SHERMAN - The Sherman Future Farmers of America recently participated in the 87th annual state FFA Convention.
More than 1,200 students, teachers and guests statewide took part in the convention, which was held at the Vernon Verona Sherill High School. Twenty-two students from the Sherman Future Farmers of America participated in a variety of events.
Sherman's Agriculture Mechanics Team won first place in the state and qualified for the National FFA Convention, which will be held in Indianapolis, Ind., in mid-October. The team competed for more than three hours and was evaluated individually and as a team on a number of criteria including electrical circuits, precision measuring, GPS and welding. They competed against 116 individuals on 30 different teams.
From left are Jordan Boland, Breanna Stoddard, Danielle Reed and Julia Rater win first place in the Food Science and Technology Contest and will represent the state Future Farmers of America at the national convention in Indianapolis.
The Sherman team includes David Lyon, a senior and the son of Aaron and Melissa Lyon and Amy Gloss, who also earned the top individual award in the state and was the recipient of a $500 scholarship from the State University at Cobleskill. Other team members include Gabriel Rater, ninth grade and the Mike and Grisel Rater, who earned the third place individual New York state award and also received a $500 scholarship to SUNY Cobleskill; Hewitt Meeder, 10th grade and the son of Hewitt and Colleen Meeder; and Nathan Ottaway, ninth grade and the son of Dean and Heidi Ottaway.
Students in the Food Science and Technology event competed over two days in activities such as aroma and taste identification, food quality comparisons, food safety issue identification, product development, labeling and marketing for a target audience. The team also placed first in the state and will travel to Indianapolis to compete in the National FFA Convention. Team members are Jordan Boland, 10th grade, son of Randy and Dana Boland, and seventh place finisher in the state; Julia Rater, 11th grade, daughter of Mike and Grisel Rater, and 10th place individual finisher in the state; Breanna Stoddard, 11th grade and the daughter of Gary and Cindy Stoddard; and Danielle Reed, 11th grade and the daughter of Danny and Sue Reed.
Roberta Starceski, 11th grade and the daughter of Paul and Robin Starceski, placed third in the state in the Job Interview Event. Roberta prepared a cover letter, resume, references and business cards and participated in interviews at the district, substate and state level. She also earned the FFA Empire Degree at State Convention for her supervised agricultural experience on local dairy farms.
Other recognition included the selection of Sherman FFA members who were showcased during large group sessions. A group of students performed a Speed Dating comedy skit in front of more than 1,000 people. The skit was written by, directed by and starred Jacob Toy, 10th grade and the son of Tim and Tammy Toy. The skit also starred Lena Young, 10th grade and the daughter of Neil and Concetta Young; and Roberta Starceski with supporting roles by Jessica Morton, eighth grade and the daughter of Mark Morton and Karen Dewey, Brandon VanCuren, 10th grade and the son of Carl and Anna Lisa VanCuren, and David Lyon.
Lena Young was also selected to sing the solo "Hate On Me" on-stage during a large group session.
"This is what FFA is all about," said Juleah Tolosky, state FFA executive secretary. "FFA provides opportunities for these teenagers to challenge themselves and accomplish something significant that is individualized and preparing them for careers and community leadership."
Other members attending were Kayla Ames, Megan Charrette, Abigail Cole, Daisy Gibbons, Jurnee Hannold, Morgan Motherwell, Devin VanCuren and Bailey Weeks. Chaperones for the trip were Dana Boland, Grisel Rater, Danny Reed, Michele Swabik, Rhonda Nelson, bus driver; and Kelly Maleski, Sherman FFA adviser.
For more information, visit www.ffa.org.