The Lord Botetourt High School FFA traveled to the Olde Dominion Agricultural Complex in Chatham to compete in the South Ridge Area Rally on Wednesday, April 6.
The South Ridge Area consists of 29 high schools from Pittsylvania County to Craig County. Every year the schools compete at the district level in several competitions to qualify for the Area Rally. Those that place in the Area Rally get the honor of representing the South Ridge Area at the State Convention in June. However, some competitions do not require the chapter to qualify for the State Convention competitions, but are used as a practice to help members gain experience and knowledge of what the state competition will be like.
Members Nathan Badgley, Jonah Duncan, Zeb Grant, and Ryan Hurley competed in the Ag Mechanics competition. The Ag Mechanics competition is comprised of construction skills, small engines, concrete and masonry, arc welding, and a fifty question exam. Nathan Badgley placed first overall and the team placed second in the competition.
Jack Corl placed first in the Extemporaneous Public Speaking event. This event consists of students being provided t30 minutes to write a six-eight minute speech on a random topic dealing with a current issue in the agriculture industry. The student must then present the speech to a panel of judges and answer 10 minutes of questions to test knowledge on the topic. By placing first in the competition, Jack will represent the region at the state convention at Virginia Tech in June.
Hannah Heller and Lilly Iacovone competed in the Horse Hippology competition. This competition includes identifying different horse breeds, equipment, and diseases, look at a horses confirmation, and taking a general knowledge exam.
Kirin Miller placed first in the Prepared Public Speaking event. This event consists of students writing a pre-prepared speech about a current topic dealing with a current issue in the agriculture industry. After presenting the speech to a panel of judges the students must then answer 10 minutes of questions to test their knowledge on the topic they chose. By placing first in the competition, Kirin will be representing the region at that state convention at Virginia Tech in June.
Ryan Hurley placed first overall in the Small Engine Repair competition. This competition consists of finding the model number of the engine, looking to find the right head gasket, identifying parts of the engine, and fixing a problem with an engine. By placing first in the competition, Ryan will represent the region at the state competition at the State Fair of Virginia in the fall.
Nathan Badgley and Jonah Duncan competed in the Tractor Troubleshooting competition and placed second. The Tractor Troubleshooting competition includes determining a problem with a tractor, fixing the problem with the tractor, and taking a general knowledge exam.
The Veterinary Sciences team, which was consisted of Josie Gore, Elizabeth Hodges, Hailey Lusk, and Ally Morris, placed fourth in the competition. The Veterinary Sciences competition was comprised of animal breed, parasite, and equipment identification, a math test, and a 50-question general knowledge exam.
In the afternoon, members went to workshops held by the Virginia FFA State Officers instead of doing a second competition. The first workshop was led by Virginia FFA State Treasurer Ellie Vance, and the second workshop was led by Virginia FFA State President Charlie Moser. These workshops were provided to help students understand goals and how to achieve them, as well as values, and what values are the most important to the individual.
Lord Botetourt High School FFA Chapter Sentinel Jonah Duncan said, “It was fun for my first time, and I liked it. I would like to go back to compete next year for Tractor Troubleshooting and Ag Mechanics.”