Eleven students from the Warwick Future Farmers of America (FFA) competed in the New York State FFA Convention in Rochester, NY in May. Several of these students began their competition in March when they competed on the district level. They advanced their way by earning high rankings at both the district and sub-state levels of competition.
These students included Erin Ackerly, Ava Browne, John Ruszkiewicz, and the Parliamentary Procedure Team. The Parliamentary Procedure team placed first at the convention and earned the honor of competing at the National FFA Convention, which will be held from Wed., Oct. 24 to Sat., Oct. 27 in Indianapolis, IN.
Erin Ackerly, Ciara Browne, Tyler Flood, Catherine King, and Olivia Parkin worked together as voting and debating members of the team. Alex Ronne served as the chair of the team. All team members are given a card with the main motion for the meeting and required motions that they need to use to complete this business and bring the motion to a conclusion. Team members are also responsible for taking written exams both individually and as a team.
Erin Ackerly placed in the top six in the Employment Skills Career Development Event. She completed a phone interview, a job application, a cover letter, and an interview. These skills will help her as she continues to prepare for a career in the field of agricultural marketing.
Ava Browne placed third in the Junior Prepared Public Speaking Career Development Event. She spoke of her involvement in and her life on her small family farm. Browne shared her passion for working with her chickens, raising grass-fed beef cows, and harvesting corn with her older sisters. She hopes to add more information to her speech and compete again next year.
John Ruszkiewicz placed in the top six in the People in Agriculture Career Development Event on the state level. For this event, he made a poster highlighting careers in the six major divisions of the agricultural industry: animal science, plant science, agricultural business, agricultural mechanics, natural resources, and leadership. He wrote and presented a summary of a career as an onion farmer.
Olivia Parkin was elected to the office of the New York State FFA Sentinel. In May, Olivia spoke to and was interviewed by a nominating committee who selected her for this office. She will travel throughout New York State and other areas of the United States representing the agricultural industry and agricultural education. Olivia also received her Empire Degree, the highest degree that the New York State FFA Association can bestow upon its members.
The Junior Quiz Bowl team of Kyla Breen, Olivia Fauchere and Aiden Hamilton placed third in the state. This event requires students to be the first to hit a buzzer and correctly answer questions related to the FFA and the agricultural industry. These three students hope to compete again next year and earn an even higher ranking in this competition.
The Warwick Valley FFA was established in 1941 and is an integral part of the Agricultural Education Department in the Warwick Valley High School. The FFA teaches student leadership skills in the areas of public speaking and team events, and exposes students to agricultural enterprises both locally, in New York, and in various locations in the United States.
For more information about the FFA contact advisors Nancy Colgan or Michelle Ehlers at the high school or visit www.ffa.org.