By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register — MEDINA — The Medina FFA will be busy this week, with the chapter’s week-long store popping up just as the citrus fruits ordered earlier this fall arrive from the south.
The citrus sale is a tradition that dates back decades, but the idea of having the pick-up spot also serve as a place to buy chapter apparel, locally-sourced foods and student-made products debuted last year. Medina FFA Advisor Todd Eick said the initial run left his students excited to do it again.
The week will raise between $15,000 and $20,000, the FFA chapter’s largest fundraiser of the year. Eick said the bigger benefit came from students setting up the store and running it — students not only organize the hundreds of fruit, cheese and nut orders but also man the store and determine what’s sold there.
“This is a good beginning in marketing and business with an agricultural base,” Eick said Friday before a group of students arrived to unpack and sort just-arrived cheese. “It’s a lot of work but they learn applicable skills.”
This year the products on sale are more hands-on — several soup mixes were created after officers made a shopping trip to Yoder’s; bird feeders were built on-site. Even the baskets and crates for many items were constructed by hand and branded with a Medina FFA design.
“Last year we bought bushel baskets, but we figured it would be more sentimental to hand make them,” Medina FFA Vice President Chantelle Kidney said.
“We feel pride in that we made it, and the work that went into it,” Medina FFA Parliamentarian Jayne Kuhn added.
The honey and maple syrup at the stand come from a pair of FFA chapters across the state. Eick said he’s hopeful that someday soon the Medina chapter will be able to return the favor.
The Medina FFA store will be open from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the greenhouse located on the south end of the high school.Contact reporter Jim Krencik at 798-1400, ext. 6327.