Zach Wakeman is the new Ag teacher and FFa sponsor at James River High School. He is a 2013 VA Tech grad and a former State FFA Officer. He grew up on a cattle farm in Strasburg, VA and has been in FFA since the 6th grade. He is setting a new standard for FFA at the school. Young and enthusiastic, the students have quickly related to him.
On Thursday Sept. 19, 45 students both girls and boys attended the FFA meeting during Club Day. All of the students who join FFA must have an Agriculture Education classes during the year. After the ceremonial part of the meeting, the club got down to business. Some of the activities Wakeman and his crew of officers led by President Lindsay Fenster and Sr. Vice President Cort Clark include building a Homecoming Float for Oct. 18 and they started a committee, also fruit sales, T-shirt Design, Big Buck and Big Gobbler contest along with a possible tailgate before a football game. The club plans to meet monthly at 8 a.m. with a date to be announced.
Wakeman said, ” We are trying to get more kids involved in activities of FFA.” Clark mentioned, “We just elected officers and are off to a good start.”
Upcoming events include a trip to the State Fair of VA on Oct. 1 and 2 where a number of students will compete in crops, an Agriscience demonstration and a Science Fair poster contest.
A Federation Forestry competition will be held with Lord Botetourt on Oct. 8. Three students and Wakeman will attend the National FFA Convention in Louisville, KY on Oct. 28th-Nov. 2nd. They are Adam Wrenn, Mason Sowers and Joey Barr. A tractor driving contest and a soils testing competition are also on the docket.
Wrenn is a second generation FFA and wore his father’s jacket at the meeting said, ” My father was in FFA here at JRHS back in the early 90s. I live on a farm over in Fincastle.” He is studying welding at BTEC as well. Caleb Corvin, the Treasurer described how they will judge the buck and gobbler contest. “We will need the student’s official game check in tag for weigh and measurements and counting of the points on the antlers. For gobblers, the beard, check-in card for weight and spurs. We encourage everyone to take a photo at the time of the kill for both the buck and the gobbler.”
Fenster and Sarah Harris will be competing at the State Fair. Said Harris, ” It will be exciting to go.” Fenster said, “I plan to take some of my livestock as well as compete in the contests.”
The JRHS FFA officers are:
After club business closed, the club members did a mock quiz with four stations of Stockman’s Judging that included meat cuts, breeds of stock, grains and hay.