NU FFA students give strong showing at Sierra-Buttes Section Speaking Contest |

NU FFA students give strong showing at Sierra-Buttes Section Speaking Contest

Adam Jones
Jessica Mason
Meghan Garren
Peyton Eckerling
Jayden Yokum

As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. And if you can’t crawl, then do anything you can to keep moving.”

This past year has been difficult to say the least, yet the FFA members of the Nevada Union Chapter have not lost their passion and determination they have for competition.

After months of practicing and learning to navigate a virtual team setting, the Natural Resources team dawned their FFA Official dress, logged onto their zooms, and got ready to tackle the State Competition on Jan. 23. Among the many different aspects of the Natural Resources competition, Animal ID, Plant ID, and Oral Presentation were among the skills the team had to complete. At the end of the day the team members, Laila Smith (Junior), Izabella Votino (Senior), Harlie Dechaine (Sophmore), and Sierra Hoyle (Sophmore), successfully walked away with 6th Overall High Team and 2nd Overall High Team in Oral Presentation.

Starting February 23 and ending March 3, the Sierra-Buttes Section Speaking Contest took place. Students from the surrounding counties competed against each other in five different speaking competitions to see which top four would move onto the Superior Region Speaking competition.

On Tuesday, February 23, Extemporous Speaking competed. During this event, participants draw from twelve agricultural topics then select three of interest. From those three, a student selects the topic of their speech and has thirty minutes to prepare using five resources. Participants then present a four to six-minute speech on their topic to a panel of judges. After their speech, students answer five minutes worth of questions on the topic they just presented. Nevada Union did not have any members present in that competition.

On Wednesday, February 24, Prepared Speaking ensued. Students in this competition research a topic of interest and then put together a creative, informative speech. The speech is then presented to a panel of judges, who score the student based on the speech’s content, composition and delivery, as well as the answering of questions at the end.

Meghan Garren (Junior) gave her speech on Cloning in Agriculture, and placed second overall so she will be moving onto the Regional contest. Thursday, February 25, Peyton Eckerling (Senior) participated in Job Interview for the first time and did very well.

This event simulates real-world activities used by employers and tests students’ ability to perform effectively throughout the employment process. Students submit a cover letter and resume; complete an application and a telephone interview; and participate in a preliminary face–to–face interview.

The following week, March 2, Impromptu competed where Jessica Mason placed fourth Overall and will be moving onto Regionals, as well.

Impromptu speaking is a sophomore level competition where the student delivers a message on the spur of the moment, as when someone is asked to “say a few words” about a topic.

March 3 marked the last competition and this was Creed Speaking. Creed is a freshman level competition where members recite the FFA Creed and are asked five minutes worth of questions. Adam Jones placed First and Jayden Yokum placed Third Overall; both will be moving on.

Congratulations to all who participated, especially our NU members!

While we may not be competing side by side in person yet, Nevada Union FFA is moving forward and excelling in their many competitions. Fun and career based skills can be learned through these events. Students from across the state come together as the best of friends and the most fierce of competitors. We encourage anyone in the NU Ag Department to take the risk, step out of your comfort zone, and participate in one of the numerous competitions NU FFA offers.

Meghan Garren is a 17-year-old junior at Nevada Union High School. She is currently serving as the NU FFA Chapter’s official reporter.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User