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Goldendale FFA: year in review


Each year, FFA chapters around the country celebrate National FFA Week. The week-long tradition began in 1947 when the National FFA Board of Directors designated the week of George Washington's birthday as National FFA Week in recognition of his legacy as an agriculturist and farmer. The first National FFA Week was held in 1948. Today, FFA Week runs Saturday to Saturday, encompassing Feb. 22, Washington's Birthday.

Goldendale FFA chapter activities for 2016-2017

Women in welding

On Feb. 23, about 25 female agriculture students participated in the Women in Welding Career Event. The students made metal roses using MIG welders and torches. They were coached by industry professionals, including four past Goldendale Graduates—Morgan Gamble, Mark Hilton, Will Bowdish and Chen Hites—as well as a parent, Steve Priddy.

First year member

On Feb. 29, the FFA First Year Member Team competed in the District IV contest. This event helps members learn about FFA, public speaking, teamwork, and many other useful soft skills. Both teams, consisting of five seventh graders each, qualified to compete at the state level.

Sales contest

On Feb. 29, Goldendale High School hosted the District IV sales contest. The agricultural sales team placed fourth and qualified for the state FFA convention in May. The team consisted of Katie, Alyssa, Joseph, and Nathan. Katie Priddy placed first out of 30 competitors.

Goldendale FFA agriscience fair

On March 10, around 70 agriscience students presented their agriscience fair projects in the Goldendale Middle School gym to a panel of eight community judges as a pre-qualifier for the state agriscience fair. The event was attended by over 250 parents and community members.

Raising salmon

The FFA chapter raised and released over 200 Chinook salmon in March in the Little Klickitat River. Members will also participate in a habitat restoration project as part of this project.

Guys in floral

On March 30, Debbie and Ken Clark, owners of Clarks Floral, worked with 25 male agriculture students to construct their own floral arrangement. Additionally, students had the opportunity to ask questions about careers in the floral industry. The purpose of this event was to encourage males to take plant biology at GHS and possibly pursue careers in horticulture.

Toppenish livestock show

On May 2, the Goldendale FFA livestock judging team traveled to Toppenish to compete in the judging contest. The GMS team placed seventh and the GHS team placed 11th out of 22 teams. Tiana Watson placed 12th out of 110 individuals. Members also helped serve food in the District IV chuck wagon.

Ag day

The Goldendale FFA hosted its first annual FFA Ag Day on April 29. The goal of the event was to increase youths’ awareness of the agricultural industry through hands-on interactive learning activities. Goldendale FFA members in seventh – 12th grade developed educational stations for local students in fourth grade and below. The event was attended by students of Goldendale Primary School, Roosevelt School District, and Learning Ladder Christian Preschool.

Plant sale

May 6-7, the Goldendale FFA chapter held the plant sale in the GHS greenhouse. A variety of flowers were sold. The funds raised went to support the chapter’s activities and travel.

State FFA convention

Goldendale FFA attended the Washington State FFA Convention May 11 – 15. The chapter was awarded fifth out of over 200 in the National Chapter Award. Members Daniel and Kassandra Wedgwood presented the application activities. Members Lene Riggers, Madison Krull, Cody Farmer, Alden Bothamley, Joseph Sepulveda, Cassie Kayser, Alyssa Merry, Katie Priddy, and Joseph Randall completed the written application. All 11 members have qualified for nationals this October in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Caroline Knopes and Elizabeth Garcia accepted their award for their state-winning and national qualifying agriscience project entitled, “Consumers’ Perceptions of GMO’s.” Caroline and Elizabeth will submit their written project to nationals in July for consideration and acceptance by early August.

The junior high beef education group placed second out of 18 groups in the hall of chapters. Members Hannah Avila, Olivia Erland, Josie Quantrell, Tiana Watson, Corbin Bland, Nick McKune, Andrew Ihrig, and Tyler Telford researched, constructed and presented the beef information.

The agricultural sales team, consisting of Katie Priddy, Alyssa Merry, Joseph Sepulveda and Nathan Mathews, placed sixth in their flight. Katie Priddy placed 12th out of 128 individuals in agricultural sales.

Cassie Kayser placed third in her flight for job interview.

First Year Member Team Hailey, consisting of Hailey Helsing, Luke Winslow, Matthew McInturff-Hill, Nathen Priddy and Jake Randall, placed fifth in their flight. First Year Member Team Caroline, consisting of Caroline Knopes, Elizabeth Garcia, Shyann Richmond, Justin Demott and Jasper Randall, placed third in their flight.

FFA banquet

On June 8, the FFA hosted their annual awards banquet at the Goldendale High School cafeteria. Awards were given for achievement in the several different areas of agriscience.

District IV leadership camp

On June 3-5, 2016, District IV FFA leadership camp was held at Brooks Environmental Learning Center in Goldendale.

Washington agricultural leadership experience

Goldendale FFA members Cassie Kayser, Morgan Coyne, Garrett Schroeder and Cody Farmer were selected to attend the Washington agricultural leadership experience (WALE) program in Yakima, on July 19 – 21. During the conference, members attended tours at Allen Brothers Fruit, Pegasus Equine Therapy Project, Perry Technical Institute, Bale Breaker Brewing Company, USDA ARS Lab and Owen Roe Winery. They developed resumes, met with human resources officials and participated in a job interviewing workshop. Additionally, students attended a dinner and posed career-related questions to professionals.

Chapter officer retreat

Goldendale chapter officers took a camping trip in August to Farragut State Park in Hayden, Idaho, to discuss plans and ideas for the upcoming year.

