Competing against 41 teams at the National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis last month, the Rigby High School FFA Environmental Natural Resource Career Development Team of Dalton Johnson, Dillon Johnson, Tony Worthen and Brock Godfrey won fourth place.
Individually RHS seniors Dalton Johnson, Dillon Johnson, and Worthen won gold awards and Godfrey won a silver award. Teams nationwide competed at local and state levels to get the privilege to compete at the national event, said Robert Hale, Rigby ag teacher and FFA adviser.
The students qualified to compete at nationals last June and worked all summer and fall preparing for the event which spanned two days, Hale said. The students were tested and demonstrated knowledge on soils, water, natural resources and environmental science as well as consulted on industrial and agriculture waste management, Hale said.
“It’s pretty intense, they had to know a lot and they were well prepared,” Hale said. “Ag teacher and adviser Lex Godfrey who coached them did an awesome job. The kids were really happy and excited about going on and doing other things.”
Dalton was recognized as second-high individual in the nation and received a $1,000 award.
Margaret Mackin-Kagel was selected through an application and interview process as the national winner in the Environmental Science and Natural Resources proficiency awards program. She won a total of $1,000. Mackin-Kagel graduated from high school last spring and now is a freshman at Boise State University.
“She did awesome,” Hale said. “To my knowledge, Rigby FFA has never had a national winner in any FFA event.”
The Rigby FFA Chapter was also awarded the 3-Star Gold National Chapter award by the with the National FFA Organization’s highest award. Rigby FFA officers of Leann Johnston, Wrandie Smout, Abby Klukis, Alisha Kisner and Tessa Peterson accepted the award, Hale said.
The award is sponsored by the John Deere Corporation. The program recognizes outstanding FFA chapters throughout the country with 1-, 2- or 3-Star Gold Awards, Hale said. Chapters are recognized for actively implementing the mission and strategies of the FFA organization and strive to grow leaders, build communities and strengthen agriculture, Hale said.
Additionally, there are about 50 areas in which FFA members can compete for awards through Supervised Agriculture Experiences where students develop specialized skills to apply towards a career, according to the National FFA website.