QCHS FFA wins at nationals in Kentucky

Nine members of the Queen Creek High School FFA Chapter attended the 88th National FFA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky. Queen Creek had two competition teams representing Arizona, agronomy and nursery/landscape. These two teams felt honored to compete at the national level.

The agronomy Team, members Jessica Cochran (senior), Jared Wareham (senior), Noelle Rohovit (senior), and Bryce Cluff (a 2015 QCHS graduate) were tested on problematic scenarios, identification of seeds, insect’s soils and crops and other management practices. The QCHS agronomy team placed 23rd in the nation, earning the Agronomy Silver Team Award. As individuals, Jessica Cochran and Jared Wareham ranked Silver. Bryce Cluff and Noelle Rohovit ranked Bronze.

Former bulldog, Bryce Cluff, is currently serving as the 2015-16 state vice president. Throughout the year he spends his time traveling through the state visiting chapters in Arizona. As a state officer his duties are to teach students about premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agriculture education. As someone who wants to be an agriculture teacher himself, his time as a state officer has helped him to gain the skills and experiences necessary to peruse his dream career. “I couldn’t have done all of this without the support of Queen Creek’s CTE, administration, and governing board, I’m proud to be a forever bulldog,” said Bryce.

The nursery/landscape Team, members Paige Gangloff (senior), Cheyenne McQuade (junior), Aimee Bittinger (a 2015 QCHS graduate) and Nicole Van Eerd (a 2015 QCHS graduate) were tested on their knowledge of testing horticulture principals including plant anatomy, production, marketing, turf, landscaping design and maintenance. Each participant must also complete practicums involving a landscape estimating, plant propagation or potting, identification of plants, disorders and equipment. The QCHS nursery/landscape team placed 25th in the nation and was awarded the Nursery/Landscape Silver Award. Each individual of this team ranked as well. Paige Gangloff ranked Gold. Nicole Van Eerd ranked Silver. Aimee Bittinger and Cheyenne McQuade both ranked Bronze.

In addition to the two competition teams, two FFA members/officers joined the trip for the educational experience. Bailey Roden (sophomore), and Lexi Pettit (senior) attended workshops and career success tours. These tours included Harvest Home Dairy, Blend Pak, Yew Dell Botanical Gardens, Muhammed Ali Center, Huber Farms, and Churchill Downs.

“This was truly an amazing experience and proved what a great organization the FFA is. This experience has exposed me to so many career opportunities,” said Bailey Roden.

The 88th National FFA convention was a success with a record breaking number of members and guests who attended this conference, over 65,000, who share the love for FFA. National FFA reported over 18,000 tweets from the conference. All of the students that attended this trip had a blast learning more about the great organization and were opened up to more opportunities in the agriculture industry. The Queen Creek FFA chapter looks forward to attending the 89th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana in November 2016.

The Queen Creek Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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