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Milk quality team heads to national contest

Milk quality team heads to national contest
La Vernia FFA Milk Quality and Products Team members (l-r) Colton Ploch, Lynsey Terrill, Macy Tarpley, and Sullivan Latka are State CDE contest winners.

For the second year in a row, La Vernia is sending its Milk Quality and Products team to the national contest. The team consists of sophomores Lynsey Terrill and Colton Ploch, and freshmen Macy Tarpley and Sullivan Latka. It is an amazing accomplishment for such a young team to win at the state level. They participated in three contests before the state competition.

At the Tarleton Invitational CDEs, Lynsey Terrill placed seventh; Colton Ploch, eighth; Sullivan Latka, 34th; and Macy Tarpley, 90th. The team placed 15th overall. However, if the contest would have followed state rules and taken four scores instead of five, the team would have actually placed fourth in its first contest to ever compete in.

Just to show how dedicated the members of this team are, they practiced every week Monday through Thursday at 6:15 a.m. in order to improve their skills in each level of the contest. Little did they know all of their hard work and dedication were going to pay off.

At their next contest, the South Texas Invitationals, Lynsey placed second; Sullivan, third; Colton, fifth; and Macy, 12th, earning the team a first-place victory.

It was now time for the team to compete at the Area VII contest. Only the top five teams at the area contest qualify for the state contest so the pressure was on. The team performed outstandingly with Colton placing first; Lynsey, fourth; Sullivan, 13th; and Macy, 18th, earning the team another first-place victory.

Finally, after all of the hard work and countless hours of practice, the day of the state contest had arrived. The team was well aware of the fact that in order to qualify for nationals, they were going to have to win first place at the contest, and they didn’t disappoint.

At the awards ceremony, it was announced that individually Lynsey placed second; Macy, 18th; Sullivan, 31st; and Colton, 50th. With their combined scores, the team was announced as state champions, winning the contest by a single point.

The team will compete at the National FFA Contest in October being held in Louisville, Ky., in hopes of following in the footsteps of last year’s team to be named national champions.

The Texas FFA is the nation’s largest state FFA association with a membership of 103,000 active members. On an average there are approximately 18 schools per district. FFA programs teach skills in leadership, career development, and personal growth. FFA gives students the opportunity to practically apply classroom knowledge to real-world experiences through local, state, and national competitions.

The chapter would like to thank the good Lord for His continued blessing. Our chapter is truly blessed with the dedication of students, support of parents, and school administration, and community involvement. A special thanks to Ms. Shelby Heffernan, Mr. Sells’ student teacher, who has been very instrumental in helping train the team. Chapter advisors are Kevin Sells, Eric Davis, and Jennifer Kotzur.

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