Posted on: 07.19.2018 at 07:00 a.m.
N.C. Future Farmers of America held its 90th State Convention in Raleigh June 20. The gathering included competitions in the students’ skills and knowledge of agriculture-related sciences. All participating teams had advanced to the state contest by winning events at the local, federation and regional levels.
West Columbus High School’s teams won first-place awards in two contests and finished among the top runners-up in several others.
First place winners
The WCHS forestry team, consisting of Jordan Nance, Ethan Watson, Luke Nance and Kaleb Wilson, beat 29 other teams to capture first place in this year’s contest.
The team will represent North Carolina at the national FFA forestry contest to be held in October in Indianapolis, Ind.
West Columbus students also placed 1st among 60 teams that competed in this year’s tool identification contest from across the state. Team members were Hailey Setser, Melanie Woodard, Ethan Hinson, Hinson Haynes and Brittany Barnhill. Team members identified 200 tools and demonstrated a working knowledge of how each tool is used.
Three third place finishes
WCHS students brought home third-place awards in the Agricultural Mechanics, Introduction to Horticulture and Nursery Landscape contests.
In Agricultural Mechanics competition, students demonstrated problem-solving skills, completed a 50-question written test and performed hands-on performance skills in the areas of welding, soldering, electrical wiring and small engine diagnostics. Team members were Chase Barnhill, Cameron Collins, Luke Nance and Josh McCleney.
West Columbus placed third among 25 teams that competed in this year’s Introduction to Horticulture contest. Team members were Logan Enzor, Jared Williamson, Blake Ward and Andrew Hamilton.
The Introduction to Horticulture event is unique to North Carolina in that only first year horticulture students may participate. The event is designed to allow students to demonstrate their proficiency in plant identification, weed and pest identification and general horticultural knowledge.
West Columbus placed third among 25 teams in this year’s nursery landscape contest. Team members were Timothy Britt, Anna Faulk, Greyanna Booth and Aaron Elkins. In this event, students identified landscape and bedding plants; recognized signs of damage from pests, nutritional deficiencies, mechanical injury and chemicals; demonstrated skills of landscape design; and showed communication skills necessary for successful employment in the nursery landscape industry.
More FFA events
West Columbus placed seventh among 24 teams competing in this year’s floriculture contest. Team members were Randa Strickland, Emily Britt, Jessica Griffin and Gretta Strickland.
The purpose of the Floriculture Career Development Event is to stimulate the study of and interest in the production and retailing of plants and foliage. In addition to proving their grasp of plant characteristics and conditions, students demonstrated skills of floral design, identification of appropriate supplies and equipment for the flower shop and greenhouse and communication skills necessary for successful employment in the floriculture industry.
Anna Kay Nance was among 30 students competing in the state FFA Creed Speaking Event. This event provided FFA members in grades six through nine the opportunity to present the five paragraphs of the FFA Creed from memory. Students were evaluated based on presentation and accuracy and answered questions directly related to the creed.
The WCHS Agronomy team took 11th place among 30 in the Nursery Landscape contest. Team members were Austin Booth, Kierston Nance, Eli Anderson, Kennedy Enzor and Gerino Loredo . Students completed a written test to demonstrate understanding of agronomic sciences and sustainable agriculture techniques. They also identified pests, farm equipment, weed seeds and weed plants and crop seeds and crop plants.
The FFA is a youth organization of student members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture. The objective of FFA is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Fred McPherson advises the FFA chapter at WCHS.