Midway FFA Teams Earn Top-10 Finish at State
As some of the youngest students in their competitions, two Midway FFA teams placed among the top 10 in Texas this summer.
Midway Ag Issues team members Eli Johnson, Holden White, Jeremiah Ocampos, and Zoe Copeman made history as the first Midway Ag Issues team to advance to the state finals, ultimately earning a 10th-place finish.
“Typically, upperclassmen primarily compete in Ag Issues due to the in-depth nature of the contest and the level of competence required to be successful,” Midway FFA Advisor and Agriculture Science Teacher Beth Zuilhof said. “However, Midway’s team was two freshmen and two eighth graders.”
Ag Issues tasks students with creating a portfolio by researching, analyzing, and presenting a current agricultural issue and defending their findings to a panel of judges. In order to compete at the state level, Midway placed first at the district contest, first at area, and in the top five in their heat of twelve teams in the state semifinals.
“I am very proud of how hard they worked and it was incredible to see them be competitive on the state level in this contest, especially considering their age,” Zuilhof said. “They were complimented numerous times on their presentation and poise.”
Also excelling at the state level was Midway’s Wildlife team of Greyson Haynes, Hazel Davison, Holden White, Taylor Dudley, Ethan Blanc, and Mia Ready who finished in ninth place out of over 200 teams in Texas. Additionally, Greyson, who was a freshman at the time of the state competition, placed as the 15th-highest individual out of 236 high school students of all ages.
“Wildlife is truthfully one of the most difficult CDE contests in FFA because students have an inordinate amount of material to memorize,” Zuilhof said. “This group worked their tails off studying and it paid off.”
The Wildlife Career Development Event (CDE) competition consists of identifying plant species and demonstrating knowledge of proper habitat management practices, safety procedures, and game laws. Earlier in the year, Midway’s Wildlife team won the Region 5 contest and had the second, third, and sixth-highest individual scores that day.
“They are also a young team with the oldest being a sophomore, so I’m really looking forward to what they will accomplish over the next several years,” Zuilhof said.