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FFA members excel at public speaking

March 20, 2007

CUMBERLAND, Md. - FFA members from Western Maryland gathered at Fort Hill High School on March 14 to participate in the Maryland FFA Region 1 Public Speaking Career Development events.

In all, 31 students representing five FFA chapters presented the FFA creed, prepared and extemporaneous speeches to judges from the community. The top four FFA members in each event will go on to represent Region 1 at the Maryland FFA State Convention April 25 to 27 in Baltimore.

In the Creed Speaking Event, ninth-grade members recited from memory the FFA creed. Judges asked them about the creed and its meaning. Paige Shirk from the Clear Spring FFA placed first, followed by Zack Snider of the Fort Hill FFA, Hannah House of the Clear Spring FFA and Alison Griffith of the Boonsboro FFA Chapter.

FFA members in the Prepared Public Speaking events delivered a six- to eight-minute speech on an agricultural related topic. In the Junior Division, Catlin Carrico from the Southern Garrett FFA chapter took top honors with her speech, "The Conflicts of Cloning." Rob Veil from the Smithsburg FFA chapter finished in second place, followed by Whitney Furr and Brandi Skeens, both representing the Boonsboro chapter. In the Senior Division, Katherine McCormick of the Clear Spring chapter was named top speaker with her speech, "The Choice is Yours." Sammy Spencer of the Boonsboro FFA placed second, followed by Morgan Smith and Amy Ridenour of the Clear Spring FFA. Allison Moore from the Clear Spring FFA and Megan Thompson, Katie Fisher and Brittany Bowman, all from the Boonsboro chapter also participated.

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Drawing three topics related to agricultural issues, selecting one and having 30 minutes to prepare a four- to six-minute speech tests FFA members' knowledge and presentation skills in the area of Extemporaneous Public Speaking. In the Junior Division, Kara Chaney of the Fort Hill FFA captured top honors.J.D. Repp and Bob Hockenbury of the Clear Spring FFA chapter finished in second and third place, respectively, with Kris Palmer of the Boonsboro FFA placing fourth. Lucas Piper and Becky Price, both from the Fort Hill chapter, also participated. Jamie Snider from the Fort Hill FFA was named the top Senior Extemporaneous speaker, followed by Brenna House of the Clear Spring FFA, Tim Martin of the Smithsburg FFA and Andrew Griffith and Corey Downing, both from the Boonsboro chapter.

The judges were Mr. and Mrs. William McKinzie, Mr. and Mrs. Craig Hartsock, Kelli Chaney, Traci Snider, Karen Martin, Lisa Piper and Erin Shank. Assisting with the events were Jason McKinzie, and FFA members Casey McNamee, Karlie Hose and Paul Forsythe of the Clear Spring chapter. Maryland FFA Vice President Cole Bishop presented the FFA members with their awards. FFA advisers Steve Garland, Mark Heavner, Cody Pine, Michael James, Susan Lowery, Terrie Shank, Lee Heavner and Steve Kisner coordinated the event.

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