FFA festival fun

By Joyce Ervin

Milan High School FFA held their annual free Fall Festival on the grounds at Paddock Elementary School that were filled with pumpkins, games and animals.
Teacher and advisor, Tom Stahl, said he had an outstanding group of kids that wanted to do a community project to promote agriculture literacy.
Agriculture was present everywhere you looked.  Field-grown pumpkins were lined up on the ground for sale, farm animals were available to pet and observe, a hayride pulled by a farm tractor was available for a fun ride and an authentic 1856 farm display of the Francis Maurer family farm built in Nashville, Michigan fascinated young and old.
Barns and other out buildings were built and outfitted with miniature equipment.  A doll house that was an exact replica of the farm house held miniature period furniture.  Descendant Mike Maurer pointed to the house and said, “I was born in that house and that’s exactly how it looked”
He answered questions for the youngsters and they delighted looking at the miniature horses, hogs and other farm animals found in the display. Bryce Mays, 5, and D.J. Elkins were big fans.  Bryce said, “I like the big red barn the best.”
FFA members brought their animals to the event.  Makayla Miller brought Sawyer her horse, John Bowerman brought his favorite sheep, Fuzzy, but left seven others home.  
Levi Jenkins enjoyed the chickens and very popular were the rabbits named James and Mufasa.  Jason Johnson age 5-years enjoyed a hayride provided by driver, Brian Bowerman, and host Nate March.
Pumpkin donuts, cupcakes and pizza by the slice were for sale along with apple cider.  Proceeds from the pumpkins and refreshments go into a general fund that is used for field trips for FFA members, Mary Hammer, teacher assistant said in a previous interview.
The rainy weather didn’t dampen many spirits.  Besides, bobbing for apples and reaching in to a pool of water to see if you got a winning rubber ducky made for wet fun.
Stahl said the annual event is a big deal to the students, as they, “bring agricultural literacy to a non-farm town.”

Joyce Ervin is a freelance writer reporting on Milan.  She can be contacted at:  jlervin42 [at] yahoo [dot] com.

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