Torrington-Lingle FFA state convention report

Jess Oaks
Posted 4/26/24

TORRINGTON – There is no doubt about it, Goshen County is full of talented youth. The Torrington-Lingle FFA Chapter and their advisor Jason Groene and his assistant, Sabrina Juma recently …

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Torrington-Lingle FFA state convention report


TORRINGTON – There is no doubt about it, Goshen County is full of talented youth. The Torrington-Lingle FFA Chapter and their advisor Jason Groene and his assistant, Sabrina Juma recently returned home from the Wyoming State FFA Convention which was held in Cheyenne. Now members have taken a moment to relax, it is time to reflect on their experience at the convention where more than 1,500 FFA members and their guests from across the state participated in a variety of events, classes, workshops, and tours.

“I did FBM (farm and agribusiness management) and extemporaneous speaking,” Addison Hansen said. “I had to do a 300-math test in three hours. Math, accounting, business.” 

Hansen, a Torrington High School (THS) sophomore, sees the added benefit already at such a young age of competing in the FBM contest although she admitted the math test was far from enjoyable. 

“First, I learned time management,” Hansen said. “You have to make sure you are on top of it. I learned a bunch of how to do balance sheets, and how to finance things if you want to purchase land. How to make sure you budget correctly, and the risk involved with it.”

“I did meats judging and ENR, environmental and natural resources,” THS sophomore Kaleb Booth said. “You identify different animals. They put skulls, to hides – it’s all different things from pictures to plants and animals and then if there’s a team activity. They give you a topic that you have to research over and then present in front of some judges. You have your individual activity where I did waste management which you have a 20-question paper that you have to answer that’s multiple choice about waste management.

Kaleb plans on a career in agriculture after high school and he sees how the FFA career development events he has competed in will help him be successful in the future. 

“It shows you how to control your land and the waste part of it and then the speaking skills in front of the judges and the presentation. It identifies plants and animals around you.” 

Conner Correll, a THS sophomore, competed in the agronomy career development event (CDE).

“We had a written test; weed, seed, and bug identification and then a bunch of soil problems,” Correll said. “Then we had some hay judging.” 

Correll is headed to college after high school.

“I’ll probably go to college for something in agriculture. Maybe something like agronomy, just ag-related, definitely,” Correll explained. 

Correll and his agronomy teammates captured second in the state in the agronomy career development event. According to Correll, there were 18 other competing chapters in the event. 

Audriana Dugger competed in the poultry evaluation contest.

“I thought it was a good experience for me,” Dugger said. “I didn’t think I would ever really do that contest in my career of FFA and then I kind of just went into it and realized what you could get out of trying new things through FFA.” 

Dugger, a THS sophomore, agreed with her fellow FFA members, citing the amount of public speaking an FFA member does helps them throughout life. Dugger and her fellow teammates placed fourth in the state during the event. 

“I did ENR and agronomy,” Wittni Bugher, THS junior, said. “The experience was really positive. Agronomy was never a contest that I thought I would like and then I joined it, and it ended up being one of my favorites. I just love learning all of the different things that came with it.”

Bugher said her highlight of the convention was the networking among fellow FFA members.

“Going to the dance, it kind of just turned into a concert because there are really talented FFA members from another chapter that had a band and they played for us,” Bugher said.

“I did prepared speaking, employment skills, and livestock judging,” THS sophomore Sarah Birdsall said. “Prepared speaking, I made it into the final ten at state and then I didn’t place after that. My speech was about how could we articulate the message of agriculture which I really enjoyed because I was able to go on stage and talk in front of people.”

Birdsall earned her trip to the National FFA convention held this fall in Indianapolis Indiana. 

“In employment skills, I had to go through a few rounds of interviews and there were other parts of the contests as well that I competed in and I won that so I will be going to Indianapolis next fall,” Birdsall, a THS junior, explained. “In livestock judging we didn’t place except I thought individually I did really well.”

“I competed in the ag mechanics CDE,” Jacob Durrant said. “There are quite a few different things that go into the ag mechanics’ contest. There’s welding, an electrical skill, and ENR skill, a machinery skill so we had to name parts on a tractor. Then there was like a 50-question test we had to take.”

Durrant has secured a full-time job for after high school.

“I will probably get into the trades a little bit,” Durrant who is a senior at THS said. “Work for the trades. “For me, it’s a definitely a learning thing. I can carry a lot of the stuff we competed in into my future life and be the jack of all trades.”

THS senior James Hall competed in the ag mechanics CDE as well.

“You’ll learn a lot of things you will use later in life,” Hall said. “You can definitely save a lot of money too because you won’t have to hire a contractor to do it, you know everything yourself. You can also be kind of a guy that anyone can call and do whatever. The welding skill takes a lot of practice but if you are in the shop 24/7 kind of how we are, you’ll learn how to weld pretty good. Groene does a pretty good job at that, teaching us how to weld.” 

“I competed on the ag sales team this year, where we were the champion team at state,” Connor Booth said. “I was the fourth high individual.” 

Connor, who also is planning for a future in agriculture after high school is a senior.

“The ag sales where they provide you with a product that is locally made across the state and your job is to market it or sell it to individuals that are trying to buy your product as well as a team activity where you and three other members of your team come together and talk about how you would sell something,” Connor explained. “We also take a written test about the selling procedures. We were able to win that competition this year and we are able to go to Indianapolis this fall and compete in the national FFA convention.”

Connor was also named the state star farmer during the FFA convention. 

“It was a great honor to have,” Connor explained. “The star farmer is an award where I have my own operation and I raised registered Angus cows, and it just shows the work and stuff I put in other than my CDE or LDC (learning development event). It’s me raising my animals. Just the ag-related stuff outside of competing. There were records we had to write down and write about what I do and how I want to improve my operation in the future. I was able to become the region five-star farmer and then the state star farmer this year.” 

Connor has competed at the state convention for four years and according to him, it is always a great joy to meet new people.

“You get to learn things that you can use in your real day-to-day life,” Connor said. “From just learning all of these events can be used in the future. In ag sales, say I were to go into a sales approach in life, it teaches me a lot of things that I can use in the future.”

Although fellow FFA member Sawyer Massie didn’t attend the state convention, Massie was excited to share her future FFA goals.

Every year they have a chorus and a band,” THS sophomore, Massie said. “You submit an audition. For the band, I play the flute. I am submitting a major skill of my choice, a chromatic skill every in octave, and then a technical expert.”

Massie says she enjoys her fellow FFA members because they are good people, and she is looking forward to being able to participate in next year’s state convention.