Hogging the limelight.

FFA members aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. Franklin County FFA in Carnesville, Ga., proved this point in no uncertain terms when they ambitiously set out to relaunch a 17-year-old Feed Cooperative in the hopes of reducing feed costs for FFA livestock exhibitors.

The main objective was to decrease expenses for swine projects and to educate as many students as possible on the process of formulating, mixing and bagging the rations. They planned to meet once each month to make enough feed for the following month, and they offered the feed to other FFA members who were showing hogs but were not members of the co-op.

FFA members not in the co-op paid an additional two dollars per bag for the feed, and the earnings from this were set aside to pay for materials for the next meeting. Seventeen tons of feed were generated over the year, and on average, show team members saved 50 percent on the price of feed.

Since the Feed Cooperative was formed, the FFA show team has quadrupled in size. And because the feed was made more affordable, many more students became interested in joining FFA. The quality of the feed has proven itself, as many grand champion pigs have been raised on it.

The Franklin County FFA chapter was a finalist in the 2010 National Chapter Models of Innovation awards program, in the area of Student Development.

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