Thursday, August 17, 2017

Purple Ribbon program puts meat in lunches

Exeter-Milligan Superintendent Paul Sheffield (left) and Friend Superintendent Dave Krause explained the Purple Ribbon Meat Program and their respective districts during a dinner on Friday, August 11.

The Purple Ribbon Meat Program. It’s a win-win for area farmers along with Friend and Exeter-Milligan students.  The students get fresh, locally grown beef and the farmers and other business owners get both a tax donation and the satisfaction of knowing area students are served high quality meat.

Area business and community leaders, along with donors who participated in the program last year, were invited to hear all about the Purple Ribbon Meat Program on Friday, August 11, 2017 in Exeter.
After enjoying a sample of meat from the Purple Ribbon Meat Program, Superintendents Paul Sheffield, from Exeter-Milligan, and Dave Kraus, from Friend, spoke about the benefits of the program.

Sheffield noted that all of the beef served to students in both districts is from the beef donated.  “It’s great to have fresh beef to serve. It takes around six or seven cattle to feed both schools.  We do reserve some of the beef for raffles to help raise funds for processing.”

The program has been brought to Friend and Exeter-Milligan in conjunction with the Friend FFA Boosters.  Spearheading the program in Friend are Paul Segner, Joel Weber and Scott Vyhnalek and at Exeter-Milligan are Kevin Songster and Eric Milton.

Kraus noted that the program has been “very easy to adapt to and not a challenge at all on the school side of things.  A lot of schools have started this program and been successful. Now schools are calling us to see how the program has worked.”

Kraus added that his daughter, a senior this year, has noted the quality of the beef, “It sure makes a difference.  They can tell a difference and we sure appreciate it.  It’s been a great first year.”

Talia Goes, representing the Nebraska Cattlemen, spoke for a few moments.  She was thrilled with the response in the Friend and Exeter-Milligan districts, “Each program is a little different.  We take pride in the fact that local cattle producers are taking part and getting involved in bringing agriculture back in the school system.”

According to Goes, in 2015, over 70 schools in Nebraska were participating in the program.  She projects that by the end of the school year over 100 will participate.

On the school side of things, the kitchen staff is definitely on board with the Purple Ribbon program. Exeter-Milligan’s head cook, Lori Ruhl thinks, “It’s great.  The kids really like it.  They especially like the grilled hamburgers.  The kids know it’s local beef and that seems to help them enjoy it more.”
Since Exeter-Milligan has opted out of the government assistance program their options are little broader and they can include pork, as well.

Kevin Songster, one of the organizers from Exeter-Milligan also spoke and thanked the participants, “The kids are benefitting. We have seen some great support.”

He reminded the audience that a raffle during the Exeter-Milligan and Friend football game will give away two pigs to support the Purple Ribbon Meat Program.

Sheffield closed the program reminding the audience that the program “helps on budget. What is served to our kids is 100% locally raised beef.”

One requirement that the government places on any beef served to students is that it is processed in a USDA facility.  The closest USDA facility is in Henderson.  Sheffield noted that the first appointment for beef is August 24th.  He encouraged “anyone interested in donating either animals or funds to the program can contact me or Mr. Kraus and we would love to help them.”

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Exeter-Milligan Hosts Open House

Exeter-Milligan hosted their open house at both Exeter and Milligan on Thursday, August 10.  Students were invited to bring their school supplies and find their desks.  Parents took the opportunity to take beginning of the year pictures with the new teachers.
Above – Doug Papik catches his daughter Kierra with fifth grade teacher Mrs. Brooke Soukup.
Below – Selah Petersen gets to know her new third grade teacher Mrs. Laura Steuben during the open house.

 Above -Jayden Capek learns the ropes from his new fifth grade teacher Mrs. Brooke Soukup.
Below – Carver Kanode is all smiles in the fourth grade classroom of Mrs. Shellie Mueller.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

New Teacher at Exeter-Milligan

Exeter-Milligan High School students will see a new face for their English classes.  The district hired Ashley Stutzman this summer.  She is originally from Milford and graduated from University of Nebraska Kearney with a degree to teach.

Currently she is pursuing a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Doane University.  After teaching middle school for two years in Grand Island, Stutzman decided she wanted to "Get close to home.  I have a son who is almost three."

According to Stutzman, teaching at Exeter-Milligan has "an added bonus" as her sister, Hailey, is the district's Spanish teacher.

The two are just 18 months apart and are very close anyway.

She is looking forward to the challenge of high school students, "I am teaching a new grade level and content for me.  I will also be teaching a new media and digital media class which is a new course for the school."

In part the class will tackle the challenges of social media including Twitter and Facebook.  This year, Stutzman will have her plate full with her family, college courses and teaching.  She looks forward to adding some extra-curricular responsibilities for Exeter-Milligan next year.

In addition to enjoying her downtime with her son, Stutzman enjoys watching football, shopping and reading.

Stutzman's enthusiasm was evident as she explained, "I look forward to meeting all of the new faces this year and having the opportunity to share my love of reading and writing with my students!"

Monday, August 14, 2017

Exeter-Milligan Cheerleaders 2017

Exeter-Milligan cheerleaders from the left are Natalie Staskal, Macy Due, Katie Mounce, Daisy Kanode and Cammie Harrison.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Fillmore County Foundation Grant Applications Available

FILLMORE COUNTY – Groups, organizations, or communities seeking funding for projects may find a source of assistance through the Fillmore County Foundation.
Grant applications will be accepted through Wednesday, September 6, 2017 by 4:00 p.m.  Applications must be submitted by this date to be considered at the Fillmore County Foundation semi-annual meeting, which is scheduled for Tuesday, September 12th.
Grant awards are made each March and September.  After the last application period over $8,000 was awarded.  Application forms are available at the Fillmore County Development Corporation office, 1032 G Street, Geneva, during regular office hours. You may also request an application by emailing, by telephone at 402-759-4910 or go the FCDC website at and download a copy.
Current application forms with the September 6, 2017 deadline date must be used.  Persons with questions about the grant program may contact the Fillmore County Development Office at 759-4910 or Scott Olivia at 629-4446.