Friday, April 4, the Lecanto High School’s senior Future Farmers of America [FFA] members competed in Sebring, Florida, in the State Land Judging competition. Victory was deep inside their hearts, being on the go for long hours, it was a really well-deserved placement in the standings.
The group finished fourth in the state along with some good individual accomplishments as well. Members of the group also achieved some major milestones in the competition. Sophomore Chalise Brown finished fourth highest individual at the contest overall as well as freshman Brittany Swain who competed as a 4H member and also finished as a top five individual competitor.
Brown was elated over her top finish at the state level.
“I absolutely love FFA, and to finish this high in the standings is a great honor, and I couldn’t have done it without a great teacher and great members supporting me all the way,” said Brown.
With the long drive to Sebring to compete in the state land judging competition, it definitely took a toll on the members for sure. They sold their animals Thursday at the county fair and immediately got on the road to Sebring with little sleep. FFA itself takes immense dedication. Preparing different animals for competition is tedious work and takes a while in order to get top honors at local competitions and top dollar for whatever livestock is being sold.
Many students participate in the FFA program and the 4H club just for the sheer joy of competing in events like this.
“There are always goals I am looking to achieve, and some are more reachable than others. I fell in love with the FFA program, and I couldn’t be luckier to have the people around me. It’s great to see how much I have prospered since middle school,” said junior Gregory Shoemaker.
In events all over the state of Florida, FFA members compete for top honors in multiple categories ranging from cattle and chickens to rabbits and goats. This leaves a lot of room for many ribbons to be distributed. In the land judging competition they judge a little differently. It is judged on their abilities to read and test the soil in order to make wise decisions based on the circumstances, such as irrigation.
“Land judging is quite different from what I normally do when I am raising my animals for show. I like it and it has really opened my eyes into the future of farming and irrigation and I hope I can contribute sometime in the future,” said junior Jordan Quintinella.
Overall the Lecanto FFA club made an impact in the state land judging competition. Their educated knowledge in the field of agriculture paid off when the score cards started rolling in and the results were tallied.
“I am definitely excited about the results, and I think we have even more room to improve and make a bigger statement in next year’s competition with a 1st place finish,” said freshman Casey Mayes.