A group of home school students in Carroll County is competing for a national championship in Omaha, Nebraska.
The students will represent Virginia's 4-H organization, but their journey started with a big "no you can't", after being turned down for membership in the Future Farmers of America. The FFA is considered by many to be the premiere student agriculture club in the country.
Tammy Vass coaches the Hillsville home school 4-H club. With her students standing around her, Vass said "The FFA, in order to be a member, you do have to take FFA classes through the public school and of course we can't, so we started our own club."
The story started Monday morning when six students jumped off a pickup in Hillsville. Jessica Vass was trying to bring out a calf for another quick lesson on cattle. But that calf wasn't cooperating. Vass pulled and pushed but the calf pushed back harder. Tammy Vass, Jessica's mom, took over but got the same results. Eventually the calf calmed down.
Not a single student in this 4-H club attends public school. Last April, they attended, competed, and won their first 4-H Quizbowl. The local vet says these students are learning what vet students learn in their first year of school.
Six students, each one home schooled, and now they're representing Virginia. Claire Gleason is a senior home school student, "I think it's a big deal because most of the 4-H groups are just made of public school kids. I'm sure there are some home schoolers in their groups, but our group is the only one I know of that's only home schoolers."
This national competition is September 28th.