T-55 FFA learning and growing in Sept.

Members of the T-55 FFA club worked during the morning of Sept. 27 to plant 61 coniferous trees at the farm of Jack and Marion Boyer south of Reinbeck. The Boyers had several trees that were downed in the 2020 derecho that swept through central and eastern Iowa. Contributed photo

On Sept. 27 students from the T-55 FFA organization traveled to the farm of Jack and Marion Boyer south of Reinbeck for an educational service project.

During the August 2020 derecho, the Boyers lost a sizable amount of trees that acted as a windbreak on their property.

A total of 20 students, along with FFA Sponsor Hunter Hamilton went out to the farm to replant trees that had been lost.

Students learned about planting windbreaks and how to best prepare the young trees to be set in the ground.

There were 61 Norway spruce and Austrian pine trees that the volunteers helped get into the ground last Monday.

Students in the T-55 FFA organization haul mulch around the Boyer Farm in late September as the group conducted a volunteer service project to replant over 60 trees that were destroyed in the most recent derecho. Contributed photo

Once the tree planting was completed, students visited with Jack about cover crop practices he uses on his fields.

This year he is working on a research trial plot where he’s planted soybeans into cereal rye cover crop.

The beans were planted in April with the rye getting harvested a few months later in July. Boyer reports his bean yields have looked good so far this year considering the lack of recent moisture.

FFA dairy contests

Earlier in September, T-55 FFA students competed in a variety of dairy judging contests. On Sept. 16 the group went to Calmar for the Tri-State Dairy Expo put on by the Northeast Iowa Dairy and Agriculture Foundation.

Jack Boyer addresses members of the T-55 FFA club about the basics of planting trees for windbreaks and about cover crop practices he uses each year in his fields. Contributed photo

The group’s highest placing team was the T-55 Non-Reasons Class team that received second place overall. The team included Devon Lotts, Colin Meester, Brian McCarter and Cooper Steffen.

An additional Non-Reasons Class team of Kiersten Christiansen, Elyse Folkerts, Colton Kucera and Leif Lucas placed fifth overall.

Individually, Haven Cross scored a seventh place finish in the Reasons Class while Lotts, Meester and Steffen placed fifth, ninth and tenth, respectively in the Non-Reasons Class.

One day later the group traveled with eight members to West Union to compete in the State Dairy Evaluation and State Milk Quality Contests.

The T-55 Dairy Evaluation team of Haven Cross, Cayden Buskohl, Amaya Peterson and Mike Valentine finished in 16th place overall.

T-55 FFA students gathered for a group photo during a recent stretch of dairy judging contests the club has traveled to attend. Contributed photo

The T-55 Milk Quality team of Angelina Rondeau, Henry Mussig, Thomas Smith and Drew Eilers finished in 24th place overall.

Henry Mussig takes a moment to ponder during a dairy judging contest he participated in with the T-55 FFA club during the month of September. Contributed photo