By Nebraska Teach Ag Intern Miranda Paitz
The Ravenna FFA Chapter is thankful to have an SAE scholarship, which is funded by the Milton and Mary Jo Ahrens Memorial. This scholarship is offered to the freshmen FFA members who are wanting to expand and/or improve their enterprises.
Agriculture and FFA have always been a large part of the Ahrens family. It started when Milton was in high school and became a member of the Shelton FFA program. He worked hard with his agriculture projects as very involved in the program and was President of the chapter his senior year in 1961. At the banquet his high school sweetheart and future wife, Mary Jo was elected the Shelton FFA Sweetheart. In 1963, Milton Ahrens was one of six FFA members to receive his American Farmer Degree. Three of their children Meri Lynn Pehrson, Marc Ahrens and Heath Ahrens were able to achieve their State Degrees and Heath also received his American Degree in 1999.
Milton and Mary Jo were able to raise their family south of Ravenna and were active in farming for the remainder of their lives. Both Milton and Mary Jo have been avid supporters of agriculture and FFA and their children have been able to make their own impacts on agriculture because of their guidance. The Ahrens children and grandchildren have been involved in FFA since 1978 to current. Agriculture is the common bond of the Ahrens family; they wanted to offer younger students the opportunity to grow their enterprises and through the I Believe In Agriculture Campaign, they are able to accomplish their goals.
As part of the statewide effort, local donors select which chapter receives their donation. The entire donation and a portion of matching funds go directly to the chapter to use for innovative projects in their classrooms, leadership programming, community service projects and field trips to advance agriculture education in their schools. The annual campaign runs from August through February each year.