FFA Brings Home Win After State Competition

Taylor Robertshaw

FFA Convention croppedPhoto Courtesy of Urbana FFA

Not many people know that the Urbana Hawks Future Farmers of America club members brought home the win in the recent State competition over the summer. Lead by their mentor and teacher Mrs. Tonjia Mayne, the group placed more than half a dozen times individually and as a team.

As President of the chapter, Jessica Corazza placed 1st in the extemporaneous public speaking category which includes presenting a time kept speech addressing a current agricultural topic. Corazza felt she “nailed” the preliminary round of questions but was less-confident when asked about hydroponics (growing plants in water). Competing against 18 other members she still managed to come out on top. In addition to the club, Corazza shows goats at the Great Frederick Fair and has one 1st in showmanship and reserved champion in both the doe and meat goat categories. Her favorite goat’s name is Buttercup.

Vice president Mindy Dottellis competed in the agricultural issues category which is a group involved performance of a skit-like presentation. Her team included Corazza, and juniors Emily Pearson, Emma Ridgeway and Serena Wisner. The team competed against 5 other teams and placed 2nd. As for the club this year Dottellis hopes for more members and activities to benefit agriculture.

Junior Secretary Jaela McKeever who competed in the job interview category, also known as a mock interview, believes the Hawks club involves “more of a union than sports teams” and enjoyed socializing with the other chapters at the event.

Junior Emma Ridgeway, treasurer of the FFA chapter, was a part of the agricultural issues team and said they “did really well for our first year” with their second place win. One of Ridgeway’s favorite memories included playing a casual game of Frisbee at the convention and how “everybody talks to everybody.”

Junior club member Brook Hersey competed in veterinary science and enjoyed completing the hands on procedures. Hersey enjoyed meeting new people at the convention and believes there should be more volunteer work and fundraising included in the club for her junior and senior membership.

Agricultural issues competitor Emily Pearson wants to become a future officer and believes the club is both a good and fun experience.

Out of 67 members competing around the state, senior Sammy Whittaker placed 11th in veterinary science. Whittaker believed it was an “overall cool experience” and plans to continue her membership in FFA if her college has an established chapter.

Last but not least is vet science competitor Cassidy Hedrick who’s strongest area of the contest was identifying parasites and different kinds of species. Hedrick also found the general sessions of hanging out with music and dancing before the competition very fun. She likes being a part of the club because the group is “pretty close and very friendly.”

The veterinary science team of the Urbana chapter placed 1st in the state convention and will be traveling to Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky, in October.

Club teacher Mrs. Mayne said “It is rewarding to see the students hard work paying off” and that she is “super happy for them”. Mayne was confident going into the convention because she knew her team was prepared from plenty of practice.

President Corazza wants more members in the club and told interested members to “join FFA even if you don’t want to be a farmer.”