Students in Nebo program start preparing for Thanksgiving in July

The thoughts of purchasing a turkey to prepare for Thanksgiving do not cross most of our minds until days before Thanksgiving. 

However, for Nebo students, participating in the Utah State Junior Turkey Program, the preparation of a turkey for Thanksgiving begins in July. 

Nebo consistently produces around 900 turkeys of the state total for the Utah State Junior Turkey Program. This is just one program under Future Farmers of America and the Career Technology Education. 

Nebo students provided turkeys for the police department, fire department, Nebo Maintenance Department, and the Nebo School Board over the years. 

When the Utah County 4-H provided more than 300 Thanksgiving meals to needy families, Nebo students donated the turkeys for those dinners. 

All these turkeys are raised and processed by Nebo students and advisors. 

Brady Orton, a 2020 Spanish Fork High School graduate, said that FFA teaches kids responsibility. 

Students have to come and feed and water the animals, no matter if it is raining, snowing, or hailing. 

FFA is so broad; there’s something literally for any youth stated Chaleesa Warren, an FFA advisor for Spanish Fork High School and animal science teacher at Spanish Fork Junior High. 

Kids can be involved whether they live in an apartment or on a farm. 

There are many “thanks” to those that make this program possible, including: 

J. Merrill Hallam, Nebo CTE Specialist, who has the vision to create and maintain this program across the district. 

Alan Ashton, Nebo CTE Coordinator, who provides transportation, feed ingredients, and facilities. 

The teachers who work through the summer and provide support to so many Nebo students. 

The Nebo FFA programs collaborate closely with Utah State University Extension Program on research of similar interests, and the Nebo students share the data with other schools. 

Nebo students over the years have been recognized nationally: Ashley Olsen and Russell Mangelson won the National Agri-Science Fair last year with their Omega-3 Study. 

Other Nebo students have won or placed in the top three of the National Science Fair with turkey research for numerous years. (Serve Daily submission.)

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