Cloudland FFA chapter finalist in national contest

Published 9:38 am Saturday, March 14, 2015

NEW FFA Graphic

Members of Cloudland High School’s Future Farmers of America club will be battling it out with clubs across the nation for the honor of having their shirt design selected by the national organization and earning some money for their club in the process.

The Cloudland FFA Chapter was chosen as a national finalist for the National FFA Organization Chapter T-Shirt Design Contest.

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As part of the contest, the national FFA organization selects six winners whose deigns will be featured on T-shirts for sale in the FFA catalog and on the organization’s website at

As of right now, the Cloudland FFA Chapter is in the top 12 finalists, club adviser Lauren Jaynes Turbyfill said.

“I took that as a good sign we were going to be in the top 12,”she said. “Now we just need to be one of six.”

For the contest, the Cloudland club took a unique approach to the design. Their shirt features an image of the iconic Rosie the Riveter sporting a traditional FFA club jacket and bearing the message “Anything you can do, we can do, too!”

“The FFA as a whole, and locally at Cloudland, has become largely composed of girls,” Turbyfill said. “The shirt commemorates the fact that in the FFA, girls are just as capable as boys.”

There are 53 members of the FFA club at CHS, 32 of which are girls.

“FFA is changing and it is attracting more students. There are more opportunities and more competitions for the students to take part in,” Turbyfill said. “There are more intellectual challenges that give the opportunity to show of brains as much as brawn, and that appeals to the girls.”

“It seems like the girls at this age are into doing things where they can see an outcome and be pleased with themselves that they have accomplished something,” she added. “They have a vision and they want to see it through to the result.”

The idea of using Rosie the Riveter came to Turbyfill and her students while they were working in the greenhouse at the school.

“It was a little early in the year, but I was getting them used to working in the greenhouse, prepping the soil,” Turbyfill said. “All of us girls were up to our elbows in dirt and we started talking about Rosie the Riveter and how we could do anything we wanted. It really just fell out of the sky and hit us like a ton of bricks.”

While the majority of the club is female, how did the 21 male members handle the idea of a club shirt sporting Rosie the Riveter?

“Our Chapter President, Carl Markland thinks it’s great,” Tubyfill said. “He has, however, proposed a Chuck Norris counterpart shirt.”

“Our kids are really one big happy family, and even though the shirt seems ‘feminist’ the guys just want our Chapter to be lifted up and have the opportunity to win this,” she added. “They aren’t pitching any bit of a fit, but I might just might let them get some Chuck Norris shirts.”

Once the idea for the design came to the group, their main concern was whether the iconic female character was a copyrighted image. Turbyfill looked into the matter and once she found out the image was not copyrighted the club set to work on designing their shirt.

The club has entered the contest twice before, but this is the first time ever they have been selected as finalists.

While being selected as a finalist is an awesome accomplishment for the club, Turbyfill said in order for them to win they will need the support of the community.

The 12 finalist designs will be featured in the contest on the FFA website where online voting will determine the top six designs, Turbyfill said. Voting for the contest begins at 10 a.m. Monday and will close Thursday at 5 p.m. and Turbyfill hopes the community will visit the website and cast their votes for the Cloudland club.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our chapter to earn some funds to better our program,” she said. “We will receive 50 percent of the profit from the sale of the shirt for one year if we rank as one of the top six during voting.”

If the Cloudland club is places in the top six, Turbyfill said the money brought in from the contest will be used for state and national competitions and to help pay for dues and jackets for students who can’t afford them.