Lakeland FFA members win awards

Published 9:52 pm Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Four members of the Lakeland Future Farmers of America were recognized as state winners at the recent State FFA Convention held at Virginia Tech.

The FFA Proficiency Award Program recognizes members for the outstanding work that they have done in their Supervised Agricultural Experience Programs. In this program, members keep records of work that they perform outside of school. Then these records are transferred to application in one of forty-seven different agricultural proficiency areas.

At Lakeland, all third- and fourth-year members are required to apply for one of the awards. Applications are then judged on the area level, with area winners then being sent to the state level for judging.

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Bobby Estienne, son of Mark Estienne and Cindi Alexander, won in the area of Placement in Swine Production. His application was based on his work in the swine research unit at the Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

Blake Williams, son of Dennis and Sharon Williams, placed first in Landscape Management. Blake’s work revolves around his own lawn care and landscape business. Blake won last year in Nursery Management.

Cody Holland, son of Craig and Michelle Holland, was the state winner in Placement in Grain Production. The majority of his application was based on his work for the Williams family on Kings Fork Road. Cody became the first Lakeland member to become a state Proficiency Award winner in three different areas.

Carson Daughtrey, son of Ronald and Ella Daughtrey, was first in Placement in Fiber and Oil Crop Production. His work experience took place on B&W Farms. This is his second state level recognition in the Proficiency Award Program.

What makes members winning multiple awards so special is the Virginia FFA rule that permits a member to win only one award per year and does not allow a member to apply again in an area in which he or she has won the state.

State winning applications are forwarded to National FFA for judging on the national level. There they will be rated either gold, silver or bronze based on their ratings based on completion among students from across the country.

Lakeland also had numerous winners at the area level. They were: Kelly Byrum in Equine Management; Kendall Darden in Small Animal Care; Travis Harrell in Turf Management; and Jackson Britt in Poultry Production. Two other Lakeland members, Megan Johnson in Agricultural Services and Randy Askew in Agricultural Mechanics, placed in the top five in the state, even though they were not area winners.