FFA receives first in food science at CCCC Aggie Day

Julianna Poe, Copy editor

Last Thursday, five Manhattan High FFA members — seniors Ayden Boyles and Elise Jackson, juniors Jacoby Kerr and Lauren Waldrat and sophomore Tessarae Harris — competed in the Kansas Cloud County Community College Aggie Day and placed in the categories Food Science and Vet Science.

Before the event, students had to prepare ahead of time.

“Students [spent] time [working] individually [and working] here in the classroom over lunch [and] after school,” Elissa Mullinix, FFA sponsor, said. “We practice[d] looking at material [and] learning more about these concepts in a deeper way. We have Canvas materials, so students can actually work, and need to work, outside of class to master a lot of the content.”

According to Jackson and Harris, for the Food Science portion, FFA participants had to tell the difference between different foods and aromas for the first portion of the competition. The second session consisted of a written test.

By just two points, MHS placed first out of 15 teams in the Food Science competition. All of the Manhattan High competitors placed in the top 10. Boyles placed third with 134 points, Harris placed sixth with 121 points, Kerr placed eighth with 120 points and Jackson placed ninth with 118 points.

According to Mullinix, the Vet Science portion was “an incredibly comprehensive” contest. It included subjects such as anatomy, physiology and animal science equipment.

“[My least favorite part was the] Vet Science test,” Jackson said. “It was really long and it was a lot of just testing … it just made me feel really dumb. There were different sections of it … like a math portion.”

Despite the pressure of the Vet Science test, MHS placed 11 out of 32 teams, meeting their goal of placing in the top half of the competition in that contest. Placing in the top 20, Jackson ranked 18 out of 146 contestants.

While Manhattan High FFA students walked away with much success from this event, there is always room for improvement.

“We can definitely keep practicing,” Harris said. “I didn’t really go that hard on the [contests].”

According to Mullinix, the outcome of Kansas CCCC Aggie Day was “exciting” and she hopes FFA students come away from this event “hungry to want to do more and to push harder to be successful in years to come.”