FHS FFA Represents at Competition

FFA (left to right) Lauren, Alana and Mckenzie practicing for their cattle working event before the competition. (Pictured: John Shiflett)

From tractor driving to public speaking the Fauquier FFA chapter represented in a wide variety of competitions.
Four students competed in Forestry at the virtual state fair in September and placed first. Competitor, junior Becca Henegar said this “was a challenge. Typically you’d identify a tree. You look at the bark, leaves and any other feature you could find. With it being online you got a small picture of a leaf and [were] asked to identify it.” On April 14, when they competed in the area in-person competition, they placed second.
Additionally, Henegar will receive her FFA state degree at the state convention this year because she completed competition requirements, held an officer position, participated in community service hours and fulfilled a certain amount of hours in Supervised Agriculture Experience.
Freshman Sydney Wilvert, one of two students who competed virtually in February in Hippology (Equine Science), and horse judging placed fourth out of 125 people in the senior division. “It was all online and we had to take a series of tests and place horse classes. My favorite part was getting to judge all types of classes because I’ve never gotten to do that. My least favorite part was that we didn’t get to experience it in person,” said Wilvert.
In April, three students competed in cattle working, in-person. Additionally, on April 13, two students competed in public speaking events where students had to memorize five paragraphs from the FFA Creed by E.M. Tiffany, recite it and answer questions that relate agriculture to the FFA Creed. Sophomore Lauren Lowenback placed first and another student placed second. Lowenback’s “biggest challenge during COVID[-19] was speaking with a mask on” because it was harder for her to pronounce the words clearly.
Senior Damien Lane competed in Tractor Driving in April and placed second in the state. Lane prepared for his event by driving the tractor and changing gears. His “favorite thing about the competition was actually operating the tractor. The biggest challenge was the time to practice and having to wear the masks while driving,” said Lane.
In preparation for the events students worked on their own, but had a few in-person practices. “It is very hard to get people together and hard to get students at home to participate,” said agriculture teacher Susan Hilleary. According to Hilleary, this year’s events “were hard to organize and coordinate this year because we didn’t see each other as often and had a hard time scheduling events.”

Damian placed second in the Virginia State Tractor Driving Contest. (Fauquier High FFA)
Placing in public speaking events, competitors (left to right) Hunter and Lauren pose for a quick picture. (provided by Fauquier High FFA)