Challenging is the only way to describe the Nevada ag ed and FFA sweet potato harvest this past fall.

The Nevada High School agriculture education program and FFA collaborated with Swanson Farms north of Nevada to grow and harvest sweet potatoes for the school lunch program. The Nevada FFA purchased a sweet potato flip plow in 2017 with a $5,000 grant from Co-Bank. This year, the harvesting plow was mounted on a new John Deere 6175 tractor provided by Van Wall Equipment — Nevada store. Students mounted the plow at the high school agriculture mechanics lab and then Kevin Cooper drove the tractor and plow to the Dale Swanson farm for harvesting.

The excessive precipitation made for a very difficult harvest environment. Over 500 pounds of sweet potatoes were harvested and delivered to the Nevada School district lunch program. School cooks prepared the orange and purple sweet potatoes in a variety of meals that students could enjoy. Sweet potatoes are very healthy for consumption due to having a lower glycemic index, and are high in beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are also rich in complex carbohydrates, as well as dietary fiber, which support a healthy digestive system. They are also high in vitamin C, B vitamins, and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, phosphorus and zinc.