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National FFA Convention and Expo, Oct. 24-27

Hastings members competing in National FFA Agriscience Fair

Hastings sophomore Wade Pennington is a national finalist in the Power, Structural and Technical Systems in Division 3 of the FFA Agriscience Fair competition. More than 20 agricultural teachers, state leaders and college professors from throughout the U.S. recently met in Indianapolis to determine which FFA members and teams will compete for top honors in the 2018 National FFA Agriscience Fair in Indianapolis this week.

Among the selected contestants are two Hastings High School students: senior Devin Haywood and sophomore Wade Pennington.

The National FFA Agriscience Fair is part of the annual National FFA Convention and Expo, Oct. 24-27 in Indianapolis. To qualify, FFA members working as individuals or teams in grades seven through 12 are required to conduct a scientific research project pertaining to the agriculture or food science industries and win their state’s FFA Agriscience Fair.

First-place winners in each state have qualified for the national pre-qualifying judging. The panel of judges reviewed entries and selected a maximum of 12 in each category and division to move on to the national competition.

Haywood is a national finalist in the Plant Systems category in the Division 5 of the competition. He compared various microbial product levels in two treatment combinations to determine which produced the highest corn silage yield and quality.

Pennington is a national finalist in the Power, Structural and Technical Systems in Division 3 of the competition. His project evaluates the viability of adding precision planting technology to planting wheat. Precision planting is currently used in the planting of corn and soybeans but has not yet been introduced to planting small grain crops like wheat.

Haywood and Pennington began their research projects in 2017 and submitted research papers at the state level in February of this year. Both were invited to present their projects at the state convention a month later by creating displays highlighting their research and being interviewed by a panel of judges.

Haywood won first place in the individual 11th and 12th grade Plant Science Division, and Pennington won first place in the individual ninth and 10th grade Ag Power Systems.

Other divisions in the agriscience fair are animal systems, environmental services/natural resources systems, food products and processing systems, and social science, giving middle and high students the opportunity for in-depth research in many areas.

Haywood also restored a tractor that was one of 12 selected nationwide for the Delo Tractor Restoration Competition, which will be decided at the convention. (See story in the Oct. 20 Reminder)

Both Pennington and Haywood are officers in the Hastings chapter. Haywood is the secretary, and Pennington is the parliamentarian. Andria Mayack is the agricultural education instructor and FFA advisor for Hastings.

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 653,359 student members who belong to one of 8,568 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is also supported by 344,239 alumni members in 2,051 alumni chapters throughout the U.S.

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