Mount Pulaski High School FFA and Logan County Ag Scholarship Committee receive $2,500 cash grants for student scholarships

From Phil Bertoni

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[March 28, 2013]  MOUNT PULASKI -- This week, the Mount Pulaski High School FFA and the Logan County Ag Scholarship Committee each received $2,500 cash awards for their programs from the America's Farmers Grow Communities, which is sponsored by the Monsanto Corp.

Mount Pulaski farmer Rick Harbarger was recently selected as the Logan County winner in the 2013 America's Farmers Grow Communities drawing, which annually singles out farmers from Illinois counties to distribute these cash awards.

This year, in further support of Illinois counties that had been declared disaster areas by the USDA due to the 2012 drought, Harbarger and other winning farmers in these particular counties were able to double the $2,500 cash award, making it a total of $5,000 for their target designations.

Harbarger said it was a "no-brainer" with his selection of the Mount Pulaski FFA program and the Logan County Ag Scholarship Committee, a division of the Lincoln/ Logan County Chamber of Commerce. He has two children who have graduated from Mount Pulaski High School.

In addition, the Mount Pulaski FFA received a $1,000 cash award from Cottonwood Ag Management, coincidentally during the same awards ceremony, appropriately held in Mount Pulaski instructor Ralph Allen's ag and FFA classrooms and attended by his 2012-2013 FFA officers and representatives of Monsanto Corp., Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce and Cottonwood Ag Management. Mount Pulaski High School's head counselor, Mrs. Nancy Olander, was also present; Principal Terry Morgan was off-campus at a meeting.

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It's no surprise that Mount Pulaski's FFA program is in the limelight. Mr. Allen's FFA classroom wall displays three large state of Illinois plaques called "State Degrees," listing by years (since 1965) students who have achieved the highest Illinois State FFA Degree, which is based on the student's SAE record-book project, leadership skills, FFA involvement and academic GPA. Listed are 61 boys and girls… and counting. While gazing upon these striking Illinois map-plaques, Allen quickly pointed out that many other students whose names do not so appear, nevertheless have gone on to become very successful in various agriculture pursuits.

Mr. Allen has eagerly and effectively taken over the helm of this very successful program during his 13 years as the Mount Pulaski High School ag teacher and FFA adviser. He has also taught at Mount Pulaski High School for six years in the industrial arts program and served as instructor for two years in the ag program at Lincoln Land Community College. In addition, he has served as the cooperative work training instructor at Mount Pulaski High School for the past eight years.

He warmly and proudly introduced each of his FFA officers and beckoned them to stand and explain their future educational goals -- which they all aptly did.

[Text from report submitted by Phil Bertoni]

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