Reporting John Lauritsen
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The 35 students that make up Montevideo’s FFA Chapter are pretty identifiable around school.
Their creativity spills out on their t-shirts, which are worn under their traditional FFA jackets.
“That blue and gold jacket is largely unchanged since the very first time it was put on. And the strengths that it stands for — leadership, personal growth, career success — those aren’t going to change either,” said FFA advisor, Brian Albers.
Albers has been Montevideo’s FFA advisor for 24 years. He has seen students come and go, but the quality has stayed the same. And it can be summed up in two words: corn drive.
“We go out in the country and we ask for donations of corn, or soybeans, or money. And all the donations will go to Camp Courage, which is a camp for kids with disabilities,” said FFA president, Rebekah Landmark.
They raised $2,000 last fall, and over the years have raised more than $100,000 for Camp Courage.
“It makes me smile really big because I know that our work has made a difference in those kids’ lives,” said Landmark.
“I feel that we, as students, get a lot from the community. And this is just one small way to give back to those less fortunate,” said FFA vice president, Jordan Voorhees.
Montevideo FFA members also built miniature buildings for the county fair, so kids could get a taste of farm life. They hold a Homecoming hot dog feed every year, and on Friday morning they served their annual pancake breakfast as part of National FFA Week.
“It’s so important to me,” said Landmark. “I love serving others.”
The FFA has received numerous awards over the years and was recognized in the local paper this week. That’s why WCCO is recognizing a group of small town students doing big things as this week’s Community Spotlight winner.
“Whether or not (there is) a monetary reward … we are just totally thrilled watching them grow and see the good students they’ve become,” said Albers.
Albers said the club will use the $500 Community Spotlight award money to help pay for next fall’s Homecoming hot dog feed and for leadership camps this summer.
Community Spotlight is sponsored by Sieben, Grose, Von Holtum, and Carey.