FFA MEMBERS UNITE

When a former FFA member needed help completing small yard projects around his house, he called on current FFA members. They arrived, shovels in hand, ready to work. Pictured from left, William Lee, Jack Hill and Tanner Hargis. 

At 82, Jack Hill says it’s harder to do yard work at his home in Marthasville.

Not too long ago, while he was working outside, Hill fell and he was down for a few hours. It was a hot day. He said something bit him, but he doesn’t know what.

He knows that fall could have been worse. He doesn’t take chances anymore. But to get his yard spruced up, he needs help, and he can’t afford to hire professionals.

Hill, a retired GM worker, was involved in FFA in Michigan for a long time before he moved to Missouri. He thought to reach out to a fellow FFA person, and that person was Dan Burkemper. Burkemper is an FFA leader and teacher at Warrenton High School.

FFA students wanted to help and William Lee and Tanner Hargis were able to go.

“We had a meeting and (Burkemper) kind of mentioned that Mr. Jack would like some help,” Tanner said. “We were going to help this former FFA member, because you can’t turn that down. He’s a part of this organization’s history.”

For about two hours, the boys, who brought their own shovels and watering cans, planted flowers in the ground and in pots at Hill’s property. Hill was delighted.

“I don’t have the money to pay someone to do that,” Hill said. “They really helped out.”

Tanner said Hill told them stories, and showed them black and white pictures from when Hill was in FFA. One showed him in his official FFA attire on a train. Another showed Hill at a podium for Michigan state office.

“It was pretty easy work, but it was nice to help him out,” Tanner said. “He needed some help and we were there. We went into it not expecting anything in return.”

Hill said he thought people should know what they did.

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