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STC School Board learns of farm lab success

September 29, 2011
By Joyce Wiese, News Correspondent
OLEDO CHRONICLE- South Tama’s new farm lab program is meeting with success Jim Plantz, assistant high school principal, told the School Board during their Monday, Sept. 19 meeting.

The agricultural (FFA) program started last year under the direction of Terri Guenther-Meyer, vo-ag teacher, is new to South Tama and not offered at any other schools in the area, he said. Acreage owned by the school district near the high school was approved for use by the school board in May and work on the project began shortly afterward.

Plantz said the May class made the decision of when to plant, researched yields from the soybean planted to other varieties, researched all aspects of planting, plant populations, researched growing degree days for soybeans after they sprouted and marked out the 10 acres and made the decision that 12 acres would be better.

The fall class calculated the expected yield, identified weeds and analyzed soil samples.

The class has learned to use entrepreneurial knowledge and skills in agriculture. The May class assisted in planting and identified weeds that were in the field in May. FFA members identified weeds in the field in June after spraying.

The Ag III class calculated expenses for 12 acres, calculated net returns, compared the market prices for soybeans and researched expected market prices.

Plantz says the program helped students to understand the concept of career development and improvement and life-long learning.

Plantz says there has been a lot of help getting this program off the ground, with local seed companies, parents, and other local industries all pitching in to educate these students in this field.

Plantz says he would like to see the program continue and asked board members if the program should be expanded or remain as is.

Plantz says the class calculated they would get 42 bushel per acre at a market price of $13.55 for a return of $6,829.

To help the group Pioneer donated seed, Farm Service donated spray, spraying three times and Jim Novotny donated machinery.

Elementary Parking Lot Approved

Bids for the Elementary Parking lot were from four companies. Dostal Construction, Toledo, had the low bid for the Soil Excavation Work at $7,313. Twin Cities Construction, Tama, received the bid for concrete-curb work at $9,632 and Cessford Construction was the only bid for the rock and asphalt work at a bid of $125,240. This was a total of $141,935, below the estimated price.

The soil and excavation work must be completed by Sept. 28, concrete and curb work by Oct. 7, and the rock and asphalt work by Oct. 28.

In other business Monday the school board:

•nominated Charlotte Upah to serve on the AEA 267 Board to represent South Tama. Upah has served on this board and has filed a statement of candidacy for the four-year term.

•approved contracts for Ashley Raue, half time elementary preschool certified staff, $15,308; Holly Backen will be elementary preschool education associate, $9.36 hourly, four hours daily for 180 days; Lindsey Yanacek, color guard sponsor, $1,855; Ellen Hill, inter-school mail delivery, $11.40 an hour for 1.5 hours daily; Nancy Kephart, mid-day bus route, $25.60 hourly; Chelsea Ahrens, one of four positions of strength training, $1,457; Andrew Christensen. 8th Grade Boys Basketball, $1,987; and Mike Stein and Bryan Anderson have volunteered as football coaches.

•resignations were accepted from Maria Cervantes, middle school bilingual aide and Emily Chyma in one position of weight training.

•appointed Sue Bugge, Jim Bugge, Roy Frakes, Melanie Kemper, Dan Lopez, Anita Townsley, Eric Townsley, Kerri Nelson level 1 (alternate) and Nathan Shepard level I (alternate) as investigators of allegations of physical and sexual abuse of students by school employees as required by Iowa Code.

•appointed member Mark McFate to be delegate for STC to the Iowa Association of School Boards convention in November.



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