Carson Valley FFA heads to state convention
March 16, 2016
Masses of blue corduroy jackets will flood the University of Nevada, Reno March 22-26 as the 2016 Nevada State Future Farmers of America State Convention gets underway.
Douglas High School will be represented by nearly two dozen competitors ranging from three-year veterans to novices.
"I am taking a fantastic group of kids to state," FFA advisor Robin Futch said. "I am excited because of their achievements and their hard work. Their excitement fuels my excitement. Every time one of them brings it up I just burst. It makes my day when things get tough and these guys come in excited about what they're doing."
The 22 students will compete in nine of the state events at the UNR.
For senior Hannah Forbes, preparing for state is nothing new, this being her third time attending and competing.
"Getting ready for state is always stressful," the Carson Valley FFA chapter president said. "We are always competing in some way whether it be at sectionals or preparing during a practicum. It is also fun to help get the first year kids ready to go for competition. Seeing those kids that you helped at the bottom come up to the top at a pretty tough competition is great."
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Hannah will be competing in veterinary medicine, which includes identification and hands-on competitions that can be applied to the field of work.
With her sights set on a pre-med degree at UNR next year, Hannah enjoys meeting like-minded people at state.
"FFA really is like a big family," she said. "You get to learn a lot about the people who are on your team and in your chapter. At state you also get to know people from all over the state. It is neat to see how other people interpret their preparation for state as well as see how their FFA program works. Being around people who are interested in the same things as you is always great."
Also falling into a state comfort zone is fellow senior Jose Vincente-Garcia.
Jose has his sights set on taking a higher position on the winner's stand this year.
"Last year our team got fourth place overall in environmental and natural resources," he said. "As the team leader this year we are planning to get a better place. We've got really great team work and have a lot of fun. Plus, I am not nervous like I was last year. This year I know I just have to go in there, have fun and do my best."
Also looking to pursue an agricultural-related field encouraged by FFA is senior Connor Billman.
This year is Connor's second year competing at state, this year taking on a different competition.
"I am moving from dairy to milk evaluation, which has been a fairly easy transition," he said. "I had no idea I was going to like this so much. State is also a blast because the competition is so good. It really pushes you and challenges you."
Although state newbie Christina Munoz is not exactly competing, preparation for the five-day event is still stressful.
"I am on the nominating committee and we have to select our state officers," the junior said. "I am nervous. There is a lot of pressure when it comes to finding that new leader to represent our state."
Each candidate will present on a different topic and the committee will score each speaker based on a rubric.
"We have to make sure that we're scoring each person fairly and that we research each topic so that we understand what they are discussing," she said. "I have been in FFA for two years. There is so much diversity and so many opportunities to reach out and help the community. Helping other people is always really fun."
The state convention runs March 22-26 at UNR.
The group will be joined by former students turned coaches Anna Lekumberry and Rachael Godecke.