Texas FFA members with a knack for Agriscience throughout the association, spent months preparing projects to compete at convention this week. The competition was divided into five categories, and split into team and individual competitions. The winners were announced at a private banquet preceding the third general session and publicly at the session as well.
The fair was held in the exhibit hall and provided members and guests with a multitude of projects involving Biochemistry/ Food Science/Microbiology, Botany, Engineering, Environmental Sciences and Zoology.
“I started my project in December and didn’t finish until Monday,” Junior Botany first place winner Katie Brigsby said. “I tested homemade preservatives, freshwater and a commercial preservative on carnations. A commercial preservative was best at keeping a carnation alive for 10 days.”
Students like Brigsby work hard year round preparing for fair, and when they win, all the hard work pays off. “I competed at San Antonio in February,” Brigsby said, “and I will do it again next year.”
ExxonMobil sponsored the fair and scholarships were supported by Mr. Richard Wallrath through the Texas FFA Foundation.
“It’s an amazing feat,” ExxonMobil Southwest Government Relations Manager Sara Tays said. “It’s outstanding analytical and presentation skills that they learn will serve them well as they go through life.”
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Tays was thrilled to be present at the Agriscience Fair Banquet and brought her companies support along with her. “What we at ExxonMobil like so much about the Texas FFA Agriscience Fair is how it’s a hands on program,” Tays said. “One of our signature initiatives for our corporation is to promote agriculture science education.”
Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the National FFA Organization, Dr. Dwight Armstrong attended the banquet as well. Armstrong was the keynote speaker for the banquet and had many great things to say about the fair.
“It was quite a diverse group of projects,” Armstrong said. “All of us know the importance of these types of sciences.”
Armstrong’s speech focused on how science, math and technologies, all deeply rooted in the Agriscience projects, are important for the futures of the participants, especially those planning on becoming scientists.
“You have to have perseverance and dedication in order to have success in those areas,” Armstrong said. “The job market looks really good over the next several years for students that have a good solid science and technology background in agriculture.”
Awards were given out to the top three winners in each junior and senior category. State winners in each category and division we’re awarded a $1,000 scholarship and are advancing to the finals.