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C.L. Payne Shines at FFA State Convention

See news release with photos. 

Members of the C.L. Payne FFA Chapter at Liberty High School won a first-place, two second-place and two third-place titles at the 93rd annual Virginia FFA State Convention held June 17-20 at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. The C.L. Payne Chapter also earned a gold rating in the National Chapter Award Program and will advance to further competition at the National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis this fall.   

With 22 members in attendance this year, C.L. Payne FFA was one of the chapters with a record number of attendees.  Students in attendance included Payton Wright, Katelyn Graves, Catheryn Wolfe, Megan Day, Jonathan Kuhler, Kenneth Reed Mayhugh Jr., Elizabeth Ott, Caroline Ott, Riley Hines, Gerard Hogan, Madison Sifford, Salem Sifford, Austin Shutt, Kayleigh Hall, Gabriella Richards, Victoria Claveloux, John Embrey, Kayci Martin, Steven Hammer, Steven Leonard, Lily Martin, and Mackenzie Butler.

At the convention, students participated in Career Development Events (CDEs), attended workshops, networked with FFA members, advisors, and stakeholders from all across the state, heard from inspiring keynote speakers, and were recognized for achievements throughout the year.

Three chapter members excelled in their Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) and will move on to national competition at the National FFA Convention and Expo. Payton Wright will represent Virginia in the area of Agricultural Processing, Kenneth Reed Mayhugh, Jr. will represent Virginia in the area of Nursery Operations, and Katelyn Graves will represent Virginia in the area of Small Animal Production and Care. 

FFA members can earn degrees as they progress through the phases of their leadership, academic and career skills development. Victoria Claveloux, Katelyn Graves, Gerard Hogan, Kenneth Reed Mayhugh Jr, and Payton Wright all received the State FFA Degree at the annual convention.

During the four-day event, many of the Virginia State FFA Career Development Events (CDEs) are held. Students and advisors work tirelessly to prepare for these competitions to showcase the skills they have learned in their agriculture classes. 

For the Agriculture CDE, students worked together to complete an agricultural communications plan outlining how to reach the community and tell the chapter’s story.  Students also completed a grammar-editing test. The team—Payton Wright, Katelyn Graves, Victoria Claveloux and Jonathan Kuhler— placed second overall.

The Agriculture Issues team researched and presented an issue facing the agriculture industry that is specific to our area.  This year’s team presented on how the increased amount of rainfall is impacting the agriculture industry. The team— Kayleigh Hall, Gabriella Richards and Cathryn Wolfe — placed third.

The Employment Skills Learning Development CDE tests a member’s knowledge of the employment process. Competitors completed a resume and job application and participated in several interviews. Megan Day competed for the C.L. Payne Chapter and placed third in this competitive event.

The Farm Business Management CDE consists of completing a two-part, four-hour problem solving and multiple-choice exam about owning and operating a farm business. Students worked through several scenarios that a business owner would face throughout the year. Team members included Austin Shutt, Riley Hines, Madison Sifford and Jonathan Kuhler. Madison Sifford placed ninth overall in the individual event, and the team placed fourth.

Victoria Claveloux placed second in the Computer Applications CDE. She had to take a written exam and complete an exercise in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Access. 

The Dairy Evaluation CDE consists of a test about the dairy industry and evaluating groups of dairy cows based on age. Team members included Elizabeth Ott, Caroline Ott, and John Embrey. Elizabeth Ott advanced to the second day of the competition and placed sixth overall. 

The Dairy Cattle Handlers Activity is a contest that takes place during the Dairy Cattle Evaluation CDE. The handlers lead the animals to showcase the best qualities of the animals.  Salem Sifford placed first in this competition and will represent Virginia at the National FFA Convention and Expo.

The chapter received a gold rating in the area of public relations and achieved a gold rating for their chapter scrapbook, completed by Victoria Claveloux and Cathryn Wolfe.  The final award was an overall rating of superior for the chapter.

After all CDE results, the nominating committee presented the slate of 2019-2020 Virginia State FFA Officers. This year, Madison Sifford of the C.L. Payne FFA Chapter was chosen as one of the Virginia FFA State Vice Presidents. Madison will serve Virginia throughout the coming year.

The C.L. Payne FFA chapter would like to thank Cedar Run Construction, Hogan Horse Transport, and Genesis Home Improvement for sponsoring their convention t-shirts. Teacher advisors of the C.L. Payne FFA Chapter at LHS are Miranda Locuratolo, Stephanie Loring, and Pam Woodward.