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For an FFA team to succeed, members need to not only know what it takes to raise and judge animals, but also how to manage a farm well using good conservation, forestry, and sustainability practices. Last week, the Louisa-Muscatine (L&M) Gold FFA Team showed that they have learned all that and more by placing as the top FFA Team at the State Envirothon Contest.
Each year, the Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Iowa hosts all levels of Envirothon competition. Both FFA teams and Envirothon only teams can compete. Competition starts at the regional level. After tying for third place in the regional Envirothon in Iowa City on March 19th, the L&M FFA Gold Team learned that they would advance to the state Envirothon competition in Des Moines on April 8th.
At the state Envirothon competition, students started out with practicums on aquatics, farm conservation, forestry, soils, and wildlife. A fifteen-minute oral presentation followed. The presentation involved creating and explaining a plan for a farm to help improve its land and animal management practices to increase soil health while decreasing runoff and protecting wildlife and pollinators, all while turning a profit and helping the local environment and community and contributing to global food security.
Once all teams had completed these categories, judges determined both the best overall team (Envirothon only or FFA) as well as the top FFA team. The L&M Gold FFA team took the top FFA spot and earned a place in their choice of either the National FFA Environmental and Natural Resources competition or the Forestry Career Development Event, both held in October at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. Adam Crews, director of L&M FFA commended the Gold Team for their work. He stated, “It’s pretty outstanding [they won top FFA team]. They’ve worked really, really hard since they made it. . .. I’m really excited that the team did as well as they did.”
As the L&M Gold FFA Team begins preparing for national level competition they look forward to competing in the state ag sales and poultry contests as well as the nursery, landscaping, and floriculture contests in May. These opportunities will let them showcase once again their knowledge in all areas of agriculture and their ability to compete against the best.

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