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Thorsby FFA advances four to state

Another FFA competition season has begun, and Thorsby High School once again has several teams that have advanced to the state level.

Four teams qualified for the state competition after finishing in the top four in their categories during regionals at the Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center on April 5.

Poultry and floriculture each finished first, while nursery landscape earned third place and land judging took home a fourth place result.

Thorsby won floriculture after competing in it for the first time this year.

Adi Niamon also finished in first place in the individual portion of the event.

“It’s a competition that has been in the FFA forever, but this is the first time that we’ve tried it,” Niamon said.

According to Niamon, it was one thing to put the work in ahead of time and feel fully prepared, but there was also a lot of uncertainty surrounding how Thorsby would fare the first time out.

“It was surprising, because you just never know,” Niamon said. “Some of these other people had competed in it [floriculture] three or four times.”

When Thorsby ag teacher Brian Lucas entertained the idea of adding floriculture, Niamon was one of his students he asked if they would be willing to take on something new.

“It means a lot that he believes in all of us,” Niamon said. “It was a lot different than anything I’ve done, but I like learning all kinds of things about agriculture and the whole industry.”

Aspects of the floriculture competition included identifying various species of flowers and equipment used.

According to Niamon, identifying insects and pests will be added as part of the state competition.

Niamon was happy to have the chance to participate in another competition during her senior year.

Kandice Clayton was a member of the nursery landscape team that finished third. She is a junior but has been a part of Thorsby FFA since seventh grade.

According to Clayton, a lot of studying is involved in the process leading up to the event. That included taking trips to Petals from the Past in Jemison to help hone their plant identification prowess.

Clayton enjoys the landscape side of things and the approach that goes into preparing the property around a house.

One of the first things that got Clayton excited about agriculture was a plant project she did with one of her friends that won the science fair. The project included growing cabbages in three different soils and monitored their growth in a journal log.

“It has come a long way from that to doing something like this [advancing to state],” Clayton said.