FFA places first at state competition


The FFA Vet Med team placed first at the state CDE competition April 28 at Texas A&M.  The consisted of Zach Roush, who scored the highest, followed by Lauren Stevens, Madeline Rawlings and Natalie Kelliher.

“The most challenging part of the competition was identifying,” Roush said. “Our team members individually identify different breeds of livestock, horses, poultry, dogs, cats, reptiles and small animals. We identify many almost identical parasites and parasite eggs, along with that we identify different organs in livestock, and companion animals. Lastly, we identify tools used the veterinary world.”

Vandegrift placed first overall by only .667 of a point and will advance to nationals held in Indianapolis Oct. 24 – 27.

“For nationals there will definitely be many, many practices over the summer since the competition isn’t until October,” Rawlings said. “We will follow our regular strategies but go into deeper depth because what we have been doing so far has been working out really well.”

The team has been training all year to be successful. Countless hours both in and out of school have been what the team does to work towards their goal of making it to nationals.

“We’ve had practice two-three times a week starting at 7 a.m. since early January,” Roush said.  “I’ve also spent countless hours taking practice tests and teaching myself helpful clues and hints when identifying breeds, parasites, organs and instruments.”

Nationals will require more rigorous and in-depth training. More hours and practice will have to be applied for the team to be a success at the competition.

“Nationals is going to take a lot more practice and memorizing of not only the material we know, but also new material and events that are specific to the national competition like a group skills practicum performance,” Kelliher said.

Attending the national competition in October is groundbreaking for not only Vandegrift, but all of Leaner ISD.

“We are the first CDE team to go to nationals in LISD history, but we are quickly learning information on nationals,” Roush said. “There will be one representative team from every state competing for cash prizes, scholarship opportunities, and the title of best Vet Science team in the country.”