Thorsby FFA places 3 teams at districts
Thorsby FFA continued to showcase itself with three teams that placed at the 2018 FFA District Eliminations on April 13.
The event was held at the Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center and included a pair of first-place finishers from Thorsby.
“Your teammates encouraging you helps a lot in being able to get through to the next stage in competition,” freshman Rosa Hernandez said. “It is just like a second family to me.”
Both poultry and horse evaluation teams topped the district competition, while the nursery/landscape team earned second place.
All three teams qualified for the state FFA competition at Auburn University on June 5.
“It [state] was a really fun experience, and I’m glad that I get to do it again this year,” said Laina Prady, horse team member. “It can be really stressful, because you’re competing against a lot of other people who definitely know what they’re doing.”
Adding to the success, McKinley Mims received the highest score among participants in the individual portion of the poultry evaluation.
After competing in districts a year ago for the first time on the horse evaluation team as a seventh grader, Prady went into this year’s competition with a better understanding of what to expect and a higher level of confidence.
According to Prady, the preparation for districts included studying at least an hour every day with the goal of being ready for any situation that is presented during an event.
“I’ve always wanted to have a career in equine studies,” Prady said. “In horse evaluation you learn a lot about all kinds of health-related material.”
Teams that placed in districts received a commemorative flag. Belt buckles will be awarded for top finishers at the state level.
“We’re always looking for that jewelry,” junior Trent Jones said. “Something we can take back home.”
Jones competed in the land judging competition prior to making the switch to nursery/landscape this year.
The ability of students to excel in multiple categories is something that has helped lead to Thorsby’s success over the years.
“When you win something you just want to go out and do it again,” Jones said.
Hernandez is a member of the poultry team and in her second year as part of Thorsby FFA.
She credited Ag teacher Brian Lucas for seeing the potential in her and helping her to find her place in the FFA program.
“I’ve started loving it more and more,” Hernandez said. “I don’t think he [Lucas] understands how much that he affects our lives. Him asking me to join [FFA] has created some unforgettable experiences.”