Copperas Cove High School FFA students have made history and set themselves up not only for successful careers but some lucrative college scholarships.
Cove High School students Abbie Wardlow, Andrew McGuire and Kayla Ayala qualified and competed in the National Agriscience Fair at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis in November. Wardlow’s “Debris Destruction Shielded” project on micro hydroelectric systems and McGuire and Ayala’s “What in Germination is Happening Here” project discussing the effects of salt runoffs on plants stood out against the other participants ultimately placing all three in the top 12 of all competitors in the nation.
Wardlow was awarded eighth place, and McGuire and Ayala were awarded 11th place.
While participating at the competition, the students had a chance to attend numerous leadership workshops, scholarship seminars, and entertaining shows, and explore colleges and business in the field of agriculture.
“Competing at nationals was an amazing achievement and definitely worth it,” McGuire said. “I’m looking forward to earning a spot to compete next year as well.”
For months, the students prepared their projects to present at the competition. Wardlow won her slot to advance in the individual presentation competition and Ayala and McGuire were selected to advance in the team presentation category after winning at the Texas State Fair.
At the national contest, they were judged by a panel of three on their creativity, showcase of the scientific method and application of the project in the agricultural community.
Also at the convention, Taylor Kelly and Daniel West, former CCHS students and FFA alumni, were both awarded the American Degree, the highest award bestowed in the FFA.
They are the first recipients to ever receive the FFA American Degree from Copperas Cove.
“Earning the American Degree has taken years of work dedicated to the agricultural field and FFA,” Kelley said.“It is an honor and privilege to be awarded this degree. I am so grateful for the opportunities provided to meso that I was able to receive my American Degree. Less than one percent of all FFA members earn the degree, so being in that one percent is an awesome feeling.”
Having completed their high school careers, Kelley and West plan careers in agriculture. Kelley is already working in the agricultural field on his family farm and West will obtain this career upon graduation from college.
While at the national convention, the students also enjoyed a Rascal Flats concert at the Lucas Oil Stadium, a performance of the National FFA Band on Georgia Street, and a tour of the Motor Speedway Museum.