National convention

GMD: Laurel FFA is growing, on the way to the national convention

LAUREL, Del. – Good Morning Delmarva shines a light on a local high school’s FFA program and how their commitment to developing their agriculture department earned them a spot at the FFA National Convention.

Agriculture is a core industry in Delaware, and according to the USDA, Delaware ranks first nationally in the value of agricultural sales per farmland. “I think agriculture will be a big part of my life,” says Lisa Masly, a senior at Laurel High School. Entering second grade, Kassidy Hearn also echoed the importance of agriculture.

This is why the promotion of agricultural education in schools is so important according to teachers and professors. “Students learn the necessary skills they need to succeed in the industry and how to work with other people. This year we have had students participate in a variety of career development events or competitions, helping to prepare our students for their future. For example, the students participated in agricultural sales, which taught them how to sell agricultural products and understand the importance of customer service and public speaking,” says Sydney Simmons, professor of agriculture at Laurel High School. Matt Wood, the school’s other agriculture teacher, shared, “Our job is to educate not just our students, but everyone we come in contact with, about agriculture, FFA and its importance.”

Laurel High School has historically had a smaller FFA program. However, through the tireless efforts of teachers, professors, students, and the community, it has become bigger than they could have imagined. “This year we’re starting animal science, which we didn’t have before. This path will be added to our current path in plant science. We are now branching out to have animals in the classroom; we currently have rabbits and chickens. By adding the Animal Science program, as well as the continuation of our greenhouse, hydroponics, aquaponics, raised beds and garden projects, students will have many opportunities to explore their passion for agriculture,” says Ms. Simmons and Mr Wood. Hearn adds, “Ag is something I want to do in the future and go to college for; I knew being in FFA through high school would help prepare me. Additionally, Wood added that “By providing students with experiential or hands-on learning opportunities, we prepare them for both college and a career. Whether or not students choose to pursue an education in agriculture after high school, the skills learned in our class and program are transferable.

The ability to expand came from the work done by the students throughout the school year, especially at the Delaware State Fair. “We spent many hours preparing for the fair, including the competitions we entered. I participated in the dairy evaluation competition and I did not expect to do as well as us. I was surprised when our school was ranked first,” says Kate Roy, a new junior at Laurel High School.

Thanks to their hard work, the Laurel High FFA Chapter will represent both Laurel and Delaware at the Horse Evaluation, Dairy Evaluation and Marketing Plan Career Development events at the FFA National Convention. . Students will travel to the convention taking place in Indianapolis, Indiana to compete against schools from across the United States. Around 60,000 FFA members will be present. “It feels good to be able to represent Delaware at

at the national level, says Masly. Going into the second year, Haley Deiter adds: “Especially since we are such a small state, representing a small farming community.”

As teams prepare for national championships, some members are excited about the opportunities available at convention. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in leadership workshops, attend xxpo where they will meet hundreds of colleges and agribusinesses, and visit various farms.

As Laurel Middle & High School prepares 16 students to compete in the FFA National Convention, everyone involved tells 47 ABC they’re just happy to be part of a group that’s passionate about the same things. Hearn says, “I have met many great people through FFA, like Mr. Wood and Ms. Simmons, my FFA advisors, and because of those people and experiences, I am excited and will be ready for my future in the world. ‘agriculture.

The 95th FFA National Convention and Exhibition will take place from October 26 to 29.

Categories: Hello Delmarva, Local News