The Collegiate Farm Bureau Ag Club at Monroe County Community College continues to grow with more students and a generous donation from the Ida Farmers Cooperative.
On Thursday, Pat Hanley, the new manager of the co-op, gave a check for $1,655 to Andrew McCain, coordinator of the MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology educational program at the college. The check was from corn grown among the club’s various plots next to the campus off S. Raisinville Rd. and then sold through the co-op. One corn plot was an MSU corn nematode test plot and the rest of the corn was harvested from a Golden Harvest variety demonstration plot, said Ned Birkey, an agricultural consultant and MSU Extension Educator Emeritus.
The money goes to the club and will be used for a variety of things, including special scholarships, books, class supplies, costs with managing the farm and whatever else the officers of the club decide, McCain said.
“We had nine new students join the program (last) fall, with 14 total in the program currently,” McCain said in an email Thursday. “They (come) from all parts of the county — Milan, Dundee, Ottawa Lake, Erie, Carleton and one from Lenawee.”
McCain credited Birkey for all the volunteer work he does at the farm to make it a success.
“He donates all his time and equipment to plant and harvest the crops and never asks for anything in return,” the coordinator said.
The club has eight active students in it, with Sydney Allen from Milan serving as president, Taylor Fitch from Dundee as vice president and Josie Sonnenberg from Ottawa Lake as treasurer.
Three of the club members will attend the Farm Bureau Growing Together Conference in Grand Rapids in mid-February.