Oklahoma Panhandle State University
Interscholastics Contest Serves as Recruiting Tool By Kashly Schweer on 11/19/2013 Goodwell, Okla. — Blue corduroy jackets are hard to miss, especially when worn by a flood of high school students on campus. The annual Interscholastics FFA Contest was held on Nov. 12.
Sixteen Career Development Events, CDE's, plus 11 speech contests were conducted on the Oklahoma Panhandle State University campus as well as the school farm to host more than 550 contest entries. Teams came from across the states of Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado to compete against fellow future leaders of the agriculture industry.
"This serves as one of the premier recruiting events for the campus," Dr. Nels Peterson, Agricultural Education instructor said. "The same kids have been coming here for three to four years now and are comfortable with the campus; it is a place that they have come to know."
Taking the top honors as the sweepstakes winner, the chapter with the most overall points, was Laverne FFA from Laverne, Okla. The chapter won multiple events during the day including ag communications, ag quiz bowl, electricity, floriculture, 9th grade livestock judging and nursery landscape. Laverne FFA also had numerous champions in the public speaking competition.
The OPSU agriculture faculty was especially important to the success of the event as each department instructor helped to conduct the CDE's which tied to their specific area including agronomy, ag business and animal science. The Firestone Meat Lab employees prepare the carcasses for evaluation during the meats contest. The use of livestock was donated by several individuals in the area for the FFA students to judge as well.
"The agriculture faculty and the OPSU community were a tremendous help. The University as a whole is very supportive of Interscholastics," Peterson said.
Aside from the current faculty, future teachers were also given a taste of their potential careers by helping organize the event. The OPSU students in the agricultural education department were given the reins for numerous responsibilities throughout the day, and completed their tasks with great success.
"There are two things I really like about Interscholastics. First of all, I am an old FFA kid at heart and seeing these young men and women coming and putting what they learn in the classroom into action is really neat to see. Secondly, I simply delegate and ask the agricultural education students to step up and take charge. They really grow their own leadership skills and do a great job," Peterson said.
For many of the FFA students, college is right around the corner. This contest allows many of them to see the OPSU campus and become familiar with its buildings and faculty. OPSU showcases a broad spectrum of choices for students to pursue, even outside of the agriculture department, and one day might become home to the same students that were in corduroy jackets this week.