Lakeland FFA Competes at Virginia’s State Fair

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 14, 2004

LHS FFA reporter

Members of the Lakeland FFA enjoyed a successful fall at the annual State Fair of Virginia.

The Junior Foresters team composed of Lakeland students, Travis Fowler, Josh Holland, and Josh Reece placed ninth in the statewide competition.

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The event, run by the Virginia department of forestry, tests students’ knowledge and skills in a variety of activities. Participants had to identify trees by from leaf samples, identify disease and insect problems, and identify tools used in the forest industry, as well as measuring trees to determine lumber volume and estimating land area. This is the first time that Lakeland has had a team place in the top ten of this event.

Josh Holland’s score placed him as the 20th highest individual in the state.

As the fair proceeded, some LHS members competed in the Forestry Field Day competition. This event, also sponsored by the Virginia Department of Forestry, tests members skill in a series of physical forestry events.

Kyle Gilbertson competed in the bow saw event. Travis Fowler and Michael Boyce teamed up to cut a log with the two-man crosscut saw. Jimi Neider attempted to show his strength by throwing a pulpwood bolt. Kevin Howell used an Indian backpack to shoot water for accuracy and time. In the last competition, Josh Holland and Adam Stephenson let their log get the best of them in the log rolling event.

After the competition, Lakeland members divided into teams to explore the many agricultural facts of the fair. For many of the students, this was their first experience time to experience this annual event.

Lakeland’s final competition at the fair was the Junior Stockman’s contest. This challenging competition tests members’ knowledge of livestock and the livestock industry. The Lakeland team composed of Jessica Estienne, Josh Holland, Courtney Migneault, and George O’Berry were tested in several ways. They took a written test followed by identifying equipment, breeds, feeds and meats. Participants also had to judge cattle, sheep, swine, feeds, and meat and also answer questions about the livestock classes. Jessica Estienne placed as the fifteenth highest individual in the competition. Members participating at the fair earn ribbons and cash awards. In addition, participants are eligible to compete in the large State Fair of Virginia scholarship program.