Plant sale provides more than funds
Douglas High School agriculture students are planting more than flowers and vegetables in the campus greenhouse — they’re also planting customer service, retail, media and marketing skills in their personal knowledge pots.
The students are learning the skills during the school’s annual plant sale, a major fundraiser for the agriculture program.
“This is a way to incorporate agriculture business into our program and class,” said agriculture teacher and FFA adviser Robin Futch, “Students study marketing to determine all the aspects that will help them with the sale and are required to work the sale, which gives them face-to-face customer service interactions.”
Students, like Faye Fournier, also are learning how to advertise and promote the fundraiser.
Fournier is a first year Ag student and the reporter for the Carson Valley FFA Chapter. Her job is to reach out to the public and create awareness for the agriculture program.
“I’m excited to get more involved in the program and to bring more awareness to the community on what FFA is and what the Ag department does,” said Fournier.
Futch said the sale is run by the students. All classes share preparation duties, including planting and growing the plants, pinching them to remove unwanted stems and leaves and watering and transferring the plants. They are also responsible for deciding what to sell and the costs.
Plants for sale include tulips, pansies, flower baskets and cat grass for an average of $4.99 each, said Futch.
Greenhouse plant projects by the Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) students also will be for sale.
Futch said SAE students researched a plant to experiment with, then budgeted and presented their findings to a panel of judges for a chance to receive a loan. The loan helped students purchase materials to move forward with their project and prepare it for the sale. After the sale the students will pay back their loans. Anything made on top of the loan can be put in a savings account for future projects or saved as a college fund.
Senior and third year Ag and SAE student Sage Costa chose to grow banana peppers, lemon cucumbers and portulaca moss rose for her greenhouse plant project and will be selling them.
She said she chose plants that were popular demands from customers.
“In the past there have been requests for peppers and my sister grew the lemon cucumbers when she was an Ag student and they were very popular,” said Costa. “And the portulaca moss rose is a very pretty and hardy plant that does well in our area.”
Garden wool, seeds, fresh eggs, FFA paraphernalia, program T-shirts and other items also will be for sale during the plant sale at the Ag store.
The plant sale is set for 10 a.m.-3 p.m. May 13-14 and 20-21 at Douglas High School in the greenhouse. For more information, contact Futch at 782-5136 ext. 1839.