« Karl's Comments


by Jeremy Lawrence

Gofundme, all set forth as one word, sounds and looks like some of that shorthand that the youngsters of today employ as an alternative language - a modern communications method. Well, it a way, it is. Its a part of an Internet address set up in Olivet, where a fire destroyed a large part of the FFA program there. The story has been on RFD-TV, and youve heard about it with Rick Shields in the Midwest Broadcasting program, Michigan Agriculture Now. The full address, for the convenience of those who want to know more, and who want to contribute financially to the very important recovery program is ( www.gofundme.com ).

Just to update you, and/or to refresh your memory, a few years ago, a lot of money, volunteer labor, and some pretty sophisticated fund raising resulted in a new barn on the Olivet High School grounds, wherein participants in the FFA program - - those are the blue corduroy jacket youngsters - - could go about the business of agricultural education in any of its several disciplines.

Rick, in his coverage of the event, and the fundraising campaign that is following, quotes Loren Griffin, Olivet school district facilities manager, in describing the fire in April as a devastating loss to the kids. He says, We will be rebuilding. That, of course, is what the fundraiser - gofundme- is all about. They think they need about $25,000.

The plan is to rebuild the barn, of course, which was only five years old - and to replace animals and equipment. Eleven pigs, several feeder cattle and two steers were lost in that fire, along with a show box, and other paraphernalia associated with animal showing and demonstrating such as livestock clippers, livestock scale, fans, pig feeders and cattle feeders and feed pans, and a quantity of hay and straw. Also on the want list a grain bin auger, roller mill for feed grinding, and a bunch of miscellaneous, such as forks, shovels, rakes, brushes, trash cans and lockers for tools. The list is not quite endless, but it does go on!

I never got involved in FFA when I was in high school, but my younger brother did. FFA was a part of a great many more high school programs then, and for years after, than it is now. I hope the folks in Olivet can get the help they need to get these youngsters back in the business of learning about agriculture. There were 66 students enrolled in that active agriscience program as of the end of last year.

Karl Guenther is a retired farm broadcaster at WKZO and can be reached at khguenther@charter.net . He is a member of Michigan Farm Bureau and an emeritus member of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting. (accompanying picture is a screen capture from YouTube)