With a new teacher and an upgraded greenhouse, the Pocahontas County High School FFA chapter had much to celebrate at its annual banquet Thursday evening.
It was a re-energizing year for the club and, with the help of fellow faculty members, agriculture education teacher Erwin Berry said it has been a great year.
“I’ve taught for five or ten or 32 years and I have never been a part of a school system that worked together so well,” Berry said. “I’m very proud to be just a small part of this school. They all pitched in. They had a banquet last year. They sent kids to the state FFA convention and that – when I was trying to decide what to do – [helped me decide] I really want to be a part of this.”
Superintendent of schools Dr. Donald Bechtel also spoke to the teamwork and mentorship efforts of the staff with the students.
“Tony Wanger is a professor at Harvard and he talks about innovators and when I look at FFA members, you are innovators of the future,” Bechtel said. “You’re the ones that will take a look at land and say ‘we can make it better.’ As you innovate, Dr. Wagner says, ‘each of these innovators need mentors,’ so we thank all of you who are mentoring our young people.”
FFA President Kindra Carr announced the Honorary Degree recipients, two of whom are very close to her and her brother, Brandal. Their parents, Brett and Treana Carr, were recognized for their dedication to the club and their continued support of the students.
“Brett and Treana have been instrumental in keeping our FFA chapter productive during tough times,” Brandal said. “They have chaperoned trips and supervised fund- raising efforts to provide students opportunities for leadership and educational advancement.”
Also receiving the Honorary Degree were West Virginia University Extension Service employees Shirley Wilkins, Greg Hamons and Connie Burns.
“[They] have been very helpful to 4-H and FFA members by working with the students to trim, cure, smoke and market our hams and bacons for the annual sale,” Carr said. “They also help us with quality assurance and tagging details in order to show livestock at the state and local livestock sales and shows.”
Other awards presented were:
The main fundraiser for the FFA club is the fruit sales. This year, the club made more than $20,000 from sales of oranges, grapefruits, apples and fruit baskets. The top 10 sales people were: First place, Kinda Carr; second place, Austin DeHaven; third place, Brandal Carr; fourth place, Brandon Cassell; fifth place, Robert Eary; sixth place, Adam Irvine; seventh place, Austin Ervine; eighth place, Ashlyn McKenney; ninth place, Travis Paulowski; and tenth place, Austin Sharp.
Leadership Award: Kindra Carr.
Scholarship Awards: Jarrett Taylor, Ryan Irvine, Ashlyn McKenney and Kindra Carr.
Greenhand Degrees: Sallie Arbogast, Haley Bennett, Brandal Carr, Logan Davis, Austin DeHaven, Logan Dilley, Ryan Irvine, Tanner Moore, Drake Paulowski, Kenny Queen and Matthew Warder.
Chapter FFA Degrees: Josh Carr, Austin Ervine, Kurtis Kiner, Trace McKenney and Robert Nelson.
DeKalb Award: Kindra Carr.
Career Development Events Recognition
Soils: Ashlyn McKenney, Trace McKenney, Brandal Carr, Kurtis Kiner and Kindra Carr.
Tractor Driving: Trace McKenney, Brandal Carr and Kurtis Kiner.
Public Speaking: Kindra Carr and Sallie Arbogast.
Parliamentary Procedure: Brandal Carr, Kindra Carr, Ashlyn McKenney, Sallie Arbogast, Kurtis Kiner, Michael Long and Haley Bennett.
Poultry Judging: Trace McKenney, Kindra Carr, Matthew Warder and Sallie Arbogast.
Ag Mechanics: Ashlyn McKenney, Brandal Carr, Dylan Riffey, Troy Lusk and Michael Long.
Livestock: Kurtis Kiner, Michael Long, Robert Eary and Sallie Arbogast.
Plant Pathology: Kindra Carr, Ashlyn McKenney, Brandall Carr and Austin Ervine.
Forage Production, Darryl Foster; Ag Processing, Austin DeHaven; Egg Production, Kindra Carr; Beef Production, Kurtis Kiner, Ashlyn McKenney and Morgan Baldwin; Ag Mechanics, Dylan Riffey; Greenhouse Management, Drake Paulowski and Kenny Queen; Pork Production, Brandal Carr; Poultry Production, Trace McKenney; Forest Management, Josh Carr and Robert Nelson.
The Star Greenhand award was presented to Brandal Carr and the most all around FFA member award went to Kindra Carr.
The last award given was by the officers of the club.
“As you know, we’ve had a tough time and, on behalf of the entire club, I would just like to thank Mr. Berry for everything you’ve done,” Kindra Carr said.
The event included dinner prepared and served by PCHS ProStart students, musical entertainment by Juanita Fireball and the Continental Drifters and a slideshow made by the FFA members.
Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org