BW/DACC FFA in the news

By Lenny C. Lepola -

Members of the Big Walnut/DACC FFA Chapter had an exceptionally productive time last week. On Monday, February 6, five chapter members were recognized for their efforts during the Region III FFA Awards Evaluations at the Ohio FFA Center on the Ohio State Fairgrounds.

Junior Gabby Adair submitted her Ohio FFA Degree application and an Outdoor Recreation Proficiency Award; Senior Ali Carter submitted a Small Animal Production & Care Proficiency Award; 2016 graduate Noah Hale submitted his American FFA Degree application and an Agricultural Sales-Placement Proficiency Award; and graduate Evan Thiergartner also submitted his American FFA Degree application.

“These awards recognize students for their outstanding work in their Supervised Agricultural Experience Programs,” said Big Walnut/DACC Satellite Ag Science Instructor and FFA Advisor Jeff Stimmell. “Ag Science and FFA students keep records under the supervision of their agricultural science teacher and complete applications to compete against others FFA members around the state. These applications are then forwarded to the Ohio FFA Association for further evaluation.”

Stimmell said junior Austin Cheadle serves as the Big Walnut/DACC FFA Chapter Reporter.

Cheadle coordinated the work of a committee of nearly a dozen students to complete the FFA Reporter’s Scrapbook.

“The scrapbook received a gold rating, which earned Cheadle the opportunity to walk across the stage at the Ohio FFA State Convention in May to receive the Gold Reporter’s Pin,” Stimmell said. “This book was a compilation of public relations materials during the school year, including snapshots of chapter meetings, newspaper articles, and social media posts.”

Stimmell said on Wednesday, May 8, five Delaware County FFA members competed at Ridgedale High School in various Public Speaking contests.

“These students competed in four different categories,” Stimmell said. “All five students from Delaware County placed in the top three in their events to advance to the District 6 Public Speaking Career Development Events (CDE) on February 21 at Ridgemont High School.”

Stimmell said all five students take Agricultural Science classes at their respective high schools through the Delaware Area Career Center. Freshman member Liz Ansel of Big Walnut competed in the Creed Speaking Division and placed third.

Madi Withrow, a Big Walnut freshman, competed in the Beginning Prepared Speaking Division.

“For this event, each student writes and memorizes a five- to seven-minute speech about a topic of his or her choosing and responds to questions from judges,” Stimmell said. “Madi spoke about the Food Safety Modernization Act and the impact this act has on food production and processing facilities to place second in the event.”

In the Advanced Prepared Speaking CDE, Big Walnut junior Gabby Adair and Buckeye Valley senior Trinity Smith presented six- to eight-minute speeches to a panel and responded to questions. Adair’s speech about urban sprawl and zoning regulations earned first place in the sub-district. Smith spoke on antibiotic resistance and superbugs to place third and also advance.

Big Walnut freshman Rachel Sherman competed in the Extemporaneous Public Speaking Contest and placed third in the event.

“Rachel was given thirty minutes to prepare a four to six minute speech on a topic selected at random, and respond to judge’s questions,” Stimmell said.

Also last week, BW/DACC FFA Chapter members competed in the Agricultural Sales Career Development Event (CDE) Online Test and placed second in the state.

“All students enrolled in the Business Management class at Big Walnut High School took the test, along with students who signed up for the event,” Stimmell said. “This 25 question assessment quizzed students on their knowledge of sales and customer service, as well as marketing and advertising terms.”

Stimmell said 25 students took the exam. Placing for Big Walnut were Ali Carter, Julie Foreman, Kyle Kintz, and Lex Marvin who tied for fifteenth in the state out of almost 500 individuals.

“The scores from this exam were added to the results from the Sub-District Agricultural Sales CDE, hosted at Big Walnut High School on January 31,” Stimmell said. “The Big Walnut/DACC team placed first in this event and qualified to move on to the district contest, along with Buckeye Valley DACC FFA and Ridgedale FFA.”

Stimmell said Ali Carter placed first; Alex Parsio, second; Liz Ansel, third; Gabby Adair, fifth; Ben Kessler, sixth; Lex Marvin, eleventh; and Austin Cheadle, twelfth.

FFA stands for Future Farmers of America, but ask any of the students involved in the high school’s Ag Science program, and they will tell you that FFA is more than just a program for those who want to pursue a career in farming.

FFA participants go on to careers not only in farming, but also into a whole host of agricultural related careers that fall under the FFA umbrella, including veterinary services, biological research, and food processing, delivery, and marketing. FFA students also go into forestry, land management, and the environmental sciences.

There are almost 24,000 FFA members statewide in 305 chapters. FFA is the largest high school youth organization in America, with a national membership roster exceeding half a million students. For more information about FFA in Ohio, go to

The National FFA Organization is composed of 649,335 members belonging to of 7,757 chapters throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

For more information about the national FFA organization and its activities, go to

By Lenny C. Lepola

Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.

Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.