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South FFA fills fall with competition, service

The South Rowan FFA has had a very productive fall. We have participated in local and state level Career Development Events (CDEs) and have attended the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky. To raise money to support our events, we conducted our fruit sale fundraiser and we have participated in monthly service projects as a way to give back to our community.
On Oct. 10, seven FFA members competed in the North Carolina FFA Dairy Judging CDE held at the Rowan County Fairgrounds. Alicia Barlow, Abigail Raffaldt, Haley Shore and Heather Sperling competed in the senior division and Kiala Dyer, Micah Helms and Shyantha Smith competed in the junior division. During this competition, students judged dairy cows and heifers and gave oral reasons to defend their placings. The senior division participants also completed a written exam and a sire selection team activity. The senior division team placed 12th out of 57 teams. The junior dairy judging team placed 22nd overall in their event.
On Nov. 9, FFA members Joseph Linker, Abigail Raffaldt and Haley Shore competed in the state Land Judging CDE. In this CDE, students must evaluate topsoil and subsoil samples, observe potential drainage issues, classify the soil and determine best treatments and uses for the soil. The land judging team placed 11th during their event.
The Rowan Federation Tractor Safety and Skills competition and Truck Safety and Skills competition were also held this fall. During Tractor Safety and Skills event, the driver must maneuver a tractor with a lime spreader attachment through an obstacle course safely, correctly and in a timely manner. During the Truck Safety and Skills event, the participant must safely, correctly and quickly drive through an obstacle course. Dakota Hubbard and Jeffrey Goodman participated in the senior level Tractor Driving event and Austin Corriher participated in the junior level Tractor Driving event. Corriher placed third in the junior division and won a monetary prize. Hubbard participated in the Truck Driving event, where he placed first in the Rowan Federation. Hubbard will compete in the state level event in February.
On Oct. 29-Nov. 2, 10 FFA members attended the 86th National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky. Those who attended include MacKenzie Catanese, Kiala Dyer, Andrew Eller, Jeffrey Goodman, Micah Helms, Joe O’Kelley, Abigail Raffaldt, Haley Shore, Marion Smith and Heather Sperling. These FFA members attended sessions hosted by the 2012-2013 National FFA Officers. Throughout the sessions, students listened to the motivational words of the national FFA officers and other speakers, including University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino. Students also visited the expo where they met with college representatives and agricultural companies from all over the United States. In addition, the South Rowan FFA was recognized as a winner of a $1,000 grant sponsored by the National FFA Alumni. This experience allows FFA members to get excited about FFA and to experience premier leadership, personal growth and career success opportunities.
From November to mid-December, the South Rowan FFA hosted it annual fruit sale. During this fundraiser, all FFA members have a chance to sell fruit, as well as country ham, hoop cheese and strawberry jam made with strawberries grown on the FFA land laboratory. This fruit sale is our main fundraiser to raise money for our chapter.
In order to give back to our community, South Rowan FFA conducts at least one service project per month. In September, we held a canned food drive and delivered 300 pounds of food to Main Street Mission. We also participated in Adopt-A-Highway, where 21 FFA members picked up 11 bags of trash along Highway 152 in China Grove. In October, members donated their time to plant flowers at Village Park in Kannapolis. On Oct. 4, 25 FFA members volunteered at Main Street Mission in China Grove. FFA members packaged food and organized winter clothes. For the November service projects, 13 FFA members participated in Adopt-A-Highway. We also conducted a penny war between agriculture classes where we raised $335.84. This money will be donated to the Stop Hunger Now service project at the Southwest FFA Regional Rally. Our December service projects revolved around the Christmas season. South Rowan FFA adopted a local child for Christmas. Numerous FFA members bought and donated Christmas gifts so that this child could have an enjoyable Christmas. We also went Christmas Caroling to some of our FFA Alumni members on Dec. 12 to get them into the Christmas spirit.
South Rowan FFA has had a very fun and productive fall, and we are looking forward to a fun-filled spring as well.
South Rowan agriculture teachers and FFA advisers are Laura Allen and David Overcash.

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