FFA Open House sows seeds for rural development

Hayden Ball of Cornwall stands beside the 1955 Hough Payloader he restored for his Housatonic Valley FFA final project.

Patrick L, Sullivan

FFA Open House sows seeds for rural development

FALLS VILLAGE — Miniature horses, goat living arrangements, drone operations and more were on display at the FFA Open House at Housatonic Valley Regional High School Wednesday evening, May 15.

The annual agriculture education symposium showcased the final projects of Housatonic Valley FFA students. As shown throughout the HVRHS campus during the Open House, ag-ed encompasses a wide range of studies.

Sneakers, a miniature horse belonging to the school, was the first thing a visitor saw if coming from the grassy oval in front of HVRHS. Kelly Eiserman of Lakeville was minding Sneakers on the way in. Ayla Hill of Salisbury had Sneakers duty on the way out.

Hill told Tracy Atwood, one of the judges, all about different horse types.

Inside, Hayden Ball of Cornwall was standing in front of the enormous 1955 Hough Payloader that had been sitting around in a state of neglect for 10 years or so before Ball decided to make it his project.

“It was dead when I started,” he said. “Three flat tires.”

It only took three days to get the thing running.

Luckily his father had all the manuals.

“I could take it apart, put it in a box and rebuild it.”

Taylor Green of Kent explained to a judge that building a goat pen is one thing. Building a goat pen that keeps the goats penned is quite another.

She said goats are highly intelligent and can quickly learn how to unlatch gates, among other escape tactics.

Goats are also very agile. They leap into the air, attaining the stratosphere with seemingly little effort.

Which is why the five-foot high fence should probably be nine or 10 feet high.

Levi Elliott of Millerton fixed up a McCormick Farmall tractor “for pulling only.” He regaled Lakeville Journal Managing Editor Riley Klein, who was a judge, with the details.

Carson Riva of North Canaan explained to visitors how trout stocking works. Behind him in a tank, were brown, brook and rainbow trout that will be released into the Blackberry River in Norfolk.

And Daniel Moran of Norfolk kept everyone entertained by flying a drone around the campus and surrounding areas, keeping tabs via a large TV screen set up outside.

Alana Tatro showed Maximilian Tripler a baby goat at the FFA Open House Wednesday, May 15. Inside the barn Taylor Green provided pointers on keeping goats inside their pens.Patrick L. Sullivan

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