FFA Students Take 3 Day Ag Industry Tour

Submitted Photos Ava FFA Students, sponsors, and chaperons from the recent Ag industry tour.

by Kerre Clark
President, Ava FFA Boosters

Last week, the Ava FFA Booster Club sponsored the third Ava FFA Ag Industry Tour.

Ava FFA Booster Club Vice President, Ed Wittorff and President, Kerre Clark organized the three day event designed to visit locations in Southeast Missouri.

17 Ava FFA members ranging from incoming Freshmen to Seniors took part. The students were chaperoned by Wittorff, Clark, Dorice Isaacs, FFA Advisor Brent Lakey, FFA Advisor John Branstetter, and his wife, Stephanie. 

The tour started at locally-owned and operated Shrable Fertilizer & Feed in Seymour.

The group then headed to Perryville, MO and toured Steinbecker Livestock, Aufdenberg Polled Herefords, Schoen Dairy Farm, and Spooler Farms.  

Several of these farms used programs to improve pastures, water systems, fencing, shelter, and other conservation practices.  

On the second day the group visited Berkwood Farms Berkshires, the Farm of Rick Aufdenberg, Southeast Missouri State University Farm, and Midwest Agri Chemico in the Jackson and Cape Girardeau area.

On day three, the group headed south of Cape to Peach Orchard, MO to tour Bean & Bean Cotton Company and the Peach Orchard Cotton Gin Co. 

The final tour for the trip was at Jennings Bros. Farms in Sikeston where students saw rice fields, levees, popcorn, and soybeans and a variety of farm equipment.

The students received numerous compliments about the attention and gratitude they showed at each stop.  One of the business owners contacted group leaders after they were heading home to just make sure the rest of the trip went well and to reiterate how impressed he was with the Ava students.  

One meal each day was voluntarily provided by one of the presenters and an Ava student would lead the group in prayer.

The rest of the trip was funded by the FFA Booster Club. The only student expense was snacks during travel times.

FFA Booster Club funding comes from their annual auction and dinner event, which happens this year on Saturday, September 12th at 6:00 PM. Dinner attendees can meet the new Ava FFA Officers, hear the FFA Creed, and hear first-hand testimonials from the students about this tour. 

Dinner tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. They are available at the Douglas County Herald offices, Century Bank of the Ozarks, or from Ed Wittorff, Garry DeVore, and Kerre Clark.

The group is still accepting donations of items to be auctioned off at the dinner.