TURNERS FALLS — Superintendent Richard Martin and Director of Career and Technical Education Matt West are pleased to announce that students at the Franklin County Technical School had a strong showing at a recent Future Farmers of America event.
FCTS students competed at the FFA Equine CDE (Career Development Event) at Briggs Stable in Hanover on Dec. 13. Students competed in both the Equine Showmanship competition and the Horse Evaluation competition.
For Showmanship, participants were assigned a random horse to work with and then judged on their handling skills. A total of seven FCTS students competed, including Mattie-Lee Newcomb, Rylee Ares, Britney Zager, Anna Morrissey, Bella Johnson, Hannah Mackie and Abby Shaw.
In Division A, Zager placed first and Morrissey placed second. In Division B, Ares placed first and Newcomb placed third.
For evaluation, students worked in teams to gain new insights into equine science by evaluating and ranking horses based on breed characteristics, conformation and performance. Participants defend their decisions through oral reasons in front of a panel of judges.
In Division A, FCTS earned a third place overall team finish (Newcomb, Ares, Zager and Morrissey). Individually, Morrissey received third overall and Newcomb received a bronze medal. The Division B team did not place, however students performed well overall (Johnson, Mackie and Shaw).
Veterinary Science teachers Regina Grover-Parsons and Kimberly Barry served as coaches for the students at the event.
“It’s always special to see our students taking what they learn here at Franklin County Tech and showcasing it in real-world events and competitions,” Superintendent Martin said. “These students performed well and had a very strong showing in terms of their placements. They also served as terrific ambassadors for our school, and we are proud of their accomplishments.”
Career Development Events create a connection between classroom instruction and real-life employment opportunities. Building upon classroom knowledge, the events prepare students for careers in agriculture. The Massachusetts FFA Association offers a variety of events throughout the school year at various host sites.
For more information on state events through the Massachusetts FFA Association, click here.