Holly Pond FFA Floriculture Team takes top honors in state

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Holly Pond High School Floriculture team members Elizabeth Miller, August Floyd, Kylie Ritchie, Zack Reynolds. (Photo courtesy of Rusty Roden)

HOLLY POND, Ala. – Holly Pond High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) students competed on June 25 in district and state Career Development Event online virtual contests, and July 1 released successful results for two of their teams and several students. The school’s Floriculture Team placed first in the North District and took first place honors in the State, as well. Team members are Elizabeth Miller, August Floyd, Kylie Ritchie and Zack Reynolds.

Team member Floyd was the top scoring individual in the state competition.

The Floriculture competition involved multiple disciplines related to greenhouse production, including identification of tools and up to 100 different plants, along with common plant diseases and other issues.

Holly Pond Agriscience teacher and FFA Advisor Rusty Roden told The Tribune, “Most of those kids have been on that team for three years, and they’ve been working really hard. They have been to the state contest the past two years in a row and have finished sixth the past two years. We were a little nervous that we were not going to have an opportunity this year, but they presented the students with a virtual state contest this year, and several of the different contests that FFA presents to students. I asked the students if they were interested, and they were most definitely interested because they had worked hard. Those students, they came in focused, and wanted to do well, and I’m very proud of them.”

The team has qualified to compete at the national level later this summer, in a contest that will also be held online.

The Holly Pond FFA Livestock Team took third place in the North District. Team members are Thomas Bell, Cooper Jones, Mattie Wood and Ethan Tapscott.

The team had to evaluate and rank four examples each of different types of cattle, hogs, sheep and goats, along with a test on animal science.

Roden said that he is “Very proud of those. We have some younger students and one older student on that. We had two freshmen, a junior and a senior on that contest . . . They’ll be able, all except for Cooper, be able to come back and compete next year. So, outstanding students.”

FFA student Andre McCaffrey placed among the top four in the state in Greenhouse Production. Roden also reported that, in all, seven Holly Pond students qualified for their FFA degrees.

Said Roden, “Those students are outstanding. Very thankful for a great group of students at Holly Pond.”

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com