PRATT COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – A Kansas high schooler is sharing her love for the state with people across America.
“This is my way of getting to express how much I actually love Kansas and agriculture,” said Cali Newdigger.
Cali Newdigger, 16, is on a mission to send a box full of Kansas items to Future Farmers of America chapters in the other 49 states as well as the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
The idea came to her after one of her teachers at Skyline Schools in Pratt County introduced the idea to her class.
“It sparked my interest that I wanted to expand this and really go with it and I told her that,” Newdigger said. “I said, ‘I want to send a box to every, like one to each state’ and she looked at me and said, ‘that is a very big deal and task, but I will help you and lead you along the way.'”
“I said, ‘well, there is no reason you can’t, whatever you want to do let me know however I could be of assistance,’ and she would come back with ideas, ‘I want to add this’ or ‘I want to do this,'” explained FFA advisor and teacher Anita DeWeese.
From there, Newdigger started gathering items unique to Kansas and 50 States of FFA was born.
“I started contacting people and figuring out what I was going to put in my boxes and where I was going to send it and then the whole process just kind of took off,” Newdigger said.
Each box consists of a Russell Stover egg, McPherson County popcorn, a Kansas map, farming pamphlets, a custom-printed T-shirt among many more items.
“It has widened my horizons on everything and it has taught me a lot of life lessons already,” she said.
Newdigger hopes the recipients of the boxes will have a new-found respect for Kansas and all it has to offer.
“It’s really just informing other states about Kansas,” she said.
“I don’t see this ending when she is a senior when she graduates. I see the connections that she will have made will take her lots of different places,” DeWeese said.
After high school, Newdigger said she wants to major in agriculture communications. She would like to eventually do marketing for a cattle breed organization.
Anyone can sponsor an agriculture box for $7. If you are interested in helping 50 States of FFA, email Newdigger at firstname.lastname@example.org.