Moffat County Class of 2019 Graduation: Future Farmers of America reap big rewards for hard work, dedication
This year’s crop of Future Farmers of America students boasted an impressive number of high-achieving seniors, who capped off their high school careers earlier this month with a final state competition.
Among a slate of gold, silver and bronze finishers, two motivated seniors — Zach Patterson and Bryson Davis — went above and beyond to obtain their state FFA degrees.
“It’s the highest award the state can bestow on an FFA member,” said Moffat County High School teacher and advisor Brett Miller.
Obtaining the degree is no small feat, Miller explained, as students must demonstrate their commitment to work, service, FFA involvement, academics and even financial management.
Students are required to productively invest $3,000 in income they earned themselves. As with the entire FFA program, the degree highlights students’ preparedness for life after school.
“I think so many students get caught up in wanting immediate gain and immediate results. And so many students in high school don’t realize that going that extra mile sets you up for more success down the road,” Miller said.
Besides earning his state degree, Davis completed an extensive application to earn a proficiency award in goat production and was named this year’s state winner. He raises and shows goats as well as making and selling dairy products with his goat milk.
His overall dedication even earned him a spot on the 2019 statewide nominating committee, responsible for electing the next slate of state FFA officers.
“FFA and my ag classes have all taught me life lessons,” Davis said. “I think it preps you for the future a lot more than regular classes.”
With its emphasis on career and real world preparation, FFA also teaches students leadership and people skills, public speaking and self-sufficiency.
“I’ve been able to learn a lot about what’s going to be coming up in the real world,” Patterson said. “FFA has definitely taught me leadership. I’m not going to follow others, I’m making my own path and being my own person. I’d say that’s my biggest takeaway from FFA.”
Two other high achievers amongst this year’s FFA seniors come as a pair: twins Kamryn and Aliceson Jones, who both earned gold placement individually and as a team at this year’s state event, competing as part of the four-person floriculture team.
“I feel I’ve grown a lot throughout FFA, not just with leadership but also how to communicate better with others,” Kamryn said.
Both she and her sister have been involved in FFA since they were freshman.
“They do so much more than just FFA. They both have jobs after school, Key Club, Young Life, but they made FFA a priority no matter what they had going on,” said MCHS teacher and adviser Shelby Massey.
Gold individual Logan Knez, whose Agriculture Technical and Mechanical Skills Team placed high silver overall, also juggled a lot of commitments.
“Logan’s been one of those kids, he’s always willing to jump in, roll his sleeves up and get things done. He’s very dedicated,” said MCHS teacher and adviser Rick Murr.
Murr added many of his students are humble, down-to-earth kids ready to work.
“There are people that will tell you how good they are and there are people that are going to roll their sleeves up and let their actions speak for themselves,” he said.
With some big accomplishments and dedicated training under their belts, this year’s FFA seniors are certainly ready for action as they launch into their futures.
Where they’re headed next
Bryson Davis: Attending University of Northern Colorado to pursue a bachelors degree in exercise science with a possible minor in dietary nutrition, followed by a masters and doctorate in physical therapy.
Kamryn Jones: Attending Colorado State University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in animal science with a minor in zoology.
Aliceson Jones: Attending UNC with an interest in medicine.
Logan Knez: Enlisting in the U.S. Army as a joint fire support specialist.
Zach Patterson: Enrolling in the Western Colorado Community College Electric Lineworker program in Grand Junction.
2019 State FFA Career Development Event Results
Floriculture: Gold Team
Autumn Hilley – Gold Individual
Kamryn Jones – Gold Individual
Aliceson Jones – Gold Individual
Kimber Wheeler – Gold Individual
Farm Business Management: Bronze Team
Meredith Kopsa – Bronze Individual
Grady Anson – Silver Individual
Meat Evaluation: High Silver Team
Chris Hill – Silver Individual
Maddie Coutts – Silver Individual
Blake Duncan – High Bronze Individual
Horse Evaluation: Second High Bronze Team
Emily Howe – Gold Individual
Payton Voloshin – Silver Individual
Vet Science: 3rd High Bronze Team
Tara Brumblow – Silver Individual
Bryson Davis – Bronze Individual
Lauryn Jones – Bronze Individual
Agriculture Technical and Mechanical Skills: High Silver Team
Logan Knez – Gold Individual
Tauren Farquharson – Bronze Individual
Zach Patterson – Bronze Individual
Reina Steele – Silver Individual