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Iola FFA and 4-H Students Get a New Addition

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FFA and 4-H students have a new addition to their animal barn thanks to a local church group. The Zion United Methodist Men's Group saw a need in additional facilities for this primarily agricultural area.

"I personally have a passion to see a project like this is completed, something the whole community can be proud of. And we can aid and assist in developing of our children particularly for agriculture pursuits," says Kerry Barling, President of the men's group.

A squeeze shoot was installed, which is an animal restraint device that holds the cow while veterinary procedures can be done. It keeps both the animal and the student safe. This new addition also has a scale to weigh in the animals on a weekly basis. Getting rid of the time consuming process of advisors having to take the scale to the student's home.

"It takes a careful monitoring process to make sure they weigh enough or don't weigh too much. They have to be in the right health, which means the right weight, so by keeping an accurate record of how these animals are doing, it allows the exhibitor to exhibit the animal at the best of its potential," says FFA advisor, Bob Choiniere.

This month long project was funded by a local trust fund and the school board. This new facility will also give students the hands on ability to see how certain things with livestock such as administer medication and vaccines.

Choiniere adds, "They only hear it in theory and see it in theory, with this facility, I’ll be able to bring the animals over here and bring classes over and show them first hand how these things are done. So they can get a better understanding of what takes place and what's needed to have this done safely and correctly."

Bob says it also allows his students who don't have a place to raise their animal be successful in the FFA or 4-H program.