Grown Here at Home: Nelson County FFA raising money to get to national convention

The Nelson County FFA has a great opportunity ahead of them, as they prepare to head to the national stage at the end of October.
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 7:39 AM EDT
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LOVINGSTON, Va. (WDBJ) - The Nelson County FFA has a great opportunity ahead, as it heads to the national stage at the end of October, but members need some help to make it possible.

They stay busy all year. If they’re not preparing for a competition after school, they’re putting in the work at home.

“They require a lot of work outside of class time. They’ve been practicing for several months. Sometimes having up to three practices a week, after school, three hours a day,” said Cole Ramsey, Nelson County High School agriculture teacher and FFA advisor.

Their diligence has paid off with three state champion teams, and their officer team going to Indianapolis, Indiana for the 95th National Convention & Expo taking place October 26 – 29.

Daniel Campbell was on the state-winning stockman’s team.

“You judge some classes of animals, you identify animals, you also identify equipment, and also feed, and minerals. It felt really good to practice a bunch and practice for years and finally win, it felt really good,” Daniel explained.

And while many of the students in FFA live on farms, some, like John Campbell, don’t.

“I just wanted to learn more about different animals and aspects of it. It’s just exciting to learn a bunch of new things with FFA,” he said.

John was on the meats team in the state Junior contest.

“We judge the carcasses and we have to identify what cut of meat it is. There’s also a written exam, and that covers everything from what it should be cooked at, and how it should be prepared,” John said.

Houston Bryant is the high school’s chapter president. He’ll be going to nationals to compete in the meats judging contest.

“We finally were able to put a team together and we just worked at it every day for months on end and we really did our best and we came out victorious, which was great. We have not stopped practicing because we’re getting ready for the National Contest, so we really want to prove ourselves there,” Houston explained.

As the students get ready for nationals, they would appreciate some help getting there. The FFA is holding its 15th Annual Bluegrass Benefit to raise money.

“There is a silent auction, a live auction, concessions, a bake sale, and other things, as well as, bluegrass music,” Cole said.

The event will be Saturday, October 8, from 4 to 9 p.m., in the Nelson Middle School auditorium. Admission for adults is $10, $5 for kids ages 6 to 12, and children 5 and under get in free. Doors open at 3 p.m.