The McCool Junction FFA has implemented unique ways to honor and remember past FFA members and teachers at their school with the Clay Real Memorial Animal Learning Barn and memorial garden.
The McCool Junction FFA chapter has utilized local and state support to receive donations through the I Believe in the Future of Ag program and Nebraska FFA Foundation grant to purchase materials for their animal learning barn. The money for the barn originally went to purchase the barn and basic learning materials. Now the animal learning barn has grown to include rabbits, frogs, geckos, cows and goats. The chapter received grant funds in 2019 to purchase a camera system to watch the nocturnal animals and births while not in school. They also have used the funds towards facility updates, veterinary bills, feed for the animals and new equipment.
In 2020, the chapter received another grant to start a memorial garden at their school to remember and honor individuals from their school and community. They currently have a pergola built for their garden thanks to the grant and I Believe in the Future of Ag funds. This year’s project is to add the brick memorial walkway.
FFA Chapters all across Nebraska are creating innovative hands-on projects like McCool Junction by receiving funds through the I Believe in the Future of Ag campaign or Nebraska FFA Foundation grant. Eleven Nebraska FFA chapters and 16 FFA members were awarded funds through the 2020 Nebraska FFA Foundation chapter grant program. The grants are to support Nebraska agricultural education classrooms, FFA programs and individual student entrepreneurship Supervised Agricultural Experiences. Funds are provided by the Nebraska FFA Foundation and its general fund donors. The grant recipient projects ranged from CNC plasma table to greenhouses to poultry production.
*This article was originally featured in the 2020-21 Annual Report. To view the full, online report, click here.*