Helping Hands Supporters:
Kenyon Noble, Five Valleys Land Trust, Farmers State Bank, Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation, Darell & Tammy Luther, Pat & Darcy Street, David Wichman, Rickey & Deb Arnold, and Tom & Carol Sparks
The Missoula FFA chapter was approached by a neighboring school, Target Range, asking if the FFA could convert the parking lot that is in between Target Range and the MCPS Ag Farm into agricultural land. After a reconfiguring of the traffic flow at Target Range several years ago, the lot became an unused paved parking area. This lot consistently has cars in it that have had to be removed at the school’s expense, as well as cars that have people living in them. This is a safety concern for both schools. This grant will be used to take the asphalt out of the lot, clean the area, level the lot, fence it off, and plant alfalfa hay into the lot. Missoula FFA’s objective is to remove the nuisance area to help Target Range School have a safer facility for their students. As an added benefit, the project will turn a parking lot into productive agricultural land.
Hsyham FFA members are once again working on beautifying local businesses in throughout their town. They will plant and arrange flowers in planters to be placed outside the door of various businesses in Hysham. The planters are also built by the FFA members. This project is a way for the chapter to show appreciation for their community supporters.
The Hinsdale community’s event tables are worn out, outdated, and extremely heavy. The tables are stored in the school basement and at another facility across town which makes the table difficult to access. The Hinsdale school is the only venue large enough to host large events in the community, so all of the large events take place at the school. To speed up the setup for community events and make the process much less cumbersome, the Hinsdale FFA is going to purchase lightweight folding tables and a storage cart so that they can be stowed under the gym bleachers. The tables will be available for use at all community events.
The Hinsdale high school recently added a superintendent house to the community this year. The school does not have the funds to provide landscaping around the new house. The objective of this project will be to improve the landscape around the new house. The members of the chapter will work with community members and FFA Alumni to complete the project. They also want to reduce soil erosion on the site of the house. Hinsdale FFA plans to have the project finished by the end of June – mid-July.
The Gardiner FFA saw two needs in their community, 1) to reduce the amount of loose twine in the fields, 2) limit the twine that goes to landfills. The students are building the collecting bins out of angle iron and one-ton feed sacks. Gardiner FFA’s goal is to recycle 40,000 pounds of relatively clean, used bailing twine from the local ranches. Once they collect the 40,000 pounds, a company out of Minnesota will drive to pick it up in Gardiner. They hope to have 40,000 pounds of twine collected in the next five years.
The Gardiner FFA was also given a grant to put on a camp that gives many children who may not grow up around horses an opportunity to learn skills, a chance to ride, and space to learn about how to properly care for a horse, as well as how to be safe when working around or with horses. Providing this camp also gives FFA members a chance to learn something new also. Horse camp allows members to get more involved with the younger children of the community. During camp, the members learn more about the students as they play games about horses while teaching them and leading them around the arena. No other equine camp or fair is offered in Gardiner and the closest opportunity is near Livingston, almost 50 miles away.
The Hysham FFA will be creating community planters to be distributed throughout the town. The members will be sanding benches and cleaning pots to start the project, they will then move on to purchasing flowers and potting soil. They will conclude with delivering the planters by the middle of summer.
The Cascade FFA was given grant money to provide raise garden areas around the Cascade Senior Center. This project was created to give the senior citizens the opportunity to look outside their home and enjoy colorful flowers to brighten their day. During the Cascade FFA’s officer retreat, the officers will build and install the raised gardens. They hope to have the project finished by the end of June.
The Cascade FFA was also given grant money for the fall to help raise awareness about Carbon Monoxide detectors. The chapter plans to take a few members of the Building Communities-Stakeholder Engagement Committee along with a firefighter to go through Cascade and pass out new carbon monoxide detectors and to inform the citizens about detector safety and what to do in case of a carbon monoxide leak. The chapter plans to be done with this project by November 13th.
The local post office contacted the Chinook FFA to create rock beds around the post office, which is in the center of the town. The members agreed to the project; they will create a bridge and lay a rock bed around the flagpole. The chapter is excited to show the town of Chinook that they truly care about the community and want to always make it better in whatever way they can.
Electric City FFA
The Electric City FFA chapter received a grant this fall to help raise awareness of seat belt safety in their community. Saving the lives of students by encouraging the use of seat belts “ in every seat, every vehicle, every time” is the key to this safety campaign. The students at CM Russell High School in Great Falls, Montana is the primary focus. The objective of the campaign is to have kids and adults “Rock the Belt, in every seat, every vehicle, every time!” Electric City FFA will have the car of our member, Taylor Converse, on a trailer, prominently displayed in the High School parking lot with signs and information about the accident posted. This will be a visual reminder for every student and parent as they enter and leave the parking lot. We will post posters from National Seat Belt campaigns like the “Rock the Belt” promotions from Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and the Allstate Insurance seat belt campaign in the High School, middle school, and local businesses.
Fromberg FFA used their grant to create nutritious, easy to prepare meals and snacks for families once a week who are in need. Fromberg School has a current population of 117 students K-12. Currently, the Fromberg FFA helps 12 families and 26 students with these meal programs. The Chapter gets together one hour a week during the school year and students participate in filling bags, they don’t know who the families are, all they know is the number of children in the family they are feeding. This program has shown our members that there is a need for help in our community, and show the community that they are willing to help.
Judith Gap FFA
Judith Gap used their funds to refurbish all of the electrical Christmas decoration that the city hangs on the main street through the town. The students will learn basic electrical skills to repair the decorations and replace the broken bulbs. The project will improve the look of the community.
Chinook FFA used the grant money to make 15 portable planters for community members to plant flowers, fruit, and vegetables. By doing this, the Chinook FFA promoted healthy diets and provided an area for community members to grow their own food.