The Jefferson County FFA Chapters competed in the 90th Annual West Virginia FFA Career Development Events on June 18-20 at West Virginia University. Sixty three members from grades 7 -12 competed in the judging competitions during the three day event. Career Development Events or CDEs are designed to develop student's abilities to think critically, communicate clearly, and perform effectively in today's competitive agriculture job market. Contest formats require students in each event to evaluate characteristics utilize USDA grading criteria and/or perform skills and techniques commonly required in the agricultural field. There were eighteen different competitions held, covering job skills in everything from food science to mechanics. Each event allows students to compete in teams of three or four students with both individual and team performances being scored and ranked. Each of the county's six FFA Chapters had students participate in the varying competitions.
Charles Town & Wildwood Middle School FFA Chapters each participated in the 7th and 8th Grade Agriscience competition and placed 6th and 1st respectively in the contest. Individually, Wildwood students Nick Chapman placed 4th, Adam Chandler placed 2nd and Earl Hamby placed 1st overall, while Dylan James from Charles Town was the high individual in the agriculture mechanics section of the competition.
The county's middle school chapters also dominated the Middle School Division of the Food Science CDE. The team from Shepherdstown Middle School consisting of Robbie Brown (10th), Christian Anderson (8th) and Brian Lily (4th) placed 3rd as a team. Charles Town Middles team of Kyle Ballenger (7th), Nicholas Petrarca (6th), Dylan James (5th), Bella McCormick (4th) placed 2nd in the team rankings. The team from Harpers Ferry Middle School took home top honors in the event; members were Tabitha Mullens (9th), Hanna Miller (3rd), Julie Grim (2nd) and Katie Price (1st).
Members from the Washington High School FFA competed in four of the CDE contests. The Livestock Evaluation Team of Will Shultz, Erica Heflin, Tori Wolfe and Carey Gabbert placed 7th as a team with Shultz placing 6th individually. Chapter members Blayne Ott, India Titus, Cindra Armstrong and Tim Hubbard competed in the Veterinary Science event and placed fourth as a team. The 4th place Milk Quality and Products team consisted of Hubbard, Brittany Hite and Lauren Paul, with Hubbard placing 5th individually. Hite and Paul also participated in the Plant Pathology CDE which placed 5th as a team.
Jefferson FFA members competed in eleven of the Career Development Events. The chapters Agriculture Technology and Mechanical System competitors, Patrick Harrington, Jheri Liskey, James Parker and Wes Weese placed 3rd as a team, with Harrington placing 6th individually. The Agronomy team of Austin Cogle, Ryan Hooe, Brandon McKenzie and Darby Patterson placed 8th. The Entomology Team consisted of Alex Bane, Elizabeth Hayden, Patton LePlatt and Lexie Hensell placed 5th. The Food Science team of Nelson Wolf, Kristian Davis, Emily Foote and Elizabeth Hayden placed second as a team, with Wolf and Foote placing 5th and 3rd respectively. Forestry Team members consisted of Jeremy Creamer, Mac Davis, Alyson Franz and Travis Spurgin they placed 9th in the event. The Livestock Evaluation team of Michael Burkett, Taylor Corder, Lane Hedge and Carina Petretta placed 9th. The Meats Evaluation and Technology group of Austin Cogle, Darby Patterson and Amanda Smith placed 3rd in the team standings, with individual placings of 7th, 8th and 2nd respectively. The Milk Quality and Products team placed 3rd as well, with Michael Burkett, Taylor Corder, Caroline Hayden and Carina Petretta competing. Hayden came in as the 10th high individual in the competition. Briana Embry, Marissa Hovey, and Amanda Smith competed and placed 4th in the Plant Pathology contest with Hovey placing 9th and Smith placing 2nd. Chapter members Kate Buffington, Chris Brown, Caroline Hayden and George Lewis participated in the Poultry Evaluation contest, placing 4th as a team, with Buffington ranking 10th individually. The Horse Evaluation team of Sara Duncan, Alyson Franz, Kate Buffington, and Darby Patterson placed first as a team, with Duncan and Patterson placing 1st and 3rd respectively. Through the contest win, the four have earned the privilege to compete in the National FFA Horse Evaluation CDE during National FFA Convention in Louisville, KY. The Jefferson FFA Chapter also placed 3rd in the CDE Sweepstakes rankings, which ranks chapters based upon the collective number of their six highest placing teams.
The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 557,318 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,498 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The National FFA is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The organization operates under a Federal Charter granted by the 81st United States Congress, and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. For more information visit www.ffa.org and wvffa.org, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and FFA Nation.