Contributed photo/Tanni Wenger
Four Grant Union FFA chapter members teamed up to compete in ag sales at the state competition Nov. 18 in Hermiston.
It was the first time in four years a Grant Union ag sales team has competed at the state-level career development event.
Team members included Kellen Shelley, chapter vice president; Cinch Anderson, chapter secretary; Maggie Justice, chapter treasurer; and Averie Wenger, chapter reporter. Alternates were Billy Radinovich and Jessi Nolan.
Twenty Oregon schools competed in ag sales, and 21 in veterinary science, at the event held at Hermiston High School.
Grant Union didn’t place in the top 10 to qualify for FFA Nationals, but team members said they were glad to take part in the competition.
“I am very proud we were there,” Shelley said. “It was great to compete at that level and learn the structure of the state competition for further success for years to come.”
Grant Union FFA chapter advisor Adam Ineck said it was a “fantastic experience” for the team members.
“They put a lot of hard work in preparation,” he said. “They’re definitely exposed to what it takes to get to the next level.”
The ag sales competition involved each individual team member presenting an ag item for sale, which they prepared beforehand, with one of the judges interacting as if they were a customer.
An impromptu team scenario presentation is another part of the competition, with 20 minutes to prepare a solution and a business proposition.
During the contest, the members showed how they would deal with a disgruntled customer, phone orders, finding customers (such as at a trade show) and advertising.
Wenger said she learned leadership qualities from the experience and she enjoyed spending time with her chapter and officer team.
“We definitely saw a higher level of competition, which will help us in the upcoming years of ag sales,” she said. “There are a lot of CDEs through FFA where you can learn, and that can help you with your future.”
The top two teams from each FFA district qualify for the state competition.
Grant Union placed second in the Strawberry Mountain District, with Burnt River finishing first, at the Nov. 8 ag sales competition in Prairie City.
Oregon FFA has a goal of “helping its members to develop their own unique talents and explore their interests in a broad range of career pathways.”