Nyssa FFA brings home multiple state awards

NYSSA—The Nyssa FFA chapter took the top prize in the state farm business management competition for the 14th consecutive year at the Oregon FFA Convention and won the top honor in a new category for the Bulldogs, agricultural issues.

The annual gathering was held March 21-24 at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center in Redmond. 

The Nyssa FFA chapter has long been successful in farm business management. It beat out three other teams for the top honor. Ontario’s FFA program took fourth in the competition.

The Nyssa program will go on to represent Oregon at the National FFA Convention and Expo in November in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

The farm business management team consisted of Ruth Romans, Abigail Schulthies, Addison Munk, Maxton Hansen, Amity Hartley, Savannah Bliss, Jose Mucio-Perfecto, and Courtney Carlton.

Also, Nyssa’s Spencer Romans will represent the area as Oregon FFA’s state vice president for 2024-25.

Chad Cruickshank, agriculture science instructor and Nyssa FFA adviser said Romans was one of six selected state officers. He will spend a year traveling across Oregon representing and advancing FFA and ag education to members and the general public.

“This is no easy task,” Cruickshank said.

He said the job of a selected state representative is accomplished “only with the utmost passion, diligence, and integrity.”

Nyssa FFA students Courtney Carlton, Gordon Wright, Jose Mucio, Julianna Bowns, and Tyler Young all earned their respective state degrees for 2024.

Cruickshank said the state degree is the highest award for FFA members.

In the farm business management contest, the state prize the Nyssa program has won for over a decade, the students demonstrate their ability to analyze agricultural business management information, apply economic principles and concepts of business management, evaluate business management decisions and work together cooperatively as a team.

The team that won the agricultural issues category – the first year the state FFA convention had featured the event – included students Julianna Bowns, Jose Mucio-Perfecto, Bryan Sanchez, Gordon Wright, and Tyler Young who argued whether non-lethal methods to guard livestock from wolf predation have been effective in protecting the economic interests of livestock producers in the Northwest, according to Cruickshank.

Cruickshank said what’s most impressive about the Nyssa chapter’s win in a brand new category for the program is that a Nyssa student pitched the idea of adding the agricultural issues category to the team’s list of contests the FFA group competes in each year.

Cruickshank said the student’s push to participate in the contest underscores the team’s tenacity.

“These kids are just motivated,” he said. “and they kept pushing.” 

He said the students did all of the heavy lifting and that he facilitated the process as their instructor and adviser.

For that, Cruickshank said, “these kids deserve all of the credit.”

Elliana Munk finished in the top ten for prepared public speaking.

According to state results on the FFA website, Ontario took the team’s top prize for the alum information contest. Meanwhile, Ontario’s Ryan Geddes won an agriscience research competition in integrated systems, while teammate Gabrielle Prentiss took the top award in entrepreneurship and placement for goat production.  Geddes, along with Erika Perez, Laylah Navarrete, Macy Fordyce, Maya Gomez and Simon Sosa earned their 2024 state degrees.

Taryn Smith, public relations manager for the Ontario School District, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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