Our Town Gothenburg: FFA program

Pure Nebraska
Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 11:22 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2023 at 12:20 PM CDT
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GOTHENBURG, Neb. (KOLN) - At many high schools, sports teams are often a focal point when it comes to school pride. But at Gothenburg High School, the FFA program is definitely on par with athletics when it comes to notoriety and popularity.

“Here in Gothenburg, there was an ag teacher that served more than 30 years of his career, and dedicated his life to this program,” current Ag Instructor and FFA Advisor AnnaLisa Mosel said. “So, it’s important here, people find value in it.” FFA is not just attracting kids from the farm, kids from all walks of life are taking part. In fact, 240 students are involved, from 7th grade through the college level. “We do have a two-teacher ag program, and so kids have the opportunity of taking 16 classes in their time between 7th and 12th grade,” Mosel said.

Students in the Gothenburg FFA program are clearly finding their areas of interest. One example of a community service project that Gothenburg FFA students have taken part in, is meals on wheels. “The senior center is actually all volunteers, so a bunch of volunteers will go and cook meals, and put them in coolers, and they have about 10 meals in there,” FFA member Max Wyatt said. The students usually help out with meals on wheels for three weeks during the summer. “You get a cooler full of the hot food, and a cooler full of the cold food, which is the milk and fruit and stuff, and that gets delivered to the doors of the elderly or people in need in the community,” Wyatt said.

Many students in Gothenburg’s FFA program are interested in entrepreneurship. Carson Reiman started a potato-growing business called Reiman Spuds back in 2022 through an FFA chapter grant. “I started with a potato digger, and not a lot of plans,” Reiman said. “I had about 500 pounds of seed potatoes. I grew them, and I sold it to some people. It’s actually worked out pretty well.”

Students with the Gothenburg FFA program are also thinking outside the box when it comes to promoting tourism in the town of Gothenburg. Avery Salomon says as far back as 8th grade, she wanted her Supervised Agricultural Experience to be something different. “My community has benefitted me in so many different ways, and I just thought, how could I showcase my community to people?” Salomon said. She decided to develop and audio tour for YouTube, to highlight the many historical locations in Gothenburg, like the original Pony Express station. “I worked with Mark Payton, my local voice to come up with a script, put together photos, and to make sort of a video-audio combo, so people can see what the location looks like if they are just traveling through and don’t want to see it, or if they want to stop by and look,” Salomon said.

These are just some examples of how Gothenburg FFA students are excelling inside and outside the classroom. It’s evidence for why the program is getting so many awards, and receiving high praise. “During National FFA week, we have businesses that reach out and just say hey, can we help you with this? Can we sponsor this? That’s heartwarming,” Mosel said. “FFA is a big deal around here.” It’s a big deal, and a program that is building up future leaders that will go on to serve Our Town Gothenburg and beyond.