Stillwater FFA fishes for a victory

FFA members explore the U of M campus after competing in state. Each year the U of M host the Minnesota State FFA Competition.

Photo by Toby Weiss

FFA members explore the U of M campus after competing in state. Each year the U of M host the Minnesota State FFA Competition.

Toby Weiss, Broadcast Editor-in-Chief

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For members of the Stillwater FFA club, studying hard is a necessity as the Minnesota State Fish & Wildlife Competition is rapidly approaching on April 29, at the University of Minnesota.

The FFA organization was founded in 1928 and has since brought forth many eye-opening opportunities for at least 600,000 high school students across the country. With genres expanding from small animal care to forestry, FFA has delivered a broad range of experience, helping students discover their post-high school path.

As of today, nearly 669,989 high school students across America are currently members of the FFA organization. At a more local level, the school’s member count adds up to 45, 17 of them qualifying for state.

Glenn Boettcher, Agriscience teacher and FFA advisor, has been with the organization for 30 years. He too was a member and participated in FFA events when he was in high school.

“FFA has so many levels to its organization from the local chapter to the regional activities, state activities, and national activities. It covers such a wide range of interests, which is also quite unique,” Boettcher said.

As an advisor, he provides students with the correct materials needed to study and fully understand the topic at hand.

While you can learn plenty of information on farming and all things around it, there are so many different areas covered that someone is more than likely to find something that piques their interest.

“There’s a lot of good information that people would enjoy to know, not only should they need to know. There doesn’t seem to be as many students in this school that know about it as there should be,” said junior Aaron Mozey on students learning about the club and having the opportunity to join.

I am learning new skills to allow me to go into a job field that I love after college. Plus, the FFA allows me to get a first-hand look at companies that I might want to work for or with later in my career.”

— Matt Crain

After joining solely for the extra credit opportunity, Mosey found interest in the activities he had participated in and had a reason to stay in the Fish and Wildlife part of FFA.

“I really like fish, I think they’re an interesting animal, as well as it covers amphibians and reptiles, something I’m also interested in,” said Mozey.

Being a part of this club gets members connected with fellow peers that are also interested in some sort of biology. Whether it be forestry, wildlife biology, poultry, veterinary science or more, this club has a lot to offer for those looking to join. Not only do members gain knowledge of such topics, but they partake in hands-on experiences that will help them progress in their career path.

Since joining FFA, junior Matt Crain has experienced more in the fields of agriculture and wildlife conservation than he would have without the recourses provided by the club.

“I am learning new skills to allow me to go into a job field that I love after college. Plus, the FFA allows me to get a first-hand look at companies that I might want to work for or with later in my career,” said Crain.

In the past few years, the Stillwater FFA team has landed in the top ten for state. This year at regionals the team took third place, with two members placing in the top 5. Boettcher, Crain and Mozey hope that with multiple hours of practice, studying and hands-on experience put in, the team will place top 5 in this year’s competition.

“I’m optimistic that if we put a good amount of effort in this last week, if the whole group does, I think the chance of getting in that top 5 is certainly doable,” Boettcher said.

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