WESTCO and the Land O’Lakes Foundation continued their support of area FFA programs and high school agriculture education, presenting $10,000 to the Morrill FFA chapter on Tuesday, May 7.
The Morrill High School welding class has grown in the past three years. The FFA chapter will put the donation towards new welding equipment, which will include a Miller Syncrowave 210 TIG welder with Spoolmate MIG package and two new Miller Millermatic 252 MIG Welders.
“The welding shop is kind of little, and we had old welders. So, we decided we wanted to add some new equipment and a TIG machine,” said Krystal Caudill Morrill High School welding instructor and FFA advisor.
The new equipment will increase the skill level of the students. The TIG welder, Caudill said, is used for aluminum and thinner steels, offering a new skill level for students.
“Not all the kids will go out and weld that, but it’s a good skill. It takes a lot of patience and practice,” she said.
Rusty Schaefer, a welding student at Morrill and FFA chapter president, is already putting his welding experience to use.
“I’m building a set of hay forks for our Bobcat skid loader,” he said. “Right now, we have two loaders on our farm, but having these forks for the skid loader is really going to help.”
Schaefer added welding is an important skill to have especially in agriculture, where you can fix equipment or build something if necessary.
“WESTCO is proud to support our youth throughout the region, and we are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Land O’Lakes Foundation. These donations will help fund some great projects that allow students to receive hands-on experience and learn new skills for future careers in agriculture,” said WESTCO General Manager David Briggs.
In Total, WESTCO and the Land O’Lakes Foundation have given $40,000 to area FFA chapters this spring.