FFA students attend an “Agritunity” at the Sumter County Fairgrounds

Freshman Evy Poulis shows her support for FFA in the school cafeteria. (Photo: Ellis)

Freshman Evy Poulis shows her support for the AG Mechanics team in the school cafeteria. (Photo: Ellis)

The Sumter County Fairgrounds hosts many different things, like swap meets, corral car shows, and the annual Sumter County fair. Last Wednesday and Thursday, however, the Sumter County Fairgrounds hosted Agritunity, which is an event that includes large equipment and livestock displays.

The Lecanto High School Agriculture [AG] Mechanics’ team attended Agritunity Thursday, Jan. 24, just like they do every year.

“Agriunity is the district contest for FFA,” explained agriscience teacher Steven Richardson.

Agritunity is a conference and trade show for farmers, ranchers, and anybody else interested in the agriculture life. It is there that people can meet suppliers and learn how to start or change an agricultural operation. People can also go on a farm tour from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There were also a couple of competitions.

“We have a tractor driver competing and an AG Mechanics team competing,” Richardson said. “We practiced for several weeks.”

There was an intricate amount of work that the AG Mechanics team needed to complete.

“There is a written test with a substantial amount of general knowledge for agricultural mechanics – everything from hydraulics to masonry,” said Richardson.

The team had an elaborate lab exercise competition as well.

“The agricultural mechanics team had to work as a group with a given assignment. They were given a design and had to construct a shipping crate that could ship 200 pounds of merchandise. They were using government quality blueprints,” Richardson said.

The tractor driving competition was a fun time, and Lecanto’s driver missed first by just a little.

“Our tractor driver lost,” said Richardson. “There were three drivers, and he took second.”

The top 10 AG Mechanics teams that participated will go to the state finals.

“If they go to states, they have to take another general knowledge test and a four-hour lab exercise,” explained Richardson.