The yearly Future Farmers of America (FFA) state competition was postponed a few weeks and virtual, but students from Lehi High School managed to get first place wins despite the altered format and not meeting in person in the weeks leading up to the competition.
“We have some of the best kids in the state. The culture and community of Lehi has changed from mainly agriculture and farms to more of an emphasis on technology,” explained Lisa Clement, FFA adviser and agriculture teacher at Willowcreek Middle School and Lehi High School. “I like to teach the kids that ag is not dying, just changing. They are stepping up and learning and adapting to the changes.” In the past, FFA focused on being in the field and on the farm. Today, the program has incorporated pharmaceuticals, GPS, and other technology behind the business of agriculture.
“There are great opportunities for scholarships in FFA. We’re not afraid to push the kids and they work really hard, coming in after school, during Pride Time, and even on Saturdays,” said Clement.
This year, the Lehi FFA Chapter Ag. Marketing Plan Team, Ashley Gonzalez, Colton Evans, and Talia Linford won first place in the state with their FFA Marketing Plan presentation. They have participated in National FFA Marketing Plan CDE (Career Development Events) during the school year to practice and sharpen skills. The team presented a marketing plan that consisted of a market analysis and a business proposal that included things like goals, target audience, promotion, and pricing for an agricultural product.
The Agricultural Education Career Development Event (CDE) at the state convention is to enable FFA members to explore the career field of agricultural education. Lehi High School’s Shelby Allison took first place in the state for her presentation in Agriculture Education. She was awarded a $500 scholarship to Utah State University, in addition to a variety of USU swag and paraphernalia.
“It was harder for all of us this year because we love meeting people at state. I was nervous about not getting to interact with the judges. I had to send in my book and hope for the best,” said Shelby. She was notified by her adviser, Clement, that the winners were about to be announced online, so Shelby watched it with a friend. “It was strange to hear my name and not be there. I was excited, but it was a little anticlimactic,” Shelby remembered. FFA is a big part of the high school experience for Shelby and the other members of the chapter. “We spend lots of time on it and I feel like it’s affected me in a positive way. I’ve learned a good work ethic, how to communicate better, and I love the support and positive atmosphere of FFA.”
On Monday, June 22, the Lehi FFA Chapter was notified of even more winners for the National FFA Agriscience Fair, which recognizes students who gain real-world, hands-on experiences in agricultural enterprises. Students use scientific principles and emerging technologies to solve complex problems related to agriculture, food, and natural resources.
First place state winners from the Lehi FFA Chapter:
Division 2 (7-8 grade) in Animal Systems, Tate Taylor and Kody Townsend
Division 4 (9-10 grade) in Animal Systems, Jessie Ellsworth and Emily Brown
Division 6 (11-12 grade) in Environmental and Natural Resource Systems, Ali Johnson and Holly LaRose
Division 4 (9-10 grade) in Food Products and Processing Systems, Kaedynn Allen and Aspen Conover
Division 4 (9-10 grade) in Plant Systems, Jennifer Webb and Lilly Larson
Division 6 (11-12 grade) in Social Systems, Shelby Allison and Morgan Busk
Second place state winners from the Lehi FFA Chapter:
Division 6 (11-12 grade) in Food Products and Processing Systems, Talia Linford and Colton Evans
Third place state winners from the Lehi FFA Chapter:
Division 6 (11-12 grade) in Plant Systems, Melanie Dajany and Kasie Olsen
“As an Ag. Ed. adviser, I’m promoting safe practices and teaching kids how agriculture impacts their daily life. Everyone is affected in one way or another by agriculture,” said Clement.