Nevada High School ag ed and FFA helped with the Sonny Perdue visit to Nevada last Friday. Bill Couser called on April 21 and asked if the Nevada High School agriculture education program and FFA chapter could help with the Sonny Perdue “town hall” meeting. “Certainly” replied Kevin Cooper, Nevada High School ag ed instructor and FFA advisor.

The FFA John Deere hayrack would be transformed into a mobile speaker platform, including a staircase, speaker’s podium, American flag, Iowa flag and the FFA flag. Cooper suggested flowers from the greenhouse, and flowering annuals on each tread plate of the staircase. Tim Couser suggested the Massey Ferguson 180 tractor restored by Nevada FFA should be hooked up to the hayrack. Couser purchased the tractor from Nevada FFA in the fall of 2014 for a generous price of $7,000.

Cooper had students work on other details. Avery Mather suggested sand tubes might be a good idea to hold the flag pole bases down if it was windy. The event was a huge success — over 250 ag business people, commodity organizations, farmers and FFA members were in attendance. The breeze picked up as the morning drew on, and caused the American flag to topple off its base, but quick-thinking FFA members immediately set up the flag. “That was so impressive” stated Marty Chitty, “to see our students recognize how important the American flag is” added Chitty.

Three current Iowa FFA officers attended, and three former state FFA officers, including 2016-17 Iowa FFA President Elisa Russ, and 2015-16 Iowa FFA president Michael Tupper. Nevada FFA had twelve members who attended. Everyone enjoyed the event, and it provided time for many good conversations on topics related to agriculture. Special thanks to Mike Doty for building the staircase, and Story County Extension for providing American flag and state of Iowa flag.