Pahranagat Valley?s FFA chapter placed silver in the 89th FFA National Convention and Expo in Indianapolis Oct. 19-22. Many of the events were held at Purdue University, at Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis Colts), Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indiana Pacers) and numerous others.
Team advisor Cody Sanders said the Alamo kids did really well. ?We received a silver emblem which put them in the middle third of all the competing teams, and they placed 25th overall.?
This is no small feat. Across the country, there are 7,859 FFA chapters boasting almost 650,000 members. Only one chapter may represent each state, making the national convention a gathering of the best of the best.
Sanders said the Pahranagat team was really second place to Wells in the state competition last spring, but Wells decided not to go, handing the mantel over to PVHS.
The team consisted of Laetitia Ray, Chris Thornton, Culen Highbe and Haigen Huntsman. Sanders said they competed in the Meats Evaluation and Technology Career Development. He said the team members had to identify 30 specific retail cuts of meat like you would find at a grocery store (or butcher shop). They had to evaluate different classes of meat based on overall quality. ?For example,? Sanders said, ?which four cuts of T-Bone would you want to buy?? They also had to judge the quality and yield grade carcasses as well as a written test and team activity identifying the muscles and bones in a certain cut.
Individually, Ray received a gold, putting her in the top 50 of the contest. She was also one of 11 people recognized for having a perfect score on the retail cuts identification. ?Out of about 160 competitors that was quite an accomplishment for her,? Sanders said.
Team members also took the opportunity to get to know other competitors from other states. ?When you are surrounded by 60,000 fellow FFA members you really have a chance to meet people from other places.?
He said the size of the convention is overwhelming. ?That week, basically everything within an 80-mile radius of Indianapolis is booked. It?s a larger event than the Final Four NCAA men?s basketball.?
Other events at the convention included a wide range of subjects dealing with farm and agriculture education.