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La Vernia FFA competes at national contest

La Vernia FFA competes at national contest
La Vernia FFA Poultry Team (from left) Travis Dupnick, Katy Sells, Trevor Kosub, and Brooke Young are all smiles after their second-place finish in national competition in Indiana.

The La Vernia FFA Poultry Team competed at the national contest for the seventh time in La Vernia FFA’s history. Travis Dupnick, Trevor Kosub, Katy Sells, and Brooke Young represented the La Vernia community at the National FFA Convention and contest for the 15th time in the past 26 years.

Travis, Trevor, Katy, and Brooke left for Indianapolis, Ind., Oct. 23 to compete at the national contest. The team competed on Oct. 25 with results given Oct. 26 during the awards banquet. The team fell short of their goal, placing second to Missouri. All members placed in the top 10 individuals with Trevor, sixth place; Brooke, seventh; Katy, eighth; and Travis, 10th place. Katy was the top individual in the grading/reason portion of the contest. All four team members received a $400 scholarship for their placing in the contest.

All four team members had to make time from their college studies to prepare for the national contest. The team traveled to Texas A&M for six weekends prior to the national contest to get ready.

“Getting four college students up at 5 a.m. on a Saturday morning to drive three hours to practice was not a normal practice routine for us, but we made the best of it to try and accomplish our goal,” said Kevin Sells, coach of the team.

Trevor is attending UTSA majoring in electrical engineering. Travis is attending St. Philip’s College majoring in advance welding and hoping to start his own business. Katy attends Texas Lutheran University, to become a sixth-grade mathematics teacher; and Brooke is attending Texas A&M University in College Station majoring in poultry science.

The poultry team would like to extend a big “thank you” for all the support, help, and prayers they received in preparing for the contest.

Past winners

Over the past 26 years, the La Vernia FFA Chapter has been very competitive in the FFA Career Development Events sponsored by the organization. Our community can be very proud of the past and present FFA members.

La Vernia had its first team advance onto the national scene in 1992, placing second in the National Poultry Contest with team members Julie King, Kris Jandt, and Margie Zigmond.

Since 1992, La Vernia has had nine national champion teams with three in dairy foods, two in meat evaluation, and four in poultry judging. The chapter also had five, second-place national runner-up teams to make up the difference.

In 1998, the meat team dominated the national contest, placing first overall, with La Vernia having the top four high individuals. Team members included Eric Doege, Garrett Lyssy, Michael Grams, Lee Geffert, and Charlie Dylla.

The poultry team in 2006 had the same success, sweeping the competition and having the top four individuals and winning all divisions of the contest. Members of the poultry team included Andrew Brietzke, Joshua Garcia, Charlotte Salinas, and Kyle Sells.

Let’s not forget the two meat-judging teams that were made up of all freshmen that advanced to the national contest. In 2000, team members Natalie Wiatrek, Thomas Matheaus, Clayton Leonard, and Ryan Doege placed third.

In 2004, the all-freshman team of Joshua Garcia, Joslyn Kotzur, Travis Rutledge, and Kyle Sells placed second.

An all-freshman team advancing to the national contest, much less placing second, is very difficult to accomplish with the fierce competition found in the state and national contests.

An additional note about the La Vernia program:

Eric Davis was hired as a third agricultural science teacher for the program in July. Davis brings seven years of teaching experience from the Judson school district. This addition is to help expand the ag mechanics program here at La Vernia.

Several senior students are involved in building projects to compete in the project shows at the various major shows. With this addition and expansion of the program, students should look forward to some improvements to their facilities. Plans are in the making to remodel and increase the learning environment to help better service the students.

For information about the La Vernia program, contact the agricultural science teachers at 830-779-6630, ext. 3235.

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