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Riverdale High FFA students plant garden for residents at Community Care of Rutherford County

May 11, 2021

By ASHLEY McDONALD
Rutherford County Government

Riverdale High School students in the Future Farmers of America (FFA) program planted a large garden at Community Care of Rutherford County (CCRC) Friday, May 7.

“Our FFA chapter is excited to form this partnership with the Community Care of Rutherford County,” Riverdale teacher and FFA sponsor Chris Martin said from the site of the garden.  “What you see here is not just the work we’re going to do today but weeks of hard work from our students and other volunteers who have been working really hard to get this together.”

Upwards of 30 students assisted with the endeavor, planting several varieties of vegetables, fruits, and legumes. Dignitaries including Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron, Director of Schools Bill Spurlock, and Circuit Court Clerk Melissa Harrell also rolled up their sleeves and pitched in. A few friendly competitions were known as the “2021 Garden Games” were a part of Friday’s activities. This included a row race, speed seed sowing contest and tomato plant relay.

“It’s been several years since the turning of the soil at Community Care of Rutherford County and we couldn’t be happier to see the farm once again taking shape,” said David C. Zack, director of operations for United Church Homes Management, Inc., the organization that provides management and support services to CCRC.  “Many people were instrumental in getting us to this point, including the staff and the Board of Directors of CCRC, but it’s the collaboration with the FFA that makes this project special.  At harvest time, CCRC residents and students from our campus child care center, Generations Connected, will help pick vegetables and shuck corn to be prepared and served by our culinary team.”

Mayor Bill Ketron, who serves as CCRC Board Chair, was elated that high school students were willing to put time and effort into serving the senior population in the community in such a big and impactful way. “The idea that these young and talented students used their skills to benefit the residents at CCRC is truly heartwarming,” he said. “Their commitment to this endeavor was much appreciated by our Board, CCRC staff, and certainly, the residents who will enjoy the fruits of their labor.”

“We are very proud of our Riverdale students and faculty members for partnering with the Community Care of Rutherford County,” Director of Schools Bill Spurlock said. “This is a worthwhile investment in our community and I am appreciative that our students can apply their education and skills.”

Community Care of Rutherford County is a not-for-profit nursing home providing post-acute skilled rehabilitation services and long-term nursing care amenities in Murfreesboro.