Beating more than 9,000 other students from more than 500 schools, Stephenville FFA brought home the Tarleton State Invitational Championship trophy for the second year in a row.
"Most ag teachers don't get to be a part of something like this in a lifetime, and we've been able to do it four times since I've been working at SHS," said Laurah Williams, Stephenville FFA advisor. "I'm just so proud of these kids for all the hard work they've put in."
The Tarleton Invitational is the largest FFA competition in the nation. Williams said the event, which takes place at the campus, Honeywell Ranch, the TSU dairy and Lone Star Arena, is something the teams look forward to.
"It's a big deal to these guys," she said. "They've worked hard to get where they are right now. And they're out there competing against kids from 5A and 4A schools in addition to the 3A and under."
Teams from Stephenville FFA included meats evaluation, livestock judging, horse judging, entomology, dairy cattle judging, milk quality judging, farm and business management, wildlife, environmental and natural resources and floriculture. Williams, Michael Rainey and Ryan Clarke have been working with team members this year.
The teams are made up of individual winners who earned points for placing in the top portion of their category. These points are figured into a formula that determines the overall winners, which is called sweepstakes. The Stephenville FFA finished this year with 1,400 points, well above second place.
Stephenville FFA took 10 teams, made up of 50 students, to the contest. These same teams will compete in the Area IV contest against 87 other schools on April 9 at Tarleton.
The meat evaluation team will travel to Texas Tech Saturday, April 12, for area competition. The top five teams, or the top 15 percent (whichever is greater) will move on to the state competition this summer. Winners at the state level earn the right to travel to the national FFA convention.
"These kids have worked really hard and I think it really shows in how well they did," Williams said. "I hope we will continue to be successful throughout the year."