LCC students see the big picture with test plot

LAUREL — Northeast Nebraska individuals with a huge work ethic, generosity and teamwork joined their talents, knowledge and resources to create a project that will result in some industrious student receiving a scholarship to study agriculture education.

“The idea was a community idea to get FFA students involved in agriculture,’’ said LCC senior Elizabeth Lipp. “Everybody’s excited about it. It gets students involved, gets them to be there and to participate and make it grow. Someone will get a scholarship from what we’ve done. Eighteen FFA members have been involved in the project at some point.’’ 

Jeremy Christiansen, Laurel-Concord-Coleridge Supt. echoed Lipp’s enthusiasm over the project.  

“The Laurel-Concord-Coleridge School Ag program and FFA have benefited from strong community partnerships this growing season,’’ Christiansen said. “Many local individuals have teamed up to develop a test plot project that has involved students from planting to harvest.”   

This successful endeavor included more than students.  Community members banded together to give students experience with a test plot that brought forth a harvest on Nov. 14.

Ten students, seed dealers and parents braved cold conditions on Nov. 14 to see the crop harvested which took from 9 a.m. to the end of the school day.  

“We planted the crop in May. We got to ride in a combine. We learned to look for diseases. When we harvested the crop, we left it open to any students in school. A few weren’t involved in FFA. A couple other schools have done this. Our project has had more hands-on experience than others,’’ Elizabeth Lipp said. “We are going to tour where grain is stored. We also may do a marketing class so students can learn how to market the grain. A number of students want to pursue agriculture careers or farming. This is a way to prepare them for jobs. This is what their life will be like.’’  

The project is an avenue for students to follow in the footsteps of the individuals taking time out to teach and guide them.  

“Local producer, Joel Lipp, as well as LCC School Board member and local businessman, Scott Taylor, were instrumental in this project’s first year success,’’ Christiansen said. “These two, along with numerous agribusiness partners (Grossenberg, Nutrien, Agrex, Northside Grain, various seed representatives), devoted a lot of time and energy to the project.”

Elizabeth Lipp said she is grateful also to Erwin Trucking.

She said a great deal of credit goes to her Dad and Taylor who lined things up and completed in class time with students.

Taylor and Lipp did the footwork for the project and put most of the details together to achieve a project with no out-of-pocket cost, according to Elizabeth Lipp. The two also made sure students knew how to measure moisture.

“This past spring in March my Dad and a few community members were talking about getting FFA students more involved,’’ Elizabeth Lipp said.  Students planted more than 16 different varieties of corn in the test plot this year.  ‘’Students have had outstanding hands-on experiences including planting, fertilizing, monitoring and ultimately harvesting,’’ Christiansen said.  All these good aspects of the project needed a space of ground to happen on.  This was where Doug Nelson stepped up to provide the land for the project.  He is also donating the corn.  

“The LCC test plot effort would not have been possible without the generous support and commitment to education from local farmer and land owner, Doug Nelson,’’ Christiansen said. “Nelson has a vital interest in the future of agriculture education and has dedicated much time and resources to making this project a reality.  Proceeds from the test plot harvest have been dedicated toward funding an agricultural foundation scholarship to support and benefit LCC students successfully completing ag education coursework.’’

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