ROBINSON, Texas — Waxahachie High School FFA students proved that they are in it to win it at the Area VII LDE Contest after taking a second-place Sweepstakes Award and advancing four teams to state contests. On Saturday, Nov. 19, Waxahachie FFA members participated against students from the Centex, Corsicana, Lake Whitney, Sandyland and Waco districts.

Waxahachie FFA Students participating included:

Sr. Chapter Conducting – First place, Advancing to State

Whitney Johnson, James Mismash, Caymee Bigham, Cathryn Bigham, Chelsey Catlett, Jerica Bell, Katherine Ward, Anna Rodgers, Loeva Cage, Maegan Connor

Greenhand Chapter Conducting – First place, Advancing to State

Brooke Trull, Lacy Mott, Ragan Ward, Baylie Paris, Caitlyn Carroll, Meredith Fay, Brody Buchanan, Blake Nail

Senior Skills – First place, Advancing to State

Alec Sanchez, Grayson Yates, & Brandie Steele

Ag Advocacy – Second place, Advancing to State

Landry Bosher, Courtney Felder, Kaitlyn Linsenbardt, Abigail Morton and Lea Wade

Radio Broadcasting – Fifth place

Jackson Leath, Karley Posey and Jordan Jeffcoat

Greenhand Skills – Fourth place

Ashlea Hunt, Dylan Florence and Kayla Milholen

Senior FFA Quiz – Fourth place

Mackenzie Baugh, Caymee Bigham, James Mismash and Whitney Johnson

According to the FFA website, the skills team is made up of three to five members who perform “[...] an actual demonstration of an agricultural skill including anything in the Agricultural Science and Technology curriculum using effective public speaking and communication methods.”

Senior Alec Sanchez has been a part of the Waxahachie FFA Skills team since his freshman year. For his final year to compete, the team demonstrated fusing a polyethylene pipe.

“Being on the team for four years and building a bond with my teammates has been phenomenal. This year has been extra special, though,” Sanchez explained. “We changed the skill and had to learn a totally new script. Because it is our senior year we were able to put in the extra time to get to the state competition, and thanks to Mr. Humphrey who kept pushing us we were able to make it to our first state competition for our senior year.”

Head of the state-bound skills team and agricultural science teacher for the Waxahachie Ninth Grade Academy and WHS is Brooks Humphrey, who stated he is “very proud” of the FFA students and their accomplishments.

“I am very proud of all of our student's accomplishments. The hard work and dedication needed for any contest go unrecognized to the general public at times. They [the students] are the ones who do all the work and that truly know what it means to be competitors and will represent Waxahachie FFA in a distinguished fashion,” Humphrey said.

WHS FFA sponsor and horticulture teacher at the high school, Jeanette Middleton agreed with Humphrey and described the students to be “top notch” and believes them to be “the best in the state.”

“The Waxahachie FFA exposes its students to numerous opportunities throughout the year. With these opportunities come many challenges that our students have to overcome,” Middleton said. “Our students compete in over 30 different contests throughout the year and have learned that there is no secret to success. It is the result of preparation, lots of hard work, and learning from their failures.”

The FFA LDE State Contests will take place Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 2-3 at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville.