Winnemucca FFA attended state convention at UNR on March 18-22. The team competed in many events.
“There are multiple events that you can compete in, and they’re called CTE, career development events,” said junior, Makayla Leveille. “For example, I compete in vet science and floriculture...through CTE’s you learn a bunch of different life skills. Say for a vet, if that’s something you’re interested in, you get to learn a lot about it.”
Every student’s goal at state convention is to place highly and advance to Nationals.
“If you place for individual at state for top three, you get a plaque and you get to be recognized,” said Leveille. “They also do plaques for top three teams, but if you place first high team, then you get to go to Nationals which is in Indianapolis. That’s just a huge competition and it's so much fun. I went last year in October, and it’s just an incredible experience.”
Lowry’s team of 27 competed against more than 580 other students. Many of the contests had over 100 students competing, and the competition was stiff.
“It’s actually pretty intense because you never know how hard the other teams are working,” said Leveille. “You just have to be on top of your game, otherwise you could get left in the dust.”
Despite the difficult opponents, Lowry’s Agricultural issues team took 1st place. Their presentation is posted as a live feed on the Winnemucca FFA facebook page.
“In Ag issues, they basically get to choose any ag-related issue, so they chose the relationship between the greater sage grouse and cattle ranchers,” said Leveille.“They had about 10-15 minutes to present their topic, and then they had a panel of judges asking them questions. They don’t get to prep for the questions ahead of time, so they were just kind of whatever the judge felt. When they won, they had to present the topic in front of everyone. It was just exciting to see how hard they worked and how all of their hard work paid off.”
They will also be attending Nationals in the fall.
“There are so many kids that compete at nationals, I think just the fact that you get to meet so many different people from so many different places is really an amazing experience,” said Leveille. “I know state’s like high intensity, but Nationals is a whole nother level. Once you compete at that level, you can know what to expect for next year, so that can help you with your other events.”
Senior Weston Noyes was also elected State FFA Vice President for the 2019-2020 year.
“Being a state officer is a huge honor,” said Leveille. “They are the ones that hold the state conferences throughout the year. They’ll travel to different schools and just kind of do workshops and interactive activities with different people from different areas of Nevada.”
Lowry’s nursery and landscape high team took 2nd. Douglass Bartell was 2nd High Individual, Heather Hall 7th and Heath Hall 13th. Milk quality High team came in 3rd, with Noyes and Ashton Kalkoske tied for high 5th individual. The Floriculture team ranked 8th high team. The Ag Sales team came in 6th high team and Noyes in 14th High Individual. The Ag Mechanics Novice was 5th High Team, Heath Hall taking novice 8th High Individual. Meats Evaluation placed 5th High Team. Taylie Hoyt was 12th High Individual. Poultry Evaluation took 7th High Team, and Grant Hill was 1st High Individual. Vet Science Novice came in 4th High Team, Katherine Koestner 11th High Individual. Vet Science Senior placed 4th High Team. Individually, Kalkoske 13th, Leveille 14th and Alison Aitken 15th.