For many GreenStone members and employees, being an FFA member was pivotal to their future involvement in the farming and agriculture industry. Many employees continue to serve the association through a variety of ways. Passionate employees like Jackie Sanford, volunteer their time to give back to the organization that helped shape their future.
Jackie is the FFA Alumni Chapter president in Springport, Michigan and one of the committee members for the Fall Harvest “Hootenanny.” The committee has successfully organized the Hootenanny since 2012 and the impact it has on the FFA members is immense. The Hootenanny is an annual fundraiser and scholarship steak dinner, held on the first Saturday of December, providing support for FFA members in Springport. The dinner includes live music, door prizes and both live and silent auctions.
“We started the Hootenanny to help students interested in agriculture take it one step further after high school and this year alone we were able to raise $18,000, totaling our net profit to $101,000,” Jackie says.
The Hootenanny pays for Springport FFA members competing in state and national FFA conventions, finances members participating in the Washington Leadership Conference and offer Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) grants. Proceeds from the Hootenanny also provides scholarships for students interested in pursuing a career in agriculture.
“The amount of scholarships given out each year depends on the number of applicants and we try to help as many students as we can,” Jackie says. “We have given over $35,000 in scholarships and awards since the Hootenanny started.”
With donations from the community and sponsors like GreenStone, the Hootenanny has successfully supported students and future leaders in the agriculture industry, and will continue to do so for years to come!