Days of frigid temperatures, snow, sleet and then topped off with periods of heavy rain did not stop Berks County FFA students from competing and enjoying the events at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. According to its website, the Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in America with 24 acres under roof and spread throughout 11 buildings including three arenas.
“It’s just such a unique environment with an indoor fair. You don’t find that anywhere else,” said Cindy Hooks, attendee.
Hooks escorted Lyle and Jackie Wright, Florida, through the various FFA Agriculture Education Exhibits. Hooks and the Wrights found these boards to be informative and helpful.
During remarks made at a special check presentation for video entries, Dennis Larison, editor and speaker for the main sponsor for the FFA Video Contest, Lancaster Farming, said because of the exodus from farming over several generations, the generational memory of what farming was like has disappeared. Farmers now have to educate the general public about what they’re doing and the FFA student’s efforts have dovetailed into that. They have to be able to explain to the public what they are doing.
According to Christine Williams, TSHS agriculture science, and FFA advisor, the students involved excelled in their area of competition. The initial assignment was completed as a project for the eighth grade, Introduction to Agriculture Science Course, as a final project. Because the course runs 60 days, the students need to pick an appropriate topic, complete the research and follow a schedule in order to present the project towards the end of the course. The five selected to compete reworked their display boards in order to prepare for the competition over the holiday break. This is the first time eighth grade students have competed at the level in FFA competition from Tulpehocken.
“The competition exposed them to a competitive event were they had to justify their reason for conducting the project and topics. Plus they had to answer questions with a judge and give thought to the reason why the topic presented was important to their life,” said Williams.
Williams said qualifying students have the opportunity to progress from the state completion to the national event in Louisville Kentucky. The displays will also be entered in the Reading Fair during the summer and potentially in the Berks County Science and Engineering Fair.
The FFA also held its Midwinter Convention during the Farm Show. During the convention, select members received a complimentary FFA Jacket valued at $55 from the PA FFA Alumni Association. These FFA members competed in a contest where they had to write an essay on what the FFA jacket means to them. The following Tulpehocken FFA members received a jacket: Loretta White, Leah Kurtyka, and Mary Kramer.
To learn more about FFA, go to www.ffa.org.
Biochemistry, Microbiology, Food Service
Second Place - Sarah Wenger – Vitamin C Content of Breakfast Drinks
Third Place – Brittany Hartfranft – Cereal and Its Sugar Content
Botany – Individual in Grades 7-9
First Place - Coty Emerich – Does Soil Type Affect Plant Growth?
Second Place – Giselle Sanchez – How Do Different Soil Types Affect Plant Growth?
Environmental Sciences – Individual
Third Place – Michaela Blankenbiller – Does Different Worm Types Affect the Rate of Composition