By Pat Caldwell
NYSSA — When members of the Nyssa FFA chapter heard vandals struck the Vale FFA greenhouse, they didn’t hesitate.
They decided to step up and help out.
Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe said 18 flowerpots – valued at $26 – were destroyed. The greenhouse itself also was damaged, he said.
News about the incident quickly filtered out into the county, helped by social media and the congregation of FFA members at Owyhee Field Day, according to Nyssa FFA advisor Chad Cruickshank.
FFA students from around the valley help out at the field day and that is where the idea to help out Vale cropped up he said.
“Social media got involved, Instagram and Facebook and the kids, at the end of the day, decided we should take some of our baskets to them,” said Cruickshank.
Cruickshank said his chapter donated $100 worth of flowers.
“I just hit the end of the school day and got a van and the kids picked up the ones they wanted and we hauled them over there,” Cruickshank said.
He said the response was extraordinary.
“Everyone was kind of ecstatic,” said Cruickshank.
Cruickshank said he was proud of his students.
“It was a nice piece of leadership. It was pretty cool,” he said.
Scholastic competition took a back seat, he said.
“We are always in different contests and at different events. It is kind of on the field we compete but when we are off the field ,we have each other’s back,” Cruickshank said.
Vale High School Principal Mary Jo Sharp said the action by the Nyssa FFA students wasn’t surprising.
“I think it is indicative of the leadership that comes from Chad Cruickshank and it is an outstanding example of what FFA represents,” said Sharp.