Athens hosts Wake County FFA competition for first time


Photos by Allan Valladares

Allan Valladaras, Veronica Rock, and friends are posing to start of the event.

FFA is an organization that represents leadership, public speaking, and hands-on experience. Thursday, March 10th the FFA Wake Federation event took place at Athens Drive High school. Each year, various students from around the county come to compete in this event, with career development events (CDEs) or leadership development events (LDEs). The organization expands from Puerto Rico to Hawaii. It consists of approximately 735,038 members and 20,000 here in NC. This event has taken place in Wake County for over 25 years and has been held at various locations in the county, but this year it was held at Athens Drive Magnet High School. 

The two advisors here at The Drive, Kayley Clifton, and Susan Jones, asked to host the Wake Federation event this year in order to increase participation in the local FFA chapter.  

“Being the president of our chapter here at Athens I understand all the great opportunities and skills I learned. With the federation, we organized and ran many county-wide supply drives and as a team attended many communities,” said Lewis, the FFA president at Athens, who explains the skills that she has gained and included at the Athens chapter this year. “Being a part of the federation gave me a bigger outlet for my service work and provided me with the resources to help a wider range of people.” 

There are many competitions that take place at the FFA event. “Creed” is a memorized speech about FFA’s goals. “Job Interview” involves a mock interview where a student provides a resume, cover letter, and a filled-out job application. “Parliamentary Procedure” is a quiz on formality guidelines. “Prepared Public Speaking” is a mock prepared speech and “Extemporaneous Speaking” is a mock unprepared speech. 

Athens and other 12 local schools participated in the competitions. The principal objective was to expand students’ horizons to help them participate on a larger scale by reaching regionals and then nationals. 

Dylan Tucker, senior and reporter of FFA, is participating in “Extemporaneous Speaking”.

He said,  “I love to talk, I love to speak, why wouldn’t I want to do something like that. Although I’m not the most cut out for it I think with a lot of studies, a lot of dedication, and preparation that I’ve done it will be a very interesting educational experience that I could take a lot away and apply to later in life as a whole have some fun meet some new people and compete and that is about it,” said Tucker. 

The events, such as the one Tucker is participating in, aim to improve teamwork, decision, and critical thinking skills, and to value one’s own achievements by moral accomplishments.

“It was a very good way to see how others are growing up and involving themselves in FFA. I did poultry, livestock, and horse evaluation,” said Emma Rose Church, former student, and Judge at the event, explaining that she did those categories as a student.

The Wake FFA Federation Event is a positive experience for all those involved. It leaves competitors not only with real life experience, but high spirits.

“I love the Wake Federation. I like how involved everyone is. I like that Wake County is the largest federation in the state. We have a lot of involvement, and I like that we can come together and see everyone today,” said Church.