Virtual FFA meet

Sutherlin FFA’s nursery/landscape team practice virtually. From top to bottom: Libby Whited, Katie Price, Shyla Hunt, Sterling Foster, Marissa Magaña.

In the past few weeks, local FFA members and chapters competed at several district and state level career development events. Due to coronavirus guidelines all competitions were held virtually through online platforms.

Umpqua FFA members competed in floriculture and meats at the district level along with nursery/landscape, floriculture, ag issues, extemporaneous public speaking and envirothon state level events.

Sutherlin and Oakland FFA Members competed in the state nursery/landscape virtual competition. Participants are asked to identify diseases/pests, common plants and equipment, as well as complete a knowledge test and math practicum.

Sutherlin placed first in state and Oakland finished third.

“I enjoyed the experience of the state nursery/landscape CDE,” sophomore Kaybie Rutledge, who placed in the top 10, said. “This virtual CDE really helped me learn the skills of diligence, integrity, and perseverance. Now I feel as if I can apply those important skills to my everyday life.”

Participants in “Extemporaneous Speaking” organize a binder of 30 different topics given to them and write a speech based off of one of these topics. They are given 30 minutes to prepare a 4-6 minute speech on the topic they drew. Nolan Carson from Sutherlin, participated in this competition by preparing and presenting their speech online and placed first statewide.

The structure of the meat science and evaluation CDE was consistent with previous years through the online setting. The competition consists of evaluating beef, pork, and lamb to determine the meat’s tastiness and quality. To do this, members determine what cut of meat the sample is and where that specific cut came from. They also rank animal carcasses first to last based on animal fat and capacity.

Both the beginning and advanced teams from Sutherlin placed first in their division, with Oakland FFA placing second in the district meats CDE.

Unlike the meat evaluation competition, the floriculture CDE structure looked much different than in previous years. Members competing in the floriculture competition carefully judge corsages, boutonnieres and dish gardens, creating advertisements along with taking a general knowledge test. Additionally, members took part in identifying flowers, diseases and tools all through the virtual platform.

Oakland FFA took first place with Sutherlin FFA following in second place and Elkton FFA in third.

Sutherlin sophomore Sidney Williams said, “It changed me because I like doing things the old fashioned way, most of the time, and having to change to online was new and proved that sometimes it’s okay to do things differently than normal. If FFA and Mr. Crawford have taught me something, it’s to adapt and overcome, which really helped me in this situation.”

State Nursery/Landscape Teams — 1. Sutherlin; 3. Oakland.

State Floriculture Teams — 1. Oakland; 2. Sutherlin; 3. Elkton.

Katie Price is the reporter for Sutherlin FFA.

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