As announced earlier in the year our FFA chapter received a $8,000 matching fund grant from the Nebraska FFA Foundation. This was the result of an application submitted in the spring of 2020 for the chapter to develop a chapter goat production program. It is our hope that this program will provide some hands-on student experiences in the livestock industry with a minimum of investment. We also hope to provide the opportunity for members of the Hay Springs FFA Chapter to exhibit goats at the area county fairs. This process is well underway with the anticipation of having baby goats on campus yet this winter.
The first step in this process is to raise the matching funds to complete this project. We received tremendous support up to this point. We have received notice that the Nebraska FFA Foundation’s “I Believe in Ag” program has received over $5,500 in donations in behalf of the Hay Springs FFA Chapter. This includes a generous donation from Security First Bank and individual personal donations as well as the James Scott family/Gordon Livestock Market fundraiser.
James Scott Family and Gordon Livestock Market
One of the major contributions was the result of the James Scott family donation of a feeder steer at the Gordon Livestock Market. The Gordon Livestock Market sold the feeder steer in a roll-over auction and generated over $4,600 for the benefit of our Hay Springs FFA Chapter. Mr. Badje, and Mr. & Mrs. Lechtenberg took 18 FFA members to the sale to show our appreciation for those individuals that contributed to this awesome fundraiser for our FFA Chapter. Those attending were Animal Science students Jett R, Logan D, Molly S, Toby S, Mia S, Hannah H, Braydon B, Breely S, Hally J, Augustus S, and Introduction to Agri-Science students Noah K, Alexa T, Abigail R, Jordyn A, Tadden T, Ava M, Jarhett A, and Abigail N.
We would like to thank the following businesses and individuals for their support at the Gordon Livestock Market/Scott family fundraiser for the Hay Springs FFA Chapter; Gary & Diane Sandage, Koinzan & Thompson, Spitoon Ranch Inc., Tom Tines, Pieper Red Angus, Tom Marcy, Shawn Combs, Topp Herefords- Ryan & Prairie Topp, Rager Trucking, Dave & Mel Sexon, C & H Haying, Antelope Creek, John Witt, Judd Hoos, Bart Weaver, Jarrod Anderson, Casey Wilmot, Bowen Arrow Ranch, Russ & Sue Lechtenberg, Six J’s Ranch-Jason Scott and a special thanks to the Gordon Livestock Market for their promotion and support of this fundraising activity.
Hay Springs FFA Meat & Cheese and Fruit Sales
Our fruit sales committee recently totaled our chapter’s Meat, Cheese and Fruit orders totaling over $10,000, which again shows the tremendous support of our community for our FFA members and their efforts. The delivery of the Meat, Cheese and Fruit should arrive in mid-December so you should have your orders prior to the Christmas holidays. Thank You to all who supported this program and if you did not get contacted by an FFA member about purchasing fruit and/or meat and cheese, we did order some extra product which will be available on a first come first serve basis upon its arrival.
Other Fund Raisers
Chapter members have also had great support as they conducted a free-will donation pork Barbeque at a football game and have ran several concession stands during volleyball and the football season.
Goat Project Next Steps
With the funding for the development of our goat production program well underway, construction of the goat kidding barn began this week. The industrial technology students working with the Ag students under the supervision of Mr. Badje will be constructing the building on skids in the IT Building. We will be constructing a 12’ x 20’ insulated building to be utilized as a kidding barn and to provide housing for the goats as needed throughout the year. Students will be included in the entire construction process to include electrical wiring, insulation, paneling of the interior walls, and the application of metal to the outside and roof. Building construction will also include the installation of a door and one window. Students will also construct pens for kidding in the barn and construct fence to create an area for holding goats near the barn.
Two breeding does have been donated from Brianna and Alexa Tonjes and are being bred at Ponca Valley Show goats who will also be donating bred does to our initial breeding doe herd. Our Ag students will be involved in every stage of the production cycle from birth to delivery and the management of the does and kids through the weaning, training for shows, as well as selection of future breeding does. As the excitement builds for this project, if you have a desire to contribute to our efforts to match the $8,000 grant you can do so by contacting any FFA member, Mr. Lechtenberg, or send donations to the Nebraska FFA Foundation “I Believe in Ag” campaign to support the Hay Springs FFA Chapter.