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Tag Archive | "Evan Young"

Some sugary goodness for you! 


Maple sap is running and you might find Maple trees being tapped in various places in the area. This photo was taken of trees in Nelson Township, near 18 Mile and Tisdel. Photo by L. Allen.

From the Cedar Springs FFA

This year the beginning of March not only marks the beginning of spring, but also marks the beginning of sap season. Every year the FFA taps nearly 200 maple trees behind the middle school. This can be a rigorous project, but has resulted in less work this year due to the switch from 5 gallon buckets to 5 gallon bags. The FFA decided to try out the bags so they did not have to sanitize and wash the buckets every year prior to and following sap season. With the bags, you just have to put them together, then take them apart and throw them away when it’s done flowing. 

Under the supervision of Bill Brandt, many of Mr. Reyburn’s ambitious students took to the woods. They brought along a drill, the correct size drill bit, taps, and bags that were assembled in Ag class. In order to apply the tap—about a foot and a half to two feet from the ground—a small hole is drilled. This is a tedious job because the hole can neither be too shallow, nor to deep. After the hole is drilled, a tap with 8-12 inches of hose attached to it is pushed into the hole. This year, the tap is put through the hole on the collection-bags-bracket first, and then into the pre-drilled-tree hole. This is so that the bags do not fall to the ground. This drilling and bag hanging process is repeated on all of the trees. 

Once the taps are in, it’s waiting time. 

Prime flowing weather is when the sun is shining and it’s a little above freezing during the day and then gets colder at night. The bags are emptied as needed, anywhere from everyday to not for a whole week. Dumping normally takes place after school so more people can be involved. To dump the bags, you simply remove the tap from the tree, dump the sap into a bucket, hang the bag back up, then take the bucket to dump into the tub on the trailer. 

Cedar Springs FFA has tapped nearly 200 Maple trees behind the Cedar Springs Middle School to catch sap for making maple syrup. Courtesy photo.

Without the dedication and commitment of Cedar Springs FFA Alumni member Rick Sevey, the FFA would not have syrup. After dumping the sap, Chairperson Evan Young hauls it to Rick’s farm. Here, the sap is dumped into a 400 gallon bulk tank to store until boiling time. The sugar content is measured at this time as well. So far this year,  all but one load has had a 3 percent content, which is extremely good (the other was 2.75 percent). The average sugar content is about 2 percent. At that average number, it takes approximately 40 gallons of sap to get 1 gallon of syrup. But, a higher sugar content allows for the ratio to drop closer to 35:1, possibly even 30:1. 

The boiled down sap is bottled into pint jars for the FFA to sell. The FFA also gets a few gallon jugs to auction at their annual banquet. So far this year, the FFA has collected 1300-plus gallons of sap meaning it will yield over 30 gallons of syrup.

Nothing is more delicious than a stack of flapjacks with homemade maple syrup!  Although tapping, collecting, and boiling is an enduring process, the outcome is worth it: fresh syrup, and spring weather!  

The FFA will be selling the remainder of their 2017 syrup at Cedar Springs Community Night on April 19, so come on out and grab a pint and support the Cedar Springs FFA!

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FFA week gains new meaning


The Cedar Springs FFA Group that competed at the regional level. Pictured from L to R:  Mr. Reyburn, Kaitlin Rounds, Diane Howe, Evan Young, Mykenzie Gage, Cecelia Brandt, Madison Strain, and Tanner Anderson.

The Cedar Springs FFA Group that competed at the regional level. Pictured from L to R: Mr. Reyburn, Kaitlin Rounds, Diane Howe, Evan Young, Mykenzie Gage, Cecelia Brandt, Madison Strain, and Tanner Anderson.

by Madison Strain

As National FFA Week approached, the Cedar Springs FFA sought new ideas to celebrate. This year, the chapter chose to raise money for a local family in their community.

National FFA Week ran February 18 -25. The chapter extended a few of their events outside of FFA Week to raise money: a silent auction, a movie night at Kent Theatre, and a dinner at Culver’s. The silent auction was held at both Tractor Supply and Family Farm and Home in Cedar Springs. Many businesses participated by donating items or services for the auction. At Cedar Springs High School, the students participated in a Kiss the Piglet Coin Drive. Any teacher who wanted to take part in the event received a pig container, which held the change students dropped off throughout the week. The top five teachers with the most money will kiss a piglet on video; this video will later be shown to the entire school.

The community also took part in a movie night at the Kent Theatre. Miracles from Heaven—a touching story about a little girl who was cured of a disorder after a terrible accident occurred—brought many community members out in support. Dinner at Culver’s allowed students to “work” for one night to raise extra money for the Ricker family; 10 percent of the evening’s profit will be given to them.

Many students and community members came out to support the fundraisers. Instead of hosting events to promote FFA, the club decided to take a more meaningful opportunity to help a family in their community. Cedar Springs is a wonderful place to live and serve.

Many of the same members who took part in FFA Week also participated in leadership contests a few weeks prior. Leadership contest were held at Beal City; the chapter was very proud of their participants. The results are the following: Ag. Issues-2nd place, Cecelia Brandt, Tanner Anderson, and Evan Young. Demonstration-2nd place, Diane Howe, Mykenzie Gage, and Kaitlin Rounds. Demonstration-4th place, Adam Parker and Cade Hall. Job Interview-6th place, Jeff Davis. Job Interview-7th place, Dylan McConnon. Public Speaking-1st place, Madison Strain. Public Speaking-5th place, Nathan Schoen. Congratulations to Madison, Evan, Cecelia, Kaitlin, Tanner, Diane, and Mykenzie for moving on to Regional contests. Regardless of the results, each member put in hard work and bettered their skills by getting involved.

Now that leadership contests are over, the chapter is shifting their focus to Spring skills contests. they currently have a Livestock Judging team and a Forestry team. The FFA chapter has been busy serving their community while learning lifelong skills along the way. Thank you to the community members, businesses, and alumni for their endless support.

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