IRHS FFA taking orders for strawberry-sale fundraiser

Delaware’s still chilly, but Florida strawberries will soon be arriving to help fill the void. Local students are hosting a fresh strawberry sale to benefit the Future Farmers of America (FFA) at Indian River High School.

Full flats (8 quarts) cost $25, and half flats (4 quarts) cost $14. Orders are due by Friday, Feb. 21. The pick-up day will be scheduled for early March, and strawberries should then be refrigerated immediately to preserve freshness.

“They are dark red, and they’re sweet. We’ve not had a bad year of strawberries from them,” said Jennifer Cordrey, an FFA advisor and agri-science teacher. Although crops can vary year to year, they’re so popular in the Cordrey household, she said, that “they don’t last a week.”

This nearly-annual strawberry fundraiser brings fresh fruit to Delmarva, while helping the IRHS FFA members attend the FFA state conference in March. Future Farmers of America promotes agricultural education, while teaching students the science, business and technology of agriculture.

Not only does IR have a well-established FFA program, often medaling at the state level, but Cordrey said she is impressed by the individual students who push themselves to learn more or try new events.

“These kids have unlimited … potential,” Cordrey said. “I’m not going to be surprised if I see them do something amazing when they reach adulthood.”

Working on FFA projects in the morning and after school, “They’re phenomenal students, and I’m just happy that they’re willing to stick their necks out and try something different.”

For instance, for the first time, IR is training a floriculture team, who must identify tools and plants, then create special floral arrangements on the spot, such as a seven-piece wedding-party spread. Other teens will compete in agriculture sales, milk-quality products and evaluation, public speaking or a day of community service.

FFA is teaching these teens valuable skills, Cordrey said, whether they enter agriculture careers or just want to start their own crops from seeds, grow vegetable gardens, landscape their back yards or care for their pets. They also do statistics and analyze data that the USDA uses to evaluate products for consumer safety.

The IRHS FFA will be prepping for state competition in March, career development events in June, the Delaware State Fair in July and (with any luck) the national convention in October.

To place a strawberry order, leave a message with Jennifer Cordrey by calling (302) 732-1500 or emailing jennifer.cordrey@irsd.k12.de.us.

They can accept cash, or check (with the driver license ID number written on the check) made payable to “IRHS FFA.”

 

By Laura Walter
Staff Reporter