— On Oct. 22, the Warwick Valley FFA Environmental Science and Natural Resources Team embarked on a trip to the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The members were Erin Ackerly, Alex Ronne, Sabina Vail and Catherine King. Olivia Parkin from Warwick also travelled with the team. These students were accompanied by Nancy Colgan, the Warwick Valley FFA advisor.

They all travelled on a charter bus with other FFA members, advisors and chaperones from throughout New York State. Each day was spent going to different agricultural businesses and farms located in New York, Ohio and Michigan, all leading up to the day of competition.

PreparationOn Tuesday evening, Oct. 24, the tour bus reached Indianapolis where the team members spent several hours preparing for the team portion of the competition, which included a written letter and verbal presentation.

They were judged on their team working skills, as well as public speaking capabilities.

After that portion, the students went back to the hotel where they spent another couple hours preparing for the individual area of the contest.

For the individual sections of the competition, each team member completed the following components of the career development event:

• Wildlife identification;

• A written exam focused on natural resources;

• GPS navigation;

• Land judging; water quality judging, and

• Soil sampling.

SuccessThe team worked diligently through the cold Indiana weather. On Friday, Oct. 27, the team went to the dinner banquet where all of the teams gathered to celebrate each other's victories.

• The team went home with silver, placing 25th out of 41 teams.

• Erin Ackerly, and Alex Ronne who placed gold individual;

• Catherine King who placed silver individual; and

• Sabina Vail who placed bronze individual.

The team went home happy and relieved with their winnings.

• Erin Langdale and Sarah LaLumiere also received their American Degrees, which means they worked a total of 1,000 hours of agricultural work after receiving their Empire Degree in 2014.

Congratulations to the team on representing New York at the national level.