Tucumcari High School’s Future Farmers of America chapter had six teams finishing in the top seven during the state championship held in Las Cruces last week.
The four-member Floriculture team won the state championship and will compete in national competition in Louisville. Ky. next October.
Alisha Craine, a member of the championship Floriculture team, said she studied hard for the competition.
“I got up at five in the morning and reviewed questions and identified species of plants,” said Craine. “I had to memorize over 1000 questions. I am so excited about national competition.”
The Tucumcari Horticulture team finished fourth in the state. Team members had to identify and grade 100 types of fruits, nuts and vegetables.
Sarah Burson said she had trouble with some species of herbs.
“I couldn’t identify some of the herbs. I think one of them was sage,” she said. “The judges wouldn’t let us touch them or smell them.”
Doug Sours, the vocational agriculture instructor at Tucumcari High School, said he was proud of the Tucumcari competitors.
“This was the first year that my wife Glenda and I headed the FFA team.
Our time in Las Cruces was a good beginning for us.”
Kambra Smith, who competed in the Nursery competition, said that the competition was a good confidence builder for her.
“I’m glad I got to go up on stage and be proud of myself,” she said.
Dusty Lopez he said he was given difficult tasks in the Nursery competition..
“We had to properly measure trees,” said Lopez, “and then we had to tell what kind of fertilizer was used to make the trees grow.”
Valtie Riddle and Cade Fernandez said they liked the Landscape Design portion of the competition.
“They gave us a drawing of a house,” said Riddle,” and then we had to draw plants and structures to go along with the plants.”
English teacher and co-leader of the FFA teams, Glenda Sours, said the Tucumcari competitors were some of the best she had seen in 16 years of teaching.
“These kids didn’t have a lot of time to prepare, and we did well,” she said.
“We lost the Horticulture Sweepstakes to Dexter by just 7 points.”
Sarah Burson said it was not all hard work for the Tucumcari students down in Las Cruces.
“We had fun also,” said Burson. “We got to go to the mall and hang out. Some of us hung out at Starbucks. We got to see people we knew from last year.”
The four students who will compete in Louisville next October are: Stephanie Burns, Brandon Sours, Bobby Sherwood and Alisha Craine.