Moving On

Three Windsor students have advanced to the Future Farmers of America (FFA) State Competition after impressive performances Saturday at the FFA Substate Competition.

Sophomore Ayden Swingle, eighth grader Claire Griffin and sixth grader Berkley Ingram earned trips to the state competition in Buffalo in May by finishing in the top two in their category. Faith Putney also placed in the competition, finishing fourth in her category.
Overall, fourteen students competed in Employment Skill, Jr. & Sr. People in Ag, Jr. & Sr. Prepared Speaking, Jr. & Sr. Extemporaneous Speaking, Jr. & Sr. Creed Speaking.  

“I made a slide presentation on all of the ag categories: plant science, agribusiness, mechanical science, leadership, and conservation. I had to choose one to focus on the most and I chose mechanical science, which is welding,” said Swingle.

Swingle interviewed three welders and presented on the different techniques, as well as the industry salary range and education needed to become a welder.

“I feel good but bad at the same time. I did this last year and finished 4th in the state but I did it again because I got .5 points from being in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. So, I feel good about it but at the same time I don’t because you never know how you’re going to do,” said Swingle.

Griffin created a poster that illustrated several fields of agriculture. However, she needed to focus on one person and one job. She chose her uncle Jacob Griffin, an environmental biology professor at Edgewood College in Madison, WI.

“It was surprising. It was overall exciting. I got called back which means I was top two in my flight. It’s exciting but I’m also nervous because I have to practice more to do well. But it’s exciting,” said Griffin.

Ingram, a sixth grader competing against many older students, gave a speech about plastic pollution, how it harms the earth, and why people use it.

“The speech is about whatever you want but you have to rehearse it in a way that will wow the judges. 50 percent is the actual speech, 40 percent is how you present, and 10 percent is how you answer the judges’ questions at the end,” said Ingram.

Ingram’s FFA season will end at the state championship in Buffalo. Even if she wins, the sixth grader would not move on to the national competition. Only those in seventh grade and higher go to nationals.

“I’m kind of sad because I feel like I could do very good. It’s just crazy how far I got in my first year and I hope to just keep improving. In seventh grade I hope I go to nationals,” said Ingram.

The day before the competition, members of the Windsor FFA toured The Carrot Barn in Schoharie County. Their tour guide was Ethan Ball, son of owner Richard Ball, New York State’s Commissioner of Ag and Markets. During the tour, students learned how crops go from seeding to storage.  They toured the packing house, the cold storage, the massive greenhouse, and the store which had a commercial kitchen.  

“They learned how important it is to partner with your local agricultural businesses to offer a wide variety of products to your customers. At the end of the tour Mr. Ball gave the students each one of the Carrot Barn’s signature cider donuts. They were amazing,” said Windsor Central High School ag teacher Tina Miner-James.

The FFA state competitions will take place at the NYS FFA Convention May 18-20, 2023 in Buffalo, NY.

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