Several Wellsboro High School students recently gained state and regional recognition through their work with Grand Canyon Future Farmers of America.

“It is exciting seeing all our students getting back to some extracurricular activities and accomplishments,” wrote Melanie Berndtson, ag sciences teacher and FFA advisor, in an email announcing the successes.

State Proficiency

The Pennsylvania FFA Association named its winners and finalists in the 2020 State Proficiency Evaluation. According to, the awards “honor FFA members who, through supervised agricultural experiences, have developed specialized skills that they can apply toward their future careers.”

Alexis Banik was named a state winner in small animal production and a state finalist in poultry production. Nina Coolidge, now a student at Penn State University, was state winner in diversified livestock production and a state finalist in agriculture education.

Joey VanDergrift won the state title in beef production, Makayla Holleran was a state finalist in beef production and equine placement and Emma Bradenburg was a state finalist in equine placement.

Regional competitions

In the regional public speaking competition, Lindsey Kline placed second in Creed Speaking, involving reciting the FFA Creed from memory. This qualified her for the state competition, to be held virtually June 2.

Also placing in regionals were Rita Champaign with fourth in Junior Prepared Public Speaking and Makayla Holleran with ninth in Conservation Public Speaking. Their speeches about a current agricultural-related topic were three to five minutes long and six to eight minutes long, respectively, and were judged on the written speech, delivery and answers to judges’ questions.

Grand Canyon FFA’s regional qualifying tractor drivers were Justice Harlan (first in area, eighth in region) and James Patterson (second in area, sixth in region).


Winning this year’s Tioga County Envirothon was Grand Canyon FFA’s team of Lucas VanDergrift, Travis Winters, Justice Harlan, Makayla Holleran and Ally Brostrom.

The Tioga County Envirothon, sponsored by the Tioga County Conservation District, “is an educational program designed to cultivate a desire to learn more about our natural environment through competitive events,” according to the county’s website.

Winning the county competition qualified the team for the first round of the Pennsylvania Envirothon, which they participated in virtually on May 11. The top 15 teams advanced to an oral component of the competition, with winners announced May 27 through a virtual awards ceremony.

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