Home Environment Florida Forest Service hosts FFA forestry competition

Florida Forest Service hosts FFA forestry competition

participants and organizers of FFA at Bear Lake
Image from FDACS

Typically, the Florida Forest Service partners with FFA chapters at middle and high schools to conduct the FFA District Forestry Career Development Events. The in-person competition was canceled last year because of COVID-19 but was renewed October 12 at Bear Lake Recreation Area on Blackwater River State Forest with precautions in place.

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The contests allow students to test their knowledge and skills in various aspects of forestry and compete against students from other schools within their FFA District, with the winning schools advancing to the Statewide contest to compete again. FFA District 1 covers the western panhandle from Escambia to Washington counties.

With some modifications for safety, the event consisted of a forestry general knowledge exam and other stations where the students were tested on tree identification (dendrology), forestry equipment identification, forest disorders and timber cruising. This competition promotes and facilitates the education of skills used in forest management and can serve as a great foundation to prepare students for a college forestry program and further enable them to pursue a career in forestry. Florida Forest Service personnel and education professionals served as judges and graders and assisted with the day’s activities.

Seven high schools and three middle schools brought a total of 17 teams to participate in the competition, for a total of 87 students and agriculture teachers.

student and teacher participants of FFA at Bear Lake

Tate High School’s Synoma Perea took the top individual spot in the high school level as she and her teammates took home the top spot (Tate A) in the team competition. Tate B took second and Poplar Springs (Graceville) High placed third.

In the middle school competition, Abby Vernier from Beulah Middle School took top honors while Beulah A took top team honors, Ransom Middle B second and Beulah B third.

The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects wildfire on more than 26 million acres. Learn more at FDACS.gov/FLForestService.