Molalla FFA teams snag third in state
The Oregon state FFA convention is a wrap, and the Molalla chapter will add new awards to its collection with two teams -- veterinary science and ag communications -- winning third place in their competitions.
Danell Blair-Ocheskey coached the veterinary science team, composed of students Jessica Hewitt (ninth place individual), Kianna Fox, Kamryn Linder and Emma King.
According to Adviser Mackenzie Behrle, students competing in the veterinary science event demonstrate their technical competency with small and large animals through completing a written exam related to general veterinary knowledge; writing an essay related to a current veterinary topic; completing a veterinary math test; and identifying animal breeds, parasites and veterinary tools.
Then they complete two animal-restraining maneuvers and two hands-on clinical practicums, such as removing sutures or giving injections. Lastly, each team prepares and gives an oral presentation on a selected veterinary science topic to a panel of judges.
"I had a lot of fun competing with my amazing team and adviser," King said. "It is a great way to learn and practice veterinary skills that I have already been able to use outside the contest."
Behrle coached the ag communications team, made up of Clay Sperl (eighth place individual), Cypress Barrett (ninth pace individual), Chloe Corless (10th place individual) and McKenna Salvetti.
"I'm incredibly proud of my ag communications team," Behrle said. "It was really fun to come together after all the time apart and compete again."
The ag communications contest consists of a team event wherein students develop a media plan based on a given scenario. This year, students had to develop the plan around an agriculture teacher.
Molalla students chose to promote multi-teacher agriculture programs for retention and called their 19-page written plan, "It Takes Two."
Students in the contest also give a 15-minute oral presentation on their plan; attend a press conference; and complete individual practicums including op-ed writing, newspaper article, website design and video production. Finally, students complete an editing test and a knowledge test on media and journalism.
"It was so exciting to be able to compete in an FFA (convention) after a year of everything being canceled," Sperl said. "Having one last hurrah with a few of the senior FFA members is a memory I won't ever forget."
The success follows the previous year's victories, which took place while the state was locked down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, two Molalla teams succeeded at the 2020 virtual state competition.
Behrle last year coached the advanced parliamentary procedure (debate) team, consisting of graduates Emilie Mendoza, Georgia Hunter, Adam Miller and current students Jessica Hewitt, Cypress Barrett and Lola McIlhenney. That team placed third in the state.
Behrle also coached the ag communications team last year, consisting of graduates Adam Miller, Natalee Litchfield and Georgia Hunter and current student Clay Sperl. The team took first in state with their media plan based on the misconceptions of the hemp industry.
"Unfortunately, these students were unable to advance to the national competition because of COVID-19," Behrl said, "but I am happy to report two of the team members are currently journalism majors at the University of Oregon."
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