On a 35-acre plot of land in central Minnesota last fall, about five dozen high school students rolled up their sleeves all season to help a soybean crop survive the drought of 2021.
The FFA plot helps teach students in agriculture, plant science and animal science classes at Melrose Area High School about risk versus reward, farm safety, and the complexities of decisions ranging from hybrid selection and fertilizer applications to balancing rations based on silage digestibility. It also gives them the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills.
“The money raised by selling crops from the test plot has enabled us to send students on national FFA trips at little or no cost. It gives our FFA students opportunities to do things they couldn’t otherwise do,” says Megan Seifert, agriculture instructor and FFA adviser at Melrose Area High Schools.
The CHS Seeds for Stewardship program has helped fund the Melrose FFA Plot program since 2018 by matching support provided annually by Belgrade Cooperative Association in Belgrade, Minn.
“We’re very appreciative of both Belgrade Cooperative and CHS for bringing this fantastic opportunity to our school,” says Seifert.
This is just one of the many projects that CHS has supported through the CHS Seeds for Stewardship program. The CHS Seeds for Stewardship program matches cooperative contributions for projects in rural communities. Since 2018, more than 360 communities have benefited from matching grants. Applications for the next Seeds for Stewardship grant cycle are being accepted now through Feb. 15.
See this link for more information about Seeds for Stewardship and encourage your cooperative to apply today.