Scholarships awarded, new chapter chartered during FFA Day at state fair
CLEMSON — FFA members from across South Carolina gathered for FFA Day at the state fair in Columbia to award scholarships, officially welcome a new chapter and square off in a tractor driving skills competition.
The South Carolina Association of Fairs awarded scholarships to Coltin Nobles of Barnwell High School; Trey Gardner of Manning High School; Bayleah Rae Jackson of Pelion High School; and Cassandra Calvo of Laurens 55 High School.
Nancy Smith, director of the South Carolina State Fair and president of the South Carolina Association of Fairs, presented the scholarships. The winners were chosen based on FFA leadership, school and community activities and academic performance.
Nobles is a senior and president of the Barnwell County CC FFA. His adviser is Mindy Sandifer, and his supervised agricultural experience is training roping horses and raising pigs. He hopes to major in agricultural education at Clemson University.
Gardner is a senior and chapter student adviser of Manning FFA. His adviser is Mike Haynes. Gardener was a member of a team that won a silver medal in parliamentary procedure at the National FFA Convention. He also hopes to major in agricultural education at Clemson University.
Jackson is an officer in the Pelion FFA Chapter and her advisers are Frank Stover and Jacob Hatcox. She has held several FFA leadership positions and attended the Commissioners School of Agriculture, a summer program held annually at Clemson University.
Calvo is president of Laurens FFA and her advisers are Melanie Birchmore and Kyle Penland. Calvo spends much of her time teaching primary, elementary and middle school children about the importance of agriculture. She will major in agricultural education at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton.
State Director of Agricultural Education Billy Keels welcomed students from Ninety-Six High School as they signed the charter officially recognizing theirs as the newest FFA Chapter.
“We are thrilled to recognize Ninety-Six High School as South Carolina’s 97th FFA Chapter. We have no doubt that Ninety-Six will make an excellent addition and we are confident that adviser Ashley King will have a powerful impact on her students,” Keels said.
The Latta High School tractor driving team of Coley Jackson, John Bethea, Nic Bethea and Dakota Cook took first place in the tractor driving skills competition. Wagener Sally High School and Branchville High School finished second and third place, respectively. Fifty-one teams participated.