FFA students at 2 Harrison County high schools win top prizes


Students from Liberty High School pose with their teacher, Zach Tennant (middle) at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. (Courtesy: Zach Tennant)

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Students at two Harrison County high schools have finished in the top 12 of the Future Farmer’s of America (FFA) National Convention and Expo in Indianapolis on Oct. 27-30.

FFA students from Liberty High School and South Harrison High School received gold emblems, or within the top 12, in their respective categories.

Students at South Harrison High School pose with their banner at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis (Courtesy: John Lockhart)

Students from South Harrison High School placed ninth in the nursery and landscape category. Students had to identify plants, identify tools used in gardening, build an irrigation system and more. The team includes Madison Stonestreet, James Radcliff, Hope Woods and Spencer Nolan.

“In the 32-year history of this contest, West Virginia has never had a gold team. So, it’s really, really exciting to see our students do that well and to set a milestone for the state of West Virginia,” said John Lockhart, Agriculture Teacher and FFA advisor for students at South Harrison High School.

Stonestreet, a senior at South Harrison, said she’s happy with the outcome of the competition.

John Lockhart, Agriculture Teacher and FFA advisor at South Harrison High School, waits for the results to be announced. (Courtesy: John Lockhart)

“It feels really good because I know everyone on my team has practiced really hard to get to where we are, and we put in a ton of effort to get here. So, it feels really nice to know we accomplished something really big,” said Stonestreet.

Woods and Radcliff both said it was their first FFA competition, and they enjoyed the experience.

“It feels great being on the team. This is my first FFA competition ever,” said Radcliff.

“It feels really good. It’s exciting. This is the first competition I’ve ever done for FFA, so I’m really proud of the outcome, and I’m excited to see what will happen in years to come in FFA,” said Woods.

And the team said they all worked hard to get to the top of the competition.

“It feels pretty good. We all worked pretty hard and competed pretty well,” said Nolan.

The team of four with Liberty High School’s FFA chapter pose with Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis behind them. (Courtesy: Zach Tennant)

All four team members commented about how difficult the day was, and how they couldn’t do it without the help of their teacher, Mr. Lockhart.

Down the road in Clarksburg, Liberty High School students placed in the top 12 for the milk quality and products category. Students had to identify cheeses, the issues present with different kinds of milk, if the milk was a dairy product or soy milk, and an example of a farm’s records to determine if the farm should be open. The team includes Mia Starkey, Isabella Harrod, Mary Tracey and Macie Clutter.

“It’s really exciting. It’s something that I strive to show the kids that when you put your mind to something and a little bit of hard work, it can take you a really long way. It’s a great thing for kids to get involved with, and there’s 20 different contests that students can get involved within different careers and different leadership aspects in agriculture. So, to be able to do this on not only a state level, but a national level, I think really brings some great publicity for Liberty FFA and for West Virginia FFA in a whole,” said Zach Tennant, Agriculture Teacher and FFA advisor for students at Liberty High School.

The team, consisting of all girls, was very excited about their accomplishments. This makes the sixth time in the last 30 years for Liberty High School students to receive a gold emblem at the National FFA Convention.

“It makes me very proud I feel like representing my chapter as well as my school and my state,” said Harrod.

The team of four with Liberty High School’s FFA chapter pose with the FFA logo. (Courtesy: Zach Tennant)

And like the students at South Harrison High School, there were some new participants to FFA in Liberty’s team as well.

“It feels great. I just started FFA, and this is a great start to it,” said Tracey.

“It’s really cool. I think it’s really cool to go to Indiana. I’d only been practicing for this for about a month. And then, to go up there and we all do this, it’s really cool,” said Clutter.

All of the students involved said they all had fun while bringing home the hardware for their respective schools.

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