Ag students stay busy at SMS

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 26, 2007

Just a few short weeks ago, students at Southampton County Middle School were busy preparing projects to exhibit at the Virginia State Fair.

On Oct. 2, students traveled to Richmond and discovered their hard work had paid off.

Students who exhibited their projects in the youth arts and crafts, group projects division, were judged against other schools and individuals across the state and proudly brought home second- and third-place honors.

Seventh-grade students Jacob Maffei, Dakoda Johnson and David Keller built a large Virginia Tech doghouse that brought home the red second-place rosette. Eighth-graders Ian Daniel, Tyler Billups, Jeremy Gibbs and Martin Winslow constructed a free-standing, John Deere-inspired mailbox and received third-place recognition.

Maffei, Johnson and Keller have decided to auction off their Hokie doghouse, donating proceeds to Children’s Hospital. If you are interested in making a bid, contact FFA adviser, Caryn Hoerst, at the middle school (757) 653-9250 for more information.

In celebration of Virginia’s Career Awareness Week, students in the agriculture classes learned about local career opportunities in the agricultural industry.

Students hosted several local guest speakers during the week to explore careers that interested them. Dr. Jeremy Pitman, DMV, and Karen Thorpe, both employees of Murphy Brown Inc., helped students discover more about careers in production agriculture and its related industries. Jake Clark, Southampton County conservation officer, taught students about careers in the natural resources branch of agriculture.

The guests helped students understand the requirements for their jobs and skills needed to become successful in any career.

The Southampton County FFA chapter recently elected officers for the 2007-08 school year: president, Zach Pappas; vice president, Ian Daniel; secretary, Dakoda Johnson; treasurer, Katie Ferguson; reporters, Danielle Powell and Marquita Mitchell; and sentinels, Jeremy Gibbs and Jacob Maffei.

Officers are expected to serve the chapter with their leadership for the duration of the school year. Officers started off their terms by organizing a tailgate party before the Homecoming football game. FFA members enjoyed a barbeque along with flag football and fellowship.

FFA members also enjoyed a visit from two Virginia FFA state officers.

Southside vice president Chris Duffey and Eastern vice president Kelsey McCluster led students in team building activities while promoting leadership through the FFA. Chapter officers received the opportunity for more one-on-one time while hosting the state officers during lunch. FFA members also kicked off the annual FFA fruit sale.

Students are selling Florida citrus as a fundraiser for chapter events. If you are interested in supporting the chapter’s efforts, please contact the middle school.