Klickitat County fair

FFA members Jake Randall, Jasper Randall, Joseph Randall, Wyatt Siebert, Ira Wells, Jace Enwards, Cassie Kayser, Morgan Coyne, Corbin Bland, Andrew Ihrig, Matthew McInturff-Hill and Daniel Wedgwood participated in the Klickitat County Fair. Morgan Coyne was grand and reserve champion: Market lambs; and grand champion: senior showman. Cassie Kayser was reserve champion: senior steer showman. Corbin Bland was grand champion: breeding gilt. Cassie Kayser placed grand champion: FFA record book.

Puyallup state fair

Andrew Ihrig and Corbin Bland competed in the swine show, bringing home several blue ribbons. They also earned first place educational display.

Central Washington State Fair

Forty-three Goldendale FFA members competed in horse judging, dairy judging, livestock judging and tractor driving at the Central Washington State Fair in Yakima. The Goldendale horse judging team placed fourth out of 18. Curtis Kayser placed eighth out of 90 individuals in horse judging. The Goldendale dairy teams placed sixth and seventh out of 26. Morgan Coyne placed second and Leyla Vargas placed seventh out of 130 in dairy judging. The Goldendale livestock teams placed 12, 18, 19 and 23 out of 39. Goldendale Middle School Team One, comprised of Josie Quantrell, Delaney Kindler, Tiana Watson, Elizabeth Garcia and Jasper Randall, earned the highest team score on the Market hogs class. Tiana Watson placed seventh out of 195 in livestock judging.

Land judging

Last fall, five GHS FFA members competed in the land judging CDEs (Career Development Events) held in Ritzville, St. John and Clayton, Washington. The land judging CDEs teach students about the field of soil science, use and management. Teams consisted of Morgan Coyne, Nathan Matthews, Elizabeth Garcia, Stacey Sullivan and Luke Winslow. This is the second year Goldendale has had a state qualifying land-judging team.

Evergreen tour

On Sept. 19, the Goldendale FFA went to Kiona-Benton High School for the District IV stop on the Evergreen Tour. Goldendale took a total of 39 students, both middle and high school members. State FFA officers provided leadership workshops. A retired National FFA Officer was the keynote speaker.

Pool dome construction

FFA and other organizations installed a dome on the city pool. Members earned money for the local FFA chapter to pay for dues, jackets and other events.

Corn maze

In mid-October, 74 FFA members traveled to Toppenish to explore the haunted corn maze. Members rode a hay ride and roasted marshmallows and hot dogs.


Thirty-five FFA members decorated vehicles, dressed in costumes and passed out candy to at the aqnnual Trunk-or-Treat on Main Street.

National FFA convention

Oct. 15 – 22, the Goldendale FFA Chapter attended the National convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. Goldendale took twelve members: Daniel Wedgwood, Kassandra Wedgwood, Cassie Kayser, Madison Krull, Joseph Randall, Lene Riggers, Cody Farmer, Alyssa Merry, Katie Priddy, Joseph Sepulveda, Caroline Knopes and Elizabeth Garcia, along with advisors Josh and Randi Krieg. The chapter traveled to Indianapolis to compete in the National Chapter Award and Agriscience Fair.

In the National Chapter Award, Goldendale earned three gold stars—the highest honor. Goldendale was selected as a finalist for model of innovation in the student section out of over 7,800 chapters. Caroline Knopes and Elizabeth Garcia placed fifth in social systems; each earned a silver medal.

Jaycees canned food drive

Dec.21, FFA members helped with the annual Goldendale Jaycees canned food drive. All collected food was delivered to the Goldendale Food Bank.

Soup kitchen

FFA is part of a group rotational schedule that serves food at the local soup kitchen. Their rotation is making grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup with salad and a dessert.

Baking for a cause

FFA members hosted two bake sales at Holcomb’s Market to support the local food bank. They sold over 100 baked food items and donated over $200. Additionally, Josie Quantrell and other members organized a baked goods contest. Entry fees totaling $55 were donated to the local Pack for Kids Program. The contest winner was Lisa Contretas.

Metal fabrication shop

Students in metal fabrication classes made and sold metal signs to support FFA travel costs, member’s jackets and future metal shop projects. Students started with set designs but have expanded to do custom sign orders of varying sizes and detail.

Special projects grant

Goldendale Agriculture Department was awarded the Special Projects Perkins Reserve Grant in Agricultural Leadership for the amount of $4,500. The grant will be used to promote career readiness for underserved student populations by providing opportunities to develop knowledge and demonstrate practical skills in non-traditional careers. The funds are earmarked for a plasma cutter, shop supplies and Washington State FFA convention costs.

Northwest agriculture expo

Forty Goldendale FFA members attended the FFA Day at the Ag Expo to learn about agricultural careers and meet with vendors. The chapter earned a scholarship to cover admission and travel for attending members.

Employment skills contest

Feb. 6, 2017, four Goldendale FFA members competed in the District IV job interview contest in Pasco, Washington. Students submitted a resume and cover letter, filled out a job application, participated in a personal interview and wrote a follow up letter. Member placings (out of 41): Cassie Kayser, seventh; Morgan Coyne 11th; Logan Quantrell 16th and Delaney Peters 29th.

District IV sub-district leadership events

Goldendale FFA members competed at sub-districts in Ellensburg on Feb. 13. Caroline Knopes and Elizabeth Garcia competed in creed speaking. Elizabeth placed third and will move on to districts. Cassie Kayser placed fourth and has qualified for districts in prepared public speaking with her medicated feed speech. Goldendale Purple placed third and Goldendale Gold placed fourth in conduct of chapter meetings. Both teams have qualified for districts next month in Prosser.


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