By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer
Rising to the challenge of continuing a tradition, students from the Dora chapter of Future Farmers of America won the Sweepstakes Award during the annual state contest recently held in Las Cruces.
Walking away with the sweepstakes award was a huge accomplishment for the Dora teams. Twenty-three students qualified to attend the state contest. This is the fourth time that Dora has won the Sweepstakes Award since 1991, said Kit Pettigrew, Dora FFA instructor.
Designed for students to explore future career options, Career Development Events are held throughout the state in the spring. State contest is the culmination of the students efforts, said Kim O’Byrne, assistant state supervisor of Agriculture Education/FFA.
“These contests are basically everything the students are learning in class,” O’Byrne said.
During the time that CDE contests were taking place, the Dora boys basketball team also qualified for the state tournament, where they ultimately took second place. Many of the team members were also on the basketball team, said Pettigrew.
“That was a real challenge for us,” Pettigrew said.
The students had to work double time in order to prepare for the upcoming state contest, due to the fact that team members were doing double time, both on the basketball team and the FFA team. This proved to be a challenge, but according to Pettigrew the kids put forth the effort and he feels that extra effort helped the students to succeed.
“The kids really stepped up and that shows the quality of kids we have out here,” Pettigrew said.
For Dora senior Roy Buckley, the year proved to be a major transition. Not only did he compete on three teams, but he also placed in the top five individuals in the state on each team, all while dealing with the challenges of entering a new school, said Pettigrew.
“He rose to the occasion and we’re really proud of him,” Pettigrew said.
Quick to praise his other students and team members, Pettigrew stated that he has known many of them all their lives. The closeness of the team has been built from the many hours that both Pettigrew and the students have spent together, either in practices or working on various other projects, he said.
“I think they just rose to the occasion. I’m really proud of them for doing that,”
Dora FFA Teams State Placings
• Pasture and Range — 1st place
• Homesite — 1st place
These two teams will compete at the National contest May 1-4, 2007 in Oklahoma City.
• Dairy Foods — 1st place
This team will be traveling to Indianapolis, Ind. in October to compete at the National FFA Convention.
• Land team — 2nd place
• Crops — 2nd place
• Entomology — 2nd place
The Dora teams also won the District Sweepstakes award and the Eastern New Mexico judging contest Sweepstakes Award for the year.