Sarah Judd
From left, Pahranagat Valley FFA Chapter members Logan Ohl, Laetitia Ray, Nicole Gutierrez, Kate Hatch, McKenzie Poulsen and Allyse Frehner at Carlos’ Restaurant on March 2 raising money to go to state.

Quite a few people showed up to support the Pahranagat Valley FFA on March 2 at Carlos’ Restaurant. The FFA used to stand for Future Farmers of America, but in 1988, they revised it so the organization would include all types of agriculture. Members of the FFA were helping serve the customers in hopes to raise enough money to attend the state convention in Reno March 21 to 25. In Reno, twenty-seven out of thirty-five students ranging from eighth to twelfth graders, who are a part of the Pahranagat Valley FFA will compete in areas such as meats, horse judging, public speaking, milk quality and products, floriculture, creed speaking, veterinary science and agricultural mechanics.

Cody Sanders, the group’s advisor, explained that they learn in class and find their interests. He then gears it towards competing. He said each student works an average of thirty to fifty hours outside of the classroom towards his or her area of study. He encourages the students and tells them, “The more you put in, the better you will do.”

Logan Ohl, 14, a freshman at Pahranagat Valley High School who is competing in Floriculture, as a first year in the group, explained why she became interested in the FFA. “The experiences this gives you and being able to learn new things like business is something that you can’t normally learn in the classroom.”

Tayt Leavitt, 14, an eighth grader at Pahranagat Valley Middle School and also in his first year in the group, is competing in Meat Evaluation. “My brothers and sister have been a part of it in the past and they all had so much fun. One of my dreams is to own a ranch and to know what I’m doing to run one, and this will help me.”

Daved Wilson, 18, a senior from PVHS said that his dad used to be the advisor for FFA so that helped him become interested in participating in the future. Wilson is in his fifth year with FFA and is on the State Nominating Committee to select state officers. “I’m really interested in agricultural things,” he said. “I work on ranches, and I have grown up in a farming community. I like the different conventions and trips. I also like being able to meet new people and learn leadership skills.”

Allyse Frehner, 17, a senior at PVHS talked about how it is her fourth year in the group and third time going to a state convention. She is competing in Veterinary Science, which involves a written test and 18 practicums where tasks are performed having to do with taking care of animals. Frehner shares, “I love getting involved and meeting new people. I like doing it for fun and being able to go to state. Participating also helps us learn skills we need to know and opens up different opportunities for us.”

Laetitia Ray, 17, a senior, is finishing her fifth year as part of the FFA which is a huge family tradition for her. Her dad and brothers were all a part of the organization. She will be competing in Floriculture, Prepared Public Speaking and running for state office. She explained, “I have made so many lasting friendships and the people I have met have lifted and inspired me in different ways that build my character and change myself for the better. The competitions also give you so much pressure that you learn to grow from them and deal with that pressure in a good way.”

The State Nominating Committee will select six individuals from those running for state officers who will work together the best. Ray expressed her feelings about running as “I thought I needed to grow by becoming a state officer. I struggled with the decision, but I knew it would be an opportunity that would shape my character. I realize it will be a hard year if chosen, and it seems scary, but I am ready for the opportunity to grow and jump out of my comfort zone.”

The Pahranagat Valley FFA was able to raise $598.25 from the night. They greatly appreciate the generosity of Carlos’ Restaurant for letting them raise money there as well as all of the members of the community who came out to support them.