Don’t be surprised if catch a group of teenagers putting a big, fat “herd” on your lawn in the near future.
The ingenious students of Turlock High School’s renowned Future Farmers of America program have been going around placing herds of wooden cows on people’s lawn in an effort to raise $21,000 so 21 FFA students can attend the National FFA Convention this October in Kentucky.
The cows come with a message to the recipient indicating they were selected by a friend to receive the herd of four or five cows. The recipient then donates to the FFA and effectively pays the students to place the cows on another friend’s lawn, and so on.
FFA Parent and Ag Booster Kim Vieira says the students generated the idea, built the cows and place them on people’s lawns.
“We started with parents of the FFA kids and boosters and it has just grown from there,” Vieira said. “The kids love it and the community has been so supportive and good-hearted about this. The herd has moved around from Hilmar to Turlock to Newman.”
Unfortunately, this fundraiser has cost the life of at least one cow so far. One fell victim to an unruly FFA project pig who escaped its holding pin and ended up eating one of the cows, murdering it in cold blood. But it was a sacrifice the cow was willing to make.
However, some herd recipients have been more hospitable to the cows, leaving behind water bowls for the cows; one Pitman High School supporter even tied a nice collection of green and black balloons to the cows’ necks.
So far the unique fundraiser has generated almost $10,000, but the cows are looking for greener pastures and new lawns to munch on, and that’s where you can help. To participate in the fundraiser and, perhaps more importantly, have some FFA students put a herd on a friend’s lawn call Vieira at 209-678-0029 or THS Ag Teacher Randee Prada at 209-404-7128.