CHERAW - Cheraw High School has launched its own FFA chapter, making it the newest agriculture education program in Colorado.

The new ag program fills a void for many in the rural town, as a vast majority of its residents have agricultural roots.

According to the newly appointed FFA advisor Tim Provost, the community, staff members, and the student body have welcomed the new program with open arms.

"The community seems super excited, and the kids are super excited! We've been working hard trying to get things rolling," says Provost. "We started the program from scratch, and we've had a lot of support."

Though it's worth every penny, starting a new chapter comes with a hefty price tag. Buying equipment, constructing a facility, purchasing the iconic corduroy jackets, and travel expenses to and from conferences and conventions all add up quickly.

To help offset these costs, Provost and the kids are working hard through fundraising efforts.

The chapter's first fundraiser took place at Early Settlers Day in La Junta, Colorado. They served a delicious summer treat, which consisted of ice cream in cantaloupe halves.

On September 28 at 4 p.m., held in conjunction with their Homecoming celebration, the chapter will host a chili feed and pumpkin fundraiser at the school's gazebo. For $6 per plate, guests will enjoy a bowl of delicious chili, a cinnamon roll, crackers, and cheese.

A variety of pumpkins will be available for purchase. The cost will range from $3 for small pumpkins, to $5 for large pumpkins.

All proceeds will benefit the Cheraw FFA Chapter. Funds will be used for travel to the National FFA Convention, state and district contests, leadership conferences, industrial supplies, and other associated costs.

IMPORTANCE TO THE COMMUNITY

FFA is extremely beneficial for students, and the communities in which they live, because the organization is committed to providing the individual student with a path to achievement in premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. FFA members live the motto Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live and Living to Serve.

The heart of the National FFA Organization is at the local chapter level, like Cheraw. Members are future chemists, veterinarians, government officials, entrepreneurs, bankers, international business leaders, teachers, ranchers, farmers, and premier professionals in many career fields.

The addition of the Cheraw ag program allows students to participate in agriculture education within the district rather than traveling to a neighboring program, which comes with obstacles and restrictions, according to Cheraw Superintendent Matthew Snyder.