By Amber Jurgensen | Staff Writer
The competition will have to ‘moo-ve’ over for the Tomlin Middle School chapter of the Future Farmers of America. Ten of the school’s FFA members are headed to Indianapolis to represent Florida at the 2012 National FFA Convention.
In June, the parliamentary procedure team won the state title in both the FFA middle school parliamentary procedure contest and the FFA middle school opening and closing ceremony contest. The first-place title allows the team to move to the national level in October, when it will compete in the invitational novice-parliamentary-procedure competition event. Fifty-thousand FFA delegates will be present.
“It’s just an honor to represent our state,” officer Anna Conrad said. “To be the first chapter to represent Florida and compete — we’re just so excited.”
During the state competition, Conrad was a secretary during the business meeting portion. She was responsible for taking minutes as well as making her own motions. The eighth-grader also has competed in forestry and shows livestock at a variety of festivals and trade shows. She is home-schooled, so she can compete as much as possible.
“It can be difficult sometimes, because of the personality of the animal you get,” Conrad said. “It’s the luck of the draw.”
Conrad likes showing cattle best and just got her first steer, which she will show at the 2013 Strawberry Festival. Her family owns Rocking S Farms, a beef cattle operation.
“It’s what my family has always raised and what I care for on a daily basis,” Conrad said.
Haley Riley, Conrad’s teammate, also agrees that raising and showing livestock is hard work. Riley and her brother are raising a pig to be shown at the Hillsborough County Fair. She has a heifer, which is her first cow, and may get a steer for the Strawberry Festival.
“It’s very time-consuming,” Riley said. “I wanted to do sports, but I knew I had to commit time to this or else the animals won’t listen.”
Both girls agree that being part of the FFA is a great learning experience and good times spent with friends.
“To say I won a contest with some of my best friends is something I’m proud of,” Conrad said. “I think that’s one of the reasons we came out on top. We have such a great bond. I didn’t want it to be over after state so it’s exciting to be competing again.”
Tomlin’s team is seeking donations to help cover costs for the national competition. To donate, contact Stephanie Conrad, (813) 393-8695, Wesley Joyner, (813) 505-8227, or Yvonne Fry, (813) 763-1154.
Contact Amber Jurgensen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tomlin Middle Members
2012 Parliamentary Procedure Team Members
Anna Conrad, officer
Meredith DelCastillo, officer
Clayton Joyner, officer
Additional 2011-2012 Office Team Members
Strawberry Crest FFA seeks donations
The Strawberry Crest Elton Hinton FFA chapter also will be competing at the National FFA Convention.
The team won first place in Agriculture Issues at the 84th Florida FFA State Convention.
Team members include Morgan Gaudens, McKenzie Greene, Lindsey Killebrew, Danielle Mayo, Rachelle Sapp and Richelle Sapp.
They are seeking donations to cover travel expenses and registration. Anyone wishing to donate should send a check, payable to Strawberry Crest FFA Alumni, to 4720 Gallagher Road, Plant City, FL 33565.