WHEATLAND – At the last Bulldog basketball game a special surprise was rolled out to Bulldog court. It was the 2019 FFA National Championship banner that Wheatland’s FFA team earned for Farm and Agribusiness Management.
According to Wheatland FFA adviser, Brice McIntosh, “in order to take a team to the National FFA Convention, you must win the state convention. There are 56 chapters in the state of Wyoming, and we compete against all classes. There is no classing teams out 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A. If you want to win, you must beat them all. Four kids set out with a goal to become the state champions of the Wyoming Farm and Agribusiness competition.”
According to McIntosh, they knew it would be tough to do, as the team from Wyoming the year before was crowned National Champions. The kids ended up winning the state contest and decided they needed to up the ante on their goals.
“They wanted to be the first team from the Wheatland FFA to ever be crowned national champions,” McIntosh said. “Months of preparation led up to this with kids coming in after football, volleyball, and even returning home from college to study and learn with me as I drilled them on this contest. The contest is a 300-point exam covering financial statements, budgeting, cash flow planning, marketing, income taxes, investment analysis, risk management, legal land descriptions, and economic principles.”
Each of the four members takes this exam and a good score is 200/300. Cali Moody scored a 233, Todd Paisley a 232, Kobey Preuit a 222, and Danielle Brow a 215. Then, the next day, the kids work as a team for the team activity.
“This basically has them breakdown and analyze all the financial documents of a ranch, as well as a personalized scenario of what they plan to do with it,” McIntosh said. “ie: they have four kids who want to come home and work on it, two are going to college, two are currently working elsewhere... Each year the scenario changes to reflect an actual ranch. These kids have to run a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Opportunities, Weaknesses, and Threats) of the business and then make recommendations as to how they can make their operation better.”
The team activity is out of 300 points and the Wheatland crew scored a 241. Preuit and Paisley flew to Salt Lake City immediately after the contest was over as they had a playoff football game vs. Mountain View the next day.
“All of our kids are committed to everything,” McIntosh said. “They announced the results of our contest at halftime of the Mountain View game and the kids found out for the first time they were named National Champs. Even the Mountain View team and fans gave them a standing ovation as most towns in Wyoming have an FFA chapter and understand how big of an accomplishment this is.”
Each state is only allowed to bring one team who won their state championship to nationals.
“Once I found out we had won, I called parents and we got them new flights to fly back to Indianapolis to join us the next day to walk across the stage and get their National Champion medals,” McIntosh said. “I picked them up at 3:30 a.m., and they were exhausted. Not to overshadow the National Champs, but we had a really good year at state convention that year winning five of our contests, a feat that rarely if ever happens. I took four teams with me to national convention that year. Three of them were inside the top 10 in the nation. Environmental and Natural Resources - 10th, Agronomy- seventh, and Farm and Ranch Business Management- first.”
The fourth team was our Ag Mechanics kids who finished 19th.
“These contests are extremely challenging and hard to win the state level,” he said. “The state of Wyoming is very competitive. Friday night, they surprised us with our National Championship banner, because last year we had COVID, and really didn’t have time to celebrate.”
Congratulations on more impressive hardware for Wheatland High School.