In February of 2004, Remington Seed Company of Indiana donated property that included a facility the Nevada High School Agriculture Education & FFA chapter could use for a place to work.
It is 10 years later, and the educational and economic value of this resource is impressive.
In 10 years, the Nevada FFA has restored 38 tractors, representing a value of $177,950.
"It was interesting to go back through the records the other night with a former student and count up what we have done, and that does not include current inventory," said Kevin Cooper, Nevada High School ag ed instructor and FFA advisor. "Besides tractors, there have been 21 baler, plow and implement trailer projects, too!" added Cooper. Titan Tire has been an extremely generous donor of tires for the tractor project.
Besides equipment work, the lab turns into a fruit warehouse for about three weeks in December. "There has been $186,000 of fruit, cheese and sausage come through in that 10-year period, also creating $63,410 of net income" reports Cooper. "These monies go directly to support student leadership development and expanded learning activities for our students."
The students have been very fortunate to have so many people and companies willing to help them and provide these educational resources. Last fall, Farm Credit Services of America awarded the Nevada FFA a $500 grant to host an open house and ag career day for underclassmen. The public is invited to the Nevada High School ag mech lab on Thursday, April 17, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., to commemorate the donation. In addition, the Alex Partridge MATCO Tool inventory will be on display also. Kohler Engine Company is donating twenty of the XT series engines for the ag mech program at no cost. "Wow, these engines are brand new, right from the factory," stated Cooper.
Mid West Pack will be catering a roaster of buttered sliced roast pork and a roaster of slow cooked sliced turkey for sandwiches; there will also be potato salad, chips, cookies and lemonade. Look for the blue and gold pennant chain for the drive entrance to the ag mech lab.