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Farm animals visit Nevis School

FFA students gave back to the community by providing childcare and a chance to see farm animals at parent-teacher conferences.

<br/>Mason Vredenburg held a chicken while Ellis Isaacson waited for his turn. Having farm animals at Nevis parent-teacher conferences was something new this year. <br/><br/>
Contributed / Nevis School
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Students in the Nevis Future Farmers of America (FFA) program provided child care and a chance to visit with farm animals at Nevis parent-teacher conferences this spring.

“Our officer team was working on our program of activities for the year, when we noticed that we don't have a lot of community service or interaction projects,” agriculture teacher Ashley Anderson said. “We are in our first year as a program, so we wanted to introduce ourselves to the community and interact with them in a positive way. We saw a need for childcare during parent-teacher conferences, so parents could focus on the task at hand. Providing this gave us a way to meet both needs.”

The Kowalke family brought chickens, ducks, a dog and a lamb.

“They have been vital to the program as a whole, but especially this event,” Anderson said. “Valarie Tooker provided a variety of plants and the Hegg family brought in their goat, Patches, for students to interact with as well.”

Bennett Rittgers took a turn petting Patches the goat during parent teacher conferences at Nevis School. FFA students provided childcare and introduced students to various farm animals.
Contributed / Nevis School

Students planned and facilitated the entire event, with assistance from Anderson. District substitute teacher Slade Kangas supervised the students while Anderson had conference meetings.


“There were 142 students that visited us throughout the event that ran for two Tuesday evenings, totaling eight hours,” Anderson. “There was a mixture of reactions from both students and parents, ranging from excitement to fear around the animals. There were many students ecstatic about the animals, especially those who had never interacted with farm animals.

“Some parents were extremely grateful to have childcare during conferences, so they could have conversations with teachers without the concern of what their kids were doing. We are extremely grateful for the community support that has been shown for Nevis FFA and are looking forward to future opportunities to give back.”

Raylon Stanley was happy visiting with Patches the goat during Nevis School's parent-teacher conferences Tuesday. FFA students also provided child care at the event as part of their mission to give back to the community.
Contributed / Nevis School
Her father, Capt. Pat Znajda, and grandfather, Ted Znajda, both preceded her as Minnesota DNR conservation officers.
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Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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