Two Mitchell FFA teams earn state wins
Behind the strength of three seniors on each team, two teams representing the Mitchell High School Future Farmers of America chapter took first place at the State FFA Convention in Brookings earlier this week.
Teams in the career development categories of Food Science and Technology and the Nursery/Landscape team won their respective competitions and will represent the school at the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky., in October.
The Food Science and Technology team is made up of seniors Logan Walters, Shelly Iburg and Jenna Skinner, along with sophomore Ally Goldammer. Seniors Kylee Geppert, Abby Repenning, Andrew Getty and junior Kaley Nolz made up the first-place Nursery/Landscape team.
Mitchell FFA Adviser Jeff Hoffman said that experience of competing in previous events had those teams ready for a strong performance at state.
"These two teams have been good for the last few years and this was their chance to really show how well they could do," Hoffman said Wednesday.
The Food Science and Technology team completes tasks such as food product development, sensory recognition of spices and recognizing potential kitchen and food safety hazards. Nursery/Landscape scoring includes identifying plants that would be used in landscaping projects based on twigs with buds or leaves, identifying landscaping tools and problem solving off of a landscape plan scenario. Both categories include a written test as part of scoring.
The first-place team from each state represents the state membership at nationals. Because the FFA year spans the 2014 calendar year, those students who have graduated from Mitchell High School will have the opportunity to participate in their events, even though they've moved on from MHS.
On the individual side of the competition, Mitchell senior Drew McDonald won the Natural Resource competition, while Mitchell freshman Hailey Axemaker took home first-place honors in the Veterinary Science event. Three other teams — Natural Resources, Veterinary Science and Milk Quality and Products — placed second at the state convention.
"We had five teams finish in the top two in their category," Hoffman said. "We're pretty proud of that."
The school had 35 competitors in nine different competitions at the state convention.
Around the area, McCook Central High School recorded a first-place team finish at state in the Dairy Cattle category and will be eligible for a trip to nationals. Students Anne Mayrose, Cole Schock, Sarah Schoon and Branden Stone led the team to the top finish.