Floriculture, vet science heads to state

The Vandegrift FFA vet team won 1st place at the area competition.


By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

Two Vandegrift FFA teams advance to state.

The VHS vet science team won the area contest with an impressive 1st place win and their state contest is April 29 at Texas A&M University.

“This contest is one of the most competitive in the state,” said Magan Escamilla, FFA advisor and agriscience teacher.

Team members are Tori Maher (senior), Megan Launius (senior), Julia Tate (senior), and Madeleine Rawlings (senior). Maher tied for 1st high individual, Launius received 6th high individual, and Rawlings received 10th high individual out of 220 individuals.

Students have a large identification portion in their contest with an extensive list of 87 veterinary instruments, 150 breeds of animals (domestic, livestock, and exotics), 43 parasites (that can be in egg, larva, or adult form), and 22 organs. Out of this list, 60 ids will be chosen. There is also a practicum portion where students must perform a skill according to a rubric with a time limit of three minutes. Skills include prepping a pack for sterilization, opening a pack, and filling a prescription. The last portion is a 50 question test randomly selected from a test bank of 287 questions.

The state competition for floriculture is on April 28 at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Tex. The team consists of Mina Cho (senior), Ashley Burton (junior), and Makinna Pritchard (junior). They placed 5th overall team at their area contest on April 1 and the top five teams advance to the state contest.

The floriculture competition consists of identification of flowers and plants from a list of over 100 types, tools used in the floral industry, and pests/diseases affecting flowers and plants. An additional component is the practicum where they are asked questions either about care and handling of the flowers/plants or calculating a bill of materials for a set design. They will also rank completed designs or potted plants based on visual appeal/quality, balance, health, etc. Keep/cull is another part of the competition where students identify what flowers would be suitable for purchase and design work and which ones should be eliminated. Additionally, they have a 50 question test that is randomly selected from a bank of nearly 300 questions. Cho was 4th high individual out of 95 contestants.

“It is very difficult to qualify for state for any team as Texas FFA is very competitive so to train two state qualifying teams this season has been a dream come true,” Escamilla said. “These students practice upwards of 3 hours a week with me before school and practice on their own even more I would say. It takes an extreme amount of dedication to do this well.”

The Viper FFA floriculture team earned 5th place at the area competition.