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FFA competes at state fair

Buckingham County Middle School (BCMS) FFA had 65 students attend the State Fair of Virginia.

The Educational Exposition at the fair is designed to educate youth about all the commonwealth has to offer in a setting unlike any other. “Virginia’s Largest Outdoor Classroom” provides students an opportunity to experience agriculture, history, technology and natural resources firsthand.

In addition to all the exhibits at the fair, students in Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes had the chance to showcase what they have learned by competing with other schools through the SkillsUSA program.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.

Nine BCMS students were a part of the competition at the recent state fair. These agriculture students competed in Forestry Field Day. The team events included two-man crosscut saw, water accuracy, pulpwood log toss, log rolling, and cutting a log with a bow saw. The team placed seventh overall. Team members included Hunter Branch, Ethan Martin, Jake Carter, Gavin Dunkum, Andrew Dorrier, Avery Schaeffer, Briane Slape and Taylor Duncan.

BCMS also had two teams participate in the Junior Foresters event held at the fair. The Junior Foresters team A included members Hunter Branch, Jake Carter, Ethan Martin and Andrew Dorrier. Team B included Taylor Duncan, Gavin Dunkum, Gabriela Mongdragon and Joseph Love. The event, run by the Virginia Department of Forestry, tests students’ knowledge and skills in a variety of activities. Participants had to identify trees from leaf samples, identify disease and insect problems, and identify the tools used in the forest industry as well as measuring trees to determine lumber volume and estimating land area.

Olivia Cummings and Sydney Oliver also participated in the Agricultural Demonstration competition on the junior level. Contestants performed demonstration topics that dealt with agriculture within any of the following areas: plant and soil science, animal science, agricultural marketing & agricultural business, natural resources management & environmental science, and agricultural engineering. Following the demonstrations, contestants answered questions about their topics. Cummings and Sydney performed a demonstration on how to cut a dog or cat’s toenails.

Emily Long and Jenna Oliver participated in the Horticultural Demonstration competition. Contestants performed demonstration topics that dealt with fruits, vegetables, nuts, flowers, ornamental plants, and turf within any of the following areas: crop production or soil management, crop marketing or preparation for storage and exhibition, food preparation, floral material preservation, artistic arrangement or landscaping. Following the demonstrations, contestants answered questions about their topics. Long and Jenna performed a demonstration on how to make asexual stem cuttings from a vine.

Dorrier also participated in the Agriscience Research Poster Contest held at the fair. The Agriscience Fair is an opportunity for students interested in scientific principles and emerging technologies in the agricultural industry. The Agriscience Fair gives students a chance to display agriscience projects that represent original scientific research in one of the following areas: animal systems, environmental services/natural resources, food products and processing, plant systems, and power systems and social systems. Dorrier’s research on the germination rates of treated corn seed versus untreated corn seed placed second at the junior level.

BCMS also had a team compete in the FFA/4H Horse Hippology contest. The contest consisted of three phases. First phase was horse judging where contestants placed two halter classes and two performances. The second phase was an examination where they identified equine breeds, health conditions, conformation faults, color, color patterns, anatomy, disciplines and their proper appointments. The third phase was a series of stations or tables where all contestants respond to the station’s requirements. Team members included Jenna, Kaleigh Haines, Long and Johnson