When it comes to studying wildlife, four of the top 10 students in Ohio are from Clay High School’s Environmental and Agricultural Technologies Program.
The students competed in an FFA Wildlife Management Career Development Event in Columbus on March 28. The event, a state-sponsored FFA competition, is designed to test students’ understanding of wildlife and their ability to identify Ohio mammals, fish, game birds, and plants.
It also tested their knowledge of habitats, life histories, populations, and regulations, as well as determining the age and sex of certain wildlife species.
Members of the first-place Wildlife Management Team from the Oregon FFA included Josh Menter, first-place individual; Colton Plumb, second-place, individual; Kathryn Finger, sixth-place individual; and Jacob Pirolli, ninth-place individual. Also competing were Daniel DeSelms, Brian Hopkins, Tyler Vermett and Kelsey Cook.
Seventy-two teams and 289 students from high schools throughout Ohio competed in the event. This winning team will now represent Ohio in the National FFA Competition in Indianapolis in October.
In addition, competing in the area of Nature Interpretation were Matt Swaim and Terrence Huggins. Swaim earned first-place individual honors, and Terrence Huggins earned eighth-place individual rankings, with their team placing 10th place in the state. This competition had 25 teams and 98 individuals competing.
Students in the Environmental & Agricultural Technologies classes at Clay learn skills needed in preparation for a variety of careers.
“This competition is crucial in preparing me for my college majors at Hocking College, and for my future wildlife career,” said Colton Plumb, a junior at Clay.
The competition encouraged students in their preparation for college and careers in wildlife biology, park management, natural resources, fisheries management, and other environmentally related areas. “We learned first-hand how to test soil, use a transit, determine water quality, use a GPS, and identify plants and animals common to Ohio,” said Clay senior Kathryn Finger.
The students traveled to Columbus the day before the competition and enjoyed a four-hour hike at Highbanks Metropark in Delaware. They spent the evening studying with team members under the direction of advisor Charlie Schneider, Environmental & Agricultural Technologies teacher at Clay, who attended the competition with the team.
The first-place Wildlife Management team in Ohio is from the Environmental & Agricultural Technologies Program at Clay High School. Left to right are Josh Menter, Kathryn Finger, Jacob Pirolli, and Colton Plumb.