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SEHS FFA takes time out to help out
FFA members John Conner (left) and Harrold Wheeler pick snap beans at Debbie Edwards farm near Clyo. - photo by Photo provided

A large group of South Effingham High School FFA members made the most of an opportunity on June 6 and 13 to help someone in need. The location was the farm of Debbie Edwards near Clyo. Edwards is in the midst of a battle with breast cancer, and she welcomed the group’s help with collecting and processing green beans.

Edwards is the aunt of SEHS FFA President Lilly Conner. Along with Conner, club members Logan Jett, Madison Wilson, John Conner, Lauren Miller, Malissa Powell, Marissa Powell, Dakota Scott, Harrold Wheeler, Ryan Weredyk and Morgan Rushing spent several hours working between summer showers. The students picked a number of rows of beans by hand.

After washing, they proceeded to can more than 150 jars for later use. Canning is a traditional method of preserving food with heat, salt, and sugar that most historians trace back to the 19th century Frenchman Nicolas Appert. Appert won a contest sponsored by none other than Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon needed a method to preserve food during his military campaigns, and Appert’s method proved effective.

Edwards will keep some of the cans for her family to use. The SEHS FFA chapter plans to sell the rest for her to help offset the cost of Edwards’ medical expenses. Edwards was grateful for the students’ help, and all of the students were thrilled for the opportunity to serve.