by Rachel Hunter
The 7th Annual Gouverneur FFA Auction on Saturday, October 6, 10:30 a.m., at the Gouverneur Fairgrounds.
It is sponsored by the Gouverneur Agriculture Advisory Board – a group of nine individuals (Don Peck, Lyle Hotis, Allyn Tubbs, Karen Rizza, Robert Andrews, Kari Schermerhorn, John Hunter, Doug Thompson and Benjamin Hoffman) that work diligently to support the local FFA Chapter and agricultural education program at Gouverneur High School. The money raised goes directly towards funding for FFA field trips, the Summer Agriculture Program, the Youth Leadership Recognition Awards and the R.D. Gibbs Scholarship.
Due to the generous support from both local businesses and community members, last year's auction generated over $6,500. This money was used to supplement field trips for the FFA students and Agriculture classes at Gouverneur Central School. The trips included the NYS FFA Oswegatchie Educational Center ("Camp O") in Croghan, The Wildlife Center, Cargill Nutrition Feed Mill, MLS Equipment, and Empire Livestock. They also assisted with funding for annual FFA competitions and conventions not only at the local level but also for the FFA State Convention held in Rochester and the National Convention in Indianapolis.
Hannah Hight and Chloe Renaud received their Empire Degrees at the State Convention and five students attended the National FFA Convention. The Gouverneur Agriculture Advisory Board also paid $2,300 for the Summer Agriculture Program which consists of judging competitions at St. Lawrence and the NY State Fair, as well as leadership, community service and educational activities.
In July, the FFA members worked on the mobile sugar house and assisted with set up for the county fair.
The FFA continues their Annual Fruit and Cheese sales, the Maple Program, Pancake Breakfast and Annual Banquet.
These trips and events help the youth develop agricultural awareness, leadership skills and life skills including public speaking, interviewing skills and leadership qualities that will assist them throughout their adult life.
At the end of each year, the ag advisory board, through the R.D. Gibbs Youth Leadership Scholarship Fund, has the pleasure of awarding $500.00 Youth Leadership Recognition Awards to two Gouverneur FFA graduating seniors and $3,000 to the R.D. Gibbs Scholarship recipient.
“Evidence of why we do what we do can be summarized in the thank you notes from our recipients,” a donation-seeking letter to local businesses reads. “They all cite the FFA experience as being an essential part of their high school experience. In many cases, the leadership skills that they gain through FFA are the only opportunity they might have to do so. The skills that they have learned will carry over to whatever occupation they choose and be the groundwork for future leadership development throughout their careers. Your generosity and continued support is much needed and greatly appreciated by each of us on the board and by the youth themselves.”
Big ticket items have already started rolling in. A registered Holstein calf has been donated by LaVack Farms in Gouverneur. The calf is named JLR LaVack Roxanne Jedi, and was born on September 11, 2018. Her sire is Cookiecutter Jedi 12258-ET. Her dam is Woodcrest Bradnick Rolins (VG86), who was purchased in the 2013 Woodcrest Bridge to Excellence Sale. Rolins has 7 Excellent dams, including the world famous C Glenridge Citation Roxy EX 9.
New this year, the Gouverneur FFA Chapter Benefit Auction will include farm equipment, vehicles, lawn and garden, calves, on donation or to sell on commission with all commissions going to the Gouverneur FFA program.
Other items already donated include the following: new merchandise, cases of oil, bales of straw, bales of hay, cords of fire wood, wood pellets, oil changes, homemade pies and cakes, tools, furniture, quantity of gift certificates, fall harvest items, JD toys, clothing, plus much more.
Auctioneers will be Don Peck and Dave Bush.
At noon, there will be a chicken barbecue with all the proceeds going to benefit the students attending the National FFA Convention. The chicken barbecue will be handled by the FFA with supervision by the experienced members of the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair Association. There is only 150 chicken halves available, and it will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis.
All are invited to come out and support the Gouverneur FFA Chapter at the annual benefit auction tomorrow, Saturday, October 6, starting at 10:30 a.m.