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Central Virginia FFA Team Wins At National Conference

[ 0 ] November 13, 2013 |
Photo Courtesy of Nelson FFA: The entire Nelson County Convention delegation at the recent National Future Farmers of American convention held in Louisville, KY. Some members of the delegation placed first in the nation.

Photo Courtesy of Nelson FFA: The entire Nelson County delegation at the recent National Future Farmers of American convention held in Louisville, KY. Some members of the delegation placed first in the nation.

Louisville, KY – Nelson County, VA
Special the BRL By Ed McCann Sr. – NCHS

Several Members of the Nelson Senior FFA were recognized at the National FFA convention in Louisville, Kentucky.  The convention was attended by over 63,000 FFA members, advisors, and guests from across the 50 states including the territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

While at the Convention the Nelson Senior FFA competed in the National FFA Forestry Judging and the National Meat Evaluation and Technology Career Development Events in Louisville Kentucky. 

The National Meat Evaluation and Technology sponsors from Cargill International Corporation  left to right Mr. Ed McCann FFA advisor, team coach, Jenny Elgin, Ben Fitzgerald, Zach Phillips, Phillip Saunders, national sponsor from Caregill International.

The National Meat Evaluation and Technology sponsors from Cargill International Corporation left to right Mr. Ed McCann FFA advisor, team coach, Jenny Elgin, Ben Fitzgerald, Zach Phillips, Phillip Saunders, national sponsor from Caregill International.

The Nelson Senior FFA Meat Evaluation and Technology team competed against 42 other state winning teams from across the nation.  One Hundred and sixty four students competed in the event. The team placed 3rd in the entire nation.  Ben Fitzgerald earned a gold medal and placed 14th, Zach Phillips earned a gold medal and placed 16th Phillip Saunders earned a gold medal and placed 23rd, and Jenny Elgin earned silver medal and placed 63rd.  This is the highest rating a Nelson County FFA Meat Evaluation and Technology team has ever achieved in the 59 years of Nelson County FFA history.

The National FFA Meats Technology and Evaluation CDE is a competitive event that tests students’ skills and competencies in evaluating and identifying meat carcasses and products.  Event components include a general knowledge exam; beef carcass evaluation; identification of wholesale and retail cuts of beef, lamb, and pork; quality and yield grading of beef carcasses; a team meat merchandising event; and solving of a meat formulation problem.  The Nelson County High school team has competed and won in the state contest in late March, in Blacksburg on the campus of VA Tech.  This gave them the privilege of representing Nelson County and Virginia at the National FFA Convention & Expo. The event was held at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., is one of many educational activities at the National FFA Convention & Expo in which FFA members apply classroom knowledge to real-life situations.

The national forestry team being recognised on the main convention stage at Freedom Hall as the national champions L-R  Mr. Ed McCann, FFA advisor, Jesse Carter, Zach Barnes, Jamie Conner, and Jack Taggart

The national forestry team being recognised on the main convention stage at Freedom Hall as the national champions L-R Mr. Ed McCann, FFA advisor, Jesse Carter, Zach Barnes, Jamie Conner, and Jack Taggart

The Nelson Senior FFA Forestry judging team placed 1st in the Nation while competing against 40 other state winning teams from across the nation. Over 160 students competed in the contest.

The forestry judging event is sponsored by Husqvarna and John Deere as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

The National FFA Forestry Career Development Event is a competitive event that tests students’ skills and knowledge in the area of forest management. Event components include a general forest knowledge exam, tree identification, timber cruising, tree/forest disorders identification, a chainsaw practicum, forestry issues interview, surveying, wood product Identification, forestry tool and equipment identification, and a team activity.

The Nelson Senior FFA team competed in, and won, the local, regional and state levels, of competition earning them the right and privilege of representing Nelson County and Virginia at the National FFA Convention & Expo.

This shot was taken immediately after the awards dinner with gift axes from Husqvarna Corporation on Friday night.  Left - right Ed McCann, advisor and coach, Jesse Carter, Zach Barnes, Jack Taggart, Jamie Carter, National Sponsor representative from Husqvarna, National Sponsor representative from John Deere.

This shot was taken immediately after the awards dinner with gift axes from Husqvarna Corporation on Friday night. Left – right Ed McCann, advisor and coach, Jesse Carter, Zach Barnes, Jack Taggart, Jamie Conner, National Sponsor representative from Husqvarna, National Sponsor representative from John Deere.

The event was held at Bernheim Forest in Clermont, Ky., is one of many educational activities at the national convention in which FFA members apply classroom knowledge to real-life situations.

Jack Taggart was first in the national contest earning a gold medal. Jamie Conner was second in the nation and earned a gold medal; Zach Barnes was 19th in the nation and earned a gold medal.  Jesse Carter was 43rd and earned a Gold medal.

This is the first time an FFA team from Nelson County has won a national contest in the 59 year history of the school.  This is also the first time a team from Nelson County High school has won a true national contest.  The team was also the first state forestry team made up of all freshmen when they won the state contest in May of this year. This was the only team from Virginia that won one of the 24 national FFA contests.  They were also one of the youngest teams to compete in the national contest.

While in Louisville the Nelson County High school FFA chapter was recognized in the 2013 National chapter awards program.  The program recognizes outstanding FFA chapters from throughout the country that successfully complete activities that encourage the members to grow as individuals, work as a team and serve others in their community.

Ms. Emma Saunders, the Nelson Senior FFA chapter vice president, was honored with a bronze rating in the national FFA proficiency award program for her work in the area of diversified crop production.

Congrats to everyone!

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