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GHEC introduces FFA program

GRANADA — The Granada-Huntley-East Chain school district is excited, and with good reason. The board had approved a contract last year to hire Star Schipper as their new ag/business education teacher for the 2020/2021 school year. Schipper is happy to have joined the district, and it shows, as she hit the ground running to get a brand new FFA program off the ground.

Schipper shares her background and how she came to the area.

“I was born and raised in New Prague Minnesota, and was not actually in FFA or agriculture when I was in high school because we didn’t have it at my school,” she said. “Then I went to South Dakota State University to be a vet and ended up changing my major to Ag education. I graduated with an Ag Ed degree and moved to Wilmot, South Dakota where I taught last year.”

Schipper shared that it was a desire to move closer to home that brought her to Granada. She also shared that she is excited about getting the district’s new FFA chapter off the ground.

“That’s probably what I’m looking forward to the most. The students are really excited about it, and so is the community and the staff here.”

Schipper noted that getting things started has been quite a process.

“We’ve done the hard stuff, now we’re doing the fun stuff. We had to apply for our program and get approval, then we had to apply for our FFA chapter and get approval.”

Superintendent/Principal Doug Storbeck shared that he is excited to have Schipper on board to help get things rolling.

“It’s been a big push from our community,” he said. “Living in a rural agricultural location in Southern Minnesota, Ag is definitely a part of our school district.

“Most of our students come from an Ag background and there’s a lot of students interested in going into Ag-related careers. So to have an Ag teacher on staff is very beneficial and very much wanted by our community members.”

Storbeck also stated that Schipper has been active with community members to participate on her board of directors for the program.

Currently, there are an estimated 40 students who are FFA members, with about 15 who are active, according to Schipper. She also noted that due to getting the chapter off the ground, the school will be celebrating FFA week later in March.

“That will include some dress-up days and some activities for the students. There may also be some kind of community outreach. We just needed to get our feet under us first.”

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