Submitted by Emma Bloodworth, Student Journalist for Minarets Press
O’NEALS – Since the beginning, Jim Mattes, local resident and husband to ag teacher Kristi Mattes, has always been one of the biggest supporters of Minarets FFA. He contributed to not only the school and farm but to the community and FFA program in a large capacity. Over the years, he helped teach and coach the Livestock Team and led them to state championships multiple times over the years.
According to ag teacher Richard Chapman, “Oftentimes behind the scenes, Jim would work with students and their animals to ensure every member had the opportunity for success, the opportunity to learn and grow, and to find their passion for livestock.”
Unexpectedly, Mattes passed away this summer, and the Chawanakee Board voted to honor his memory by dedicating the Minarets school farm to him. The farm has been renamed and is now known as the Jim Mattes Memorial Farm and Agriculture Lab.
The farm is an integral part of the Minarets FFA community as it gives students a place to keep their animals while also learn about agricultural jobs. Past, present, and future generations will forever remember Mattes and his dedication to the Minarets students every time they visit the farm.
Mattes was a kind and generous man who welcomed FFA students into his home and provided them with mentorship and as well as a sense of belonging. The impact Mattes has made on the lives of the students and the agricultural community will be felt and seen for many years to come.