The Cedarcrest FFA Landscape Team won the state competition on March 24th, 2017.
The FFA nursery and landscape competition sounds simple: look at some plants, name them and then design a landscape.
But it’s a much more difficult process. “We have to identify about 120 to 130 plants,” team member Ben Benson said.
“And what’s so tough about it is they might get a twig of a plant, a part of the leaf or piece of bark. I know what a bald cypress looks like, I can identify it, but if you just give me a piece of bark, I don’t think I could. That’s what we do in this competition.”
The contest is comprised of five individual events and one team event: a general knowledge exam, identification of 116 plant species, landscape estimating, a written assistance exercise and a nursery production exercise.
The team activity involved a landscape drawing and presentation of the drawing to a panel.
The written exercise included a hand-written business letter. The overall contest is quite extensive, pulling skills from mathematics in landscape estimation, English in written assistance, and biology in the general knowledge exam.
It’s a tremendous accomplishment to win a state FFA contest. The team spent several hours preparing and training for the contest with practices, study, and hard work; they definitely earned the title of state champs.
With over 9,000 FFA members in Washington, there are plenty of people who go “all out” to win.
Team members include: Kendra Mutch (top individual score in the state), Ben Benson (2nd individual in the state), Zakya Misallati, Nicole Ballard and Brittney Trujillo.
This year’s team under the guidance of teacher Seth Thomas went to work.
“They worked so hard for this,” Thomas said. “I’m so proud of them.”
The championship earns the team an invitation to the 2016 National FFA Convention in October 2017 in Indianapolis.