For the second consecutive year, members of Future Farmers of America chapters in the High Plains of Texas were honored for winning the FFA West Texas Delta-pine Cotton Commercial Contest.
The awards were handed out during the Plains Cotton Growers Annual Meeting in Lubbock.
The contest is sponsored by Deltapine and is intended to highlight the importance of cotton production in the students’ communities. The winning teams represented the Lubbock-Cooper FFA chapter and Randall High School from Amarillo.
Local FFA chapters and high schools were invited to produce and promote a video highlighting the importance of cotton farming in their communities and products made from cotton.
The videos were judged, and awards, in the form of $2,500 donations, were given to each team.
Dave Rhylander, Deltapine marketing lead, says the contest gives young high school students a chance to learn how cotton is grown in the Lubbock area. But, more importantly, he says it also helps these same students develop marketing and communication skills as they look ahead to college and professional careers.
“It’s just a win-win for everybody,” he says. “The students certainly had a chance to test their abilities in case they wanted to go into radio or television or similar fields.”
Rhylander, who often judges similar contests at the National Agri-Mark-eting Association’s college contest each year, says the FFA chapters in West Texas produced high quality videos that eventually were shown on local television stations.
“To be honest with you, I was just blown away by the quality of these presentations,” he says. “They were really good. I’m serious about there possibly being some future radio and television announcers in that group.”
Rhylander says it is obvious that all of the FFA students participating in the contest have a passion for agriculture and were eager to showcase their skills. He also received individual feedback and comments from many of the participating students.
“Most of them have thanked me personally for how Deltapine and Mon-santo sponsored this project,” he says. “It was just a great opportunity for them, and that’s what this project is all about.”
Rhylander says it is reassuring to know that FFA students are so committed to becoming part of an agricultural career.
Monsanto and Deltapine contributed information for this article. For more information on this FFA project, go to www.monsanto.com.