The College of the Ozarks Collegiate Farm Bureau Chapter volunteered with Saluting Branches at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery in Springfield, Missouri, on Wednesday, Sept. 18.
The students volunteered to plant over 100 trees and apply mulch to newly planted trees while learning tips and techniques from local certified arborists and conservationists from several local and state companies and organizations. Hansen’s Tree Service was the site leader of the event.
Saluting Branches is a non-profit organization that honors American servicemen and women by organizing volunteer tree and landscape care for property dedicated to our Veterans. This year marked the fifth annual day of service, with 53 locations across the United States. Individuals or organizations can volunteer their time and abilities by pruning shrubs or setting up refreshments for participating crews.
Collegiate Farm Bureau provides students interested in agriculture the opportunity to be involved in campus and community service activities. The club fosters participation in legislative and lobbying events, informs students of the work of farm organizations, and promotes occupations in the agricultural field.
The College of the Ozarks Agriculture Department has close ties to the Missouri Veterans Cemetery. Tom Smith, past general farm and dairy farm manager and associate professor of agriculture, and Roy Johnson, past beef farm manager and associate professor of agriculture, are both interred at the cemetery along with several family members of students in the club.
“These men had a profound impact in my life, and I am honored to volunteer in honor of them, and all the brave men and women who have served in defense of our nation,” said Luke Barnett, hog farm and feed mill manager. “As a Veteran myself, I am very proud to be able to join these students in this tremendous honor.”
Makayla Berheim, senior agriculture education major, served during the event.
“It was such a rewarding experience to make an impact and give back to those people who have served this great nation and their families,” Berheim said.