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Each school semester, Marion County High School offers a veterinary science and animal science program as part of their agriculture curriculum. As part of these programs, the students have the opportunity to learn many aspects of animal health and proper care of livestock. This spring, the classes learned first hand the task associated with raising a newborn calf. The calf arrived at the ag department at three days of age and maintained a residence there until the final days of the school year. The students had the opportunity to feed, immunize, monitor and maintain growth records, and learn proper animal welfare. It proved to be a great learning experience for the students, whom many come from non-ag related backgrounds.
Once classes were completed for the year, Central Kentucky Premier Heifer Sale Committee were contacted by FFA advisors, Daniel Mattingly and James Followell, about selling “Bucky the Calf” in the Central Kentucky Premier Heifer Sale on June 2, which was quickly approved by the sale committee. The money raised from the sale of “Bucky” is used to enhance the learning opportunities of students from the FFA classes at the high school. A portion of the proceeds are used to help fund a summer ag tour showcasing ag related industries such as John Deere, Veatch and Son Custom Feeders, Fair Oaks Dairy, and Tarter Industries, just to name a few.
Once the details of selling the calf in the sale were finalized, the committee formed a syndicate of buyers that made a commitment to “invest in the future of our agriculture leaders.” The money, pledged from the members of the syndicate, was pooled and used to purchase “Bucky.” The syndicate then donated the calf back to the FFA and he was sold for a second time, and now resides on the Johnny and Lisa Wheatley farm in Washington County. Those syndicate members include: Hayden Farms, Miracle Man Cattle Company, Energy Insurance, the Central Kentucky Premier Heifer Sale Committee, CD Langford Appraisals, Lawson Tractor and Implement, Doug Thompson, auctioneer, Central Kentucky Plumbing and Electric, Crop Production Services, Mattingly Family Farms, Washington County Livestock Center, Lebanon Lumber, Burkmann Feed and Lebanon Machine Shop.
The FFA instructors have advised the sale committee that both classes will be offered again during the 2012-13 school year and the students will be raising another calf. The next sale is Nov. 3 at the Marion County Fairgrounds and the Central Kentucky Premier Heifer Sale Committee hope the community will join in “investing in the future of agriculture leaders syndicate” by making a financial pledge to again purchase the calf and support the programs of the Marion County FFA.
“I think we can all agree that there is no better return on our investment than making a positive impact in the life of a young person,” David Sandusky, chairman of Central Kentucky Premier Heifer Sale, said. “It has been said many times... If not us, then who? And, if not now, then when?”
To join in the “investing in the future” team, contact Steve Downs, Todd Harned or David Sandusky.