FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—The first week of October was a busy one for the members and advisors of the Quincy FFA. On Tuesday Washington State FFA President Awson Wheeler from Sprague and State Treasurer Abbie Dorhauer of Yelm presented to Quincy FFA members throughout the day. Topics ranged from what FFA can do for you, how to stay organized and on task, what FFA Career Development Events really teach you, and where can you go from here.
Tuesday evening, 7 members traveled to Connell High School to participate in the District IX Potato Evaluation Clinic and Contest. Quincy members tallied the top three scores in the event. With Marissa Linscott posting the top score with Dave Sulistio a close second and Andrew Townsend coming in third. Members have to grade potatoes based on USDA grading standards as to whether they are US No. 1, US No. 2, or Culls. They have to identify potato blemishes including Nematode damage, wire worm damage, frost damage, sunburn, cellar green, soft rot, dry rot, water scab, pitted scab, rhizoctonia, rodent damage, second growth, growth crack, hollow heart, black heart, rough break, machine damage, foreign objects, knobs subject to break, and caked dirt. Additionally, they have to place classes of seed potatoes and give oral reasons on 10 potatoes.
Friday, the Quincy FFA hosted the District IX Soils CDE. 61 members competed evaluating 3 soil pits and one homesite evaluation. Students had to determine slope using clinometers or by eye, they determined topsoil texture, subsoil texture, soil permeability, soil depth, soil erodibility, surface runoff, surface stoniness, flooding, land capability class, factors that keep the site out of class 1 soil, any vegetative land treatments that are recommended, recommended mechanical treatments, and any fertilizer and soil amendments that need added. For Homesite evaluation students have to determine soil depth, water table, slope, permeability, soil shrink-swell, surface texture and how those would limit the building of a one family dwelling in terms of dwellings without a basement, lawns and landscaping, septic tank drain fields, and local streets and roads.
Saturday, Mr. Wallace and Mr. Cool put on the Young Teacher Symposium for the Washington Association of Agriculture Educators. The program is designed as a recruitment and retention program for agriculture educators in their first three years of teaching along with pre-service students enrolled in agriculture education programs at Washington State University and University of Idaho. Presenters included Dr. Marcus Pimpleton, QHS Principal; Nicole Monroe, QHS CTE Director; Adam Corum, WAAE Past President; Holly Cahow, WAAE President; Mike Wallace and Rod Cool, QHS Ag Ed Instructors/FFA Advisors, and Kelly Wallace, QHS BEST coordinator.
Saturday afternoon, Quincy FFA hosted a Rangeland CDE Clinic and Contest for the three teams that will represent Washington at the Western National Rangeland CDE held in Elko, Nevada on the November 11 and 12. Students from Omak, Royal and Quincy participated. Members had to complete a Stocking Rate problem determining pasture yield and available Animal Unit Months (AUMs), then given the planned use, determine forage demand and AUMs and determine if the stocking rate should be adjusted up or down. In addition, based on a map of the pasture determine the grazing system management decisions to improve forage utilization.
They also have identify 76 different range plants using their common name, whether it is a grass, forb, or woody plant, if it is an annual of perennial, if it is native or introduced species, whether it is desirable or undesirable for grazers and browsers, and if it is a toxic plant. Then in the field they have to do a site assessment of a pasture determining the slope, aspect, utilization level of forages, the topsoil texture, the precipitation zone, soil depth, and estimating the biomass per acre of forages and shrubs using 3, 4.8 sq. ft range rings. They have to determine the average age of shrubs and what transition stage the site based on a transect. They determine the percentage of shrub cover of a site by running a transect. And finally, they determine the average percentage of plant biomass in 3, 50 sq. cm plots of perennial grasses, annual grasses, forbs, and shrubs and then determining what percentage of similarity exists between the site and the ideal range sight for that region.