PCHS Forestry team wins second place at Nationals

Pocahontas County High School FFA Forestry Team won second place at the National Competition last week in Louisville, Kentucky. From left, Lyndsee Gay, Matt Rao, forestry teacher Scott Garber, Stephen Simmons and Adam Irvine. Photo courtesy of Heather Simmons
Pocahontas County High School FFA Forestry Team won second place at the National Competition last week in Louisville, Kentucky. From left, Lyndsee Gay, Matt Rao, forestry teacher Scott Garber, Stephen Simmons and Adam Irvine. Photo courtesy of Heather Simmons

The Pocahontas County High School FFA Forestry team – Lyndsee Gay, Adam Irvine, Matt Rado and Stephen Simmons – competed in the 2014 National Forestry CDE competition October 29 through 31 in Louisville, Kentucky. The event was held in conjunction with the 87th National FFA Convention and Expo.

The National Forestry CDE is a competitive event that tests students’ skill and knowledge in the area of forest management. The event components include general knowledge exam, forest issues interview, tree identification, sawtimber cruising, timber stand improvement, tool identification, mapping, compass and pacing, chainsaw part identification and problems, forest insects/disorders, forest products, forestry business problem, and a team activity.

The event took place at Bernheim Forest in Clermont, Kentucky.

In this National competition Pocahontas County placed second in the Nation out of 40 participating states. Matt Rao was the high individual, placing fifth in the Nation individually. All four of the team members received gold medals, placing 28th or higher as individuals in the Nation, this is out of 160 of the nation’s top high school foresters.

“The strength of this team is their commitment, dedication, and teamwork,” said PCHS Forestry Team coach Scott Garber. “Not to mention the great character that each one of them has. They represented Pocahontas County and West Virginia extremely well while in these competitions. Both the county and state should be extremely proud of these students.”

Pocahontas County has a rich history with this competition with 24 State titles and seven National titles. They have also placed second in the Nation nine times. This success has been over the course of 19 years, with titles in both the FFA and 4-H competitions.

The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of approximately 610,240 student members as part of 7,665 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

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