Janel Meldrum of Pahranagat Valley High School has been elected vice president of the state Future Farmers of America Clubs in Nevada for the 2016-2017 term. She was chosen at the state FFA Convention March 22-26 in Reno at UNR. Both Pahranagat Valley and Lincoln County High clubs attended with about 20 others schools.
PVHS club advisor Cody Sanders said the team took 21 members and competed in seven contests including meat evaluation and technology, flori culture, dairy cattle evaluation, milk quality and products, horse evaluation, prepared public speaking, job interview and creed speaking.
Lincoln County High had 19 students participating and took third place in Range Management and Utilization and Farm Business Management.
Alamo’s Meat Evaluation team of Laetitia Ray (second high individual), Janel Meldrum, Culen Highbe and Cody Stirling placed second in the state in that particular contest. “They worked really hard at preparing for it,” Sanders said, “but unfortunately just had a bit of a rough day in the cooler, and losing out to a team from Wells.”
Meldrum made application for a state office for the coming year and went through a long and rigorous process before a select committee of various chapter members. Eight candidates were selected to run for six office positions. Sanders said she had to go to multiple interviews before both the full selection committee and a few smaller sub-committees. “They have to prepare workshops and give presentations all the while being evaluated by the committees,” Sanders noted. “They had to write a mock letter to a state legislator editor talking about a general agriculture topic, and have it graded for content and presentation, and give an extemporaneous speech to the committee.” He said the speech topic this year was “Pollinators and their use,” (bees, wasps, things that pollinate others), and why the practice was necessary.
Announcement of those selected for the various offices was made public during the Saturday morning final assembly session. The President was from the Silver State chapter in Spring Creek.
Meldrum is one of several who have held FFA offices in their time. Sanders himself was vice-president when a student at PVHS in 2005-2006. His sister Catelyn, was state president in 2011-2012.
Sanders explained Meldrum’s duties will involve “helping to run the organization, go to a special training session the week following the Clark County Fair this month, with the first big event being the state leadership event at
Lake Tahoe in mid-June. She will continue to be involved with the FFA, even though she might be attending college in the fall and next year. “It’s a very busy year for the state officers,” he said. “They devote a lot of time while still keeping up with college studies, if they go on. But it is also very beneficial for them. A lot of work, but like everything else in life, you get what you put into it.”
PVHS placing second in the meat evaluation contest involved identifying different cuts of meat from beef, pork and lamb. Contestants must identify 30 specific cuts, what type it is, where on the animal in comes from, what class it should be in, what is the primal cut, what is the retail cut, and what the cooking method is.
“I was not surprised at the outcome for our team,” Sanders said. “We believed we would do well and were hoping for first place, but second place will likely qualify the team to go back to the FFA National Convention in Indianapolis late next October.”
The team of Laetitia Ray, Maggie Rasmussen, Zoe Jewett, and Brook Higbee also placed second in flori culture which Sanders said is more on the science of flowers rather than just the arrangement. He said, “There are 40 items that have to be identified…different cut flowers, potted flowers, different greens to be used in an arrangement as well as tools that are commonly used in the industry. They also had to make a table display of an arrangement and attempt to sell it one-on-one to a customer.”
The dairy evaluation team placed third in state.
Sanders said he was very pleased with the team’s showing. “It’s really good to see when the kids work hard and put in the effort you asked them to they get the reward.”