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Sandy Journal

Jordan High’s homecoming farmers market helps support student activities

Nov 03, 2022 07:13PM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Best anyone can recall, it started in 1975.

Who started it and why, nobody quite remembers.

“I think the best thing about it is that it gets them involved,” Jordan High Alumni Association President Kathy Birch Damjanovich, class of ’63, said. “This gives the kids a chance to get involved. It likely was a very wise principal who approved this because it’s a way for the community to support and see the school.”

This is Jordan High’s annual farmers market, an event that has taken on different looks through the years, but a welcome homecoming tradition, said many who attended this year’s Jordan High festivities.

Unlike the typical farmers market where they try to sell their crops of carrots, potatoes and other vegetables—or beets in the case of the Beetdiggers—many student, alumni and PTA organizations sell prepared dinners, homemade crafts or school team gear as a way to help fund their activities and travel for the year.

Damjanovich said she has sold noisemakers, centennial videos and other items that benefited the alumni scholarship fund that gives typically $1,000 to selected students annually.

This year’s Jordan High Latinos-in-Action club was hoping to sell up to 300 tacos to help fund attending an upcoming student conference and other activities, said sophomore Isabel Nava.

Junior Camily Gonzalez said the booth was a popular stop for students and alumni alike.

“It’s been good because we can spread awareness, get students to join, and tell people what we do at the same time,” she said.  

Choir council member and junior Parker Bettinson said he and other choir members were selling pretzels, music note-themed cookies and beaded bracelets to help earn funds for the choir to participate in the Worldstrides Festival of Gold in Nashville in the spring.

“We won the choral sweepstakes last year at the Heritage Festival in San Diego, so we were invited to this festival and we’re hoping to earn money to participate in it,” he said, adding students can participate in the school’s four different choirs.

The Family, Career and Community Leaders of America student organization was serving pork salad, said sophomore Ellie Dulong. Sophomore Boston Brecke said it took members about one week to prepare the food to sell.

Sophomore Paige Dupey, who joined FCCLA to make friends, said that the funds made during the farmers market will go toward field trips and state competition.

Senior Jazmyn Gonzalez said that between the farmers market and return of club activities, it’s been good to see school return to “normal” after COVID-19 put a halt to them.

It’s a tradition that freshman Aubrielle Smith appreciates.

“It’s so cool to see how the community loves this (farmers market) and the school,” she said. “I’m selling old jerseys for the girls’ basketball team, and I’ve talked to a lot of people who played and love to support the team; it’s helpful since it’s helping us purchase our spirit packs. There’s a lot of bonding between us players, but also, with the community.”

In the past few decades, the farmers market had been held at lunchtime, but in 2021, it was expanded to include a tailgate activity.

Tina Hickman Ottley, class of ’94, who participated in debate and the academic decathlon, remembers the farmers market during school. She was with former cheerleader and drill member Sarah Johnson Schaugaard, class of ’95, at the alumni table that sold blankets at the tailgate event.

Teacher Matt Bell, class of ’00, said the tailgate time was added to give the community a chance to support the tradition as well as encourage students to support the football team.

“Last year was the first time some of our students went to their first football game, and this year, there likely will be others having their first experience,” he said. “It’s a way we can connect our students to the school. This has been a great tradition for a lot of clubs to sell items from food to apparel. It’s really expanded through the years and especially now, as a tailgate. There used to be cotton candy, popcorn and caramel apples, but now, there are more meals.”

Bell said that snow cones have been a steady seller through the past few decades.

“We’ve been selling snow cones since 1994-95 when a former wrestler sold us his snow cone maker after he got a new one. There’s always a demand for them so it’s become a tradition in itself,” he said.

Teacher Shauna Young has been a part of the farmers market for 25 years.

“The farmers market has had a lot of different looks—in front of the school, in back, inside in the commons, now as a tailgate—but it’s a good tradition for students to learn and understand the history of what makes them a Beetdigger,” she said. “For a while, we made and sold baby sugar beets, like Beanie Babies, and that was fun; we may have to bring that back. The farmers market gives club members a chance to get involved and get some leadership experience and for others, to support students by grabbing some food and swag to show pride in their high sc