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Thorsby FFA headed to nationals

The Thorsby FFA environmental science team will represent Alabama as a state champion at nationals after finishing first among FFA teams during the state competition at the State 4-H Center in Columbiana on April 6-8.

Team members were required to attend seminars and take exams throughout the three-day period.

Five students formed the team that included sophomores Addie Niamon and Alexa Forrest along with juniors Jason Brackner, Jerrett Posey and Carson Littleton.

“It’s a contest based around teaching FFA or 4H students about the environment and how to go about further protecting it,” Posey said.

Posey and Littleton have experienced the national stage, having made the trip to compete last year.

However, this is the first time that the Thorsby FFA has ever sent an environmental science team.

The team went through different classes that specialized in wildlife, forestry, aquatics, soil and a current issue, which was soil and water conservation.

“They teach and give you the information, and then the next morning we all got together as a group and took one big test,” Littleton said.

The third part of the competition was a 20-minute presentation, where the team had to relay the information they gathered to a panel of judges.

According to Forrest, each member had their specific speaking parts during the presentation, but it was all done as a group effort.

Thorsby was among the top three judges’ selections and advanced to the final round, where they gave the presentation once again to decide the order of the final three spots.

“All of the contests build off of each other,” Posey said. “All of us expect Alexa, because she just moved here, have been doing this since seventh and eighth grade. All the information that we have acquired over the years has helped us.”

Forrest is new to FFA and the competition was her first contest.

“It was a good experience to learn and meet different people,” Forrest said.

Thirteen teams participated and represented a variety of schools throughout the state from Class 1A to 7A.

The national competition will be held in Indianapolis in October.

“We’re trying to change the attitude that we’re too small and we can’t compete with other people,” Posey said. “If you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything.”