Western Dubuque High School FFA members served the school district Sept. 17 in a unique way. The group served ears of corn that were grown by the students, during lunches held throughout the district. This was an effort to show students where their food comes from.
This program is going on its fourth year. In previous years, the students managed their crop at Jurgen’s Farm. However, this year there was a small chunk of land at the high school that the FFA program was able to use.
Trenton Hammerand, a senior at WD, has been involved with this project since his freshman year. He said he is glad the opportunity came up this year for the FFA to grow it on school grounds.
“The corn is grown 100 feet from the school,” Hammerand said, “and it allows the students to see where their food is coming from.”
Farm to Table is a movement that is taking place throughout the United States, and students growing this corn help demonstrate what it is about. The plan was to originally plant pumpkins on the land, but corn seemed more feasible.
As far as obstacles go, the FFA did encounter a few issues.
“Our biggest obstacle was that the cross country course ran through the field,” Hammerand said, “so we had to work around that.”
He also added that the FFA program needed businesses and groups to sponsor the project, to pay for seed and different things needed to grow a crop.
Hammerand and several other students were in charge of leading this project. In total, there are 100 students in the FFA program. A group of them, along with members of a strength and conditioning class at the high school, took time out of their school day Sept. 17 to shuck the ears of corn in front of WD.
According to Luke Rauen, FFA instructor at the school, the students shucked 172 dozen, or 2,064 ears of corn.
The FFA program has 13.5 acres of land that the students maintain. It is located on the north side of the high school’s land.
FFA has some other events planned throughout the school year. Their Fall Harvest Day is coming up and they plan on taking baskets to local food pantries around Thanksgiving time.