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1,500 students compete in FFA Ag Education Contest at Northeast

1,500 students compete in FFA Ag Education Contest at Northeast

NORFOLK, Neb. – High school students, many of whom in blue jackets and bright gold lettering, were a common site on the Norfolk campus of Northeast Community College earlier this week. Approximately 1,500 students from 50 high schools in the region participated in the 2023 FFA Districts 3, 4 and 10 Career Development Event – Ag Education Contest on Monday.

“We have students from three districts competing today,” said Ag Instructor Sara Sellin. “We have students from Omaha to Ord competing in various contests across our beautiful campus. These are basically their districts, qualifying to compete at the state level.”  

Winners of many of the 14 contests qualifying events proceed to the state contest later this spring at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

Northeast agriculture, electrical construction and control, electromechanical, horticulture, veterinary technology and welding faculty and students hosted the day. Contests included an ag biotech exam, ag sales objective test and sales activity, ag technology and mechanics, agri-science contest – animal science, agronomy, environthon, farm management, floriculture, food science, livestock management, meats contest, nursery and landscape, veterinary science exam, and welding. 

Jill Heemstra, director of the agriculture program at Northeast, said there were over 1,900 entries, meaning that some students competed in more than one contest. She said they are excited to see what students learn and take away from the contests. 

“The top 25% of teams who score high at this event qualify for state contests and then there will be a lucky few down at state who will get to go on and compete at the national level.”

FFA Chapters participating in the contest include: 
District 3 Schools: Arlington, Blair, Bancroft-Rosalie, Logan View, Lyons-Decatur Northeast, Mead, North Bend, Oakland-Craig, Omaha Bryan, Pender, Ralston, Scribner-Snyder, Tekamah-Herman, Wayne, West Point, Winside, Wisner-Pilger.

District 4 Schools: Allen-Wakefield, Battle Creek, Bloomfield, Creighton, Crofton, Emerson-Hubbard, Hartington-Newcastle, Laurel-Concord-Coleridge, Lutheran High Northeast, Madison, Norfolk, Osmond, Pierce, Plainview, Randolph, Stanton, Summerland, Verdigre.

District 10 Schools: Ainsworth, Boyd County, Burwell, Chambers, Elgin, Elkhorn Valley, Keya Paha, Loup County, Neligh-Oakdale, O'Neill, Ord, Rock County, Sargent, Stuart, West Holt, Wheeler Central.

Northeast Community College has hosted the contest for over 40-years, with the entire college involved in host an event of this magnitude. Employees from two of Northeast’s extended campuses volunteered to help while the recruiting office had all of its student ambassadors help out as well, in addition to all the other faculty, staff and students who assisted in running contests. 

“We really enjoy having the high school students at Northeast for events like this,” Heemstra said. “In addition to helping them achieve their goals in FFA, our hope is when they come here and see what we have to offer, they think about us when they’re considering college.”


                                                                                        PHOTO CUTLINE 

Dr. Trentee Bush, agriculture instructor at Northeast Community College, explains directions in nursery and landscaping contest during the 2023 FFA Districts 3, 4 and 10 Career Development Event – Ag Education Contest this week on the Northeast Community College campus in Norfolk. Approximately 1,500 high school students from 50 high schools in the region competed in 14 various contests across the Norfolk campus. Most of the Northeast contests were state qualifying events with winners proceeding to the state contest this spring at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.