Published On: Sat, Oct 5th, 2013

Greenbrier East FFA takes corn to the bank

Members of the Greenbrier East FFA help fellow members process their corn to sale through the Farm to School program.

Members of the Greenbrier East FFA help fellow members process their corn to sale through the Farm to School program.

FFA members assist Chandler Piner (second from left) in harvesting 4,500 ears of sweet corn for the Greenbrier County schools.

FFA members assist Chandler Piner (second from left) in harvesting 4,500 ears of sweet corn for the Greenbrier County schools.

Students in FFA at Greenbrier East High School are taking their education to the bank.
Sophomores Andrew Vance, Chandler Piner and Alex Hannah have been growing corn on their family farms for quite some time, but are now seeing an incredible payoff. The three students have sold over 12,000 ears of corn to five different county school systems.
Beth Massey, one of three Agriculture Science teachers at GEHS, says the students, through their Supervised Ag Experience (SAE) program, have seen the true benefits of hands-on learning.
“They learn how to market their product and figure out logistics like how many boxes they will need to ship their products and when they can make deliveries,” Massey said. “And whatever they sell, they keep the money.”
Through the “Farm to School” program these students have worked with food coordinators in different county school systems and have had great success selling their corn to be served on lunch trays in West Virginia schools.
To date, students have sold 4,500 ears of corn in Greenbrier County, 1,000 in Pocahontas, 1,400 in Lewis, 4,000 in Kanawha, and are in the midst of confirming a sale this week for 1,000 more ears in Wyoming County. Massey says, “It’s so encouraging to see these boys go from selling their corn at football games and farmers’ markets to something like this.”
The FFA has been in the Greenbrier County school system since 1968. This particular club has 251 members and continues to grow.
Other students in Greenbrier East’s FFA have sold eggs and potatoes to Greenbrier County schools and they are also implementing high tunnel greenhouses to grow additional crops to sell in the future.