Stephenville FFA continues garnering awards and honors for the City of Champions.
The local FFA chapter recently returned from the 84th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis with its share of titles from the national Agriscience fair and leadership and career development.
Scotta and Kenna Faulkenberry won the national championship in the botany division of the Agriscience Fair.
Faulkenberry's win marks the second national championship in this field by Stephenville FFA members.
The sisters did a project about the digestibility of legumes and explained how feeding the roughage reduces a rancher's need for fertilizer while being good for the soil.
"We were both very excited about winning. Kenna stepped up to a higher division and did very well with added pressure. We worked together to learn the science behind our presentation and delivered our findings very well," Scotta said, adding they have given similar presentations in 4-H.
Each girl received $1,000 for winning the state agriscience fair where they advanced to the national convention.
Holton Westbrook and Whitney Green placed second in the nation with their entry in the environmental division of the agriscience fair.
Westbrook said he and Green were motivated to explore the local impact natural gas fracking has on the soil and water system because both were unaware of what Erath County soil contains.
"There were many, many things that are never brought to our attention. The six-month project really opened my eyes, and I learned a lot about the world around us," Westbrook said.
The Farm Business Manager Team won the state contest in July, advancing to the national competition where the team placed 6th against more than 50 other state associations. Team members Anya Kalsbeek, Kyle Bullard, McKenzie Ford and Chelsey Way were tested on their ability to apply economic principles and concepts while analyzing farm and ranch management decisions.
State FFA Vice President Alyssa Spruill represents Area IV and the Stephennville FFA and was named runner up in the Sheep Production - Entrepreneurship/Placement Proficiency award program. The award recognizes students who excel as agricultural entrepreneurs while gaining real, world hands-on experience.
The FFA members all said they gained a greater understanding of principles taught in the classroom.
"In doing this hands-on project, I learned more about the practice of the scientific theory and developed an interest in agriculture on a very local level," Westbrook said.