Abi Cowden, Alexis Freeman, Aisling Hagan and Jade Welch, all juniors at Crockett and members of the local Future Farmers of America chapter, won the state forestry competition in June and went on to the national level this month and took home second place.
“They could go out and be hired tomorrow as foresters, they worked their tails off,” their agriculture teacher, Ryan Arnett, said. “I could not tell you how many hours they put forth in their efforts, they’re such a great team overall.”
The competition spanned four days in Indianapolis, and each team is judged and graded on a general knowledge exam, tree identification, timber cruising, disorders identification, a chainsaw practicum, topographic mapping, a compass and pacing practicum and a forestry issues interview.
Freeman and Hagan, FFA chapter vice president and president, said they both plan to continue their studies with forestry going into college. Crockett’s team has placed in the national contest before, but this year the students said their goal was to make it into the top five.
Both students said forestry drew them in when they started high school, and what started as an interest in botany is leading to a future career for them.
“Contests like this help in academic life I think it’s important to stress that because working on a team really taught us how to study actual broad material like that,” Freeman said.
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