COVID-19 changes FFA plant sale for New London-Spicer students

With students unable to be at school to plant vegetables and seeds for the New London-Spicer FFA plant sale because of COVID-19, volunteers picked up the slack. The sale continues at 8 a.m. Saturday at the NLS greenhouse located on the west side of the high school in New London

Lisa Vosika looks over the plant selection Friday at the New London-Spicer FFA plant sale. Because of COVID-19, the high school students' involvement with planting and selling the flowers and vegetable plants was limited. Carolyn Lange / West Central Tribune

NEW LONDON — Part of the learning experience for New London-Spicer ag students and FFA members has been planting flowers and vegetables in the school district’s greenhouse and selling the seedlings in the spring.

The planting and the selling happened this year, but because COVID-19 forced school to shut down and students to learn from home, high school students missed out on most of the spring experience.

“It was a little different this year with the virus going around,” said Tracy Tebben, an ag teacher and FFA adviser at NLS.


“Having the students away from the building, they weren’t able to experience the full growing of the plants and taking care of them and the plant sale itself.”

Tebben said students were able to seed some of the plants before distance learning, but he recruited adult volunteers, school paraprofessionals and former students and FFA members who transplanted 10,000 flower plugs in a one-week period.

“We had a lot of great volunteers that really stepped up and made it a successful sale,” he said.

To help avoid large crowds that typically converge on the greenhouse during the two-day sale, about half of the plants were sold during a pre-sale event last week. The greenhouse will be open again starting at 8 a.m. Saturday on the west side of the high school in New London.

Carolyn Lange is a features writer at the West Central Tribune. She can be reached at or 320-894-9750
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