CHS students attend FFA State Convention

Published 4:23 pm Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Members of Cloudland High School’s chapter of the Future Farmers of America recently attended the FFA State Convention and two were selected to participate in the State Talent Program.

Attending the convention were CHS FFA members Warren Mathes, Johnny Guinn, Landon Baird, TJ Black, Jobe Tolley, Hope Markland, Megan Clawson, Justus Brown, Gracie Freeman, Rein Strickland, Emma Clawson, Journey Wood, Hope Russell, and Amber Webb. CHS Agriculture Teacher Lauren Turbyfill, who serves as the Chapter Advisor, attended the convention with her students.

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“State FFA Convention is an annual gathering of FFA members across the entire state of Tennessee,” Turbyfill said. “Students attend sessions designed to inspire and encourage self-discipline, motivation, and success as students and leaders in their community. Students are encouraged to meet FFA members from other Chapters and develop their networking skills.”

In addition to attending the convention, two of the CHS students were selected for the State Talent Program — Hope Russell and Gracie Freeman.

Russell is a senior at Cloudland, and this marked her third time in the State Talent Program. Last year she also performed at the FFA National Convention. During the State Convention this year, Russell performed “Have You Ever Seen the Rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival.

“Hope sings and accompanies herself by playing guitar,” Turbyfill said. “Hope is very active in her community, enjoys providing music, plays both guitar and piano, at her church, and is a leader in our FFA Chapter, serving as Chapter President.”

Freeman is a freshman at Cloudland and this is her first time being selected for the State Talent Program. She has a background in vocal performance, and for the convention, she selected a song from her most recent recital by performing the song “Opportunity” from the 2014 film “Annie.”

“Gracie has been a very active freshman member of the Cloudland FFA Chapter, serving in the position of ‘President’ in the ‘Conduct of Chapter Meetings’ Leadership Development Event,” Turbyfill said.

The FFA Chapter helps raise funds to keep the cost to attend the State and National Conventions low for members through sales from the Cloudland High School Greenhouse.

“This year, our greenhouse will open on Wednesday, May 2nd. No plants will be sold prior to May 2nd,” Turbyfill said. “We offer a wide variety of heirloom and hybrid tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, herbs, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, as well as many varieties of flowers, both annuals and perennials. Prices will range from $1.50 for a cell pack of four vegetables or flowers to $10 for hanging baskets.”

The greenhouse will be open during regular school hours Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Special hours will be offered on Saturday, May 12, from 9 a.m. until noon.

Turbyfill said additional evening hours will be offered, but those dates have not yet been set. Special hours will be posted publicly on Facebook, according to Turbyfill.

“To visit the greenhouse, please go through the front doors of the school and check in at the office,” Turbyfill said. “If you have a difficult time walking a long distance, please call the school before you plan to come. We will be happy to accommodate your needs.”