JOHNSTON – The Strom Thurmond Career & Technology Center FFA Association took home many of South Carolina’s top FFA honors this past week at the 91st Annual South Carolina FFA Convention.  The convention was held on the campus of Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina June 12 – 14, 2018.  There were eleven FFA members representing the Strom Thurmond chapter as well as their advisor Jeremy Brooks and his wife Hope Brooks.
The Strom Thurmond FFA Chapter competed in two state competitions, was named one of twelve South Carolina National FFA Gold Emblem Chapters and received the 100% plus membership chapter award based upon the chapter’s active membership and participation of over 120 students in various projects and activities throughout the school year. Not only was Strom Thurmond FFA successful as a chapter, but several members also received individual awards as part of the State FFA Convention.  Mary Ashlyn Goforth won a $1,000.00 National FFA Scholarship along with Gracie Herrin who won a $3,000.00 National FFA scholarship and a $1,000.00 Young Farmer Scholarship.  Herrin was also named the top FFA member in South Carolina and presented with an additional $500.00 scholarship along with being the state proficiency winner for her Diversified Crop Production SAE project.  The Turfgrass Team of Merissa MacDonald, Weston Whitfield, Gracie Herrin and Jonathon Kemp were also recognized for their state championship earlier in the year.
Thurmond FFA members Mary Grace Clements, Julia Crim, Mary Ashlyn Goforth, Gracie Herrin, Meg Hoffmann, Ivy Claire Huiet, and Weston Whitfield all also earned the coveted South Carolina State FFA Degree, the highest level of recognition that the state FFA can confer upon any of its members.
Lastly, six students competed in state contests while attending the convention. Gracie Herrin competed in the State Employability Skills competition where she wrote and submitted a job application, cover letter, resume, and references before doing a mock interview with a panel of judges along with a follow-up thank you letter.  Also, the Farm Business Management Team of Madelyn Wise, Beth Verdery, Anna Kate Hightower, Truett Taylor and alternate Ashley Mims participated in the State Farm Business management competition where they completed a two hour written test which had sections on marketing, income analysis, financial planning, taxes, and general agricultural economics.  Both Gracie and the Farm Business Management team took 1st Place honors and were named the South Carolina State Champions and will now begin preparing for National Competition this fall in Indianapolis Indiana.

These achievements would not be possible without great FFA members, their parents, the Strom Thurmond faculty and administration, and our wonderful community support.  The Strom Thurmond Career & Technology Center Agriculture Department offers courses and internship opportunities in the areas of agricultural science, wildlife management, horticulture, turf grass, agribusiness, equipment operations, agricultural mechanics, and environmental science.  The agriculture program had over 120 members this past year and participated in over 50 activities outside the classroom that complemented all the skills students learn in the classroom.  All of the hard work and dedication by the students and their advisor helped the Thurmond FFA Chapter to land one of the top agriculture programs in the state and nation.

For more information about the Strom Thurmond Career & Technology Center Agricultural Education Department or the FFA chapter contact Jeremy Brooks at 803-275-1767 ext 95519 and follow us on social media.

Pictured above: L to R: Gracie Herrin, Star Story, Ashley Mims, Julia Crim, Beth Verdery, Bradley Kemp, Truett Tayler, Whit Guess, Anna-Kate Hightower, and Colby Martin (Not Pictured: Madelyn Wise)