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FFA needs community’s help raising barn

Residents in Pike County have worked together to raise barns since the early 1800s. Local agriculture students and Future Farmers of America members need the community’s help to keep the tradition alive. A Novel Experience will hold a fundraiser and reception from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 14, to raise money for the project. The bookstore will exhibit agriculture-inspired photographs and pictures of FFA students for the entire month. The livestock barn would provide a way for FFA students who don’t live on farms to raise show animals such as goats, calves and chickens. It would also provide a space for hands-on education about agriculture and farm animals. ’We’re really excited about plans to build a livestock barn at the middle school. This project will enable our middle and high school FFA kids to experience hands-on learning in animal science,’ said Chris Curry of A Novel Experience. ‘There are almost 900 students at Pike schools who take agriculture courses every year. If you like to eat, we need to grow farmers ‘“ the average age of America’s working farmers just ticked up a year to 58. It’s up to our community to raise the rest so the barn can be built this spring.’ FFA advisor Rachel Patrick is spearheading the project along with the FFA Alumni. So far, they have received a $10,000 grant from Southern Rivers Energy. Any size donation is welcomed at the fundraiser. Sponsorships are also available in three tiers: Bronze is $100 to $249, Silver is $250 to $499; Gold $500 to $999 and Platinum for those who contribute over $1,000. Sponsors will have signs with their businesses’ names displayed around the barn.  Donations for the barn project may be dropped off at A Novel Experience during regular business hours Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For information, email

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