FFA team places fifth in wildlife event

On Feb. 9, three members of the Barnwell County Career Center FFA chapter traveled to Horry-Georgetown Technical College in Georgetown to compete in the S.C. FFA Association's most competitive event, the Wildlife Career Development Event.
Team members Jay Baxley, Matt Kennedy and Trent Creech, all seniors from Barnwell High School, spent four hours demonstrating their knowledge in various aspects of wildlife management. Following two hours of individual testing of plant identification and a written evaluation of their knowledge, the team came together to age and sex turkeys, age whitetail deer and determine their antler score for nutrition evaluation, identify various reptiles, fish species, wildlife management tools, and waterfowl. Members also worked together to answer rigorous management questions related to pictures of various types of wildlife habitats.
The team finished 5th out of 31 teams and Baxley finished 9th in the state out of 108 participants. The winning team, Pendleton High School FFA, was awarded a plaque and $2,000 to send them to compete on the national level in October.
This event is just one aspect of S.C. agricultural programs that allow students to put knowledge learned in the classroom to work in a realistic manner. Horry Georgetown Technical College hosted the event. The college offers two-year degrees and transfer opportunities to students in the areas of wildlife management and forestry.
For more information about the BCCC FFA, email Mindy Sandifer at msandifer@bccc.k12.sc.us or visit www.scaged.org to learn more about the S.C. FFA Association.