Cottonwood High School has received a lot of money lately from those rooting for the school’s success.

The Cottonwood FFA was recently selected as a winner of the 2019 Bayer Farm for Good Sweepstakes. The department was nominated by local farmer Dennis McCord and will be receiving a $5,000 grant.

“We just came through a Category 5 hurricane. The kids had worked to build this farm, to build fences and get the barn constructed,” FFA Adviser Jillian Etress said. “When the hurricane came through, we pretty much had to start over. The barn was there, but we didn’t have any fence left.”

Etress, one of two chapter advisers, says the money will be used toward making improvements to the school farm, such as adding concrete to portions of the barn and purchasing a new cattle chute.

“It means a lot that we can make these improvements and the students can see a benefit for their hard work.”

The Cottonwood FFA comprises 80 to 90 members each year. The FFA chapter has a school farm, where the students raise and sell livestock. It also has greenhouses and is actively selling and donating produce to the community.

The program caught the attention of more than one local resident. A couple of weeks ago, another anonymous person gifted the program a check of more than $10,000 with the rest of the high schools in Houston County. Officials did not want to disclose the exact amount.

It may be due to the success of its program and leadership.

Last month, Etress won the state award for Conservation Teacher of the Year for Secondary Education in the Alabama Association of Conservation’s out of all nominees in District 5, comprising Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Pike, and Russell counties.


>> Daleville Board of Education will meet on Wednesday at central office at 4:30 p.m. to discuss next fiscal year’s budget and discuss its capital plan.

>> Dothan City Schools called a public board meeting at Beverlye Intermediate School for Friday, Sept. 27, to receive a presentation from Trane, its energy services performance contractor, and work change orders.

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