By: Robin Koppen
JCPS communications specialist
SMITHFIELD – Students from FFA chapters Cleveland High, Corinth Holders High, and South Johnston High were honored at the Johnston County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, December 14th.
Students and their advisors from these three chapters competed at the FFA National Convention in Indianapolis, IN, October 27-30.
Corinth Holders High FFA members Gralin Byrd, Emily Oberman and the entire CHHS Chapter won the National Premier Chapter Winner 2021 for the Premier Chapter; Strengthening agriculture.
The Corinth Holders High team is one of only 10 FFA chapters in North Carolina that has a three-star rating. Only 3-star teams could apply for the Premier Chapter Awards.
“My experience at the FFA has influenced the way I see things,” said Oberman. “Not only did I gain experience by showing cattle and taking part in competitions, but I also taught so much in agriculture classes and as an officer.”
The Treat of Agriculture Trail event, held at Pace Family Farms in Clayton on October 31, 2020, was the project that earned the Corinth Holders team this exclusive award.
This Halloween activity served as a safer alternative to trick or treating during the global pandemic. Participants were asked to dress in Halloween costumes.
As participants walked down the trail, they received treats and treats from seven commodity groups and eight local agribusinesses. Members planned and ran each booth to share with the community all about agriculture.
Corinth Holders’ FFA members submitted their applications for the National Chapter in April 2021, highlighting how they have improved chapter operations with the National Quality FFA Chapter Standards and an activity program that focuses on growing leaders, building of communities and strengthening agriculture sets.
Next, the FFA Farm Business Management Team from South Johnston High and the Food Science Team were recognized by the Board of Directors. They also took part in the national competition and brought home the highest individual and team awards.
The Farm Business Management team received silver and individual placements included Hannah Freeman (silver), Jackson Durham (gold), Emily Pope (bronze) and Lanie Durham (bronze).
When asked how her FFA will benefit adulthood, Durham said, “I now know how to hold my own business meetings, write résumés, and serve others with a strong willingness.”
The Food Science Team won gold and was ranked 7th overall nationally. Adam Miller won individual gold and was second overall. Further individual winners were Morgan Simpson (gold), Josh Williams (silver) and Kara Allen (silver).
Allen’s time on the FFA program has given her a vision and a path towards her future. She plans to attend NC State University and study food science.
“By competing on a team, I learned more about food science and discovered that I enjoy doing things related to food,” she said.
Next, Cleveland High FFA students Olivia Bondurant, Kaylee McLawhorn, Erin Knittel and Lilly Benjamin were recognized for their 1st place for NC at the Milk Quality and Products Event. These young people then represented NC at the National Convention and won bronze.
“FFA is a fascinating organization full of endless possibilities,” said McLawhorn. “I have had so many experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.”