FFA Students take on Centex and the future


Kara DiClemente

Senior Walker Hormuth stands before a FFA meeting earlier this year. Hormuth ran for a district office position this year. “Even though I didn’t get elected to a position, just standing on stage with the bright lights in my face, I was surprised I even got up there,” Hormuth said. Next fall, Hormuth plans to attend Tarleton State University and to join collegiate FFA.

Kerry Madden, Reporter

No matter how they got to it,  from friends’ suggestions, to parents, or simply wanting to explore an interest further, FFA have found themselves involved in a school community and  immersed in something they could be passionate about. Freshmen to senior competitors have turned their months of preparation into results in a variety of individual and group competitions, members competed in events such as quiz team, agricultural advocacy and skills team.

“I had no idea what I was getting into, but after that first competition I knew I wanted to continue doing it my sophomore, junior and senior year,” said Mackenzie Keefer who competes on the quiz team said.

In agricultural advocacy, competitors give speeches over the future of agriculture. Their speeches are aimed to spread messages about the importance of knowing about agriculture in today’s society.

“I really wanted to speak to others about the future of agriculture and how it is extremely important to know about it,” Brinn Vinklarek said.

To prepare for the event, Vinklarek, as well as other competitors in agricultural advocacy, dedicated every DEN period to perfecting each line and preparing their speech as a whole. Overall, their agricultural advocacy team placed third at Centex competition.

“My proudest moment was walking out of the competition room, because that was my first time to ever give a speech,” Vinklarek said.

Another side of the FFA competition circuit is the skills team. In the skills competition you present your skill in front of a panel of judges within twenty minutes followed by five minutes of questions. Competitors are judged on competency, completion of the task and time.

“I am in agriculture mechanics two, so I was interested in the competition before Mr. Russell asked me to join the team,” senior Walker Hormuth said, “This year we wired up household plugs, a light with two switches and a breaker box. I feel like I have improved not only in my electrical wiring skills but also in ability to be able to complete a task under pressure and time constraint.”

In addition to skills team and agricultural advocacy, there is a quiz team. Keefer has competed in this event for the past four years and cites that she has improved immensely, building her quiz knowledge database each year. The quiz team competition is an exam testing team members’ understanding of the FFA, agricultural education, current agricultural events and parliamentary procedure. This year, Cedar Park’s quiz team advanced to the Cen Tex District Leadership Development Event competition because they placed second in the Area VII LDE competition.

“To prepare for the competition we received a study packet with all of the information that could be on the exam. I made a giant stack of flashcards with all of the information on them because I learn best writing down the information and then reading it over.”

Keefer, Hormuth and Vinklarek hope to continue their FFA successes in livestock shows later this year. While Vinklarek has a full three years ahead of her, Keefer and Hormuth plan on continuing their agricultural education in college.

“I plan to major in agriculture science next year and become an agriculture teacher and this will allow me to continue to be involved in FFA,” Keefer said.

In addition to second place senior quiz team and third place agricultural advocacy team, the other individual and team events placed in the top three of their competition at Centex.