate, they were full-bore with it,” said Nancy Bell, a leader and 12-year teacher for the school’s FFA program. Beck’s and Cargill employees also helped pack the meals.
She said the March 13 effort produced 50 large boxes, each with 36 of the 13.8-ounce plastic pouches of nutritious food. It was up to the students to determine where the food will go, Bell explained. The Kids Against Hunger organization was expected to send the packed donations to local residents and other U.S. communities, as well as those in need overseas.
Several FFA members said they enjoyed the volunteer activity. “I just kind of like putting others before myself,” said Paydon Kautzman, a senior who plans to study ranch operations at Oklahoma State University.
“I like knowing I’m helping other kids who can’t afford food,” said senior Logan Endicott, who wants to study agribusiness at Purdue University.
“I like giving back,” said Clair Daron, 17, who pointed out the value of the food. “It’s got rice, soy, protein, dehydrated vegetables, all the groups you need to survive. I think some people take our food supply for granted.”
“It’s important for people to know, if it weren’t for farmers, we wouldn’t have as much as we do,” added junior Allison Stoup.
As freshman Clayton Fugate worked without pause, his mother, Roxie, said the event was a fun mother-son activity. She said the 15-year-old plans to attend Purdue and become a farmer.
With the hard work done, the students and parents crowded into a classroom to sample the cooked ricesoy casserole. “It’s good,” judged Junior Tanner Moseley, 17, who quickly ate his sample.
Bell said later the FFA students are now looking forward to their April 24 banquet, to be held at the school.