By Emmy Fuller and Brelynn Randall–Louisa-Muscatine FFA Reporters
The Louisa-Muscatine FFA Nursery-Landscape Team of Gage Connor, Maisy Howell, Jeremy Neiswonger, and Jayden Seefeldt, and the Forestry Team, consisting of Wylie Jacobs, Morgan Nowak, Addison Randall, and Bryar Runnells competed at the 2019 National FFA Convention, held in Indianapolis, Indiana. Both teams received silver ratings, with Nursery-Landscape placing eighteenth and Forestry placing twenty-fourth overall.
The Nursery-Landscape Career Development Event gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to identify and maintain landscape plants, pests, diseases, weeds, and equipment; evaluate and estimate a landscape design; propagate plants; and provide customer service in a garden center setting. The Nursery-Landscape Team competed at both local and state levels and received the honor to represent Iowa on the national level by winning the Iowa FFA State Nursery-Landscape Contest.
The Forestry Career Development Event had students demonstrate their ability to diagnose forest disorders, identify trees, recommend management practices, and evaluate trees for board foot volume, diameter, and merchantable height. They also completed a team presentation about a national forestry issue. The forestry team also competed at the local and state level, earning the chance to represent Iowa by winning the Iowa Envirothon contest.
In preparation for their national contests, both teams visited with Southern Illinois University’s Forestry Department in Carbondale, Illinois. They were also able to visit Shawnee National Forest and Giant City State Park in Illinois to work on tree identification, timber measurements and management plans, tree measurements, and team events. The teams toured Amos Hill Veneers in Edinburgh, Indiana, where they learned about veneer production and tree selection and grading. They made one more stop at the Brehob Nursery in Indianapolis, Indiana, to work on plant identification before finally competing at the 2019 National FFA Convention held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Indiana Convention Center. Congratulations to the team members on their outstanding accomplishments.