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2011 NATIONAL Forestry CDE


2011 National FFA Forestry CDE 


Bryce Bateman, Kareena Jones, Brittany Sparks, and Rebekah Wright of the David Crockett FFA Chapter represented Tennessee in the 2011 National FFA Forestry Contest during the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. They placed 11th in the National Contest out of 37 states. They received a Gold Team Emblem award for being one of the best teams. Of the 20 National Contests held at the National FFA Convention, only 5 Tennessee teams won Gold.

Out of 1900 points, they finished just 120 points from 1st place, and 38 points from 3rd place in an enormously competitive and exhausting 2-day event. Bryce Bateman placed 11th High Individual in the Nation; Brittany Sparks placed 16th High Individual.

More importantly, they gained incredible leadership skills during preparation and at the contest. They truly stood out among other states, and we are extremely proud of them! Just to have the opportunity to meet FFA members from all across the nation having the same interests is remarkable itself.

The team fought extreme weather conditions during the event; each member was physically and mentally exhausted at the end. They displayed genuine respect and sportsmanship during the entire event, showing their high moral character and ‘lead by example’ attitudes to all the other contestants.  By the end of the week, they had gained the utmost respect. David Crockett FFA members truly look to Bryce, Kareena, Brittany, and Rebekah for inspiration.   

The National FFA Organization website has several pictures of Convention, and they captured the Forestry Team in action. You can view the pictures at: http://www.ihigh.com/ffa/gallery_65760.html?photo=106#currentPhoto (If you will scroll through the pictures at the top of the screen, the photos of the team are in photo numbers 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 122, and 134. The pictures tell the cold and rain conditions of the event.)



 From 'The Johnson City Press' after team wins State Forestry CDE:

David Crockett FFA team wins state forestry competition

Published August 19, 2011
By Amanda Marsh - Press Staff Writer

Anyone can call themselves a forestry aficionado, but David Crockett High School’s Forestry Team has the credentials to prove it.

The group of three students and one recent graduate quizzed, measured and paced their way to the top spot in the Tennessee FFA Forestry CDE back in June. The victory was huge, but to the team, the real reward was a pass to the national competition set for mid-October. The group became pretty tight-knit while spending months studying material about tree identification and how to use a Biltmore Stick to measure their diameter and determine how many logs they would produce.

“It is a really big commitment, but it’s really important for me to do something this big and get this far with it,” said Kareena Jones, a 16-year-old junior and forestry team member. “I had never entered a contest and gotten this far with it and I just got so interested. I’ve became committed to it because I’m so interested and I’m good at it, plus I’m really passionate about it.”

Jones, plus the rest of the forestry team ­— Brittany Sparks, Rebekah Wright and Bryce Bateman — will continue to study relentlessly for the next two months until they make the trip to Indianapolis to compete against 35-40 state teams. It’s not unusual for them to spend three hours after school filling their brains full of potential general knowledge questions as well as forestry-related scenarios they could be asked about in the interview portion of the competition. Some of their study time is spent outside along the trails near the school practicing their compass and pacing techniques.

As the leaves turn, Wright says they’ll have to pay more attention to the bark so they can quickly identify trees in the group portion, when they’ll have 30 minutes to name and measure 15 trees. It sounds somewhat simple in theory, but when other teams are looking for the same information at the same time, the competitive nature of the contest comes into play.

“Everybody is out there at once, so everyone is trying to measure the same tree and you can’t let them see your answers,” said Wright, a senior.

The forestry team scored well above their competitors in the statewide contest at Camp Clements in Doyle and also placed first in regionals held last May at Backbone Rock Recreation Area. Wright was the second-highest- scoring individual in the State FFA Forestry CDE, followed by Jones, Bateman and Sparks. Bateman, a 16-year-old junior, was first in regionals. Besides their winning efforts in FFA, the group members are also good students.

“They have a lot of fun during practice and they’re really good friends and they aggravate each other a lot, but when it comes time to focus, they focus,” said Ryan Arnett, agriculture teacher and FFA adviser. “These are the type of students that you don’t have to tell them what to do. They just do it on their own.”

Their dedication to the National Forestry CDE is evident in the thick binders filled with notes that each of the forestry-fanatics carry with them. Otherwise known as their “lifelines” and the pillow they sleep with each night, the colorful tabs divide between areas of study like chainsaw and wood identification, plus maps and forestry business questions. Wright, Jones and Bateman say that block scheduling helps them find time between academics to study for the upcoming contest. Sparks, a freshman at Walters State Community College, has scheduled classes two days per week, so she’ll have three days free to study with fellow members. Because she was a senior at the regional competition, she’s eligible to compete in nationals.

“I just want to make everyone proud, including my peers, by showing that agriculture is important,” Sparks said. “The competition isn’t all about agriculture, either, it’s about being a leader within this group and bringing us together and building this strong bond while working toward this one goal.”

Individually, Bateman is the only member who’s specifically interested in a career in forestry, while the others became fascinated with the subject several months ago.

“I love the woods and that’s what inspired me to take the class,” he said. “I like being outdoors and hunting and after Mr. Arnett informed us about the forestry contest, I began studying and we placed fourth in state my freshman year and now we picked up first place.”

The forestry team is looking for gold at nationals, which would give them scholarship money and a lot of prestige. Either way, this long and knowledge-driven journey has given them tools they can use for the rest of their lives.

“One thing that I find helpful is that we actually know about the world around us,” said Wright “A lot of people just don’t know anything and when I go outside I actually know what kind of trees are around. I find it fascinating that we can never be deprived of that knowledge.”

Read more: http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/Living/article.php?id=93549#ixzz236BJMk4d


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