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Ola's Future Farmers hosts spring plant sale

Photo by Hugh Osteen

Photo by Hugh Osteen

Sixteen-year-old Bucky Reynolds meticulously arranged the plants, making sure they were presentable to potential buyers.

The Ola High School sophomore, and others in the school's Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter of the National FFA Organization, prepared hundreds of greenhouse-grown plants for the annual spring plant sale.

"This is our main fund-raiser to support our FFA," said Eve Felton, Ola's agriculture teacher and FFA advisor. Felton said the spring plant sale typically raises about $3,000.

The annual sale, as at other area high schools with school-level FFA clubs, is a fund-raiser to benefit the club's year-round activities, and cover its year-round expenses. Felton said expenses include costs associated with hosting the club's end-of-the-year banquet, caring for the school's agri-science department's menagerie of small animals, sponsoring trips to attend leadership conferences, and camps.

Kristie Zeigler, a senior at Ola, was one of those students who earned a sponsorship to attend a leadership conference her sophomore year with the FFA.

Zeigler, who joined Ola's FFA as a freshman, is now president of the school's club. She said being a member of the club has provided her with a unique experience, learning about the far-reaching effects of agri-science, while honing leadership skills.

"A lot of people really don't know what it does in every day life, and how much it affects us," said Zeigler, 18.

The extracurricular club is an extension of the agri-science courses offered at the school, according to FFA Advisor Felton. Club members help support lessons in caring for various animals, from bass to turtles, and rabbits to rats, and earth worms to unhatched chickens.

Emily Kanniard, 17, said the leadership aspect of FFA is what most enticed her to join as a sophomore. Kanniard, now a senior and the club's secretary, said she joined mainly for the leadership skills one absorbs in FFA.

"Definitely leadership and responsibility ... it can help you in any career you're pursuing," said Kanniard.

Felton said she hopes the annual plant sale will yield the results of the past, raising as much as $3,000. She said the plant sale will last, in earnest, through Wednesday, with daily selling hours between 8 a.m., and 7 p.m.

The club will continue to sale plants on weekdays during the day, through April 25, according to Felton. Plants are priced at $2-to-$3 each for a selection of indoor plants and outdoor annuals and perennials. Hanging-basket plants cost $5.

"Right now, we've sold out of geraniums," said Felton.

Felton said the group will take what is leftover from the sale and donate it to Heritage Senior Center, or they will use the leftover plant material to help with landscaping at the school. To learn more, visit www.henry.k12.ga.us/oh.