Spring is here – the birds are chirping, the flowers are sprouting and that nosy neighbor is peeking over the fence at the jungle that you call a yard. Lawn mower season has arrived, and one group at the University of Missouri is doing all they can to get Columbia ready.
For more than 40 years the Mizzou Agricultural Systems Management club has greeted the spring with a Lawn Mower Tune Up clinic. The clinic serves as a fundraiser for the organization. The tune up, which costs $35, includes: steam cleaning, new spark plug, sharpening and balancing blades, cleaning air filters and changing the engine oil. Community members drop off their working mowers at Eckles Hall on a Thursday or Friday, and pick them up the following Monday or Tuesday.
“Many times, when something like a mower isn’t running, it is something really simple, something that just a simple tune up can solve,” said Daniel Bonacker, President of ASM club. “I think that the people that bring their mowers to us realize the value in servic[ing] their mowers. We get some mowers that are easily 20 years old and [are] still running better than ever.”
Bonacker, a senior agricultural systems management major, said he had always been a “hands-on person,” and after touring Mizzou’s ASM department he knew he found the right fit. Now, as president of the ASM club, he says the best part is getting to know the other great people in the major.
Paige Friedrich, a junior agricultural systems management major, agrees with him. Although the trips and the big meals at club meetings are fun, the people, Friedrich said, are the best.
This was Friedrich’s second year volunteering at the clinic.
“On the drop off days I mostly help customers fill out paperwork and give them their receipts,” Friedrich said. “On the workday this year, I helped my adviser, Leon Schumacher, clean the oil filters. I helped move mowers through the line, and I also helped wash some.”
Along with Friedrich and Bonacker, about 20 ASM club members participated in the clinic this year, and they typically raise about $7,000 Bonacker said. The money earned goes towards scholarship funds and club activities. Each year, he said, the ASM club takes a trip to an agriculture related manufacturing facility with the money they raise.