LIMA — A student’s knowledge may be the fastest way to keep your lawn mowed this summer.
Students in Lima Senior High School’s FFA are hosting Lawnmower Maintenance Day on Saturday, April 10. Students will also work on some mowers April 9 and 11.
While they may be high school students, don’t underestimate their knowledge of your mower.
“One of the things you may not know about FFA is pretty much every FFA member in the United States has completely torn apart and reassembled a small engine,” said Zachary Zwiebel, one of the students leading the effort and vice president of Lima Senior’s FFA. “It’s something that’s really a part of our curriculum.”
Zwiebel, Tyler Arheit and Ian Cox will work together to service the mowers, including changing spark plugs, washing the deck, sharpening and balancing blades and changing the oil. It’s all offered for $40. Call 419-516-9732 to schedule an appointment. They can also work on zero-turn mowers and garden tractors too, but you must call for the pricing depending on your model.
In the process, you’ll help the teens reach a goal. It’s part of their Supervised Agricultural Experience project. The staple in agricultural education has projects planned and funded by students.
The money they earn goes toward working up the ladder of FFA degrees, from greenhand at the bottom to a chapter farmer. To earn a state FFA degree, they must earn and properly invest $1,000. The American degree is $10,000, said Danial Maltsbarger, ag instructor and FFA advisor for Lima Senior.
The project gives students a hands-on experience that can help them contribute to agriculture for years to come.
“One in five jobs in Allen County relates to agriculture,” Maltsbarger said. “So there’s no bigger, no prouder, no more American industry. We talk about building ‘Real American Strength’ here in Allen County and Lima. That to me is ag education at its finest.”
Lima Senior has one of the newer FFA programs in the region, forming in October. The group is preparing to plant the Spartan Farm this fall. It’s valuable experience, even if someone doesn’t go into farming, Maltsbarger said.
“When you look around, agricultural education is much more than just farming,” he said. “It’s animal systems. It’s food products and processing. It’s manufacturing. It’s technology.”
Zwiebel said he’s eager to learn from the lawnmower project.
“It’s one of those things that’s really exciting, how to run a business,” Zwiebel said. “You know that’s something that’s going to follow us throughout the rest of our lives.”