FFA milk quality team finds success at state


Courtesy of Alora Snowden

The FFA milk quality team, Alora Snowden, Claire Schaeferkoeter, Kennedy Surratt and Abby Permenter, won second at state on April 27.

Alex Whelchel, Staff Writer

As junior Alora Snowden walked into her AP Chemistry test on Monday, she couldn’t help but feel unprepared.

“I missed a lot of my AP Chemistry class, and it’s been hard trying to catch up,” Snowden said. “Because we have a hard deadline for our tests, it’s rather difficult to try to ask certain questions because everyone else understands it.”

The agriculture program’s milk quality team, consisting of juniors Alora Snowden, Kennedy Surratt and Claire Schaeferkoeter, and senior Abby Permenter, has attended many showcases and competitions throughout the school year, causing its participants to miss a large amount of school.

“I cope with missing so much school by making sure I stay on top of my work while I am gone,” Surratt said. “I also make sure that I pick up any papers I need before I leave for contests.”

Their hard work and dedication to this team has paid off though as the team placed second in state this past week. With a year-long goal to place first at state in order to advance to nationals, the team was left disappointed with their outcome. 

“When we won second place I was really happy,” Snowden said. “But I was also sad because we were aiming for first. We were only six points away from first. It was frustrating to know that maybe if one of us got one or two more things right we could’ve made it to nationals.”

The team’s outcome at state links back to the vast amount of time and effort these students have poured into the team. Taking time in and out of school, the students honed their skills and perform their best at state.

“We had practice at least once every week since this season started along with extra practice in our class period,” Snowden said. “We also traveled and tried to experience many different kinds of this contest since milk quality can vary a lot.”

At Milk quality competitions participants are tested on different aspects of milk production. There are five different sections relating to various topics.

“In one section we judge 20 milks and have to determine their “defect” (what the flavor is), and then we score them,” Surratt said. “There is also a cheese section where we have to identify ten cheeses like gouda, sharp cheddar, mild cheddar and mozzarella. We also have a Dairy/Non-Dairy section where we have to identify if the product is dairy or non-dairy, and if it is dairy, we have to figure out its fat percentages. There are also 300 questions we memorize and they give us 25 in a contest. As well as five math questions relating to milk, dairy farms, etc.”

Along with the milk quality team, The Farm Business Management team placed 20th out of 61 total teams. After the disappointment of state this year, the team has set its sights high for the next school year.

“Next year our goal is to get first at state and go to nationals,” Surratt said. “Because we have already gotten second and third, first is the only way up.”