When most people think of the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, they think of livestock, bull riders and corn dogs. Usually Prepared Public Speaking Contests, Youth Leadership and Agricultural Science Fairs do not come to mind. However, members of the Blanco FFA Chapter have recently taken part in these events and have acquired valuable life skills as a result of their efforts.
First, nine students took part in the prepared public speaking contests. In the two age groups, students are required to write and present a speech on an agricultural topic and present it to a panel of judges. Those making the finals must then present their speech in an auditorium full of members of the public. This year, more than 130 people watched as the Blanco FFA had two members advance to the finals competition: Kelton Marek and Maggie Reininger. Competing against 67 other Jr. FFA members, Kelton finished 5th while Maggie Finished 11th. Also competing in the Jr. Division was Brenna Wallace. High School students who made a strong run in the Sr. Division that consisted of 200 participants were Mason LeBlanc, Jamie McClinton, Bret Leigh Nance, Payton Savarino and Phil Alvarado.
Participating in the Agricultural Science Fair for the first time were Katherine Biggs and Kari Graham. Blanco High School Science Teacher Kaleigh Walker assisted students with scientific research projects and presentations. These projects will also compete at the State FFA Science Fair Contest during the summer.
Finally, students took part in a leadership opportunity by serving as educational tour guides for elementary students. They were responsible for touring with classes and answering questions about different aspects of the agricultural industry. Those participating included Joanna Delavan, Elise Edmonson, Morgan Lowak, Megan Andrews, Mackenzie Johnson, Jace Ammons, Ryan Wagner, Sam Isenberg, Ed Alvarado, Callie Culton, Tyler Hardin, and Skylar Itz.
Advisors for the Blanco FFA and Blanco Jr. FFA are Felice and Jason Marek.