Thirty-three Soroco students get to make a trip to the National Western Stock Show in Denver next month because of their expertise in fruit.
Selling fruit, that is.
Each year, members of the Future Farmers of America in south Routt sell fruit baskets with oranges, grapefruit, apples, cider and pecans as the main fund-raiser for the club. Whoever sells $200 or more worth of baskets gets to go to the Stock Show.
This year every FFA member who sold fruit attained the $200 goal.
"This will probably be the largest Stock Show trip we've had," FFA advisor Byron Dean said.
It's also the most money the club has ever raised through the sales, with the 33 students grossing $10,000 in sales and earning the chapter $4,000, Dean said.
"It's about $700 or $800 better than last year," he said. "It's the best fruit sale we've ever had."
That's important, Dean added. The money made from the sale is the only funding the group has, besides a little help from the school district to pay for trips.
"We fund everything we do through these sales," Dean said.
The money goes to scholarships and helps pay for the FFA banquet on April 26.
At the banquet, members of FFA receive awards for their Supervised Agricultural Education (SAE) projects.
FFA participants have special agricultural projects or jobs that they call SAE. Any work that has to do with agriculture counts for an SAE, from raising livestock and keeping record of their growth to working on a ranch as a laborer. The high school students keep records of the progress they've made and the money they've earned and spent with the project.