FFA prepares students for the future


Nina Quiles, Managing Editor

Senior Camden Franklin poses with TV veterinarian Dr. Jan Pol and his wife Diane Pol. Dr. Jan Pol stars on the Nat Geo Wild television show The Incredible Dr. Pol.

From the competitions to the national convention, the activities that FFA members participate in contribute to one goal: career development. Competitions are designed to enhance each student’s knowledge of the agriculture business and its influence locally, according to FFA advisor Susan Hillary.
“FFA is developing students for careers in agriculture,” Hillary said. “Even if people don’t have a career in agriculture, they have a better understanding of agriculture. As they go into their adult life and make purchases and decisions, they have a basis that helps them make better decisions.”
FFA started the year off strong by participating in the state fair in September. Students competed in a variety of events over a span of three days, including a horticulture demonstration and crop and forestry events. Junior Ben Scaring competed in the log throw in which he had to throw a four to six foot pulpwood log.
“I had to throw a 40 pound log and I threw it 21 feet,” Scaring said. “[The toss] was different than I expected; I expected the log to be a lot smaller than it was, so I went in with a different mindset than what it needed to be.”
Freshman Mack Barney competed in a one-man saw competition, and sophomore Josh Carl and freshman Logan Risden competed in the two-man saw competition. In both, participants had to saw through a six-inch thick log within the time limit of two minutes.
“It was hard work,” Carl said. “You just have to really push yourself to get it done. It was completely different at the competition than at school; they had pressed the log which made it harder.”
On the final day, seniors Devyn Martino, Justin Barron, Tyler Newman and junior Katie Crow competed in a crop judging competition in which they judged and identified a panel of seeds. Overall, FFA placed third among 35 other schools.
“It was pretty hard,” Martino said. “Some classes were easier than others, like the red clover was easy. I expected it to be a bit challenging, but this was my second year competing in it so I had a bit more experience.”
FFA celebrated homecoming by decorating FFA advisor Dennis Pearson’s hay wagon to ride in at the homecoming parade. The float was pulled by the club’s new tractor and rode in the beginning of the parade, proudly displaying a colorful banner. They also had a social event in the agriculture shop before the homecoming football game, with food and drinks.
“It was by far the best float in the parade,” Pearson said. “Overall [the parade] was nice. I’m glad it didn’t rain since it was threatening.”
On Nov. 3 FFA will be hosting the annual Food For America event on the FFA field from 10 am to 1pm. At this event, 25 different stations are set up, varying from presentations about machinery safety to welding to animals, for fourth graders from local elementary schools to come and explore. Students are welcome to come during advisory to learn about the different aspects of agriculture.
“It’s going to be a big event,” Pearson said. “We have a lot of [participants] and are going to have a lot of animals out there.”
FFA seeks to spread in-depth knowledge about agriculture to the club members and the community.
“[FFA members] have belonging—an organization that they can belong to and the sense of an identity,” Hillary said. “They can get a lot of experience for resumes or an application. It’s an opportunity to be a leader and make a difference.”