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Future Farmers claim first in plant category

A winning tradition continues at Thomson High School as its Future Farmers of America team recently won first place at the Georgia-Carolina State Fair.

The Floriculture Team, consisting of Jackson Reddick, Alexis Osouna, Josh Rodgers and Cullen Wallace correctly identified the most plants in the floriculture identification contest.

Josh said the contest consists of 25 plants on a table that the students must identify using a list of 85 names. The plants are at different stages, from seedling to mature species, both whole and partial plants.

As daunting as the task may seem to the untrained eye, the students said they've had a lot of experience identifying them.

"Once you learn them, then you don't forget them," Cullen said, adding that they practice with slide shows on computer.

Mr. Dubose said the FFA club has been improving every year in competitions. He attributes the success to incentive measures such as end-of-semester prizes and the "good feeder program of the Thomson Middle School FFA."

"(Winning first place) proved our efforts paid off," Josh said.

The team will go on to compete at the regional level in February. The competitive measure is what motivates Cullen, who said he is "very competitive anyway with everything."

"We want them all to say 'We've got to step up our game, Thomson's FFA is here,' " said Amber Overton, a Thomson club member.

All in all, the club broadens the students' horizons.

"Not only do I like the competitions, but I like going to the conventions. We get to go and meet a bunch of people and see stuff we've never seen before," Josh said.

Web posted on Thursday, December 17, 2009

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