Coe-Brown Northwood Academy’s FFA Chapter Builds Wood Duck Nesting Boxes and Partners with ‘Ducks Unlimited’ for Distribution

Northwood, New Hampshire…Ducks Unlimited recently received forty-one Wood Duck nesting boxes constructed by Coe-Brown Northwood Academy’s Much-To-Do Chapter of the Future Farmers of America [FFA]. CBNA faculty member Sarah Ward ‘83 is an advisor for CBNA’s chapter and a supporter of the nesting box program.

FFA chapters are required to have a program of activities (POA) in which they need to do activities encompassing twelve areas of focus. One of those areas requires that each chapter partner with other organizations for a project that betters the community, environment, school etc. If chapters can demonstrate projects in all twelve areas, they may apply for National Chapter recognition.

For the CBNA FFA, partnering with Ducks Unlimited also provided an opportunity to work with students of CBNA construction and woodworking faculty member Matt Lobdell, who oversaw the construction and assembly of the boxes. The lumber for the project was graciously donated by Precision Lumber of Wentworth, NH, while the fasteners were supplied through private donation by the McLean family. Several of these enterprising youths have agreed to place and maintain the boxes in wetlands in Rockingham and Strafford Counties.

James Cropsey, the Lakes Region Zone Chairman of Ducks Unlimited, was thrilled to accept the duck boxes. When Ducks Unlimited was organized in 1937, the Wood Duck was nearly extinct due to loss of habitat and nesting cavities, and the harvesting of male Wood Ducks for their distinctive and colorful plumage. Wood Ducks traditionally nest in tree hollows and former woodpecker nests, and the duck boxes mimic this prime nesting environment. With the aid of Ducks Unlimited and the continued support of organizations such as the Future Farmers of America, which make, place and maintain the boxes, the Wood Duck is again a familiar sight on New Hampshire rivers and ponds.

Future Farmers of America

FFA is a dynamic youth organization that changes lives and prepares its members for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

The FFA focuses on developing members’ potential and helps them discover their talent through hands-on experiences, which give members the tools to achieve real-world success. Members include future farmers, chemists, veterinarians, government officials, entrepreneurs, bankers, international business leaders, teachers and premier professionals in many career fields.

The official name of the organization is the National FFA Organization. Parents of youth looking to learn more about FFA here in NH can go to the website

Ducks Unlimited

Last year Ducks Unlimited achieved 88% efficiency with .88 cents of each dollar raised being spent on wetland acquisition or improvement. Since its inception, Ducks Unlimited has raised over one billion dollars and enhanced and restored in excess of 15.4 million habitat acres, encompassing over 15,000 wetland projects. Ducks Unlimited’s projects provide habitat for over 600 wildlife species, including ducks, geese, fish and endangered species like the Whooping Crane and Bald Eagle. For information on how you can support Ducks Unlimited’s program of wetlands conservation, contact Jim Cropsey at 603-286-9633 or go online to or the Daniel Webster Chapter at If you want to purchase a nesting box and place it in a prime wetland habitat, please contact Sarah Ward at 603-942-5531.

Coe-Brown Northwood Academy

Coe-Brown Northwood Academy strives to produce graduates who are academically and socially prepared to be responsible, caring and contributing members of the global society.

Founded in 1867, Coe-Brown Northwood Academy is a comprehensive secondary institution offering the highest quality curriculum of studies to the residents of Northwood, Strafford, and surrounding towns, as well as matriculated day students from further afield. The State of New Hampshire certifies Coe-Brown Northwood Academy as a “Public Academy” with public school approval. Our educational programs and opportunities are accessible to both traditional and non-traditional learners, responsive to the diverse needs of an ever-changing community, and consistent with state and federal laws supporting the education of our youth.

The Academy offers a curriculum of studies which is consistent with these premises and the laws of the State of New Hampshire. This curriculum, woven into a coordinated course of study, will enable all students to realize their potential and prepare them for their chosen endeavors upon graduation. The expertise of faculty and staff permits course offerings to develop the full potential of all students, whether they be educationally advantaged or challenged. It is then incumbent on the students to be academically diligent, consistent in attendance, and positive in attitude to successfully complete their chosen course of studies.

Coe-Brown Northwood Academy is located at 907 First NH Turnpike, in Northwood, New Hampshire, on the shores of beautiful Harvey Lake. For further information about the school, please call 603-942-5531 or visit our website at


Caption Photo #1:

Members of CBNA FFA with James Cropsey of Ducks Unlimited collaborated with the CBNA’s construction classes to build Wood Duck boxes for distribution in local communities. Photograph courtesy of Coe-Brown Northwood Academy.

Caption Photo #2:

CBNA construction student Kaleb Girard ‘24 and faculty member Matthew Lobdell ‘99. With Mr. Lobdell’s guidance, Kaleb and his classmates were able build forty-one duck box houses. Some will be dispersed by Ducks Unlimited members while the CBNA FFA chapter will disperse those that remain. Photograph courtesy of James Cropsey.