Striking an impressive record, the FFA Chapter at Natchitoches Central High School has won 27 state championships since 2010, six state championships at an individual level, overall state championships for the fourth consecutive year and placed three times more than any other school in the state.
“We have high expectations for competition because we have been there and performed at that level before,” said Aaron Beaubouef, FFA Advisor/Agriscience Teacher at NCHS. “We expect our Floriculture and Agronomy teams to be in the top four in our future competitions.”
All schools with Agriculture departments have an active FFA chapter and compete against each other. They aren’t separated by school size or classification, so when a chapter wins state, they beat everyone else that has a program. The state is divided into four geographic areas and the top four teams from each area compete at state competition.
Natchitoches Central FFA won six of the 24 state events this year. No other school in the state won more than two. No other school has been as consistently dominant since the year 2000, as far back as Beaubouef hasrecords for.
FFA NCHS Chapter President Tabitha Dove said it takes a lot to win championships. Staying afterschool, inbetween classes, during lunch breaks and taking any opportunity to get in practice are key components.
“FFA is like family to me,” said Dove. “There is a place for everyone and it helps you break out of your shell. I am making memories and gaining skills that I will take with me for the rest of my life.”
FFA NCHS Chapter Vice President Preston Tibbett didn’t think he was going to be very involved in FFA when he first stated high school.
“I thought that I would participate in in a few forestry competitions because that is what I intend to do as a career,” he said. “As I spent more time in FFA I realized that this was more than just a competition; it was a family. I went to middle school in Provencal. Before I started at Natchitoches Central I thought ‘It can’t be much different,’ but then I walked in a saw 1,200 people and it was intimidating.”
Convention 16 Winners include:
- 1st Place State Job Interview contest: Preston Tibbett, who is the only male to ever win this event.
- 1st Place Ag Issues Forum: Holly Kay, Tabitha Dove, Kelsey LaCaze, Frank Lester, Mackenzie Bruce, Kade Davis and Charles Thomas
- 1st Place Food Science: Seth Jones, Kirhawnte’ Dudley, Faith Stetson and Brooklyn Martin
- 2nd Place Prepared Public Speaking: Madelyn Rachal
- 3rd Place Creed Speaking: Tyler Nichols
- 4th Place Marketing Plan: Paul Sheffield, Carrie Dowden and Samantha Phillips
- Dairy Foods State Champions: Carrie Dowden, Kirhawnte’ Dudley, Samantha Phillips, Kenneth Bacon and Brooklyn Hampton. Dowden and Hampton tied for the overall high score in the entire competition. Students are proficient in milk defect evaluation, cheese identification and are knowledgeable pertaining to milk production and marketing.
- 5th Place State Team: Chris Martinez, Jessica Kay, Kaitlyn Cormane, Allie Bennett and Tyler Adams
- Floriculture State Champions: Tabitha Dove, Tyler Nichols, Tyler Tousek, Garrett Hood and Holly Kay
- Agronomy:Bradely Scott, Brooklyn Hampton, Preston Tibbett, Dylan Daniels. Daniels was the overall high point individual for the event. Students are required to identify species of crops and weeds, identify insects, diseases, plant disorders and be knowledgeable of management strategies to combat problems that occur in crop production.
- State Degree:Preston Tibbett, Holly Kay, Tabitha Dove, Dylan Daniels, Madelyn Rachal and Morgan Rachal. Students have to participate in over five events above the local level, work over 1,000 hours toward a Supervised Agricultural Experience Project outside of scheduled class time, demonstrate proficiency in parliamentary procedure and public speaking, serve in a leadership position and be in their third consecutive year of FFA membership to earn the State FFA Degree. Only 2 percent of all members will ever earn the State Degree.