WHEATLAND – The Wheatland FFA Team traveled to Indianapolis, Ind. for the 92nd annual National FFA Convention. They competed in four of the five teams they qualified for at the Wyoming State Convention held last April. The categories they competed in were Farm and Ranch Business Management, Agronomy, Environmental and Natural Resources and Agricultural Technology and Mechanical Systems. The Farm and Ranch Business Management team won the national championship title. The leader of the group is Wheatland High School agriculture teacher Brice McIntosh.
The full team includes students who have left for college, but they are still encouraged to compete with their home team as freshmen in college. They study for countless hours whenever they are able, going late into the evenings and weekends sometimes. Traveling to nationals gives them the opportunity to be part of the enormous mass of young people all wearing the signature “blue corduroy jacket” that has been around since the 1930s.
“Several people came up and asked if Wyoming was even a state,” said senior Loren Mann with exasperation.
Although it was difficult to build relationships with kids from other states with the packed schedule, the team gained insight and experience.
“Every team member learned something new about their event,” explained Brock Tamlin. “It’s really great how our vocational and FFA program has grown in just the past five years. Now we have national teams.”
“We’re all very grateful to Mr. Mcintosh everything he did to get us there,” said Jodie Stevenson. “It takes an awful lot of knowledge on his part to teach so many different teams.
McIntosh talked about how kid’s attitudes has a lot of impact on a teacher.
“If they really want to work it inspires me to be a better teacher,” he relayed. “I want the kids to know that they can achieve greatness. They sometimes don’t know what they want, but maybe I can help them find it.”
The team qualified for the Livestock Judging division at state, but would have had to split up the other teams to compete at nationals so McIntosh elected to pull out of Nationals for that category. They will be competing in livestock and meat judging for the upcoming Denver Stock Show instead.
Results compiled by Brock Tamlin, Wheatland FFA Chapter Reporter
The Farm and Ranch Business Management CDE (Career Development Event) Team claimed the national title for the 2019 National Farm and Ranch Business Management CDE Championship. The members of this team all earned gold emblem metals including Cali Moody (4th), Todd Paisley (5th), Kobey Preuit (12th), and Danielle Brow (16th). This is an extremely difficult contest to win, and these members along with their Advisor Mr. Brice McIntosh put in countless hours to achieve this title. In this contest, members must know how to run agricultural budgets, understand the ins and outs of an agricultural operation, and demonstrate sound financial practices. Each team member along with the advisor was awarded a $1,000 scholarship.
The Agronomy CDE Team placed 7th at nationals, earning a gold emblem for the team. This team’s individual standings were as follows: Janaye Hershey (31st) earned a gold emblem, Kye Hicks (34th) earned a gold emblem, Jodie Stevenson (37th) earned a gold emblem, and Keegan Meyer (51st) earned a silver emblem. This contest is very competitive and requires large amounts of memorized material. This contest deals with the production process of agricultural crops. This year’s achievements of the 7th place national team is the highest the Wheatland FFA Chapter has ever earned.
The Environmental and Natural Resources CDE Team placed 10th, earning the team a gold emblem. The members of this team individually placed as follows: Loren Mann (6th) earning a gold emblem, Rett Cotterman (71st) earning a silver emblem, Drake Amundson (75th) earning a silver emblem, Jake Hicks (120th) earning a silver emblem, alongside their coach Mr. Jerimy Fox. Loren Mann was the 6th high individual and received a $600 scholarship. This contest involves environmental issues in agriculture and management practices. This is the first time that the Wheatland FFA Chapter has ever competed in this contest at the national level.
The Agricultural Technology and Mechanical Systems CDE Team placed 19th, earning the team a silver emblem. The members of this team include Curtis Nickle (42nd) earning a gold emblem, Stetson Griffis (61st) earning a silver emblem, Brock Tamlin (79th) earning a silver emblem, and Hunter Metz (101st) earning a silver emblem. This contest covers systems for electrical, structural, environmental, hydraulic, and small gas engines. This team was awarded a welder for achievements in the structural portion of the contest.