FFA Preview: Competitions to Come, State Ahead

Officers discuss excitement, preparation


Photo by Morgan Kasel

Talking with students, senior FFA treasurer Jeffery Morphis shows the animals on display at Meet the Timberwolves on Aug. 22. With FFA’s floral and entomology teams placing 37th and 19th at State last year, FFA members are off the a quick start this year with competition in mind. “I love competing in Entomology contests,” Morphis said. “I got 37th individual [at] state last year, and hopefully will get to the top ten this year. I’m also looking forward to the major stock show season, and hope to hit up all six Texas major shows.” 

Morgan Kasel, Reporter

While most students were relaxing and enjoying time away from school over the summer, FFA members were preparing for a competition in Belton, Texas as well as events taking place during the school year. The members placed well at the Belton competition and are off to a quick start this year with State in mind. 

Junior FFA student advisor Skye Lindholm works to recruit students into FFA, as well as help, prepare other schools in Leander ISD as district sentinel. As a first year officer, Lindholm said that she hopes to bring more recognition and awareness to FFA. 

“As an officer this year, I would really like to bring knowledge about FFA to the school and our community,” Lindholm. “Since we do live in a [suburban] area, people have no idea that we exist. I really want to bring some new people in because I have people that are interested, and they want to do things in FFA besides raising animals. [But], because they don’t have the knowledge about it, they don’t know they can.”

Lindholm has been a member of FFA since freshman year and competes in three categories: Career Development Events (CDEs), Leadership Development Events (LDEs) and Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAEs). Lindholm is part of the floral team (CDE) and the chapter conducting team (LDE). She is also currently raising two pigs, a lamb and chickens. Lindholm said that she feels pretty confident about both the floral and chapter conducting teams, thanks to the members and the teachers helping them prepare. 

“For floral, I’m planning to win State,” Lindholm said. “Last year we worked pretty hard and half the team, it was [their] first year and going to State was like “wow.” And now [there’s] going to be two or three of us that are already experienced from last year and going to state just pulling one person on the team already and bringing them to State. I think we have a good chance of winning.” 

Senior FFA president Katelyn Groppe, who competes in Public Relations and Job Interview (LDE), said that with new members and a new year, she is excited for the different competitions and opportunities in FFA.

“I look forward to this year in FFA because of all the new opportunities it brings,” Groppe said. “FFA is full of options and it is that seemingly endless amount of possibilities that has always been enchanting to me. This year, I have the ability to help people towards their goals as a person, with the hope [that] they will seek their own personal evolutions. FFA has changed me as a person and I hope to help others get the same experience.”

Groppe said that she is looking forward to State this year, and she hopes that hard work and dedication will help the FFA teams receive a high ranking. 

“I’m feeling pretty confident of our chances at going to State this year in any competition,” Groppe said. “This year we are being more proactive about practicing, whether it is rehearsing a speech or curating a script. Hard work is the key to success, and our wise advisors have that in mind during practices they host. I’ve seen some talented kids in our midst, one who is even going to nationals this October to compete. However, it isn’t about talent but how much time and effort you are willing to sacrifice, and I can confirm that a lot of our new members are willing to put in the time.” 

Last year on April 27 and May 23, FFA’s floral team and entomology team competed in the state competition at Sam Houston University in Huntsville, Tx. The floral team ranked 37th out of 60 teams and entomology 19th out of 61 teams. State this year will be held at Houston University again around April and May. 

Along with State, there are many other competitions this year, such as the Speaking Development Event and competitions in Veterinary Science and Farm Business Management (CDEs), that members are preparing for. Groppe said that she is eager to begin competing again. 

“I’m definitely looking forward to competing in a Speaking Development Event,” Groppe said. “For me the process of memorizing a speech and understand all of the content and information is so fun. It may just be my love for talking shining through, but I love to get up there and just speak. I’ve overcome my shyness and I’m currently coming in with the best intentions. I work best under pressure and the adrenaline sends me to euphoria. I can’t wait to get back in front of the judges in the spring.” 

Senior FFA treasurer Jeffrey Morphis has been a member of FFA for five years. He is on the chapter conducting team, quiz team, entomology team and participates in the Swine Skillathon with the pigs he raises. Morphis said that he is looking forward to future competitions.

“I love competing in Entomology contests,” Morphis said. “I got 37th individual at state last year, and hopefully will get to the top ten this year. I’m also looking forward to the major stock show season, and hope to hit up all six Texas major shows.” 

With multiple competitions and categories to compete in, Lindholm said that FFA is a great way to develop leadership skills as well as responsibility. 

“I suggest that people participate in FFA just because it focuses on leadership opportunities that can help with your career growth, it basically teaches you how to be a young, responsible adult,” Lindholm said. “We just really try to focus on preparing our members for the real world.”