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River Falls FFA corn drive kicks into high gear

River Falls FFA members Coryn Davidson (top), left: Lindsey Skogen (left) Adrianna Jacobson (right) and Sophia Cobian (bottom) went to the National FFA Convention last week in Indianapolis. When they returned, it was time to kick into high gear organizing the annual corn drive. Submitted photo

Sitting at a grey, speckled table and flipping through papers with sloppy signatures written all

over them, in the agricultural department of River Falls High School sat the FFA River

Falls Chapter President, Lindsey Skogen as she tossed one of the papers to her treasurer,

laughing, "God, that's not a real signature. Come on."

Reeling everything in after spending nearly an entire school-week in Indianapolis sat three FFA

officers, meeting on the day before the annual corn drive, going through permission slips for the

big day; something the three, treasurer, junior class representative, and president, all agreed is

like another holiday season for them.

"We have the most members attend the meeting before the corn drive, because it's the

mandatory meeting before you can even go," said Skogen, about how students almost come out

of the woodworks to participate in this event.

They explained that any students at the RFHS can participate, but can only miss half a day of school if they're not either driving a truck for the event or a registered FFA officer, of which they can spend the entire day without a class if they fit one of those two requisites.

And getting back from the FFA National Convention in Indianapolis only days before the final

preparations for the big day hasn't slowed the process one bit; just as the event is in its final

stages for the upcoming day, it's hard not to see the excitement building among them.

"I think we've changed the date of the corn drive four times now," laughed Skogen, with the other two laughing in agreement, in reference to how each year, they have to make sure the corn is ready for the event, as the FFA needs to time it perfectly to collect just as farmers around

Western Wisconsin are beginning to harvest.

Each year, too, the results are plentiful. The three officers estimated about $6,000 to $7,000 worth of corn is expected just from the River Falls chapter alone. Most of the money goes to help the local FFA, but surplus ends up being donated to charities, like Have-A-Heart, the Sunshine Fund, and even a couple of years ago, a new harness for the River Falls Fire Department to assist in helping people trapped in grain bins.

"It's a great way for River Falls FFA to get out into the community to raise money for other

organizations and our own," said Skogen. "But, it's also an excuse to get out of school for the day to drive around with your friends and collect some corn."

Nick Cobian is a River Falls High School graduate, currently attending Hamline University in St. Paul as a Global Communications/Media Studies major.