The Dawson County High School FFA (Future Farmers of America) Club will hold a Chrysanthemum sale during the first weeks of September, selling the fall flowers in order to raise money for the club.
Agricultural Sciences teacher and FFA advisor Keith Pankey said that the Mums sale is one of many the group holds throughout the year to fundraise.
“All the money goes to keep the greenhouse running and to benefit the FFA programs,” Pankey said. “The students do all the planting and all the watering and the FFA officers conduct the plant sale, so it gives the student's classroom experience and it gives the FFA officers some leadership experience.”
This year the sale will look a little different than in past years, with the flowers available for pick up in a drive-through fashion as an added precaution due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Back in the spring we did a drive through plant sale and it was phenomenal and everyone loved it,” Pankey said. “So we’re doing the same thing with our Mums: people order online and drive through, we put them in their vehicles, they can pay online and they just drive off and go.”
The students in the FFA program raise the plants and flowers for every sale, and the Mums are no exception.
“We get our mums as plugs so they’re pre-started for us and the students start them from plugs,” Pankey said. “I’ve been doing mums for years, and it helps keep any supplies we need for the greenhouse-like pots and potting soils, and also funds contest and travel and anything else we need money for.”
According to Pankey, there are many layers to the FFA program and the classes he teaches at the high school.
“I teach a horticulture class which is all about the greenhouse and raising plants, and then I have a landscape class and an ag-mechanic class,” Pankey said. “All of it is completely hands-on, so whether it’s electrical wiring or ag-mechanics or livestock judging or poultry judging, they’re all career-oriented.”
For those who can’t purchase any flowers this year, there are many other options throughout the year to support the FFA club.
“We do the Mums sale, the spring plant sale, and we also do a meat sale and a fruit sale,” Pankey said. “ So if you miss out on the Mums sale, don’t get discouraged because we’ll have a huge spring plant sale in April with spring bedding plants and some vegetable plants.”
To order a plant from the FFA group, you can purchase online at https://my.cheddarup.com/c/dawson-county-high-school-ffa-fall-mum-sale.
“The sale is going on right now, and we’re actually going to hand out the plants next Saturday so people can pick them up then,” Pankey said, “and all the funding goes right back into our program.”