The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Big Sandy brings home awards from State FFA


April 17, 2019

FFA members receiving FFA degrees l to r: Grace Finke, Georgia Wortman, Bailey Gasvoda, Tyler Schwarzbach, and Erin Taylor.

Layne Taylor, Ag teacher and FFA advisor said, "I am so proud of our Big Sandy FFA kids. They are so respectful and delightful. They represent our chapter and community so we'll. I am excited to celebrate and share some of their successes. Our Agronomy team placed 5th, with Erin Taylor placing 10th, and Katherine Bold placing 13th. Our Farm Business Management team placed 9th, with Hope Gasvoda leading the team placing 11th. Finally, our Livestock Judging team placed 13th. We had 5 members receive their State FFA degree. And Bailey Gasvoda was selected (as one of three from the state) and spent hours on the interview committee for the new state FFA officer team."

State FFA/SAE (Supervised Agriculture Experience) degrees are a big deal. It takes years to accomplish them. To further explain the programs available to and appropriate for students of school-based agricultural education the following are examples: Ownership/Entrepreneurship, Placement/Internship, Research, Exploratory, School-Based Enterprise, and Service-Learning.

"We've had a good year. It's been success. We have some really bright kids. Our past instructor was better at Farm Business Management then I am. I give credit where credit is due. I have a great Jr. High class." Besides taking three teams to state the Jr High won Ag mechanics at districts Taylor said. At state, they competed against all schools including AA schools. Kalispell had over 350 kids there, and Big Sandy had 20 kids competing which makes their accomplishment mean so much more.

He is really glad they moved to Big Sandy and said, "I can't tell you how refreshing it is to be in Big Sandy. I'll tell ya, it's the staff and the kids that make a school. I haven't heard so many thank you, the kids are so polite here." He also mentioned families volunteer to help the program and at state the "Rutledge's helped the whole week. I really appreciated them."

The biggest challenge the FFA has right now is funding their own programs, as they

receive nothing from the school's activities funds. For that reason, they are bringing in Donkey

Basketball again to raise funds for next year. So, on April 30, it would be a great time for all of us to laugh together and give a donation to help support the FFA.

Taylor mentioned Andrea Rutledge retired as a state officer, and "She brings so much energy and excitement" to her own home school. "Her address was awesome. She was one of our own. She is a rock star on stage".

Actually, any student involved with FFA is a rock star! "If you eat, you need agriculture. If you wear clothes, you need agriculture. If you take medicine, live in a house or write with a pencil, you need agriculture." A quote from Jalyn Ryan, 2015 Virginia Teacher of the Year


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