Middletown H.S. wins forestry challenge

Middletown H.S. FFA: (from left) Erin Fogarty, Sara Bednash, Jeff Billings, FFA Advisor, Will Nylander, and Ariana Gaston.

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Middletown High School FFA students won the 2014 “Forestry Career Development Event (CDE),” a challenging test of tree identification skills, forestry tools and knowledge, and math-related abilities. Sussex Central High School’s FFA team placed second. Each team consisted of four students who answered both individual and team-based questions. Middletown will now represent Delaware at the National FFA Convention and Expo in Louisville, Kentucky that begins on October 29, 2014.

The forestry event took place at Kent County’s Brecknock Park in Camden under the direction of Delaware Forest Service education specialist Ashley Peebles. This year’s challenge was designed to measure student knowledge in six separate skill areas: tree identification, equipment and troubleshooting, timber stand improvement, compass and pacing, board-foot volume estimation, and an individual written examination.

According to the FFA, Career Development Events help students develop the abilities to think critically, communicate clearly, and perform effectively in a competitive job market.” There are 24 CDEs, covering job skills in areas ranging from communications to mechanics. Some events allow students to compete as individuals, while others allow them to compete in teams.

Established in 1928 as the Future Farmers of America, FFA as it is now known is one of the largest youth groups in the United States, with over 550,000 members throughout all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. FFA is also the largest of the career and technical student organizations in U.S. schools.

Sussex Central FFA: Cheyenne Poe, Ari Ruiz, Brandon McCabe, FFA Advisor, Ardany Coloma, and Susie Oaks.

Sussex Central FFA: Cheyenne Poe, Ari Ruiz, Brandon McCabe, FFA Advisor, Ardany Coloma, and Susie Oaks.

For more information, contact Ashley Peebles, Delaware Forest Service, ashley.peebles@state.de.us or Scott Haldeman, Milford School District, shaldema@msd.k12.de.us.

Recent Sussex Central graduate Ardany Coloma uses a Biltmore stick to measure tree height and estimate board-feet volume in the annual FFA forestry challenge.

Recent Sussex Central graduate Ardany Coloma uses a Biltmore stick to measure tree height and estimate board-feet volume in the annual FFA forestry challenge.

From left, Middletown H.S. FFA students Erin Fogarty and Will Nylander complete the compass-and-pacing section of the annual forestry challenge.

From left, Middletown H.S. FFA students Ariana Gaston and Will Nylander complete the compass-and-pacing section of the annual forestry challenge.

 

Middletown HS FFA student Erin Fogarty completes the equipment portion of the forestry challenge held at Camden's Brecknock Park.

Middletown FFA student Erin Fogarty completes the equipment portion of the forestry challenge held at Camden’s Brecknock Park.

Ninth-grader Ari Ruiz of Sussex Central measures a tree using a Biltmore stick during the annual FFA forestry challenge.

Ninth-grader Ari Ruiz of Sussex Central measures a tree using a Biltmore stick during the annual FFA forestry challenge.

From left, statewide FFA forestry coordinator Scott Haldeman of Milford meets with Delaware Forest Service education specialist Ashley Peebles before the annual forestry challenge at Camden's Brecknock Park.

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