FFA students compete in District Career Development Events

Carol Rolf Originally Published March 24, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated March 22, 2013 at 10:39 a.m.
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Carol Rolf

A team from Greenbrier High School competes in the forestry competition at the recent FFA Central Arkansas Career Development Events in Conway. From the left, Cameron Phillips, Brock Roberts and Dakotah Cooper measure one of the trees at Hendrix College to determine how much lumber can be harvested from the tree.

Conway saw a temporary surge in population on March 12 as approximately 1,000 high school students from across Arkansas arrived in the city to take part in the Arkansas FFA Association Central Arkansas District Career Development Events.

Students were tested on their skills in nine categories — agronomy, farm business management, floriculture, forestry, horse evaluation, land judging, dairy products, nursery/landscape and poultry evaluation. Simon Brothers Dairy hosted the dairy products event; Back Achers Ranch, the horse evaluation event; and Hendrix College, the forestry event. All other competitions were held at the Conway Expo Center.

Mandy Cates, district coordinator for the Faulkner County Conservation District, one of the sponsors of the CDE, said this was a practice for the students, many of whom will go on to compete in the state CDE on April 19 at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

Other sponsors include the Arkansas Dairy Cooperative Association in Damascus, Southwestern Energy and the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission. The events were organized by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Arkansas Forestry Commission, the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, the Cleburne County Master Gardeners and the Faulkner County Master Gardeners.

“The ag instructors from the participating high schools played a huge part in this, too,” Cates said. Among local teachers conducting the contests were Randy Romeo of Conway High School, Rodney Wiedower of Greenbrier High School and Chad Mooney of Clinton High School.

First-place teams were awarded plaques, and high-point individuals were named from each team.

Local winners include the following:

Agronomy:

First place — Clinton High School, with Whitney Wilkins as the high-point individual. Other team members are Nic Tester, Colson Tester, Josh Berry, Bailey Nry and Lilly Stagg.

Second place — Greenbrier High School with Sam Burchfield, Jessica Parker, Brad Williams, Carissa Johnson and Cheyenne Culp as team members.

Third place — Shirley High School with team members Nikki Owen, Ayrien Johnson, Will Stewart, Hunter Gray and Dylan Ruple.

Floriculture:

Second place — Vilonia High School with Hannah Fay as high-point individual. Other team members are Hannah Fay, Emily Willhite and Jessie Williams.

Forestry:

Third place — Vilonia High School with team members Brady Butler, Trevor Emmons, Kevin Holleman, Aaron Kelley, Matthew Kelley and Austin Woods.

Horse Evaluation:

Second place — Vilonia High School with team member Taylor McNeel as high-point individual. Other team members are Lexi Haynie, Shaylynn Walker and Dakota Mason.

Land Judging:

First place — Clinton High School with Cole Ward as high-point individual. Other team members are Devin Evans, Cody Frye and Chance Taylor.

Second place — Greenbrier High School with team members Adam Blake, Blake Erbach, Tyler Kopp, Dakota Lawson and Jacob Logsdon.

Third place — Plainview High School with team members Linda Bernal, Cheyenne Buford, Jonathan Ellis and Alyssa Emerson.

Dairy Products:

Second place — Greenbrier High School with team members Kelly Gamelin, Amanda Gustafson, Sam Harris, Kyla Miller and Holly Moore.

Nursery/Landscape:

Second place — Greenbrier High School with Michaela Roberts as high-point individual. Other team members are Ashton Martin, Michaela Roberts, Haylee Russaw and Savannah Snowden.

Other local high schools competing in the CDE include Morrilton, Quitman, Conway, South Side Bee Branch and Guy-Perkins.

Following the contests, hot dogs were served to the students. Cecil Oursbourn of Farm Credit Services of Western Arkansas cooked the hog dogs.

Cates said this is the first year for the event to be held in Conway. For the past several years, it was held in Damascus.

“We hope to be able to host it again next year,” Cates said.

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